Category Archives: Improvisation Lessons

Mapping Out a New Jazz Tune

What kinds of things do you do to learn a new jazz tune?  Of course we learn the melody, but if you are planning to improvise on the tune and it’s chord changes, your work has only just begun.  I … Continue reading

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Rhythmic Scales

Jazz is one of the many languages of the musical world, and those who wish to speak it in a spontaneous way must be familiar with its vocabulary and grammar.  Complete command  of all the scales and chords that are the … Continue reading

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Reharmonization and Arrangement: I Remember You

Only the first page is shown with the jpeg file below.  For the entire four page PDF of this reharmonization, click here: I Remember You  Keep reading below for commentary on the tune and arrangement. I’ve always liked the tune, “I … Continue reading

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Avoiding the Dark Side of Success

The world constantly presents us with challenges.  Sometimes we find their solutions quite readily, or we may struggle with a problem for years.  And other times we might just give up, or even ignore the dilemma altogether.  Finding a successful … Continue reading

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The Second “DU Trumpet Hang” (2013)

At the University of Denver’s Lamont School of Music 2344 East Iliff Avenue, Denver, Colorado 80208 Saturday, April 27th, from 10 AM-5:00 PM Newman Center for the Performing Arts, Orchestra Room 130 featuring:  Al Hood, Brad Goode, Bob Montgomery, Justin … Continue reading

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The Ultimate Motivic Cells

Motivic cells are a great way of adding structure and continuity to a composition or improvised solo, and to help avoid some of the cliches that spring from arpeggio or scale based patterns (for more info, click on the links … Continue reading

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Oleo: Not Just a Reharmonization

Sonny Rollins is one of my favorite musicians, and I’ve always loved playing his tune, Oleo…at least the melody.  It is based on rhythm changes, the 32-bar AABA form chord progression borrowed somewhat from the old tune “I’ve Got Rhythm,” … Continue reading

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The Importance of Having a Mentor in Music

Today the internet has put an incredible amount of information at our fingertips (and also a vast amount of misinformation).  If you want to know more about any subject, or just an answer to a single question, you Google it. … Continue reading

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Reharmonization: The Girl from Ipanema

This beautiful bossa nova led the way for the greater influx and influence of Brazilian music into the world of jazz (on the left are pictures of the composer’s original manuscript, and the original girl from Ipanema, Helo Pinheiro).  I … Continue reading

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New iPad for Teaching!

I’m very excited to announce the acquisition of a new iPad for my teaching practice!…and many thanks to my family (namely my dad) for this wonderful surprise. Although I have seen great results with the new video recorder and monitor … Continue reading

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