Jazz Arranging Techniques 101 – “Sunny”

Jazz Arranging Techniques 101 – “Sunny”

In this article we’re going to challenge your understanding of jazz arranging techniques. We’ll start off with a really common chord progression and then tweak it step-by-step, sprinkling in some of the common jazz arranging tricks of the pros. The chord...
Drop 2 Chords at the Piano

Drop 2 Chords at the Piano

In this article we’re going to explore a classic jazz piano sound - drop 2 chords. Drop 2 chords, though simple, can be used to create some beautifully rich jazz harmony and are incredibly helpful when working as an orchestrator or arranger. Here, we’re...
Rhythm Changes – 3 Tips for Improvisation

Rhythm Changes – 3 Tips for Improvisation

The phrase “rhythm changes” refers to songs that use the same chord changes as Gershwin’s famous Broadway hit “I Got Rhythm.” In a previous article we discussed some tips for approaching this well-known chord progression, including some...
Advanced Jazz Comping Techniques

Advanced Jazz Comping Techniques

In this article we’ll cover a couple advanced jazz comping techniques. These are the jazz comping techniques employed by the pros that help them achieve those sophisticated, classic jazz sounds you’ve probably heard on recordings. Oftentimes these...
Autumn Leaves – 3 Tips for Jazz Players

Autumn Leaves – 3 Tips for Jazz Players

The jazz standard “Autumn Leaves” has been recorded by many popular jazz artists and is widely recognized by listeners, making it a “must-know” tune that should be in the repertoire of advancing jazz players. In this article, I will share...
ii-V-I Jazz Licks

ii-V-I Jazz Licks

As most jazz players know, and many jazz students quickly learn, ii-V-I jazz licks (and the ii-V-I progression) are at the heart of jazz improvisational study. The study of ii-V-I jazz licks is important for a few reasons: The ii-V-I progression will be frequently...
Willie Answers Mingus´s Goodbye Porkpie Hat

Willie Answers Mingus´s Goodbye Porkpie Hat

Hi and welcome to this Willie Answers. I got a great question from Antonio in the forum and he was asking about Charles Mingus’ Goodbye Pork Pie Hat. Beautiful ballad and he was asking the final turnaround is a B7 chord leading to the first chord which is an F7 chord....
3 Tips for Arranging Music

3 Tips for Arranging Music

Arranging music is a skill that can be cultivated through a combination of music theory study and practice at your instrument. Perhaps even more than great soloing and improvisation abilities, I am drawn to great songwriting and arranging abilities. What does it mean...
Minuet in G – Bach Writes a Top 40 Hit (or Did He?)

Minuet in G – Bach Writes a Top 40 Hit (or Did He?)

This is a fascinating and fun little piece of music history that spans almost 300 years. It features a famous and popular melody titled “Minuet in G”, a female vocal trio, and a mystery author. Believe it or not, this is a story about a song that was...
“In My Life” by the Beatles, Solo Piano

“In My Life” by the Beatles, Solo Piano

There are certain songs that are initially written as pop tunes and eventually become part of the jazz repertoire in what I refer to as “cross-over” tunes. “In My Life” by the Beatles is one such tune. But even more than just being labeled a...
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