Tony Williams In Five Songs

In commemoration of drumming legend Tony Williams’ birthday, we look back at his momentous career of innovation and exploration. Source: Tony Williams In Five Songs Advertisements

On the Road with Duke Ellington (1967)

Interesting documentary a fellow musician told me about (Thanks, Tim!). Recorded the year I was born. Louis Armstrong makes an appearance and Duke admits to stage fright. So may performances and the man still gets the jitters. Like Louis said, it’s all about using that energy. Some good insights into Duke, his process, and his…

Learning Music Like Learning Language: Victor Wooten

ABSOLUTELY! Victor Wooten speaks wisdom. Our approach to teaching music (often sight before sound) is backwards. Listen to Victor! Wooten’s book, The Music Lesson is pretty good, too. Like if Carlos Casteneda learned music from Don Juan instead of magic.

10 Rules for Students and Teachers

Sometimes attributed to composer John Cage, these rules were actually created by Sister Corita Kent, in 1967-68, and later taken up by the art department of LA’s Immaculate Heart Convent whee Sister Corita went to school.

Maybe the list is attributed to Cage because he’s quoted in rule #10…. Here they are:

Dave Grohl’s Guide to Kick A**

Dave Grohl needs no introduction. Even if you know him, you really should watch Sound City, a great documentary about a legendary music studio. In the doc you’ll see a bit of Grohl, but lots and lots of other superb musicians, too. Video below the tips.

What’s Better: Practice or Performance?

Something I learned when researching The Practice of Practice is that many of the best musicians don’t make a distinction between “practice” and “performance,” and if they do, most strive to have more performance in their playing. This was driven home most by…

A Lick a Day: Soundslice Serves it Up!

Learning licks from someone on an instrument different from yours is a great idea, because is exposes limitations of your instrument, but also exposes patterns on your instrument that can be changed or broken, in a good way. Say, learn Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday melodies on your instrument, or check out these short licks…

How to Use the Piano to Explore Harmony

Ted Nash of the JLCO gives some superb advice on using the piano to explore harmony.

“Part of practicing is putting yourself in a position where you’re going to discover something new.” – Ted Nash

Check it out.