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…

Recent posts...

Pocket Jazz by Michael Lake
For prior subscribers to Pocket Jazz
As a free subscriber of Pocket Jazz, I want to let you know about some changes in the course and in how it can now be accessed. I recently moved the course...
Man,In,The,Box,Closed
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....
Man,In,The,Box,Closed
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,...
Man,In,The,Box,Closed
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...
Man,In,The,Box,Closed
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....
Boy,Keen,On,Listening,To,A,Low,Voice
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...
Businessperson And Robot Playing Tug Of War
Resolving a musical tug of war
I received an email the other day from a jazz player trying to know how best he should be practicing.  I want to provide a public version of my answer so...
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!