Category Archives for Practice Better

Learn To Play By Ear

As a wind instrumentalist, you’ll often be in a situation where you may be given an opportunity to play with a group. If you don’t already have the ability to play by ear, it is essential that you learn to do it. If you’re reading this article, you might be one of those people who feels […]

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Developing Your Flute Embouchure

For some of my teenage years, I was the solo clarinetist with the “International Youth Symphony,” which was, at the time, an orchestra made up of members from lower southeast Michigan and southwest Ontario. As a clarinetist, I never had to worry much about how my embouchure needed to change to get different notes on […]

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Ten Things I Learned From Jamey Aabersold

If you’ve been playing jazz or blues for any length of time, you’re probably familiar with Jamey Aebersold.​ Jamey is the father of the playalong CDFor those of you who don’t know who he is, Jamie is the father of the play-along CD series for learning jazz improvisation. By his website, there are 133 books in his series of […]

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Four Benefits To Practicing Slowly

Rehearsing your instrument slowly has its own rewards.It’s pretty much any sax player’s wish that he or she could pick up the sax and play like greased lightening. A good solo is always awesome. But a fast solo is like a good martial arts trick. It leaves everyone in awe and almost worshipping the musician for […]

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Training Your Lip For Endurance

Your lip is a muscle. And understanding the physiology of that muscle can help you play better – and longer.In another post, I wrote about a concept sometimes referred to as “muscle memory.” You can read that post if you click this link; but essentially, muscle memory is a term that refers to your body […]

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Why You Need To OWN The Pentatonic Scale

We’ve all heard how important it is to practice our scales and chords. But sometimes it’s hard to know where to start. There are major scales, and then there are minor scales – melodic minor, harmonic minor and normal minor scales, without even mentioning the dorian scales and a whole bunch of other patterns to […]

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Focus On One Thing

Sometimes it can be overwhelming to try to figure out where to start down a road to getting to where you want to go. If you’re floundering with conflicting feelings about how or what to practice, or where to start, sometimes you just have to start somewhere,  and go from there.

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Can YOU Learn With Online Lessons

I wish I had $100 dollars for every time I’ve had the conversation: I’m playing out somewhere – at a gig at a jazz club, or playing in some Christmas production or a cantata at a church somewhere, where someone will come up to me after the event and reminisce about how they wished they […]

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