Sax With Nozzle

What? You don’t have a sax mouthpiece for your bass saxophone? No problem. Here. Take this tuba mouthpiece.

Finding Flow in Practice: Glenn Gould

There’s a lot to like about the video of pianist Glenn Gould below. Three things happen in the video that show Gould’s flow state in practice (see clips below).

Wynton Marsalis: 12 Rules of Practice

Wynton Marsalis knows how to practice. As a younger man, he was equally at home in front of a symphony orchestra playing the Haydn concerto, or laying down some serious jazz with Art Blakey. Check out his 12 Rules of Practice after the video.

Boost Your Skills: Adopt a New Instrument. Maybe This Trippy Yaybahar?

Adopting a new instrument can push your musical awareness of pitch, rhythm, timbre, melody, and harmony to new and useful places. A new and unfamiliar instrument can also add a spark to your practice if you’re bored with the same-old same-old. Here’s a fascinating new acoustic instrument, the Yaybahar, made and played by Görkem Şen. What a great sound!

The Flying Fingers of Jeremy Ellis

Looking to hone your rhythmic ability? Gadgets can be a fun way to do it. Here’s Jeremy Ellis demonstrating insane amounts of practice with his finger wizardry on the Maschine Mikro and below that, on its bigger brother, the Maschine Studio. Pretty mad skills!

How Does Posture Affect Your Sound?

Posture is vital not only to a good sound, but will also help you avoid injury. Jazz trumpeter Ingrid Jensen gives a superb lesson about posture, why it matters, and how to do it. Listen and learn from Ingrid in the video below:

Calling All Wind Musicians: Do This NOW (Please)

Without intonation, music doesn’t resonate, and if things are really out of tune, it can be a painful experience. Jazz trumpeter Ingrid Jensen gives an excellent example of how to play in tune. Here’s Ingrid in a video from JALC’s Jazz Academy to tell you more about playing with drones:

This Might Melt Your Brain: Anna-Maria Hefele Sings 2 Notes At Once

The overtone series is the sonic example of the Golden Ratio, and it underlies all music (and all sound, really), no matter where the music comes from. Brass players are intimately familiar with the overtone series (also known as the harmonic series), even if they don’t know what it’s called. Produce sound through any tube (like didgeridoo, shofar, flute, bugle, trumpet, garden hose, etc.) while keeping the length of the tube the same (i.e. don’t push keys or valves), and you’ll hear the overtone series. With practice, you can do it with your voice, too, as demonstrated by singer Anna-Maria Hefele in the video below. After her demonstration, there’s a couple more video of what overtone singing sounds like in a piece of music.

Tony Royster Jr.: Drummer Extrordinaire

I’m working with four-year-olds today, such a fun age! It’s got me thinking a lot about the environment kids grow up in, and he mystery of musical ability. Here’s a video that captures what a rich musical upbringing, supportive parents, and unswerving dedication to playing and practice can do for your music. Lots to love…

How to Manipulate Your Audience and Make Them Love It

Jazz and popular music of today owes a huge debt to Africa where the driving steady rhythm, swing, and accenting beats 2 and 4 come from. Most audiences in the US don’t know this, and don’t feel that kind of beat. Because of this, audiences frequently end up clapping on beats 1 and 3, as they’re doing in the clip below. Harry Connick Jr. knows better, and he also knows how to turn the beat around so he can help the audience clap on 2 and 4 (that happens around the :39 mark in the video below). His drummer is happy about it and gives a double-fist pump right after Connick makes the switch. Notice how much more hip the sound is!