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. In my search, I stumbled across something disturbing. On the about page for the North Carolina chapter of the American School Band Directors Association was their mission statement […]

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, I thought I should get busy. In case you’re not familiar with my book on alto, I consider it to be the missing manual for the alto […]

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 I first started out and still use today: playing tenor trombone music a fourth up so that you are playing the same partials on the alto, […]

Proposal for Patrick Lopez

This proposal is for redesigning the website www.djp-lo.com for Patrick Lopez. The focus of the redesign will be to transform the site in the following important ways: Create a Word Press site run off Elementor Pro.  Create an attractive site tying in images, colors, and fonts into a cohesive whole Rewrite the copy (text) by greatly reducing its […]

Proposal for Seclusion Studios

Website proposal for Seclusion Studios This proposal outlines the modifications requested by Phil Ludwig for seclusionhillmusic.com by Michael Lake at Music Savvy. For the page named “Audio”, 20 to 30 audio files will be placed on the page. Each audio file will consist of a simple audio player and album graphic. Organization of the page […]

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. To do that, I had a conversation with a site called AIChat. In its own words, the site allows users to interact with AI language models in real-time. In other words, you ask […]

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 its delivery. Not an uncommon email, but this particular one came from Ukraine. This Ukrainian trombone player, Petro, will be teaching himself alto trombone. He wrote, “I dream of […]

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 […]

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 […]