One of my favorite things to ask great players is where players can discover their musical voice. One that reflects who they are within their technical abilities. This is a very abstract and philosophical topic, but one at the heart of playing jazz.
I had the thrill of interviewing bassist Steve Swallow last week for the next Jazz Master Summit. As I expected, Steve was a wealth of information about everything from bass pickups to zen.
I saw this question online recently. The number of results for this question on Google is 6.1 million so it’s worth answering. Is jazz improvisation hard? YES. There are two forms of jazz soloing. One form is comprised of stringing together scales, arpeggios, memorized licks, and patterns in order to skillfully weave notes over the […]
Jazz improvisation is similar to many skills that benefit from starting off with good habits and the right foundation. Here are three activities you can do to begin improvising with greater skill and more confidence. 1. Train your ear The foundational skill of a jazz player is to play his or her instrument with the […]
Explanations of behaviors abound with quadrants. My favorite, of which many others are based on is the 1. Expressive, 2. Amiable, 3. Analytical, 4. Driver quadrant. We all have dominant parts of our personality that fall into these quadrants, usually more than one.
I interviewed Ron Carter yesterday for the next Jazz Master Summit. He was gracious and full of insight. We spoke on a variety of topics, not the least of which was that second Miles quintet and how they did what they did on stage as well as their preparation for recordings.
Researchers have identified two kinds of mindset. One, they call “Fixed” and the other, they call”Growth”. As you can imagine, they are polar opposites and have the power to determine the fate of your life. Now, if that is too dramatic for you, let’s say that those two mindsets affect how you improvise jazz. Better? […]
This is a short eBook highlighting the life and music of Billy Strayhorn. These are the thoughts of Richie Beirach as someone admittedly influenced by Billy and considers him to be one of the iconic composers in jazz.