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Is America Dead?

It was an accident of history. The New World enticed so many different people to its shores, that there were few alternatives. Either there would be a hundred different countries established on this new continent—with the attendant war and conflict—or somehow people would figure out a way to live together. We opted for the second of those. … Continue readingIs America Dead?

Music Improv Basics: Four Strategies For Playing Wrong Notes (properly!)

While it probably doesn’t seem like this would help – let’s face it – if you are unwilling to play a lot of wrong notes, you’re never going to learn how to do anything hard. It isn’t something that you can do safely, with the assurance that you will look good while trying to get good at it. You won’t look good. You won’t sound good — and the sooner you realize this, the sooner you will be able make real progress. … Continue readingMusic Improv Basics: Four Strategies For Playing Wrong Notes (properly!)

Music Improv Basics: Eight Vital Things

This article discusses 8 important things to remember as improvising musicians – whether advanced or just getting started:

1. Your technique is probably miles ahead of your ability to think – This isn’t just true for classical players. I’ve known lots and lots (and lots) of jazz players who have let their technique run the show as opposed to their brains. Happens all the time… … Continue readingMusic Improv Basics: Eight Vital Things

The Producer Series – Serving the Song

As a listener, most of us have had the experience of hearing the same song performed by several different artists—all of whom didn’t quite hit the mark. And then one day, some new artist comes along, records the very same song and…whoosh! It’s a drop dead smash.

One thing is very clear: it obviously was not the song that was the problem… … Continue readingThe Producer Series – Serving the Song

Producer Series – Finding the Voice of the Artist

Any musical artist that is relevant to the world we live in today requires some point of view that is under-represented in that world. We don’t need 2 Princes, or 2 Madonnas. Remember, that a producer’s responsibility is to present the artist to the world in a way that makes their voice resonate within current thinking. We live in the world and the artist delivers a message to that world. This requires a balance between what is “expected” of an artist generically (talent, presentation, production, etc.) and the differentiation that makes that artist stand out from the crowd. … Continue readingProducer Series – Finding the Voice of the Artist

Why the Jazz Perspective?

As jazz improvisers, we develop idea-based knowledge, we extrapolate from that the design parameters that affect the output from that system, we create patterns and structures that neutralize the design effect and encompass the best of that system, then we practice those until they are second nature so we can execute them in real time. Your basic jazz perspective… … Continue readingWhy the Jazz Perspective?