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Latest Jazz Articles

Our most recent articles on jazz playing techniques, music theory and history.

  • Jazz Guides

    The tritone substitution is a fundamental concept in jazz harmony. We hear these substitutions throughout the catalog of great recordings, and find them in songs in our Real Books and the Great American Songbook.

    Josh Walsh — March 13, 2024
  • Jazz History

    Barry Harris made Bebop approachable to everyone. The genre is notoriously complex, and many get lost in the complexity. But through his own study, Barry found "simple things" that any of us could pick up for ourselves.

    Josh Walsh — December 08, 2021
  • Jazz Guides

    When I first started to get comfortable playing jazz on the piano, I was eager to learn how to play with an ensemble. I knew my way through lots of tunes, and how to voice each chord. But, I didn't understand what my role was supposed to be in the rhythm section, or what I was supposed to do in order to support the other players.

    Josh Walsh — December 07, 2021
  • Jazz Guides

    We usually think about jazz as a formal study at a university such as Berkelee or Oberlin. Or perhaps, as more of an understudy or apprenticeship, where an upcoming student learns directly from a master. And don’t get me wrong, having a great teacher will really help in your study, but it’s not strictly required for you to become an accomplished player. In this article I’ll break down an approach to learning jazz on your own, at home, without a teacher.

    Josh Walsh — November 08, 2021
  • Music Theory

    In this article you'll find every chord symbol you are likely to encounter while playing from lead sheets or The Real Book. Everything from chord symbols with triangles, circles or chord extension are explained here in detail.

    Josh Walsh — April 05, 2021
  • Music Theory

    The melodic minor scale provides all kinds of different options for soloing over altered dominant chords. In this article we explore each of the 7 modes of the melodic scale, and how they work over different chords.

    Josh Walsh — March 22, 2021
  • Jazz Styles

    Learn how to play in the signature style of Red Garland using his famous left hand comping patterns.

    Josh Walsh — December 07, 2020
  • Chords & Voicings

    3-note jazz voicings are the simplest way to play 7th chords. They are great for beginners, but don't underestimate them -- the professionals use them all the time too.

    Josh Walsh — September 29, 2020

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