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“I've never come across a person who could explain what, and how to practice as well as he can.” ―When I first saw Chris play at a jam here in Boston, I thought, that's the guy I want to take lessons with. Luckily for me, he's as good a teacher as he is a player. Chris has a very logical and straightforward approach to learning music. Since taking lessons with Chris I've learned to maximize my practice time, working on multiple topics through one exercise. I've never come across a person who could explain what, and how to practice as well as he can. I would recommend Chris to anyone looking to take their understanding of music to a deeper level, I don't know anyone who will give you a more honest, and passionate education.‖ Mike Tucker—Drummer and Band Leader—Boston, MA ______________________________________ "Chris‘ ‗Monster Jazz Formula‘ is a detailed and motivational approach to reaching your goals as a jazz musician. This is not just a book for novices - reading through Chris Punis' books prompted me to rethink my own concepts and approaches to teaching and practicing - after 20 years of professional playing and teaching! I highly recommend this book and plan to introduce it to my own students and fellow musicians." Joel Yennior—Trombonist with Gypsy Schaeffer, Either/Orchestra and Instructor at the New England Conservatory—Boston, MA "Chris is certainly the best jazz music teacher I've ever had, but he's more than that: he's one of the best teachers I've ever had--in any subject." He has a special talent for taking complex topics and breaking them down into the simplest possible parts. Chris also has a wonderfully open-minded approach to musical concepts, critically examining conventional wisdom and encouraging his students to do the same. He'll certainly offer answers to his students' questions, but he always urges them to pursue their own path, to find their own musical way. It is Chris' holistic approach to learning jazz-focusing not just on technical concepts but on all of the emotional and psychological components of learning jazz as well--that makes him an ideal guide to the world of jazz. Chris' lessons have been a huge help for me. Jazz is such a rich and deep tradition, and it's easy to get lost or overwhelmed when you try to study it. One of the things I like best about Chris' approach is that he doesn't oversimplify the whole process by telling you what to focus on. Instead, he helps you decide what you want to focus on. And then he shows you how to go about learning those things the right way. One of the most important aspects in becoming a great jazz musician is developing your own voice, and Chris really helps you do that in the learning process." Ken Hiatt—Accordionist, Band Leader, Teacher—Waltham, MA
©2010 LearnJazzFaster.com LLC All rights reserved ~ www.learnjazzfaster.com/monsterjazzformula.htm
The “Secrets” to becoming a Monster Jazz Musician.
What you now hold in your hands is just a snap shot of my years of extensive research, practice, performance, trial and error and studies with many of the top teachers in the jazz world. Up till now, this information has been virtually unknown to students of jazz. Practically a ‗Secret‘. You see, many of the top players don‘t actually ‗know‘ how they got to the level they are at now. If they do, they don‘t know how to articulate it to their students (or they don‘t want to). They might be able to tell you what they do now, or how they approach jazz. But they can‘t tell you how they got there. These ‗secrets‘ are certainly not taught in music school. I‘ll be honest, school and me are like oil and water. Sure, I know how to play the game and pass the classes. But, I have some pretty harsh opinions of the education world. I might offend some of my readers who still hold loyalty to our ‗trusted institutions‘. But I‘m not here to be nice or politically correct or to make friends with the establishment. I‘m here to shed light on some of these major problems with learning jazz. And to help you become the player you‘ve always wanted to be. I strongly suggest that you print this book out right now, and read it immediately.
There‟s a very big idea inside and many people have used it to become „Monsters‟ once they grasped the concepts that you are about to receive right here for free.
Who is Chris Punis?
You might know me from my free online e-course ‗Twenty-one Great Ways to Become a Monster Jazz Musician‘ or maybe you already own ‗The Monster Jazz Formula‘. Or you might be familiar with my work with Charlie Kohlhase‘s Explorer‘s Club or the band Gypsy Schaeffer. To be honest, I‘m not really in the limelight right now. I‘ve spent the last few years working behind the scenes trying to really figure out a simple system for learning and a simple system for success with jazz that anyone can use to realize their musical dreams. In fact, unless you‘re from Boston or the East Coast you‘ve probably never seen me perform, you might have never even heard of me. But rest assured, on the following pages you‘ll get to know me and find out why I feel it‘s so important for you to listen to these ideas about success with jazz. “Ok, but why do I care about getting to know you?” you may ask. Touché. Good question. ©2008 LearnJazzFaster.com LLC All rights reserved ~ www.learnjazzfaster.com
one of the cats. powerful and awe inspiring. ©2010 LearnJazzFaster.The reason is this: I know from personal experience that my frustrations are pretty much universal in the jazz world. I‘ll shed light on why most people never become Monsters and give in to their frustrations and fears. On the following pages I‘m going to spill the beans about jazz education and dispel many of the myths and misconceptions about becoming a great player. I knew in my heart of hearts that I wanted to do ‗that‘. I have always wanted to be a jazz musician. only to spend their lives wondering ‗what if‘. My story resonates with my students and can help them uncover problems and challenges of their own. Or even worse. got me excited. This way you can sit back and enjoy. practice habits. I would imagine myself playing in front of a roaring crowd playing the ‗baddest‘ drum solo ever. For as far back I can remember. only to ‗spread the pain‘. If something resonates with you. I don‘t really want anyone to know this much about me. From the first time I heard ‗Trane and Miles I knew I wanted to be a player. In a just a second I‘ll tell you all about my own struggles and failures with jazz.com/monsterjazzformula. I was fascinated with the drums long before that. But I was 13 before I ever got to see and play a drumset.learnjazzfaster. The sound of the drums got my blood pumping. ‗Bang‘ being the key word. When I sat behind this seemingly giant set of silver Slingerland drums my imagination would take over. I fell in love with the drums. I‘m going to tell you about my deep dark secrets. But I really believe deep down that it‘s the only way to really help you with your musical struggles. Only you can be the judge of that. maybe I can assist you in solving that problem or frustration. Actually. But let‟s start at the beginning… Way back when I was 13 years old. become defensive and miss the very important ideas that are presented here. If I come right out and say ―you have such and such problem. I mean observe the sufferings of a fellow jazz musician. err.‖ that can make people put their guard up. before I ever heard of ear training.com LLC All rights reserved ~ www. how I almost gave up after years of spinning my wheels. It was nothing short of amazing. Believe me. You see the fact that you‘re reading this means that you and I are probably a lot alike.htm 4 . become music teachers themselves. you have such and such frustration. swing feel or modern harmony. My best friend‘s older brother got a drumset and I would follow him home everyday after school and beg him to let me bang on them.
