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Lesson 19: Improving Phrasing, and Basic Analysis of Tunes

Usually when we find ourselves in improv situations on the gig, we don't have the luxury of taking 10 or 15 minutes to look over each tune and decide what ideas we are going to play during each chorus. One of the skills essential to the jazz improviser is the ability to spontaneously recognize what is happening harmonically and react accordingly. All of this really needs to occur while we are playing; in a sense, we have the power to breathe life into the black and white notes, lines, and spaces on the staff and convey what it all means to the audience or listener. I take this responsibility seriously, and I hope that you will, too.

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