3 Tips to Sit In Like A Pro

Sitting in with a group of more seasoned musicians is an experience that every aspiring jazz pianist must encounter.  The prospect of performing with players you want to impress can be daunting.  These tips will help you to prepare and step on to the bandstand with confidence and composure!  Prepare a Tune – When you sit down at the piano, you […]

3 Jazz Piano Lessons From Golf

As Brenden likes to say, there are a lot of similarities between golf and jazz improv.  In fact, golf was Bill Evans’ favorite pastime.  Just like jazz, there are no shortcuts to success in golf.  The way to get better is to play as much as possible.  However, there are specific exercises that, along with […]

5 Tips to Learn Tunes Like a Pro

Expanding one’s repertoire is an essential part of becoming a better musician. By learning new tunes of varying styles and difficulty, you can expand your palette of musical skills and deepen your musicianship. Here is a list of 5 tips to keep in mind while learning new tunes Check out the Records Save the sheet […]

3 Jazz Books to Break Through Plateaus

Do you ever feel stuck in your musical development? These 3 books offer some amazing insights that will help you break through these walls. The Music Lesson by Victor Wooten This book will challenge you to think about music in a different way.  It walks through 9 elements of music, as taught by Victor’s possibly […]

How to Practice Simplicity

Sometimes the best melodies are the simplest ones. The less you say, the more each individual note stands out. Miles Davis lived out this musical philosophy every night on the bandstand, and we can all learn a lot from how he makes the most out of the fewest notes.  Check out this track “Jean Pierre” […]

Developing Modern Repertoire

As Sterling mentioned in his last post, jazz music was built on the popular songs of the day, using them as vehicles for improvisation. There is no reason it should be any different today.  There is music being created all around us just begging to be improvised on, but sometimes we get stuck in the […]

Beyond the Real Book: Checking out the “Folio”

Being able to show up to a jam and read tunes out of a real book can be very handy, but.. Have you ever wondered where some of those songs come from? As jazz musicians, we are fortunate to be able to draw from an endless fountain of repertoire from the 20th century. Today, this […]

Jazz Fusion: The Electric, Rock-Infused Cousin of Jazz

Of course we’re talking about… As an American art form, jazz has continually evolved to absorb elements of the culture and technology around it. Jazz had progressed from its Dixieland roots in New Orleans into the swing tradition of the 30’s, bebop in the 40’s to hard bop, modal, and cool jazz styles of the […]

Gospel Meets Jazz: The Hammond B3 Organ

Jazz, Blues, and Gospel have been evolving alongside each other for decades. The presence of blues and gospel influences brought jazz to another level and helped it become what it is today. The History of the Organ Organs had been used in gospel churches for years when some jazz musicians such as Fats Waller and […]

Rhythm: It’s All About Feel!

In jazz, what separates the good players from the very best? At the end of the day, in my experience playing with musicians from all over, the thing that sets someone apart is their time feel. When I sit down to play with someone, I can instantly tell the caliber of their musicianship by their […]