But that didn‟t stop me from thinking that I „should‟ be able to keep up. And their music was simultaneously hip and sophisticated. We didn‘t know how much we were ‗supposed‘ to know to be a ‗real‘ musician. But that didn‘t stop me from thinking that I ‗should‘ be able to keep up. I would put practicing before everything else in my life. This ‗problem‘ I wasn‘t even aware of yet was only intensified. There was just soooooo much to practice. But back then I didn‘t know this was a problem. And the fact is that most people can‘t. I never mastered anything. So I practiced and studied more and more. and figure things out that sounded great to our virgin ears. I lost girlfriends. expectations. studying jazz. little by little the requirements were piled on one after the other. Music was so much simpler back then. I practiced 8. And the fact is that most people can‟t. 10 fold. rules and standards. So I practiced and studied more and more. And the ‗characters‘ were no less enticing. The workload increased. Then ‗already‘ 25. Then ‗already‘ 22.” Slowly but surely the joy and electricity were stripped away and replaced with judgements. and another and another… “I just couldn‟t keep up. theory. week after week. As soon as I barely got through one lesson another was thrown on the pile. That‘s who I wanted to be. The sound was something I‘d never heard before. ensembles and on and on. 9 even 10 hours a day on some days.com LLC All rights reserved ~ www. I developed an addiction to practicing in fact. It wasn‘t long before I knew that that‘s what I wanted to do. Instead of building a magnificent musical ‗castle‘ on top of a sturdy and unbreakable foundation. I was already 18 years old! But soon I was ‗already‘ 20. I was digging myself into a dark musical abyss of un-mastered material and half-learned concepts. play being the operative word. We would play around. I just couldn‘t keep up. They did their own thing. but I kept trying to go further and build on this weak foundation. excited and enamored with it to say the least. We played for the sheer joy. I fell in love with it. that soon would change. I wasn‘t aware of what was really happening. We hadn‘t acquired any music school baggage yet. They were different. with the sound and the story. technique. Do you remember the first time you played your instrument? I bet you were fascinated. I didn‘t have much time after all. Well. And the sound was just pure electricity.I‘m telling you this corny story of my childhood to illustrate a point. Then another. Then I discovered jazz. It was rich and stimulated my ears like nothing else. As I started taking drum lessons and playing in the school band. for the experience. I was building a rickety shack made of ©2010 LearnJazzFaster. I was bombarded by musical concepts.learnjazzfaster. had no social life and even gave up a free trip to Italy all in the name of practice. improvisation. I bet it just looked and felt amazing in your hands. harmony. no judgement. I had to try to fit it all in.htm 5 . We had no expectations. Soon I found myself in music school. They were one part cool and one part rebel.com/monsterjazzformula.
8. I just knew that logging hours was mandatory for top jazz musicians. and I wondered if I was disciplined. I was a white kid from the suburbs who had no other musicians in his family and grew up listening to rock music. There Was Still So Much To Practice!!! With every day of practice. receptiveness and the result of feeding the creative well spring. I wondered if I was disciplined enough. And I sure as hell didn‘t have time to stop and figure it out. Here I was locking myself in a practice room for 6-8 hours everyday. more homework. I wondered if I was creative. And of course most teachers were of no help. and I was so tripped out all the time about whether I was creative or not. which I now believe is a birthright. I was so cluttered up with expectations that I couldn‘t even enjoy listening to music anymore. Soon I was beating myself up about a variety of things: I wondered if I had it.com/monsterjazzformula. It was around this time that I really started to question whether I ‗had it‘ or not. simply the combination of trust. But I thought it was me. eluded me. And for those for whom music happen to come really easy or who happen to stumble on to the right path and take the right actions and make the right choices they didn‘t even know the problem existed. So I thought that‘s what I must do too. Trane and other top players all practiced 6. I don‘t blame them though. Most people can‘t discipline themselves to exercise for 20 minutes three time a week.htm 6 . So I pressed on further into the downward spiral to utter confusion and defeat. if I had enough talent. Somehow I knew that something was wrong. even 14 hours a day. Crazy! ©2010 LearnJazzFaster. So I would practice harder. What right did I have to think I could learn to play jazz? I would even beat myself up for not feeling music intensely enough when I listened to it. not my methods. I never tried to find out how or what they practiced.a hodge podge of materials held together with duck tape and kite string and all resting on quick sand.com LLC All rights reserved ~ www. Creativity. For others that‘s exactly how they were taught so that‘s all they know. more tests. I read or heard somewhere that Bird. They just fed the fire by throwing more information. Truly a vicious cycle. so you get your money‘s worth. Imagine that. Just to keep things interesting I added learning piano to my list. I wondered if I came from the right background. study and class there was more information about jazz and music piled on top. But how could I be creative when I hadn‘t truly mastered much at all.learnjazzfaster. For many of them they view it as their job to give you more work. and more practice topics. They didn‘t know they were adding to the problem. more papers. that something wasn‘t working.
