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December 30, 2019

Almost every player plays the same shit at every tempo... so if you’re significantly slowing everything down. Just find a slower song. They probably played the same licks cleaner slow anyway. By the time you’ve picked a lick out note by note 2 or 3 time, when you hear...

June 10, 2019

1) What you should work on in the practice room

2) The fingering of that lick or passage (even in F# maj)

3) What constitutes a balanced diet

4) Music theory

5) Ear Training

6) Polyrhythms 

7) Getting enough sleep

8) Mixing/engineering

9) Astrophysics

10) The most fearsome dino...

April 19, 2019

If you somehow ended up under a rock, John Coltrane recorded a song called "Giant Steps" on an album of the same name:

 He had a fantastic Detroit pianist named Tommy Flanagan. While I've heard different tales--ones in which he never got to the chart until the session,...

April 3, 2019

I think everyone has an experience where were learning a song, got the double chorus at the end, and said "I got this" and moved on. Then on the show, it turns out there was an ending that you didn't listen to, only 30 seconds of more listening would have hipped you, b...

March 28, 2019

I was listening to that album "Charlie Parker: One Night At Birdland"

 Other than the stacked line-up, it's probably the live bebop album that has the mic closest to the drums. It definitely makes Art Blakey way overpowering, but it lets you hear details of the practice...

March 22, 2019

I promise that no one on the bandstand or in audience that's gonna move your career forward is thinking, "That cat sounds great for not knowing the songs and bullshitting through it."

Maybe it's short notice. Maybe you had some stuff come up. If you want to move upwards...

March 22, 2019

A friend who is does a lot of IT programming once told me in reference to cloud backups: "There is no cloud, just someone else's computer." Somehow I that became in my head "There's just somebody else's ears."

If you're learning something that wasn't written down to beg...

March 22, 2019

Although we all know it's true, it never hurts to hear it again.

Remember that if something sounds rough at 40 BPM, it may sound flashier at "game tempo"  but it will still sound rough.

March 20, 2019

When doing low-key pick-up gigs  or jam sessions there are good opportunities to try out new ideas to grow. But in light of there being approximately one trillion songs, don't get too obsessed with creating an entirely novel approach to songs every time. Think of what...

March 20, 2019

This doesn't mean neglect your favorite composer or compositions. But especially as a performer, figure out which soloists, orchestras, ensembles, and conductors resonate with you the most, and follow their careers. It's a rewarding way of being a fan. I'm certainly no...

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Our Recent Posts

Quick thought: what to transcribe?

December 30, 2019

1) What you should work on in the practice room

2) The fingering of that lick or passage (even in F# maj)

3) What constitutes a balanced diet

4) Music th...

Quick Thought: It's definitely simpler than you think it is.

June 10, 2019

If you somehow ended up under a rock, John Coltrane recorded a song called "Giant Steps" on an album of the same name:

 He had a fantastic Detroit pian...

Don't "Flanagan" Your Bandmates!

April 19, 2019

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