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Creativity Triggers for Musicians is Here!

POSTED ON February 03, 2017   |   Post A Comment

Download a free digital copy of my new book Creativity Triggers for Musicians.

The Big Idea

Creativity isn’t a mysterious or magical gift. It’s a practice.

The Promise

Creativity Triggers for Musicians will help you express your unused creativity, break through barriers, and create an abundance of original music.

The Content

– Eight creative practices that underpin idea generation in any creative discipline.

– Creativity Triggers: frameworks for improvisation that draw from creative practices. These are similar to improv theater games and creative writing prompts.

  1. Eight Creative Practices
  2. Creative Limitations
  3. Inner Hearing
  4. Drones
  5. Variations on a Theme
  6. Text Setting

Download the book + free bonuses.

Enjoy!
– ST

Transcribe the Music in Your Head

POSTED ON September 02, 2016   |   2 Comments

Your next creative breakthrough may be all in your head.

Photo courtesy of Flickr/Ivan (more…)

Do Jazz Players Hear Everything They Play?

POSTED ON June 17, 2016   |   3 Comments

A reader sent me a thoughtful series of questions:

I’ve been reading through The Living Jazz Tradition and thinking about what you and many jazz educators write about: the importance of being able to play what you hear. I understand that in terms of playing jazz heads, simple melodies, tunes etc…. But I was listening to this interview with Lee Konitz and he raises a good point that the interviewer in turn seems to struggle with the answer:

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Playing Changes Part 1: Thinking in Numbers

POSTED ON January 23, 2016   |   Post A Comment

The Playing Changes series presents effective strategies for internalizing harmony and playing creative solos over jazz standards. If you are overwhelmed by jumbles of scales, chord symbols, licks, and patterns, these articles will help you cut through the noise.

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How to Play Music from Memory

POSTED ON December 04, 2015   |   Post A Comment

Do you have trouble committing music to memoryβ€”even pieces you have played for years? The key to success is integrating the aural, visual, and tactile elements of playing music.

Mozart k331Courtesy of Flickr/Monica Liu

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3 Entry Points for Jazz Improvisation

POSTED ON October 26, 2015   |   2 Comments

The late, great trumpeter Clark Terry (a featured soloist in both the Basie and Ellington bands) said the most important elements of a jazz solo are:

  • Sound
  • Rhythm
  • Ideas

Technique and theory are important, but they are not prerequisites for improvisation.

 

Piano

Courtesy of Flickr/GigNRoll.com

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Expand Your Ears and Creativity with Drones

POSTED ON September 18, 2015   |   7 Comments

A drone is a sustained tone that accompanies a piece of music. Drones can be found in musical traditions all over the word. Indian classical music, Scottish bagpipes, Gregorian chant (organum), Native American flute, minimalism, and modal jazz are a few examples.

Practicing with drones is one of the most effective ways to sharpen your ears and inspire your inner music.

Tanpura

Courtesy of Martin Spaink/Wikimedia Commons

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Getting off the Page: Play Music by Ear in 5 Steps

POSTED ON September 11, 2015   |   Post A Comment
You really have to practice the coordination between the mind and the fingers, the ideas and the body. You have to find the idea on your horn at the same time it comes into your head. It’s a matter of developing instant touch.

– Art Farmer, Thinking in Jazz
Jim Linwood Beethoven's TrumpetCourtesy of Flickr/Jim Linwood

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