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….

Recent posts...

Rhythm Savvy cover image
How best to use my book, Rhythm Savvy
I received an email the other day from a buyer of my book, Rhythm Savvy. His good question asked how best to approach the book in order to get the most from...
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The joy of practicing different
In my free improvisation course, Pocket Jazz, I dedicate a lesson to finding ways to mix it up in your practicing. Find new and cool places that bring out...
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What should I practice?
This is a question I am asked a lot and one that is on many people’s mind, possibly including yours. So let’s talk about it. The more detailed...
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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. I...
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Before a rehearsal tonight, I was speaking with a couple of friends/bandmates about some of my improvisation methods They’ve been following a few of...
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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
Fast Americana @ 224 bpm
Fast Americana @ 224 bpm
Smooth @ 120 bpm
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!