I needed more experience playing jazz with people. Believe me I thought about it. He was blunt and to the point but compassionate at the same time. Finally after three years I was able to register for one of his ensembles. That I didn‘t need to be a better drummer. I wondered if it was a fluke. This began a fantastic journey up out of the musical abyss of frustration and failure and ever closer towards realizing my musical dreams. First of all. got my ass handed to me and was promptly thrown out of the ensemble. If I had a bad gig. I showed up.com LLC All rights reserved ~ www. I didn‘t have as much time to practice now. I needed to PLAY. I did just what Hal prescribed. Now I knew I was doing something wrong and I had a great teacher affirm that conclusion. you weren‘t a real artist. I actually purposefully would NOT tell people about my gigs and recitals. And then learn to do the ‗right‘ things. Ever since arriving at Berklee I wanted to take an ensemble with the great Hal Crook. This was a major turning point in my life. That if you weren‘t a tortured artist. And for the first time it dawned on me that I might be able to figure out what that was. I could go on and on about these things I would beat myself up about. One by one I watched many of them drop out of school and out of music all together. But I don‘t want you to think I‘m a total basket case! But the truth is. If I had a good gig. He was completely honest with me. 7 ©2010 LearnJazzFaster. I was practicing less than ever but improving at a faster rate than ever before. He bas ically told me that I wasn‘t ready for the class. Something clicked in my head. Finally something happened that shook me to the core. But luckily something inside me wouldn‘t let me quit. We had all accepted the false belief that jazz was hard. I felt terrible.htm . Here was this master trombonist and master teacher telling me that I didn‘t need to practice as much. I scheduled every session I could with every player I knew.com/monsterjazzformula. Hal Crook did what only a great teacher could do. if most people were to lay their fears and insecurities out on the table we would all look like basket cases! When I was at Berklee I was surrounded by people just like me. That it was supposed to be a struggle. I was afraid I would blow it and look like an idiot on stage.learnjazzfaster. so I chopped my practice routine down to what I thought were the bare essentials. I just hated the idea of wondering ‗what if‘ for the rest of my life more than the idea of continuing my dysfunctional music education. Even top players who we might think have it all together feel these same pressures. I was starting to get results. Unfortunately.
I read books about success and achievement. I read about learning. He scheduled a session with a bass player and myself and I nailed it. art. Joe Lovano. To be excited about your future and what opportunities the universe might throw your way is a fantastic feeling. goal achievement. And a feeling that is very different from falling into that abyss of jazz confusion. Ran Blake. rehearsals and gigs. But that‟s not the end of story. And a funny thing happened. I have learned to embrace the fact that I‘ll never get ‗there‘. self-esteem and personal improvement. Pat Martino. Rashied Ali. And now I can use these tools to move ever forward with music. I still knew that something I was doing in the practice room wasn‘t working. I love the fact that there will always be music to learn and areas to explore.htm . Out of all this a vision for my music started to grow. Boy was I wrong. I read everything I could get my hands on. after playing a ton of sessions and radically altering my practice habits I called Hal Crook up and told him I still wanted to be in his ensemble. I began to block out what most of my other teachers were dumping on me and got busy learning jazz for my own sake. I began a search to find out what the top players did differently. paying attention only to those teachers who I thought were really valuable to MY situation. Every two weeks for two years we would talk on the phone about topics as diverse as success. Danillo Perez. All I had to do was ask. Nathaniel Branden. I even went so far as to hire groundbreaking psychologist and father of the self-esteem movement. They were ready and willing since most everyone else was too busy hammering away in the shed or procrastinating in front of the TV. The next year. studies. I took workshops with Kenny Werner. I went on to study with him privately for the next 8 years. practicing.com/monsterjazzformula.learnjazzfaster. Now. He invited me to play the following semester. I was inspired again. I began to feel good about music again. I did my time in the ‗music abyss‘ and I couldn‘t be happier to be out of it. Most of them said yes! I had this false assumption that I needed to be great player before I could ask them to play. confidence and personal improvement. I‘m not ‗there‘. I read biographies of great players. Music is an on going process and there‘s still plenty of things I could improve and learn. It was crystal clear to me now that my whole approach to learning jazz was a dead end street.Soon I found myself approaching the top players in the school to play sessions. You see the top players just wanted to play jazz too. I threw out all of my assumptions about learning jazz and gradually became clearer and clearer about what worked. don‘t get me wrong. But now I was ready to figure out what. among others. 8 ©2010 LearnJazzFaster.com LLC All rights reserved ~ www. Jeff Watts. I was on a mission. After many years I‘ve been able to funnel this all down into a system for musical success that I use with my students as well as for my own practicing. as a personal coach.
