Optimizing Practice: Habit Versus Choice

After teaching the Alexander Technique to musicians for a number of years now, one thing I can assert with confidence is that there’s never such thing as a “typical” lesson. In fact, I usually have no idea what I’ll be working on with my student at the beginning of a lesson. My only agenda is […]

Deepening Improvisation: Freeing Yourself From The Bar Line

The vast majority of jazz pedagogy materials (books, DVDs, etudes, etc.) place great emphasis on tonality. This is true for beginner through advanced artist level. If you’re a serious student of improvisation (at any level of proficiency) it is, of course, important to be continuously finding new ways to organize tonality: harmonic extensions/substitutions, auxiliary scales, […]

New Year, New Possibilities

Happy New Year! 2014 has been a highly productive and enlightening year for me. I have gained several hundred new subscribers, and my blog has now been translated into over forty languages! This is something I’m particularly pleased about. I love to help other musicians through sharing what I know, what I’ve learned and discovered. […]

New Book: Augmented Scale Diatonic Triad Pairs

I’m very pleased to announce that my latest jazz etude book, Augmented Scale Diatonic Triad Pairs, is available for purchase and download. The six-tone augmented scale (which is formed by combining two augmented chords a minor third apart) has a strong, energetic and angular quality. It has been slowly working its way into the modern […]

A Simple Idea That Fundamentally Improved How I Approach Ear Training

From the beginning of my experience as a musician, I have kept in mind the importance of cultivating a good ear. But for the longest period of time, my conception of what this meant was actually interfering with my progress. In short, I used to define “having a good ear” in a rather rigid, intimidating […]