Category Archives: Jazz Piano Lessons

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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2012-2013 Colorado All State Jazz Band Auditions

**There is a new post for the 2013-2014 Colorado All-State Band and Jazz Band Auditions here. This link will take you to the official Colorado Bandmasters Association site, where you will find all of the information you need about the audition: … Continue reading

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Problem Solving: Getting Your Eyes Adjusted to the Dark

What would you do if you knew the answer to your problem was in a particular room, and yet when you opened the door to that room you found it was completely dark?  Of course you would reach for a … Continue reading

Posted in Composing, Composition Lessons, Improvisation Lessons, Jazz Piano Lessons, Observations on Our Human Nature and Self Improvement, Trumpet Lessons, Trumpet Practice, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Using “Shapes” to Improve the Structure of Improvised Solos and Compositions

Although it’s important to learn the spelling of a song’s chords, and their related related scales and modes, utilizing those materials creatively while improvising or composing in a way that also reflects a strong sense of form can be a … Continue reading

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More Thoughts on Reharmonization: Just Friends

This time around I’m sharing my reharmonization of the standard, Just Friends, which began during one of my jazz piano student’s lessons.  I was intrigued by his choice of a B7 chord, which initially seemed rather boring (to me), since the … Continue reading

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Reharmonization, and Other Ways to Increase Your Listening Skills, Knowledge and Creativity

Reharmonization is the process of composing new chords for an already composed (and harmonized) melodic line.  Hearing that melody in a fresh harmonic context can bring new meanings to the theme, provide variety for an arrangement, underscore lyrics, and even … Continue reading

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A Casting Call for All Notes

Improvisers and composers can sometimes be thought of not only as writers, but also directors, for they must select the “actors” for their production.  To clarify this analogy, the improviser/composer must at some point audition all of the possible notes … Continue reading

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Getting Into the “Swing” of Things

The title of Duke Ellington’s tune, “It Don’t Mean a Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing” says it all when it comes to the importance of being able to place notes within the rhythmic flow of the music, but … Continue reading

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More Ways to Improvise Using Motivic Cells

Nick, who had been working with the “Visual Approach” earlier on Dizzy Gillespie’s “Night in Tunisia”, tried using  “Motivic Cells” over the same tune.  Although he wrote some nice cells over each chord to begin with, the harmonic rhythm (the rate … Continue reading

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2011-2012 Colorado All State Band and Jazz Band Audition

All of the information, including the required audition music for Colorado All State Bands and Jazz Band is now available. You can use the links below to access the appropriate websites.  My students will receive a copy of the All … Continue reading

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