But if my ideas. So why am I sharing this all with you? First of all. Don‘t get me wrong there are many fabulous teachers out there who really do care and really do make a difference. I care about the jazz world. when I first thought about teaching this stuff and writing and creating courses I was very apprehensive to say the least. not me. To be honest. In a few moments I‘ll be going into depth about the ‗undesirable effects‘ I discussed above (you know the abyss). they made the effort and they found the answer. I want to tell the whole jazz world about this. By helping other jazz musicians who were in the same boat I was. When they tell me how they were inspired or moved.htm 9 .com/monsterjazzformula. believe it or not. Teaching and articulating ideas so someone else can understand them is one of the most powerful ways to learn.learnjazzfaster. I know it‘s them. The tools are there for anyone to take and use for their own development. I feel much gratitude that I happened upon these tools. teachings or writing about jazz can be a catalyst for great change in a person‘s musical life than I am a happy person. there is no reason in this day and age for a person to not realize their potential. 50. I care deeply about jazz. I‘ve witnessed them having breakthroughs and epiphanies and seeing the truth for themselves. When students tell me or write emails to me to tell me about there own struggles and how they saw themselves in my story I feel connected. sometimes I feel like I might get more out of teaching than the student. But I realized that I had to. Or they‘re stifled themselves by ineffective and harmful educational institutions that simply perpetuate these problems by feeding the fire of information overload. I could impact the jazz world far greater than just by my own music alone. I‘ve seen my own frustrations mirrored in the experiences of many of my students.com LLC All rights reserved ~ www. My personal vision and mission in life is to be a major voice in the jazz world. But they are far and few between. To make a real contribution to the world of jazz. Secondly. I want to change the way music is taught in most learning environments. I feel like I‘m making an impact .If any of that sounds familiar to you or hits a chord then you‘re in luck. I‘ll reveal the root causes and tell you about the solutions. There‘s one more reason for me writing this book. Besides. It‘s my life. or that they had an epiphany it feels awesome. 100 even 1000 more successful ©2010 LearnJazzFaster. There is nothing more gratifying for a teacher than to see his students learn. confusion and failure. put the pieces together for themselves and simply IMPROVE with their music. They did the work. performing and practicing. If I can help create 10. I just had to share it. I didn‘t want to take time away from my own playing. Now I feel a responsibility to spread the word. I realized that playing music and creating my own art was only one of the ways I could realize that vision.
Why? Because these things only determine your potential with music. So without further ado. You don‘t get the gig because of your potential. They do not guarantee that you will become the player you want to be or how far you‘ll go with your music. These things are important but they are almost never the deciding factor in why some players become great players. creativity. Shall we? The Jazz Musician‟s Lament: Paying too high a price for musical success that never comes If I asked you right now. there are literally thousands of musicians who possess all or most of these traits and yet fail to realize even a tiny fraction of their potential.htm . Now. ―What one thing determines the level of success you‘ll achieve with your music?‖ How would you answer? Your Your Your Your Your Your Your Your Your Your Your Talent? Intelligence? Skills? Strengths? Creativity? Persistence? Discipline? Knowledge? Teachers? Technique? willingness to practice 20.40 even 60 hours a week? What if I told you it was none of the above? What if I told you that your talent. You don‘t become ‗one of the cats‘ because you have potential. let‘s get into the meat of the matter.com/monsterjazzformula. The fact is.learnjazzfaster.and contributing jazz artists I could impact the world in a more positive and profound way than I ever imagined. Let me help you to become one of them too. technique. My point is that your potential in music and your actual success in music are two very different things. ask yourself this… Does your current musical level equal your potential? 10 ©2010 LearnJazzFaster.com LLC All rights reserved ~ www. strengths and discipline do NOT determine how far you will go with your music? Now don‘t get me wrong. Potential alone can‘t make you a Monster Jazz Musician or guarantee that your music will go down in the history books.
I‘ll show you how to take ‗your foot off the breaks‘ and get real momentum happening to carry you further and further forward. your band. It comes at us from all directions. You‘ll understand precisely why you‘re practicing more and more and improving less and less as a jazz musician. We are constantly bombarded by new information. There‘s already thousands of books about composition.learnjazzfaster. your experiences on the band stand. information overload is becoming a major problem in the world today. a giant step to opening the floodgates of musical advancement and achievement. There are schools and lessons. But within jazz it‘s a very real thing. eartraining. It was a problem even 50 years ago. blogs.htm 11 . online courses.com/monsterjazzformula. rhythm. youtube videos.Are the actual results you‘re achieving with your music—your growth and your quality of gigs—equal to your potential? Do you believe your current levels of musical growth. (Which consequently is where you should be focusing much of your attention anyway). and every other topic and sub-topic of music you can think of. harmony. they need a way to deal with what they already have. why you‘re not the player you want to be. Or why you might be paralyzed by the music. Because by the time you finish reading this book I‘m going to give you an ―Ah-ha‖ moment that will explain why you‘re not getting the results you want. technique. While other frustrated jazz musicians continue to bang their heads against there own limitations. But once you see them for what they are you are going to be free and able to achieve your big musical vision. improvisation. There‘s nothing here that will help you. If you aren‘t already aware of it. then this book is going to be a godsend to you. Musicians don‘t need more information about music. ©2010 LearnJazzFaster. workshops and clinics. this simple realization will empower you to sky-rocket your music into the stratosphere as if those limitations—real or imagined—simply don‘t exist. You‘ll be able to get busy improving and hitting your musical targets one by one. your gigs. Becoming aware of these things may be difficult to stomach at first. Specifically. music sites. overwhelmed and unable to practice and advance in any real way. I‘m going to show you how false assumptions and false beliefs are more responsible for your hindered musical progress then anything else. And this will be a giant step forward for you. if you‘re improving in music at the fastest rate possible—then please stop reading this book right now. This problem is systemic in the whole world not just the world of jazz. are all that you‘re capable of? If you can honestly answer ―Yes!‖ to those questions—if you know in your heart of hearts that you have already achieved everything that you‘re capable of. I‘m going to show you specific tools and strategies that you can apply immediately to your music so you can begin getting results right away. st yles. but now it‘s downright out of control. why you‘re a chronic procrastinator. But if you‘re like most jazz musicians…if your answer to these questions is ―No!‖… If you are fully aware that you have only achieved a tiny fraction of your musical potential. Then there‘s DVDs. Then of course there are thousands if not millions of recordings to check out and learn.com LLC All rights reserved ~ www.
