Ear Conditioning

Here's an (IMHO) excellent exercise that trains your ears and works on connecting your hearing and improvising. I forget where I got the initial idea, but this the the procedure I've developed and found helpful:


Take a chord progression (maybe…

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Maj7#5

Update: I linked some parts to my previous posts on Augmented Scale ideas.

Over at the All About Jazz forum, someone asked for suggestions about how to approach Maj7#5 chords. As this is a sound I'm fond of and…

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Guitar Players: Learn all the notes--update

As a follow up to the previous post about how to learn the notes on the guitar neck, I made a graphic to visually represent the "white notes" on the guitar.  This is what you should 'see' when you look…

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Ear Training

Ear training is obviously an extremely important pursuit for improvising musicians.  I spend a significant portion of my practice time on ear training activities, and try to find ways to incorporate an ear training aspect into all of my practicing…

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Starting and Ending Phrases, Cont'd.

One specific idea for using wider intervals in the beginnings and endings of phrases is to land on a chord tone and leap two chord tones up or down.  This is effective at both the beginnings and endings of phrases…

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Starting and Ending Phrases

Large intervallic leaps and interesting rhythms can make phrases more compelling.  The most effective place to use both devices is at the beginnings and endings of phrases.  Intensifying one's focus on how one starts and concludes improvised musical phrases has…

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Wayne Shorter: El Gaucho

Just thought I'd share a transcription I did a while ago.  I think it's pretty accurate, but there may be some some mistakes or typos (since I do these primarily for my own use, I'm generally not too obsessive about…

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Kurt Rosenwinkel: Zhivago

Here transcription of "the lick" from Zhivago. I've deconstructed it and will post some of what I came up with in the next post.

Note that he's using his weird tuning so there are some unreachable low notes for a…

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More Augmented Scale

Here's a continuation of the previous Augmented scale study, using three maj7 chords.

Since the augmented scale can be related to three augmented tonics, it makes sense to me to relate it to the harmonic major (major b6) scale on…

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Triads in the Augmented Scale


Here's an an older one from my workbooks. I've spent a lot of time exploring the possibilities for using various triads in improvisation. They create such strong lines and have a compelling internal logic an musicality.

These examples are pretty…

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Triads in the Diminished scale

I haven't posted anything to the blog in a while (obviously), but not because I haven't had anything to post! I'm just a bit of a perfectionist and it's been hard to find the time to put stuff into a…

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