Have you seen the new series up on my YouTube Channel? If not you need to…
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Have you seen the new series up on my YouTube Channel? If not you need to…
Happy Holiday Season All!
To kick it off, I'm offering a new holiday educational bundle for 2017!
This year's bundle includes:
$268 of Value for just $140!
(additional domestic or international shipping rates apply)
Yonatan is an amazing trombonist that lived in NY for many years before making a return to his home in Tel Aviv, Israel! We actually first met back in 2015 when I had the chance to play over there with Eyal Vilner and his big band - and he happened to be in NY and have a free day so we could record something! I’ve been making a habit of featuring this JJ Johnson composition every time I have the chance to perform as a guest soloist alongside a big band - most recently this spring at Glendale Community College. I always enjoy getting to play music with Yonatan, even if it’s so infrequently! I hope this is as fun for you, as it was for us to record it!
Today, we are exploring how to play your Major Scales in a vertical fashion. So what does that mean? Watch the video to find out! :) - Did I mention this was recorded on tour while performing at the Winnipeg Jazz Festival? Fun times!
Are you bored of your "regular" major scales? this exercise will allow you to find more things to practice based on the tried and true major scale!
Happy practicing, and we'll see you back here, next week!
6 Reasons you should be learning Music with Online Courses
Across so many industries online learning has taken hold in a real way, and is proving to be a highly effective tool! After taking several online courses myself, I was thinking about several ways that musicians could take advantage of these online learning opportunities!
1 - Learn at your own pace
You can take your time through each lesson, making sure you get the point of each session. Repeat things at will, pause and interact with the video sessions, and have the time you need to process the information being presented. There are no time constraints!
2 - it's like having a private instructor all the time!
These sessions allow you to visit a private instructor any time you like, getting inside information directly from folks who are making their lives in music!
3 - As an aspiring professional it's important to learn from as many teachers as possible.
I think it's really important to learn from a wide variety of teachers. Everyone has their own way of thinking about things, and a unique way of explaining things as well. Sometime what you need is to hear the same information presented to you in a different way - I know that has been so helpful to me throughout my career! With an online course you can get those opinions without having to track down the teacher in person!
4 - It's a great value.
It would cost so much more to get all these lessons from a week to week teacher! If an hour lesson from a top professional is usually $100, a $99 course for five hours of video content is a STEAL! Not to mention that you can repeat those lessons time and time again, and the supplemental materials that come along with the course.
5 - Lifetime Access
You know how you always wished you had an archive of all the lessons you took with your private instructor? Here's a great way to have the ability to check back in at any point, and see if you want to revisit any of the material you worked on before. And even more amazing - if the instructor decides that they want to add more content to the course? Bam! More lessons for you! The sooner you sign up the bigger the life long value you'll be getting from the course.
6 - Location Independence
The hardest thing about getting lessons with musicians is scheduling. Do you have to travel to them? Are they on the road? It can be a real task trying to just line up a mutually workable time. Not to mention what If you live half way across the world from that teacher? With online courses you can be anywhere in the world and learn from the best in the business, whenever you want.
In the case of my course "Get Ahead" it even comes with 5 complimentary video coaching sessions to get direct feedback about your playing! This is only available during the course launch period which is open now until June 19th, so make sure that you get on board to make summer 2017 your most effective yet!
Can't wait to hear what you all are up to - 👍
In addition to trying to take the musical approach to building our upper register (as we talked about in the first part of this upper register series: watch it here if you haven’t seen it yet) there are certainly some exercises that we can do to complement that approach.
These exercises should be treated as such, and exercise. A tool to help build up something we are trying to improve. Please remember to be mindful of taking breaks when practicing upper register exercises. It’s very easy to overdue it! As much as you can, think about singing through the upper register, and that it’s just an extension of the stronger parts of your range!
Happy Practicing -
We're celebrating "Hear & Now" with a performance at blue whale Los Angeles!
ft. John Beasley (piano), Danny Janklow (saxophone), Alex Boneham (bass), and Dan Schnelle (drums)
Here's a quick look at what happened last time we came to the blue whale!
won't you join us?
In this week's video, we're talking about how to practice jazz. My approach is to break it down, just like you would when you're practicing any other musical skill.
Slow it down, speed it up gradually. Break the music into small/digestible chunks and slowly combine them back together.
Here I use my tune "Race to the Bottom" to illustrate just how I might practice something hard like this....
Good luck - and Let me know what you're practicing these days!
One of the best things about having to tour the country this month, is getting to reconnect with many people who I've met in other situations, and bringing them all together. Nothing is more special to me than getting to meet up with previous mentors, and ESPECIALLY to be able to connect with mentors musically!
This week I’m featuring a great trombonist, who’s currently also based in New York: Seth Weaver. Seth and I first met at the International Trombone Festival the last time it was held at the Eastman School of Music up in Rochester, NY. I was giving a performance that year celebrating the music from my first album, Exposition at that time, and Seth was a finalist in the ITF’s jazz trombone competition that year.
Since then, we’ve played a few gigs together here and there. But most recently, I recorded on a few videos of Seth’s Big Band! In addition to being a great trombonist, Seth is writing some great arrangements, and to top it off - he’s a singer too! Head over to Seth’s YouTube Channel to check out some of what he’s up to, and to watch those big band videos!
