Jazz Journeys

A blog about jazz and related musings

Collecting licks for your jazz solos

Your life won’t last forever Have you done enough? Are you simply baying at the moon? Do not go gentle into that good night What is wrong with the above?…

Recent posts...

Piano on nicely lit stage2
Play more inspired and satisfying jazz with the right instruction
You may be reading this because you would like to stand up and improvise your personal musical story more melodically and brimming of confidence. You’d...
Trumpet player in field
Why is jazz taking a back seat to band in school?
As I frequently do, I was searching yesterday for high school jazz band directors with whom I can share some of the jazz educational resources I produce....
Alto trombone in sky
Alto trombone position chart
I was recently asked for an alto trombone position chart, and realizing that I included one within my book Alto Trombone Savvy, but not here in my blog,...
Two trombones
Using tenor trombone positions on alto
I get a lot of requests for advice on playing the alto trombone, so I created a video that demonstrates a method for practicing the alto that I used when...
A conversation about jazz with an Artificial Intelligence
As artificial intelligence is creeping into so many applications these days, I thought I’d share what it “thinks” about jazz and improvisation....
A taste of the Ukrainian spirit
A buyer of my book Alto Trombone Savvy wrote me a very sweet email and informed me that he cannot directly receive the book but is making arrangements for...
Getting out of the improvisation box harmonically
This is the final part of a six-part series on why and how to expand beyond the narrow ranges of dynamics, notes, articulations, rhythms, and phrase lengths....
Charlie Brown Christmas
O Christmas Tree
Each year around this time, I arrange a Christmas carol. With Thanksgiving less than a week away, I found myself in the spirit to arrange something for this...
Get out of the improvisation box of articulation range Part 3 of 6
This is part three in the series I am referring to as getting out of the box. There are so many aspects of playing that have a range of options like dynamics,...
Getting out of the box of dynamic range Part 2 of 6
In part two of this six-part series of getting yourself out of the box in your improvisation, I want to discuss dynamic range. When I refer to “the...
Michael Lake

Michael Lake

Trombonist, author, composer, marketer

Courses and books

Pocket Jazz

The Pocket Jazz course is a completely redesigned series of online videos of no more than three-minutes each. Most of the lessons also contain short excerpts of tips and wisdom from masters like Ron Carter, Randy Brecker, Dave Liebman, Richie Beirach, Toshiko Akiyoshi, and many more.

Teaching & Learning Jazz

From this book, Richie Beirach and Mike provide great stories of jazz wisdom, a reflection on university jazz education including how to choose a school, an analysis of the Hollywood view of jazz education, a look at the psychology of education, and many other previously unexplored essential topics for both teachers and students.

Available in soft cover and digital editions.

Trombone Improvisation Savvy

Trombone demands different physical abilities from other instruments, but certain skills are universal such as connecting your instrument to your musical mind. Learn from exercises and audio files specifically focused on trombone that will help you improvise much better.

This is just a fake book example for the type of website I can build for you. Just trying to use a little humor here!