Jazz Blog

Here’s another compelling reason why musicians ought to practice slowly. To understand it best, consider an analogy to video games. [read more]

Jan 5

Unlikely Inspiration from Coltrane

by Anton Schwartz

An early recording from John Coltrane is inspiring because it so compellingly debunks any notion that he was born to be a musical genius. His brilliance was hard won through intense practice. [read more]

— 2016 — Aug 1

Remembering the Modes

by Anton Schwartz

A different, very useful way of ordering the modes of the major scale in your mind… and a trick for remembering the modes in that sequence… [read more]

— 2016 — Jul 26

Practicing Slow

by Anton Schwartz

Here’s a tip for when you’re trying to improve your improvisation but you’re stuck: Learn to play so it sounds like you’re moving through molasses. Let me explain how & why it works… [read more]

— 2016 — Jan 8

Pentatonic Scales: A Deeper Look

by Anton Schwartz

Pentatonic (five-note) scales are the basis for simple folk melodies and nursery rhymes all around the world. So how is it that they can be used in jazz so powerfully, to create so many colors and degrees of tension and dissonance? Let’s take a look. [read more]

— 2015 — Aug 12

Audiation

by Anton Schwartz

An extremely useful word for something we’re all familiar with. [read more]

— 2015 — Jul 28

Sus Chords part II: Their Uses

by Anton Schwartz

In a previous post called “Understanding Sus Chords” I discussed suspended chords—what they are and how to think of them. In this one we look at their uses in songs. [read more]

— 2015 — Jul 21

Pronouncing “Repertoire”

by Anton Schwartz

A simple post about a common word in music that seems to trip up a lot of people: REPERTOIRE. [read more]

— 2015 — Jul 14

Dynamic and Static Chords

by Anton Schwartz

Consider these two statements: “When you see a G7 chord you can use the G blues scale.” “When you see a G7 chord you can play a G altered lick.” Are they true? The simple answer to each is an unsatisfying “sometimes.” For a more satisfying answer, we need to understand an important distinction… [read more]

— 2014 — Nov 6

Celebrating Adolphe Sax

by Anton Schwartz

A few amazing things you might not know about the man who gave us the saxophone, on his 200th birthday. [read more]

— 2014 — Jun 20

Back-to-Front Learning

by Anton Schwartz

A host of compelling reasons why it’s more efficient and effective to practice sequences of new material in reverse order. [read more]

— 2013 — Jul 25

How we make money from music

by Anton Schwartz

Did you know that a recording artist gets paid when his/her performance is played on satellite radio, but not when it’s played on FM radio? Take a quiz to test your knowledge of how money flows in the music world… or just read it as a wonderful tutorial. [read more]