We’re playing a great standard that I first arranged for Lucas Pino and myself to play on a short tour to Arizona a few years back. If you’re familiar with the tune already, you’ll notice that there’s a little tweak to the form in there for good measure 😉 ! haha.
Please enjoy and Share! “It’s You or No One”
See you next week -
Here is a favorite standard, performed by Leon Boykins and myself! One of the most popular versions of the tune is probably from Clifford Brown / Max Roach (check out that version of the tune here…) but I think that MY favorite version might be by the legendary Steve Davis!
Happy New Year! Enjoy!
Like what you heard? Leave a comment, and grab the download: http://nickfinzer.selz.com
Today's the day, the release of my latest single "We, the People"
This song is an embodiment of the spirit of The People. When we stand together, we're stronger than when we're alone. It's about believing in something. Standing for something.
Like, comment, and share!
Download this track: http://nickfinzer.selz.com
from the February 2017 album "Hear & Now" featuring:
Lucas Pino - http://www.lucaspino.com/
Alex Wintz - http://www.alexwintzmusic.com/
Glenn Zaleski - https://www.glennzaleski.com/
Dave Baron - http://www.davebaronmusic.com/
Jimmy Macbride - https://jimmymacbride.com/
One of the best ways I've found to learn to play better in tune is to play with drone tracks. I don't like using a tuner, as it doesn't really accurately represent where the pitches need to sit in each key. An E in the key of C is not the same as an E in the key of F! Secondly, tuning is an aura skill, not a visual one! Looking at the tuner won't help you when you don't have one to look at ...
I usually have students start with the major scale and go very slowly to practice tuning each interval, and then speed it up slightly, to practice tuning pitches that move by more quickly in a real life situation.
Practice this very slowly! And be patient. Get each note to resonate against the drone track. If you can get the track playing at equal volume on some speakers, that would be ideal! But, headphones can always work in a pinch. Make sure you keep one ear off, so that you can hear the pitch coming from the drone.
Playing in tune on a brass instrument is a constant battle, so don't give up. It's always good to go back and try to improve your ear!
Good luck! Please don't be afraid to be in touch with any questions.
See ya next time -
This week I’m sharing a little exercise that I put together to practice all of the triads in a major key. Originally I wanted to find a way to play the “omnibus progression” on the trombone, but got distracted in the process and ended up with this major key exercise! If you’re not familiar, you can check out the omnibus progression here, it’s pretty cool, if you’re into harmony 😃!
A few pointers: Go slow, and focus on accuracy over speed! Speed will come, but accuracy is more important. If you can’t play something clean, it will only get less and less intelligible as we speed it up!
Next to the video you’ll find a link to a PDF of the exercise, or you can transcribe it yourself!
Feel free to be in touch with any comments or questions! I’d love to hear some of your versions! Post it online and tag me so I can see/hear 😃
See you all next time -
First, I need to apologize, first day recording with a new camera lens! In this video me (and my horn) are only about 50% visible in the frame! I’ve got it sorted out now, but this new lens has a little less flexibility in zooming in/out. It’s a learning experience for all of us 😃! Regardless, I think the music came off without a hitch, and you’ll still enjoy!
The first time I heard this Frank Foster composition was playing in Bob Stewart’s “First Line” band. Bob had the pleasure of playing this tune with Mr. Foster, and we play it on just about every live gig we’ve played. I did an arrangement of it for Bob’s Double Quartet (featuring the First Line band along with the PubliQuartet string quartet) that we premiered at Dizzy’s for the release of Bob’s latest album on Sunnyside Records “Connections: Mind the Gap"
Here, Leon Boykins and I present the tune in a duo format (on the HOTTEST day of the summer here in NYC!). You can see all the things Leon and I have recorded together here.
I hope you enjoy, “Simone” by Frank Foster
See you all next week!
I'm super excited to share that my next album "Hear & Now" is slated for release on 2.17.17! And since Here in the USA it's an election year (duh, everyone knows this unless you've been living under a rock!) we're celebrating by having a contest!
Usually, we might give away the single from the album to our fans, but this time we're turning the usual on its head! We want to hear YOUR versions of the single from the new album: "We, the People"
For all the contest details you can watch this video:
Click below to Download "We the People" PDF!
How to enter:
What you'll get for entering:
I can't wait to hear what you all come up with!
My first JJ Johnson record, "JJ! In Person” features JJ along with Nat Adderley in the front line. On here they play a number of great tunes, but one of the most amazing tracks is his version of the jazz standard “Laura.” Time and time again, I’ve had teachers and mentors mention this solo as a true piece of musical mastery. If you haven’t heard the original by JJ, you need to. It’s melodic, soulful, beautiful, and he kills some double time bebop language on this one.
It’s become one of my favorite tunes to play, and has a really fun chord progression to play on. I like to play it around the tempo that JJ did, so as to be able to have the drummer play the feel that Tootie Heath plays around the second chorus of JJ’s solo - a slick double time feel. Although here, it’s a touch faster, as we’re just a duo!
Alex Wintz is crushing it on this video, make sure you check out all the cool things Alex has going on for himself here!
See you all next time -