My Main Objective When Practicing Something Difficult

Is there an ideal, universal, one-size-fits-all objective that musicians have when practicing something they perceive as being “difficult”? Well, certainly the most obvious objective is to become functionally proficient with the very thing that’s being practiced. But there are typically several other aims nested inside that main objective when practicing difficult music. How about you? […]

Practice Strategies: Keeping the End in Mind in the Present Moment

I’ve had the good fortune of being able to teach the Alexander Technique to some very highly skilled and highly accomplished musicians, including various members of world-class orchestras and chamber ensembles, as well as some of Los Angeles’ finest studio musicians. Though all of these artists are diverse and unique with the skills they possess, […]

New Book: Four-Note Diatonic Triad Cells

I’m especially pleased to announce that my latest eBook, Four-Note Diatonic Triad Cells: Comprehensive Studies in Leading Tones, is now available for purchase and immediate download. Major and minor triads are a fundamental building block of virtually any melodic language, most certainly including jazz. As an improvising musician, gaining mastery over the movement and connection […]

Breathing: Avoid This Misconception About “Moving the Air”

Whereas most of my blog posts are written with all instrumentalists in mind, this particular post is aimed exclusively towards wind instrumentalists and singers. It addresses a common misconception about how you manage the movement of the air on the exhalation  as you play or sing. The idea has to do with the concept of […]

Deepening Improvisation: Do This Every Time You Learn a New Melodic Pattern

Part of the work in studying improvisation is what I call “feeding” our ears and imagination. In essence, this involves learning and practicing new patterns and sequences. These patterns can be anything from simple, diatonic melodic movements, to more harmonically complex polytonal statements that you’ve discovered in a jazz etude book, to very particular “licks” […]