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Blog posts : "improvisation"

Practicing, Scales, Improvising and Free Stuff

June 18, 2013

by David Birrow Birrow.David@MacPhail.org

My mallet students begin to improvise once they can play a scale up and down and arpeggiate the tonic chord. Improvisation is an ultimately more useful technique compared to the classic "band/all-state/method book" approach of tonic for a quarter note then …

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Book Review: Jazz Essentials - Nuts and Bolts Instruction for the Jazz and Pop Musician by Dean Kelly

May 28, 2013

by David Birrow Birrow.David@MacPhail.org

Jazz Essentials by Dean Kelly was one of those books that shows up at the right time and the right place. I was a junior in high school when I became interested in playing jazz vibes. The public library in suburban Chelmsford, Massachusetts (where I grew…

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Improvisation and Music Therapy

April 24, 2013

by Tiana Malone Malone.Tiana@MacPhail.org

When one thinks of musical improvisation, one undoubtedly thinks of jazz piano fingersand/or blues. My father played drums in an amateur blues band, so for me improvisation meant that moment in the song when everyone got a turn to "solo"; to shine and create their own i…

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Spotify now has Aebersold Play Alongs

April 16, 2013

By David Birrow Birrow.David@MacPhail.org

This will be quick, but I am so excited about it I thought it warranted a post.  Spotify now has all (at least 100) of the Jamey Aebersold play along albums available, free.  Aebersold is a jazz saxophone player  and jazz educator. Over the past 4o years or…

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Bobby Hutcherson and the Pentatonic Scale

March 14, 2013

by David Birrow Birrow.David@MacPhail.org

One of my favorite vibes players is Bobby Hutcherson. I especially like his Blue Note recordings from 1963 through 1969. His playing is melodic, adventurous and provides an experimental foil to the playing of Milt Jackson.  I started transcribing his solos …

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5 Blog Posts