This site grew out of over 80 JazzThoughts that I have placed on Twitter and Facebook and many questions that friends and students have asked me over the years.. You can also view the JazzThoughts there and ask questions about them.
I hope you will visit this site often and participate with your comments. I’m looking forward to conversing with you.
My private teaching schedule is going ahead full-force at home in Boulder Creek and at West Valley Music in Mt. View! Contact me for a free interview. My personal students (who take at least two lessons a month) will receive free access to JazzSkills for Piano.
Here’s some exciting new news regarding my new online jazz piano improv course, “JazzSkills for Piano (Getting from Here to There)“. This is an intensive, deep, serious course in developing the skills necessary to play jazz piano. It’s the subconscious which does the playing . . . you have the FUN. This is your time to get started!
These lessons are from beginning to fairly advanced and assume that you already have basic pianistic skills. This course will definitely take you “From Here to There”. Visit JazzSkills for Piano to receive Four Free Videos.
This series of lessons give step-by-step instruction in analyzing and developing specific tunes and styles. This solves mysteries. This gives answers Now! You can choose your tune and/or style to develop it fully and creatively. New Step-by-Step Lessons will be added often. Visit his website: Musicmann.comto join his mailing list to stay current on the release of new lessons.
Martan Mann is now offering special individual Skype lessons and Zoom lessons based on his new internet jazz piano course, JazzSkills for Piano. The Skype sessions are paid through PayPal. You should have a Skype account and a webcam. Click Here for more information.
I want to remind vocalists that I can provide rehearsal and recording services. I have a beautiful Yamaha C7 and excellent recording equipment. It’s quick and easy to record a demo or complete CD. CD artwork is also available.
I can also create Band in a Box charts and recordings which sound like a real band. You’ll be amazed!!! TURN OFF THE MUSIC AT THE TOP OF THIS PAGE.
The above is an audio file, “You’d be so nice to come home to”. It has my live piano playing mixed with the BIAB file. The first and third chorus is a backup for the vocalist. The second chorus is a sax solo. BIAB can put the song into any key, style, soloing instrument, tempo, etc.
It’s one thing to improvise. But, what happens when your improv gets boring, stale and repetitive? What are some ways to “restart the engine”? In my own personal playing, I’m always looking for ways to “renew the spark”. I realize that my best improv is when I literally
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.
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.