Today, I turned 30.
I’ve done a lot and learned a lot in that time. From student to math teacher, and from jazz guitarist to entrepreneur - it’s been a journey.
Here are just 30 of the most impactful lessons I’ve learned before turning 30.
If you'd like to check out my latest, improved version of this list click here. And, if you play guitar and would like to study these jazz standards with me, click here.
Here are the first 50 jazz standards I would have students learn. For the sake of getting this information out as quickly as possible check out the relevant videos on my YouTube channel for in-depth explanation of how songs were chosen for this order.
No matter what life throws at you, there are principles you can live by to ensure you're doing all you can on the path to success. These 12 Rules have served me over the years and I'm curious to know which rules resonate most with you and what rules you would add to them.
“In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.”
Think about the last time you went to practice. Put yourself in the moment when you thought, “I need to go practice.” How did you feel? If you’re like most people, you felt a bit overwhelmed by all of the possible things to practice and by how little time you actually have to do it all. Maybe you decided you’re just too busy and don’t have time to practice today (like yesterday and the day before that...). Or maybe you went to practice and pushed through, knowing you didn’t really put in the focus and energy to make solid improvements. What happened to those early days of learning when practice was fun and exciting? What’s changed? How can you hope to make lasting improvement if your practice is inconsistent, and what’s the point if the day-to-day practice is a drag?
I want to show you the three key principles that helped me go...
Check out the video below to watch Chase teach you 10 Killer Melodic Minor Lines. To get the free PDF with music notation and TAB for this lesson go to:
Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center held an hour-long livestream last night answering questions directly from people tuning in. At the start of the stream, Wynton spoke about what musicians can do during this period of social distancing and quarantine and then the JALC video producer Adam Meeks moderated the questions that came in.
I’ve grouped Wynton’s thoughts and responses based on topic and hopefully they will provide you with food for thought and encourage you to join the next livestream from JALC or watch previous talks from Wynton Marsalis.
If you enjoy this, share it with another musician. Let's pass on the wisdom passed down to us from the elder statesmen of this jazz community.
With the widespread concern and panic surrounding the SARS-CoV-2 virus, otherwise known as the “Coronavirus”, many musicians have had their gigs and tours, and therefore the work they rely on to make a living, canceled.
Instead of rehashing all of the harm the coronavirus is causing, you can choose to take advantage of the positive side of this extra time. Here are seven ways you can make your isolated time productive and come back on the music scene stronger than before, whenever that happens to be.
Most of the time as musicians we burn our candle at both ends. Late night gigs can lead into early morning lessons, sessions, rehearsals, or church and brunch gigs. Aside from the time it takes to maintain and grow as a musician, most musicians are also busy working other jobs and freelance work to make a living and haven’t really given themselves a chance to take a breath. Use the time to sleep, rejuvenate, and take care of your health.
Last week, we had the opportunity to attend the GroundUP Music Festival in Miami and I put together the nine best lessons I learned from interviewing some of the artists, and from the masterclasses held throughout the festival. Quotes are lightly edited for ease of reading, and you can click the artist names below to go to the full video interview they are quoted from. If you dig the content, share it with one of your friends or leave a comment below.
We recently polled our #JazzMemesFamily on Instagram asking them what are their essential books for jazz. The question was left open to include instructional jazz books or books written on the topic of jazz and music. We collected the most popular responses that were sent in and categorized them into two categories Performance and Theory/Concept. If you're new to jazz or haven't checked some of these books out, they're a great starting point to further your jazz education. Let us know in the comments which books you would add to this list.
How do you get over the fear of making a mistake on a performance?
How do you let go of all the things that are on your mind and bugging you when you need to perform?
Rich Matteson, best known as a jazz educator and euphonium player with the Dukes of Dixieland, posed these questions to Louis Armstrong during a break in their recording session.
The answer as Louis Armstrong saw it was simple:
“I always play for somebody I love. That’s all. You play for somebody you love, all the time. I always play for Him because he gave me the talent, I play for Lucille because she’s my wife and if I make a mistake she’s understands. They all want to listen, that’s cool. If they don’t want to listen, it’s still cool because I was going to play for Him and her anyways.”
Why does playing for someone you love make you play better?
As Rich Matteson says in this full interview:
“When you play for someone you love, you automatically try to do...
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