You might even fall in love with music all over again. But please hear me out. you are NOT alone. the time spent to read this book will be the best investment you‘ve ever made.I‘m going to show you a way to deal with this ‗exploding brain‘ feeling. You‘ll only become better and better at using the tools and strategies.com LLC All rights reserved ~ www. music becomes easy again. In fact these ideas and concepts will only become clearer and clearer to you over time. if you‘ve ever asked yourself these nagging questions before. Once you know how to sort through this mountain of ‗stuff‘ and keep only what‘s truly valuable to YOU.htm . If I can deliver on even one tenth of this promise to you. I know—you‘re skeptical. This will create momentum in your music the likes of which you may not have ever seen before. sites and so on. And you won‘t just benefit today. the feeling of overwhelm and exhaustion.com/monsterjazzformula. Just about every email I ever get from my students telling me about their biggest challenges are from people struggling to keep their head above water.learnjazzfaster. You‘ll benefit for the rest of you r life. 12 ©2010 LearnJazzFaster. You‘ve heard thousands of big promises from teachers. books. They are overwhelmed and even angry that they can‘t seem to get where they want to go. Have you ever wondered why you aren‟t making the progress with music that the other players around you are? Has your frustration level reached high enough levels to begin doubting whether there‘s something wrong with you? Have you ever asked yourself …Why am I not a better player? …What am I doing wrong? …What‟s wrong with me? …Will I ever succeed in music? And have you ever found yourself wondering… “Why is becoming a jazz musician so hard?” Frankly.
We just go through the motions and wait for ‗some day‘ when it all magically works itself out. that book. They wonder if they are practicing the „right‟ stuff. like zombies. They are frustrated with certain problem areas in their music that they‟ve bee n struggling with for years. take lessons with this teacher. We constantly change directions. The culmination was something I created and call The Monster Jazz Formula.learnjazzfaster. We want to be so much better than we are right now. Sometimes they even feel like it‟s not fair that some players got all the luck and talent and left them with their confusion and frustration.They wonder if they have what it takes. We practice more and more but always come up short. We go down this path and that path.com LLC All rights reserved ~ www.com/monsterjazzformula. That the gigs will fall into our laps and we will live happily ever after as one of the cats. First let‘s take a good.htm 13 . They don‟t know where to begin or how to choose what to practice. Now. It took me much longer than I ever could have anticipated to put all the pieces together. You may have heard of it. certainly not any results that come out in our playing effortlessly with inspiration like it‘s ‗supposed‘ to be. We practice this topic for awhile then that topic. just a few years ago I wouldn‘t have been able to give you an answer to these problems. advancing ever slower Many jazz musicians approach learning jazz as if it were a race—one that keeps getting harder and harder—with no end in sight. as I tried to organize this into something that would be truly beneficial and easy to use for other jazz musicians I quickly realized that this would be a Tall. I was just finally beginning to figure out how to get results with my own music! But I decided to try to put it all together so others could learn from my experience (and plentiful frustrations!). Then we‘ll move on to the root causes and the solutions. buy this book. We reason that once we get a certain level of musicianship we will be happy. We are in a hurry to figure it all out. ©2010 LearnJazzFaster. In a moment I‘ll tell you more about ‗The Formula‘ but I don‘t want to take up too much time with that now. hard look at how NOT realizing your full potential is effecting your life. that teacher. Tall order. Practicing ever more and ever faster. They are downright pissed off that they can‟t seem to get it together! Until. Perhaps we have become so overwhelmed by this process that we become numb. They are frustrated that their playing is so inconsistent. We may even get to the point where we are changing our practice routine daily and never achieving any results with any of it.
We practice things that are way too advanced for us. We expect this struggle even. And we struggle. or reading trashy magazines.com/monsterjazzformula. Again not achieving mastery. wives. We never go deeply into any one topic. or watching dancing babies on youtube. or getting high and watching Jackass. By switching topics before ever achieving any kind of mastery we never experience what‘s possible with mastery. all expense paid trip to Europe like I did. We assume we must be practicing the wrong things or not enough of them.By going deeper and deeper into this musical abyss we get ourselves into a vicious cycle. We don‘t sacrifice our lives. way too broad or way too vague. We can begin to obsess about music. Each time we perpetuate this cycle we chip away at our self-esteem and confidence. So again we don‘t achieve mastery and we perpetuate our cycle down into the abyss. a selfperpetuating cycle. the important people in our lives. husbands. Our playing is inconsistent to say the least. But the struggling becomes a way of life. So we switch. siblings. We lose. friends and so on. Now don‘t misunderstand me. It‘s just that the things we should sacrifice are things like television. or maybe we figure that the hippest players are masters of cross rhythms. children. boyfriends. We might sacrifice our social lives to practicing. like our girlfriends.htm 14 . or maybe we try to master every single permutation of every single chord structure we‘ve ever heard of in every single key. As our frustration increases we seek out the ‗magic bullets‘. This is a very painful place to exist. If only we had that magic bullet everything would be great and we would become one of the cats. So we jump into learning to play ―Giant Steps‖. ©2010 LearnJazzFaster. And so on goes the cycle. We might even go so far as to put it before everything else in life.com LLC All rights reserved ~ www. This brand of ineffective and fear centered practice can literally effect the quality of our entire life. We completely lose sight of the point of music in the first place: To express ourselves. This can have the effect of rippling out into our whole lives. parents. Becoming a great player does require commitment and some sacrifice. We can lose sight of the REAL priorities in life. if only temporarily. Since we struggle and never achieve mastery we never play at a level that‘s ‗good enough‘. create and connect with other people.learnjazzfaster. our c reativity and our innate ability to learn. garnering the respect of our peers and the admiration of the audience. any one small area of music. And even turn down a free. If we can get that down than surely we will hav e arrived. It‘s all we think about. We know there m ust be that one thing that will make us a Monster. It becomes our reality.
