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What is the jazz vocabulary and how you can learn it?

I recently listened to a podcast from Brent Vaartstra of LearnJazzStandards.com. Brent does a nice job with his podcasts, and his latest should give us all some food for thought. From his podcast, he shared the results of a survey he sent out that was responded to by over 1,000 jazz musicians. What caught my…
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Thoughts for a prosperous New Year

“Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go. They merely determine where you start.”       – Nido Qubein Happy New Year to you! For me and perhaps you, a brand new year is a marker impressing upon us  to continue making positive changes in our lives. With the craziness of the pandemic continuing…
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The four stages of competence

Mastering a skill involves an integration of awareness and competence. Being aware of your current level of competence is necessary for improving any skill from riding a bike to brain surgery, including of course, jazz improvisation. He was the first to publicize the integration of awareness and competence, identifying that individuals are initially unaware of…
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My TikTok experiment in jazz

About a month ago, I started experimenting with the social media platform TikTok. After all, it has over 1 billion users with 200 million downloads in the US alone. And by social media standards, it’s still within its infancy. Yes, I am aware that the vast majority of videos on TikTok are juvenile antics designed…
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The power of articulation

A while back I wrote several posts about time, making the point that one’s sense of time and swing was more important in playing jazz than the ‘correct’ notes. The articulation of a note is a partner in time. You can have perfect time but if every note is attacked with the same force, dynamic,…
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The power of habit in becoming the best possible person and jazz musician

You’ll hear me say that over and over in my masterclasses and throughout my online course Improvisation Savvy. I’ve written it in Jazz Patterns for Ear, Alto Trombone Savvy, and every other method book I’ve published. I’m referring to some particular single exercise or warmup element I’ll recommend that is important to one’s overall practicing…
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