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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 the best in your playing and make it more fun.

How easily you can do this depends on two things: your instrument and where you live. I’m kind of a poster child for practicing in weird places partly because I play trombone. It’s light-weight, portable, and produces a lot of sound. It’s loud. 

I moved to a neighborhood four months ago after living on top of a big hill overlooking a valley of homes in northern Phoenix, Arizona. I used to walk to the side of my property and play trombone over the valley below. I also climbed a big hill on the other side of my home and once at the top, played over the endless chasm of Arizona desert.

Then I moved to a neighborhood. I’m renting a cool house now while I look for my next long-term home.

The first order of business after I moved was to find a new practicing perch. It didn’t take long. I just drove toward the mountains and eventually found a hill with a well-worn ATV trail leading to the top. It looked perfect except for my hesitation over whether I could climb something that steep and rocky.

I did, but right after I climbed down that first time from playing up there, I drove to my nearest REI for upgraded hiking boots.

A couple weeks ago around 7am, I dragged my 18-year old son up that hill carrying our drone. He flew the camera while I played. I then crafted a short video memorializing the place.

Perhaps this will inspire you to find yourself an interesting different place to play.

Experience the fun and speed of
improving your jazz improvisation!

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5 thoughts on “The joy of practicing different”

  1. Loved it. Need to put my piano in the woods behind our house and play while a drone flies over. Cool how you combined your interests, too.

  2. You are always so original! Of course you would find a mountain top to practice on. Did you haul up speakers so you could play along with that backing track (which I imagine you created, and its very fun)?

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Michael Lake

Trombonist, author, marketer, & tech guy

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Inception
Cinematic @ 68 bpm
Inception
Cinematic @ 68 bpm
Milky Way
Ethereal @ 100 bpm
Milky Way
Ethereal @ 100 bpm
I-VI-II-V
Jazz @ 140 bpm
I-VI-II-V
Jazz @ 140 bpm
Caribbean Express
Salsa @ 165 bpm
Caribbean Express
Salsa @ 165 bpm
Dawn of a New Day
Soul @ 85 bpm
Dawn of a New Day
Soul @ 85 bpm
Spinning Top
Jazz Waltz @ 140 bpm
Spinning Top
Jazz Waltz @ 140 bpm
Sails Full Open
Contemporary @ 120 bpm
Sails Full Open
Contemporary @ 120 bpm
Summer's Dawn
Jazz Waltz @ 110 bpm
Summer's Dawn
Jazz Waltz @ 110 bpm
The Benji Pad
Ethereal @ 100 bpm
The Benji Pad
Ethereal @ 100 bpm
St. Thomas Block Party
Calypso @ 114 bpm
St. Thomas Block Party
Calypso @ 114 bpm
Island Mines
World Music @ 112 bpm
Island Mines
World Music @ 112 bpm
Disco Marley
Reggae-ish @ 110 bpm
Disco Marley
Reggae-ish @ 110 bpm
Earthen Choir
Ethereal @ 92 bpm
Earthen Choir
Ethereal @ 92 bpm
Jungle Dance
Cinematic @ 130 bpm
Jungle Dance
Cinematic @ 130 bpm
Bailey's Waltz
Jazz Waltz @ 110 bpm
Bailey's Waltz
Jazz Waltz @ 110 bpm
Afternoon Daydreaming
Samba @ 90 bpm
Afternoon Daydreaming
Samba @ 90 bpm
Galactica
Epic @ 100 bpm
Galactica
Epic @ 100 bpm
Lush Life
Funk @ 90 bpm
Lush Life
Funk @ 90 bpm
Eleuthera
Bolero @ 90 bpm
Eleuthera
Bolero @ 90 bpm
Good Bye
Ethereal @ 90 bpm
Good Bye
Ethereal @ 90 bpm
Southside Strut
Funk @ 100 bpm
Southside Strut
Funk @ 100 bpm
Standing outside
Bossa @ 150 bpm
Standing outside
Bossa @ 150 bpm
Groovy Jazzy
Jazz funk @ 112 bpm
Groovy Jazzy
Jazz funk @ 112 bpm
Sound Refuge
Eclectic - no temp
Sound Refuge
Eclectic - no temp
Dreaming of Mars
Static harmony without a tempo
Dreaming of Mars
Static harmony without a tempo
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!