It‘s no secret that the art world is full of drug addicts and alcoholics. And look what he did with music. But there is another way. There are tools and strategies that pioneers before us have figured out.‖ But how many of us lose sight of our lives and become obsessed with becoming a great jazz musician to the detriment of everything else. This fear of not having it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. In other words a fear of failure can actually create the real failure. Wayne said something along the lines of ―Music isn‘t my life. Now let‟s talk about each of these major problem areas in depth and surface the causes. So he had to rely on his analytical musical mind to dissect the musical ideas and concepts that he was attracted to and build his music piece by piece through patient and thorough practice and study. ©2010 LearnJazzFaster.I read an interview with Wayne Shorter once where the interviewer asked him to talk about his ‗life‘ as a jazz musician. He‘s one of the Giants! Today. ―Enough is Enough!‖ It is my hope and intention to short cut that process for you. Probably the most wide spread and debilitating problem with jazz musicians is the fear that they don‘t have enough musical talent. Looking back on it.com LLC All rights reserved ~ www. Now talent is a very slippery concept to cover.htm 15 . Self-doubt can keep you from doing the right things. Believe me.‖ The great jazz piano player Bill Evans actually believed that he was not particularly talented with music. the Healthy Way is infinitely more desirable than living and practicing and performing down in that deep dark musical abyss.com/monsterjazzformula. Major Musical Challenge #1 The Myth of Talent—fear of not „having it‟. I believe it was Richard Bach who wrote ―Argue your limitations and surely they are yours. Music is just a part of it. There is a healthy way that can actually lead to more fulfillment in life and Monster Music Skills! There is a mindset and a set of healthy beliefs that can put you on this path. if you love jazz—in other words you ‗get it‘ when you listen to it.learnjazzfaster. And have a life while doing it. My life is my life. that we can use ‗right out of box‘ to achieve our musical goals. it resonates with you— then you most likely have all the talent you need to go as far with music as you wish. taking the right risks and following through on your plans and goals. health issues or even substance abuse. If you believe you aren‘t talented enough you will most certainly create that reality for yourself. This pressure can literally lead to depression. So you can achieve your musical goals faster than you ever thought possible. How do you quantify talent? How do you know if you have enough of it? The truth is. I can‘t believe how long I endured those frustrations myself before I said. to think that Bill Evans was not talented is a preposterous idea. The level of stress and pressure that musicians and artists can put on themselves can be ridiculous.
rather than focus on his limitations. Think back to how it must have been to learn to play music in the 20‘s or 30‘s.com LLC All rights reserved ~ www. inspiring music. You can use simple tools and strategies to deal with this one.learnjazzfaster. that flow to you and out of you almost effortlessly. But it‘s also one that‘s not quite as elusive as talent. We‘ll get to these tools in a second. He focused on specific areas of music that he was naturally inclined to explore. He explored those areas as deeply as he could and the rest is history. If you ponder that idea for a moment and then consider some of the most original voices in jazz—Thelonious Monk. there is an incomprehensible amount of information about learning jazz available to us. Charlie Parker. His methods might have been a complete disaster for a more ‗natural‘ player like Lester Young and vice versa. Louis Armstrong. Information overload presents a serious challenge.htm . So what‟s the solution to this problem? Remove the word talent from your vocabulary. focus on finding those things in music that reall y hit you where it counts.com/monsterjazzformula. right? Major Musical Challenge #2 Information Overload: AKA Exploding Brain Syndrome. Billie Holiday. How does the saying go.‖ Instead. They might have been able to hear a small sample of the music being played at the time on the radio. 16 ©2010 LearnJazzFaster.Evans chose to focus on his goal of playing great jazz. That‘s what you really want in the first place. Ornette Coleman—it becomes quite evident that these pioneers of jazz discovered their musical purpose. Not all of them had blazing chops or virtuosic control of music. The Law of Dharma or Purpose of Life. A Monster. ―The bars are packed with talented people. Through consistent and purposeful practice and observation you can surface your strengths and then get busy leveraging them to put you on the path to becoming a one of a kind jazz musician. Instead he did what‘s called leveraging your strengths. There were few if any books about learning jazz so that wasn‘t a problem. This law states that each and every one of us possesses a unique set of abilities and a unique way of expressing them. Duke Ellington. Students of jazz would have only been exposed to a tiny fraction of the musical ideas floating around the world today. You don‘t have to be someone you‘re not. First of all. It doesn‘t matter. They gave back to the world ten times over in the form of beautiful. Maybe they got their hands on one or two books from the classical tradition or some sheet music. But they did have a profound understanding and intimate knowledge of their true voice. Information Overload rears its ugly head in several ways.
