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Jazz Ballads: Intro – 3 Common Types

Posted by on Apr 3, 2017 in Grooves | 0 comments

I’m embarrassed to admit how long it took me to figure out ballads. I was so into fast, energetic stuff. Once I really dug into them, I was amazed at all the stuff I discovered.

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Practical Jazz Theory for Drummers, Part 15: ii V to the vi

Posted by on Mar 27, 2017 in Performance | 0 comments

Another common harmonic move in jazz standards is to reference the Relative Minor, which is the vi chord. Let’s check out a few popular tunes that showcase this move, so we can learn to hear it.

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Practical Jazz Theory for Drummers, Part 14: ii V to the IV

Posted by on Mar 20, 2017 in Performance | 0 comments

As we get into identifying some of the common progressions (so you can learn to hear them), we’re gonna start with one of the most common moves.

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Quick Hit: Philly Joe “Locomotion” Lick

Posted by on Mar 13, 2017 in Vocabulary | 0 comments

Here’s another “Quick Hit” (something easy to pick up and use), this time it’s a Philly Joe Jones lick.

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Practical Jazz Theory for Drummers, Part 13:Turnarounds

Posted by on Mar 6, 2017 in Performance | 0 comments

Now let’s get into learning to identify some of the most common harmonic movements in a jazz tune. First up: The Turnaround. What it is, what it sounds like, and a few of the most common variations.

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Practical Jazz Theory For Drummers, Part 12: Minor Keys

Posted by on Feb 28, 2017 in Performance | 0 comments

I want to touch on minor keys briefly so you know what to look for that is different than major keys.

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Hey Blade, Shut the Front Door!

Posted by on Feb 21, 2017 in Vocabulary | 0 comments

Here’s an easy but highly effective comp I picked up from Brian Blade.

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Practical Jazz Theory for Drummers, Part 11: Tonicization

Posted by on Feb 13, 2017 in Performance | 0 comments

Tonicization. That’s a mouthful. Basically, it’s how and why there are so many chord changes in jazz songs. Understanding – and hearing – changes as setting up and resolving to different places allows us to phrase around them. That’s what the horn player and pianist and bassist are doing. So should we.

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Medium Tempo Soloing: Changing Rates

Posted by on Feb 6, 2017 in Uncategorized, Vocabulary | 0 comments

This is a pattern I noticed when transcribing a bunch of medium tempo drum solos. These tempos can be quite challenging for us, and once I picked up on this little creative approach, it allowed me to tell a better story when I solo.

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Practical Jazz Theory for Drummers, Part 10: Resolutions

Posted by on Jan 30, 2017 in Performance | 0 comments

Now let’s order all these chords in a manner that tells a story. You might recognize some of the “lingo” I use, because your jazz musician buddies say these all the time. Now you’ll know that they are talking about. And can start to hear them yourselves.

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Elvin on “Deluge”

Posted by on Jan 24, 2017 in Vocabulary | 2 comments

Got a lesson request for a closer look into what Elvin is playing on the Wayne Shorter tune “Deluge.” It’s on the album “Juju.”

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Practical Jazz Theory for Drummers, Part 9: Alterations

Posted by on Jan 17, 2017 in Performance | 0 comments

Here’s a short lesson on what all those little things like “b9” “#11” and “b13” mean, and how important they are.

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Practical Jazz Theory for Drummers, Part 8: 4-Note Chords

Posted by on Jan 9, 2017 in Performance | 0 comments

Here’s where it gets jazzy. Once jazz composers stared adding 7ths onto every chord is when the jazz language took on a life of its own.

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Quick Hit: Clack Tinga Da Boom

Posted by on Dec 19, 2016 in Vocabulary | 0 comments

Kind of a weird one. I was shedding and stumbled across this lick. I wanted to capture it for myself, and then figured “Hey, why don’t I share it with my students?”

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Practical Jazz Theory for Drummers, Part 7: Chords of the Major Scale

Posted by on Dec 12, 2016 in Performance | 0 comments

Let’s put our knowledge of Keys/Modes together with our understanding of 3-note chords to build a chord off every major scale. (Probably the most important piece to understanding jazz harmony).

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Practical Jazz Theory for Drummers, Part 6: 3-Note Chords

Posted by on Dec 5, 2016 in Performance | 0 comments

All those big, crunchy jazz chords we hear are based on the same fundamental structures: 3-notes chords. Learning these makes learning those big ones far less scary.

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Practical Jazz Theory for Drummers, Part 5: Modes

Posted by on Nov 28, 2016 in Performance | 0 comments

Again, I’m skipping a bunch of pieces and just hitting the essentials. This time it’s Modes. What are they? How are they created? How are they used? The major scale is at the center of it all.

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Practical Jazz Theory for Drummers, Part 4: Relative Minor

Posted by on Nov 21, 2016 in Performance | 0 comments

In this video, I tackle the concept of “minor” and how it actually is derived from that major scale i’ve been preaching about. 😉

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Practical Jazz Theory for Drummers, Part 3: The Major Scale (& why it’s so important)

Posted by on Nov 14, 2016 in Performance | 0 comments

Let’s break down how to create a major scale, but more importantly, I’m going to explain why it is the Single Most Important element in understanding jazz harmony.

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Practical Jazz Theory for Drummers, Part 2: Keys

Posted by on Nov 7, 2016 in Performance | 2 comments

Jazz tunes change keys a lot. A….LOT. So let’s first understand how a “key” works, and how to identify the 12 Major Keys.

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