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Kit Kat for Jazz Guitar Cats

  Today I want to talk about something critically important for your jazz guitar practice session. And it happens to be the easiest, most relaxing thing you could possibly do in your session. It doesn't require any theoretical knowledge, any technique,...

Put away dem backing tracks…

  Last week I was editing together the recent interview I conducted with jazz guitar superstar Howard Alden, when something he said really stuck out at me: "Spend some time playing without backing tracks, without even a metronome. Do this even if you're just...

Where does that next screw go? Argh…

  I had a funny experience yesterday. After weeks of them being shoved under the couch in heavy, ominous cardboard boxes, I finally decided to stop putting it off and get to work. What am I referring to? The answer: Some flat packed furniture my wife and I...

“Ear” training in jazz? I don’t think so…

  The one piece of advice I see consistently in jazz education is the importance of "ear" training. But... Is it ​really​ your ears you're training? I don't think so. Think about it: The ears are just a fleshy protuberance on ​each side of your noggin. They can't...

Can a bad gig…be good?

  Go back in time for a moment, and think to yourself of a performance that...didn't go quite so well. Perhaps you lost the form. Or played some notes that raised a few eyebrows and grimaces from the audience. Inevitably, that little voice appears from inside...

What REALLY annoys me…

  Do you know what really annoys me, more than anything else? It's those huge books that line the shelves in the jazz guitar section of the music shop. You know, the ones called something like The Complete Guide to Jazz Guitar Soloing, 100 Lessons for Jazz...

Deer In The Headlights?

  One of my readers wrote to me recently with the following woeful tale: "When it comes to improvising, it's a bit like being a rabbit caught in the headlights." Have you ever felt like that? You're not alone: I'm constantly astonished by how often people write...

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