How to Use Bebop For Modern Improvisation – Bebop Part 2

What makes a bebop lick modern? We begin by learning about classic bebop licks, Barry Harris, bebop scales, and harmony. Then we dive into shaping modern bebop improv. At the end of the video, I show you my first 10 Modern Bebop Licks with sheet music!

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Great Jazz Warm Up – Part 1 – Bebop Scale Cycle

PDF: Jazz Warm Up 1: Bebop Scale Cycle

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In this short jazz piano lesson, you will learn a great warm up exercise to use before each time you sit down to play or practice. You are essentially cycling through the major bebop scale and its relative harmonic minor scale in all keys.



Quick Marketing Suggestion: Watch This TED Talk With Amanda Palmer

Amanda Palmer has essentially become a music marketing icon in today’s digital age. This is mainly because of her innate ability to connect with fans in exceptionally interesting and creative ways. She gives her fans trust and in turn receives loyalty. Check out this video to learn from a master!

Your music is who you are.

When I say that, I don’t mean that your life depends on your music, or that music is all that matters in your life. What I mean is that you can always tell who a person is through his or her music. When you hear an improviser or composer who demonstrates a great deal of self indulgence, overpowering those around him with busy improvisation or writing difficult and pretentious music that serves to impress rather than to express, that says something important about the person creating the music.

If a person is able to write beautiful, tender music, or be sensitive to the musicians he is playing with, this demonstrates a certain legitimate part of the person’s personality. Of course, you might think there are exceptions. For example, what if a person who acts arrogant and selfish on the outside writes gorgeous, tender music? Either way, I personally believe that the music is expressing a part of that person that is not always seen.

Some people are completely incapable of writing beautiful music. Some people are completely incapable of writing exciting music. Sometimes, if you go to a jazz club in New York City and listen carefully to a musician, you can tell all you need to know about his or her personality. If the player is self-indulgent, playing lots of notes while not listening to the other musicians, chances are that this will show through in his personality. That person won’t really listen to you either if you talk to him. And that’s why I think your music is who you are. It is a direct channel of your personality.

What do you think? Is music “who you are,” or are there exceptions to the rule? Leave your thoughts in a comment below or by clicking the little comment bubble at the top right of the post.

MAKE YOURSELF FAMOUS: The New Music Industry Is Yours for the Taking

It’s probably safe to say that anyone reading this wants to achieve financial stability. Most of you want to be famous, whether you’ll admit it or not. Well I have some good and bad news.  The good news is that today I’m going to give you a way to almost guarantee financial stability and even greatly up your chances of achieving fame. The bad news is, it will take a lot of work on your part.

You’ve probably heard of the artist Moby. I recently watched a video of his in which he said that, “People are becoming a lot more self-reliant and autonomous, which I think is great. I think the actual quality of music has been a lot better because a lot of people are putting out records just for the love of putting out records and not hoping to sell millions of copies.” Moby is describing a key change in the way the music industry operates today. The typical path to recognition is now completely upside down.  The way it used to work is that you would cross your fingers and hope that the right agents, managers and labels picked up your music and made you a star. Today, you get to make yourself into a star. And Moby is right.  I think because of all the power that has been given back to the independent musician, music itself is becoming more high quality again.

So how do you make your career successful? The answer can be summed up in a few words: connect with people.  With the advent of social media, it is now easier than ever to find the most influential people in your industry and connect with them on a personal level. One of the biggest myths of social media is that you should go onto Facebook, Twitter or whatever medium you use and blast out information about what you do. How many of you have wanted to smash your computer with a bat simply because of all the event invitations you get on Facebook? Marketing has become much more about personal relationships.  As Seth Godin says, “You have to stop worrying about how to get one more fan and start worrying about how to please the fans that you already have.”

I like to think of it like going to a party.  If you go into the room with your chest held high and go from person to person bragging about your incredible talent and the wonderful awards you’ve won, you will have effectively by the end of the night created an angry mob of important people who hate you.  You don’t want to be “that guy.”  Instead, you want to be the guy who goes to a party and mingles with people. Be nice, be genuine and have a good time. Drummer Mark Schulman once said, “Try to leave every conversation with the person(s) that you are talking to feeling better about life and themselves.”  If you do this, by the end of the night, you’ll have a gigantic happy mob of people who want to spend more time with you and tell everyone about the cool new guy they met.

Up-and-coming artist Amanda Palmer raised over $1 million using Kickstarter.  How did she do it? She’s the life of the party. She spends up to five hours a day on Twitter and Facebook interacting with fans, making them all feel special, giving them free stuff and giving them opportunities to be part of her crew. When there is a group of cool people at a party, wouldn’t you love to go stand with them and be cool yourself? She gives everyone the chance to do this.

Marketer Ted Cohen said, “I did learn quickly that some of the things you might refer to as a digital stunt— getting a feature on MySpace music or getting a feature on iTunes— those things are all great individual moments, but if you don’t string them together correctly, it’s just a firecracker going off somewhere that doesn’t really mean anything.”  In other words, you can’t just expect fans to come to you and stick around when they see a big picture of your face in a magazine. That’s not how it works anymore. When people first notice you, you have to notice them too and you have to create a relationship with them, a personal one.

The world has become a word-of-mouth business, and social media is a giant party. So join the party, start schmoozing and leave everyone wanting MORE of YOU.

To conclude, use social media to make real, personal connections. Interact with people and track down influential onliners in your industry. If you spend 5 hours a day connecting with fans and striking up conversations that create NEW fans, you’re pretty much guaranteed to have a devoted fan base. Even if it’s small, you’ll probably have enough fans to be financially stable. And if YOU work HARD, and dedicate a lot of time to making friends (i.e. fans), you might get even further than you could ever have imagined.