Jazz Counterpoint – Improvising Melody & Bass at the Piano

Introducing a new article on jazz piano and improvisation! As with most of my articles, I thought this would be relatively short and concise, but I’ve gone down the rabbit hole, and there are a number of topics I’ll be writing about.  This may change over time, but as of now, topics include: Transcription Analysis Designing […]

Piano Transcription & Deep Analysis – Sugar Ray by Phineas Newborn Jr.

I thought I’d take a break from the grind of writing about hand independence and transcribe something instead. In my own practice, I revisited this tune by Phineas Newborn Jr. called Sugar Ray.  I encourage students to learn it because the melody has a very specific piano/band arrangement, it covers a good spatial range at the piano, […]

Idiomatic Gestures, the Economy of Motion and Jazz Piano Improvisation

Dec. 5/18 edit: I’ve updated the article and images in “A Scale for Ascending” to include anchor points. It’s also more succinct and organized, without the digressions into alternative fingering exercises. Nov. 27/18 edit: I’ve improved my explanation of anchor points and hand positions while playing the chromatic scale.  Specifically, how they can played as […]

I Love Michael Bolton – Popular Music in Jazz Education

I have a mildly embarrassing confession to make.  I love Michael Bolton.  His music.  His voice.  His PASSION! I remember driving to baseball games with my brother Ryan.  Michael Bolton made regular appearances on our playlist, along with Michael Jackson, Michael Brecker, and selections from the Double Dragon soundtrack (from the Sega Master System, not […]

Adventures in Chiptunes (Part 7) – Final Thoughts

Recap: For over a year, I’ve been investigating chiptune music.  I’ll be sharing what I’ve learned about myself, my music, my creative process and more.  I hope some of this is relevant to you.  Thanks for reading. Here’s another excerpt of one of my chip tunes. It’s Dan Fortin’s tune But Still and Yet.   […]

Adventures in Chiptunes (Part 6) – Another Way to Express Musicality

Recap: For over a year, I’ve been investigating chiptune music.  I’ll be sharing what I’ve learned about myself, my music, my creative process and more.  I hope some of this is relevant to you.  Thanks for reading. Here’s one of my own chiptunes.  My composition, Lament. How do you teach musicality? Musicality is the x-factor in […]

Adventures in Chiptunes (Part 5) – Compositions Methods, Flow and Squircles

Recap: For over a year, I’ve been investigating chiptune music.  I’ll be sharing what I’ve learned about myself, my music, my creative process and more.  I hope some of this is relevant to you.  Thanks for reading. Here’s one of my own chip tunes.  From Myriad3‘s album, Tell, it’s my composition Mr. Awkward. Learning Classical Theory […]

Adventures in Chiptunes (Part 4) – Music Software is a Musical Instrument

Recap: For over a year, I’ve been investigating chiptune music.  I’ll be sharing what I’ve learned about myself, my music, my creative process and more.  I hope some of this is relevant to you.  Thanks for reading. Here’s an excerpt of one of my own chiptunes. From Myriad3’s album Tell, it’s Ernesto Cervini’s tune Disturbing Inspiration […]