MartanBlog

MartanBlog

Visit MartanBlog to read Martan’s latest blog posts.
(Also visit:  JazzThought.com for more blog posts and jazz quotes.)

Six Steps To Independence From The Groove

I think we all know the “groove” when we experience it.  It’s the emotional pulse that we feel when listening to music.  In playing jazz, rock or pop music, it’s very important to first set up a strong groove.  However, once you start playing the melody, it is equally important to be independent from the groove.  In other words, the vocalist or instrumental soloist is literally playing over the groove.

The problem for pianists (and also guitarists) is that they are often playing both the groove and the solo.  It’s an important element of style that both groove and soloing should be distinctly different.  For instance, think of a pianist or guitarist playing a groove while also talking freely to the audience.  It takes a lot of practice and experience to develop this freedom. Continue reading

Music Language

This is a blog post article by Martan Mann
Author of JazzSkills for Piano®
View other posts at MartanBlog.

We have often been told that “music is the universal language”. Another way to look at this is to consider music as a direct language of emotion. It is an instant access into the subconscious of the listener. It is powerful!

I’m not an expert on brain functions, but I’m fairly sure that the same center of the brain that allows to speak, converse, create and conceive is the same “language center” which allows us to improvise and compose music. If that is true, we can directly improve our ability to improvise by learning music the same as we learn other languages.

I have some exercises which will develop your music-language skills.

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Time is not a click.

This is a blog post article by Martan Mann
Author of JazzSkills for Piano®
View other posts at MartanBlog.

Music is not about perfection.  It is about feeling.  Jazz, in particular is about groove.  It is groove which gives jazz it’s identity, it’s purpose, it’s joy.  You know groove when you hear it.  You know what it feels like.  The main issue is . . . how to develop a great groove in your playing?

I’m pretty sure that ALL great players practice to a metronome.  Practicing to a metronome develops an internal “click” in the player’s subconscious.  However the click is only a reference point.  If you have recorded your music, you, and all the players on the recording, have probably listened to a “click track” while recording.  All the players have the same reference point of time.

Continue reading