The Benefits of the Ear to Instrument Connection

I recently watched a video performance by the amazing classical pianist Yuja Chang. I’ve seen her memorizing motion and heard her virtuosic playing before, but something hit me after seeing this latest performance. She is an example, as all at her level are, of the wider benefits of the musical…

Recent posts...

Ear to instrument connection
The Benefits of the Ear to Instrument Connection
I recently watched a video performance by the amazing classical pianist Yuja Chang. I’ve seen her memorizing motion and heard her virtuosic playing...
Guy playing guitar
How to improvise jazz better
What is jazz improvisation? Let’s first define what I mean by jazz improvisation. Jazz improvisation is a spontaneous conversation, but instead of...
A cartoon gym
Three exercises for mastering your improvisation
As you improvise, how deep is your level of satisfaction? Do you feel confident? Do the lines coming from your instrument feel authentic to you or do you...
Woman transcribing a solo2
The good and bad of transcribing solos
I was asked a question today by a young man eager to improve his improvisation. He asked for my thoughts regarding solo transcribing. Coincidentally, I also...
Musician's Playground course card
How to improve your jazz improvisation
The title of this post is the question I constantly seek to answer for players like you: How can you improve your jazz improvisation skills? I’ve recently...
Evil machine playing sax2
The devil in the chip
More and more often I see musicians hating on artificial intelligence. I think the same can be said for artists in general. And I think that is a shame given...
Piano on nicely lit stage2
Play more inspired and satisfying jazz
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...
Picture of 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.

Beat Sweeper
Jazz @ 180 bpm
Beat Sweeper
Jazz @ 180bpm
Cruisin'
Fast Americana @ 224 bpm
Cruisin'
Fast Americana @ 224 bpm
Contemplation
Smooth @ 120 bpm
Contemplation
Smooth @ 120 bpm

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!