Tag Archives | jazz improvisation

big band

Why you need more than just big band

From time to time we meet young musicians who are about to finish high school and aspire to study at one of the reputable tertiary jazz schools but are taken aback and disappointed when they don’t get past the audition. Why not? After all, they were one of the best musicians at their school, even […]

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Just Have Fun?

Sometimes well-meaning teachers will tell you that “the most important thing is that you just have fun”. Of course you should enjoy playing jazz, but learning how to do it, and getting good at it, will sometimes involve hard work that, well, may not seem fun at the time. Famous jazz players aren’t famous because […]

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Jazz Mythology and Reality

By Saul Richardson, May 2015. I couldn’t make music if I spent all day in a school Recently a prodigious young pianist from Indonesia, Joey Alexander, has been receiving a lot of attention on social media. Joey is turning 12 at the time of writing this. From time to time, like Joey, other child prodigies […]

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Faking It: Real Books and how to use them

By Saul Richardson. You are not meant to play most Fake Book/Real Book tunes exactly as written. One of the most widely-used resources among jazz students are so-called “Real Books”. Real Book is more-or-less a pun on “Fake Book”, a collection of rough lead sheets for jazz or popular songs. The Real Book first appeared […]

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2015 combos now enrolling

Do you play an instrument? Would you or your child age 8+ like to join a jazz band where you: a) play great music? b) learn how to improvise? c) learn the ways of jazz? d) play with other like-minded, enthusiastic and talented musicians? e) progress through a program with one of the best track […]

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Teaching Modes: a useful method

  By Saul Richardson. In this article I will compare two different ways of presenting and teaching modes to students for improvisation. The first is the common method in which we teach where modes come from. The second, and the more useful for the improviser, is what modes do. Modes are different ways of playing […]

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