We have the web available on our cell phones and even music and videos. They had to deal with the music of Louis Armstrong. there are many thousands of books. IF you know how to filter through it all and find the truly valuable gems that are relevant to YOUR situation.) Now on the surface. Everyone is. lessons and of course opinions. so far I‘ve just talked about information overload as it relates to the jazz world.A student most likely learned by watching and emulating local jazz musicians. all of this information appears like a valuable resource to learning. Now we have cable TV with hundreds of channels. Duke Ellington.learnjazzfaster. millions of blogs. DVDs. Soon there were many different styles of music and many different approaches to learning it. If you focus on the wrong things you will not be successful. Where you put your attention and the quality of attention you focus there will determine exactly where you go with your music. methods. Charlie Parker. Attention is becoming a scarcity. youtube. We have cell phone calls. workshops. Their choices for what to practice were. But attention is one of the most important things you have. peer to peer networks.com/monsterjazzformula. We are fragmented. This process has continued to grow out of control to where we are today. And it is. Now. order any book on any topic we can think of from amazon. playing the music with peers and perhaps taking lessons with one of the local professionals. text messaging and email. It‘s amazing to think that players in the 50‘s came up against this challenge of information overload too. Attention is a precious asset many waste daily. And almost all of this information is available to you right on your computer thanks to the Internet and the World Wide Web. Over the years jazz musicians took the art form in incredibly diverse directions. We have mp3 players that can carry months worth of music. tiny compared to the overwhelming choices that exist today. classes. We have Internet television. Most Teachers and authors also make a wonderful case as to why ‗their‘ particular book or approach is the right one. Obviously ja zz musicians aren‘t the only ones busy creating more information. let alone about trying to advance as players and really say something with our music. Count Basie. Slowly but surely there were more players. Recording and duplication processes improved dramatically and with these improvements the number of records available to study increased exponentially. Miles Davis. thousands of news sites. (Yes I am aware of the irony of creating more information about information overload. This problem is only going to get worse as more and more people produce information at dizzying speeds and this information gets passed around cyberspace as fast as it can be created.htm 17 .com LLC All rights reserved ~ www. We can download sheet music. distracted and disconnected. If you focus on too many things you won‘t be successful. again. teachers. Charles Mingus. ©2010 LearnJazzFaster. courses. Jazz slowly made its way into the formal education world and with it thousands more books and resources were created and became available to the student of jazz. It‘s no wonder we are overwhelmed and swimming in a sea of information trying to keep our heads above water. More and more teachers began to analyze the music and create methods to teach it and to write books about every musical topic under the sun. John Coltrane and all of the other thousands of great jazz musicians.
Do YOU really like that player or that music or is it one of the hip records that your teacher or peers told you you‘re supposed to like. Determine your goals with music. I‘m talking about finding what it is in music that really gets your wheels turning. One is to create a musical foundation to help us choose what‘s important and sift through the mountain of information.htm 18 . Be sure to be honest with yourself. what your values are. In a quick nutshell the way to deal with all of this information can be distilled down to three steps. Let‟s talk about foundation first. Your values are your priorities in music. Make a list of all of these things that move you about music. The clearer you are about your values the clearer you will be about what to practice. Don‘t judge your answers or edit them yet. Ask yourself what it is that you like so much about this recording or a particular player. As ideas come to you write them down.” fend off people (and devices) that try to steal our attention and our time. This will give you real insight into what it is that‘s important to you.com/monsterjazzformula. 1. Determine what information you will need. What do you need to practice? What skills do you need to acquire? 3. What are the desired results? 2. In other words. gets your blood pumping. What books will you need? What records will you need? What teachers should you seek out? “Ok.So how the hell do we deal with all of this? There are two things we need to do to deal with this challenge and to move towards our goals. Put on your favorite recordings and just listen. There are so many musical topics to choose from. Next. When you‘re finished listening you can add to your list if you like or repeat this exercise with another recording or player. What is it in their playing that draws you to them.” It all starts with figuring out what‘s important to you. And a good starting point is to figure what it is that you like about your favorite players. if you could have one but not another which one would you choose. ©2010 LearnJazzFaster. that sounds simple. but how do I choose my goals. choose the top 5 – 7 items from the list and put them in order of importance. The other is to protect and defend our attention.learnjazzfaster. Write anything that comes to mind.com LLC All rights reserved ~ www. Determine the actions needed to get there. We need to develop bulldog instincts to “If Everything in Music is Important Then Nothing is Important.
Here‘s a quick but deceptively powerful way to make a plan using the backward planning method. You start with the end goal in mind.com LLC All rights reserved ~ www. one year is farther than most people think into the future so even that may be a stretch. You should review it from time to time and make any changes you see fit. The clearer you are about your goal the more likely you will hit it.Just to clarify. You simply work your way back to today. At first you may decide to start with a shorter time frame like one month or even one week. Now remember. That‘s not why you got into jazz in the first place. something like learning all the major and minor scales in all twelve keys would probably not be a value. What will it look like? What exactly will you be able to do? When do you plan on hitting it? The next steps are easy. From this list of values you can now create your musical goals. It‘s just a tool. Next you need to turn that goal into a step by step plan. Describe it in as much detail as possible. If you have any aversion to making plans like many of us ‗creative types‘ who prefer to fly by the wind remember this: plans are simply tools to keep you moving forward. Then again. print a copy out and tack it to your wall. What would you like to accomplish with your music within the next year? A year is a good timeframe for a long-term goal. where you are right now in relation to the goal.learnjazzfaster.com/monsterjazzformula. Otherwise it becomes way too hard to conceptualize all of the details. but in and of themselves you probably don‘t care about scales. 10 years—keep your goals to a year or so. Use it and enjoy the results of its power. While it is a good idea to have a long-term vision—like 5. The steps that are closest to today should be as detailed as possible. The steps that come just before you reach your goal will be bigger and less detailed. or beautiful and lyrical Melodies. Nine times out of ten the way your plan unfolds turns out dramatically different from how you wrote it down. This list is not set in stone. You are most likely not inspired by scales. So that you can answer the question ―What exact result am I going to get in my practice session TODAY?‖ ©2010 LearnJazzFaster. What step will you have to achieve right before you reach your goal? What will you have to achieve right before you reach that step? How about the next step? Continue this simple process and work your way backward. In fact. Your values will change and grow as you change and grow as a player. That‘s fine. or seamless interaction and deep communication between the musicians. That way you can always use it as a litmus test to see if you are operating in harmony with your own personal values. You care about things like powerful swing feel.htm 19 . It is a necessary condition for achieving other things in music.
