Preparing for your new website

How to prepare for your new website We both want this website to reflect you and the things you wish to display to the world. To best do that, here are a few things that I’ll need from you before I begin.  Keep in mind that my role is to structure and design your website, […]

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. Harmonic range is an important element of this series because most instruction on improvisation focuses almost exclusively on the scales within the diatonic harmony of the chords. In […]

Proposal for Bradley Stern

Website proposal for Bradley Stern Overview This proposal outlines the website that Michael Lake through Music Savvy can build for Bradley Stern to create his online presence. The site will provide Bradley with a central hub through which he can showcase himself, his music, and his band. The initial site outlined below should be thought […]

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 year. As I did last year, I asked my friend Richie Beirach if he would be so kind as to create for me a reharmonization of a […]

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, note range, harmony, dynamics, etc. But if you find yourself limited to only a narrow range of these musical attributes, you’re stuck in […]

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 box”, I am talking about the limits young or less experienced improvisers find themselves in regarding musical attributes such as note range, articulation, harmony, and in this […]

Get out of the improvisation box Part 1 of 6

What is the improvisation box, are you in one, and how do you get out? The box refers to the limits that younger and less experienced improvisers play within. Those limitations make their playing sound less musical and they dull the emotional impact instead of their playing sounding fresh and expressive. I’ll identify six types […]

Proposal for Dan Dance

Website proposal for Dan Dance This proposal outlines the website that Michael Lake can build for Dan Dance in order to recreate his online presence. The site will provide Dan with an ability to showcase and promote his solo piano playing and trio for new corporate and private gigs in Milwaukee and the surrounding area. […]

Something is happening to today’s jazz. Why and what to do about it

I came across a brand new jazz album today by Ethan Iverson called “Every Note is True.” It is on the Blue Note label. Listening to it got me thinking… If a friend had played this for me blindfolded without telling me that it was a high-profile guy on the Blue Note label, I would […]

Marketing for musicians

I don’t think it’s any secret that most musicians dislike promoting themselves. I’ll go even further and observe that most musicians are uncomfortable with the whole idea of marketing and selling. Dare I say, they distrust it and most of its purveyors? I want to offer to you the point that marketing and self promotion […]

Eye over ear

I’ve been looking through elementary school band method books. I’ve by no means looked through every method book out there, but I find something curious about the ones I have seen, and I’ve confirmed my suspicions with a few music teachers.The books are filled with diagrams of instruments, some music history, definitions of musical terms, and pages of staff […]