Tag Archives | Teaching

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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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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Tunes for beginning improvisers

By Saul Richardson, Principal & co-founder at Jazz Workshop Australia.   Here is a selection of jazz tunes that are good for beginning improvisers using a Key Center approach. Using a key center approach, the soloist selects one scale or pattern that works well against all the chords in a tune, or in a section of a […]

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Eric Dunan Interview

Eric Dunan is an expat American trumpet player and leading jazz educator now resident in Australia. He is director of the very successful jazz program at the Wollongong Conservatorium. He is also a regular on the teaching faculty at the annual JWA Jazz Camp. He kindly answered a few interview questions late in 2012, about his life […]

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