Want to Learn to Improvise?
Craig Buhler
by Craig Buhler
4M ago
You can Learn to Improvise at the Dungeness Creative Music Workshop, Wednesday Afternoons from April 3-June 5, 12:30-2:30 PM. Register Today. Tuition is only $150 for this 20 hour workshop. Email craig@craigbuhler.com or check out this video for details.    ..read more
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A Harmonic Minor Workout
Craig Buhler
by Craig Buhler
5M ago
Pianist Dr. J. H. asked for a melodious exercise he could use to explore the harmonic minor scale in all 12 keys.  The “harmonic minor scale” as shown below features the raised 7th degree – the syllable known as “si” (pronounced “SEE”), which is also referred to as “#SO” or “#7.” Here is the melody ..read more
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Improvise With The Blues Scale
Craig Buhler
by Craig Buhler
6M ago
Trombonist Cindy M. asked me to talk about how we use the blues scale to improvise.   Comparing it to the major scale, you see it features three “blues notes,” notes Mozart would never use. First comes the flat 7, the “happy blues note.”  Second is flat 3, the “minor note.”  Then there is the bop ..read more
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I Dig This One !
Craig Buhler
by Craig Buhler
8M ago
  Does improvising bring you joy?  If you’re playing music you love, both you and your audience will be swept up in that transcendent joy.  Here’s a topsy-turvy, tangled up, spaghetti-shaped, four-bar phrase that just tickles my spirit every time I play it.  Hope you dig it too.  Click here to watch the video. Below ..read more
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Mode For Joe
Craig Buhler
by Craig Buhler
11M ago
Saxophonist Maria is improvising over Joe Henderson’s classic jazz standard  “Recorda-Me.”  I asked her whether she would use the Dorian or Aeolian mode over the first 4 bars. As shown below, the Aeolian is the mode rooted on LA, so it uses a lowered 6th degree.  By contrast, the Dorian is rooted on RE, so ..read more
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Fresh Out of Ideas
Craig Buhler
by Craig Buhler
1y ago
Tenor saxophonist Brooklyn brought a favorite tune to his lesson.   As always, we typed the changes into Band in a Box, chose a tempo and a groove, and started blowing on the tune.  But Brooklyn said he was having trouble coming up with fresh ideas to play over the changes.   The first chord happened to ..read more
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Slippery Slope
Craig Buhler
by Craig Buhler
1y ago
For fans of Brazilian bossa nova jazz, here is a bright bossa composed and performed by tenor saxophonist Craig Buhler.    In addition, if you have ever taken a terrible tumble, these ski slope stumble scenes will remind you that you’re not alone.   Below is a chart for B flat instruments you can view or ..read more
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Applying Moveable DO Syllables to Jazz Standards
Craig Buhler
by Craig Buhler
1y ago
Introduction Alto saxophonist Pascal wrote requesting assistance with assigning movable DO syllables onto several jazz standards.  Before addressing each of these tunes, let’s talk about the reason we use movable DO syllables. As jazz musicians who play melodies by ear (without charts) and improvise over their changes, we are not concerned with theory for its ..read more
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Fixed DO Versus Movable DO
Craig Buhler
by Craig Buhler
1y ago
Saxophonist Pascal writes: “I was trained using ‘Fixed DO.’   In other words, if I am playing an E Major scale, I was taught to name the notes ‘MI, FA#, SO#, LA, TI, DO#, RE# MI’.   Your book, “New Ears Resolution,” teaches me to think in terms of ‘Movable DO.’  What is your reason for preferring ..read more
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Playing by Ear in Different Keys
Craig Buhler
by Craig Buhler
1y ago
Saxophonist Pascal asked an excellent question concerning how to play by ear in different keys: “Regarding exercises involving arpeggios, inversions, or scales on saxophone:  When using movable DO, should I think of each tonality as if it were C Major?  For example, when I play in E major, do I think, “DO RE MI FA ..read more
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