Practicing

Warm up your ear for improvisation

We are all pretty good at warming up our bodies to play our instruments. Brass players require a little extra as we limber up the vibrating mechanism called our lips. For that, we play long tones, lip slurs, tonguing, etc.

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Fun with drone tracks

I enjoy crafting harmony tracks with which to practice. They are not usually jazz, but instead are more ethereal. Here’s one I like because the harmony slowly becomes more complex and ear-stretching.

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Hearing and improving your time and rhythm

A jazz musician’s sense of time is one of if not the most important defining aspect of his or her playing. As a soloist, you can play “wrong” notes with a good time feel, and it will sound much better than “right” notes with a poor sense of time.

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Bobby Shew on proper breathing for brass players

Bobby Shew is a well-known trumpet great. What people may not know is that he is also a world-class teacher. I had an opportunity to sit down with Bobby and ask him questions for close to three hours. We covered a lot of topics, but the nearest and dearest to his heart was on his method for breathing called the Wedge Method.

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Michael Lake

Jazz/latin trombone, author, multimedia artist, marketer

Most recent posts

The skill of simplicity

I’ve received a couple of emails this past week making basically the same point about Pocket Jazz that I thought was worth sharing and exploring.

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