that rate was faster than ever before once we applied these tools and strategies to our music.As you move forward towards your goal. So a minute ago I mentioned that you needed to develop a bulldog mentality to fend off interruptions of your attention and time. go through your plan and apply a little dose of good old fashioned logical thinking.htm 20 . sometimes up to twenty or thirty minutes! Add that all up and that‘s a lot of attention and time lost. Don‘t worry about getting it perfect. That means really simple. So after having completed this plan. I know. Simply ask ―do I really need to complete this step in order to reach the next step.‖ Ask ―Does this step really need to come before this step in order to move forward. But a very common pitfall for jazz musicians is to add unnecessary steps to their practicing. It‘s like my grandmother used to tell me when she was cooking pasta and meat sauce ―You have to cook the onions just enough.learnjazzfaster.‖ If you find two steps in the plan that don‘t seem to be connected than you may be missing a step. That‘s sounds good to me. I wasn‘t kidding. Every time you are interrupted during practice—in addition to the time stolen from you by the actual interruption—you lose time trying to get back into the practice mindset. Your brain will simply explode! But what you practice today and this week should be simple. ©2010 LearnJazzFaster. not too little. But learning jazz should be simple. Go through it step by step and check for ‗dependency‘ between the steps. Not too much. You will flesh things out into greater detail as you approach them. So to recap you want to make sure that the order makes sense and that you aren‘t adding anything extra. your practicing will be greatly focused and you‘ll find that you begin to move forward faster and faster. change directions slightly or adjust the order. This is a deceptively simple concept. you can‘t possibly conceptualize or take responsibility for your entire ascension from beginner jazz musician to jazz master guru all at the same time. Just by adding this framework and forward momentum to your practicing you will move forward at a faster rate. You might add steps. I know that doesn‘t sound like fun but it‘s easier than it sounds. Before you get started though.com/monsterjazzformula. There‘s so much to learn and practice! But remember. See if there is something that must happen in between these steps in the plan. I know.com LLC All rights reserved ~ www. That‘s a lesson that I learned from a variety of places but most notably from checking out Bill Evans. Do that kind of practice for a few years and you get Bill Evans. simple enough for you to dig in deep and to attain mastery. For me and many of my students. He taught that in practicing less truly is more. The other side of information overload. or am I adding unnecessary steps. And good in this case is good enough. Perfect is the enemy of good. drop steps. In a moment we‘ll talk about the law of the straight line and go into more depth about this. you will make adjustments to this plan.‖ It‘s the same with plans. By digging into the simple concepts in a very real and true way you provide a musical foundation that you can take as high as you want. Ok.
Once you have a foundation for your music. Now there are dozens of ways people will try to contact you. PRACTICE.-). But I think it needs further explanation because understanding and applying this one principle alone will propel your music forward faster than you probably believe is possible. ©2010 LearnJazzFaster. When you sit down to practice. once you know what your goals are and what your musical priorities are. Next we need to learn HOW to practice it. twitter. you have myspace. They are not aiming at mastery. Now I‘m sure most of them are not trying to sabotage your practicing (except maybe that musicia n who lives across the street and hears how fast you‘re improving with your new plan and your new practice habits. They are not attempting to become an artist. ever. you have google alerts. You are there to do one thing and one thing only. You are there to get some specific result that will take you that much closer to your dreams. Maybe if your house is on fire you can let them interrupt you. you have RSS feeds. you have text messaging.Let‘s start with people. You have email (probably multiple email addresses). etc. This concept is already implied in the goal and values concept. But only if it‘s a serious fire—one that would burn the house down or reach your practice space before you‘re finished practicing. You still have a door and the phone still might ring. Therefore. If it‘s that important they‘ll call back (or text. Each day when you approach your practice room you want to take a moment to be as clear as possible about the purpose of the practice session. or the phone might ring. And they do not value their (or your) time. and achieve the result we want. And they are not getting these results nearly fast enough. you have instant messaging. or email. Results Based Practicing. I‘m talking about your practice habits. you have skype. Well it‘s your job to educate the people around you that you are never. someone might knock on your door. Turn Every Single Last One of Them OFF! They will destroy your practice sessions. about the desired result. facebook. Twenty years ago you had two likely interruptions.com LLC All rights reserved ~ www.learnjazzfaster. ever. you have video phones on your computer. you still need to deal with the actual practice session. Major Musical Challenge #3 Practicing Harder.com/monsterjazzformula. Now you know what to practice. But now you have a cell phone too. Now let‘s talk about devices. or whatever). In other words they practice their butts off but don‘t achieve the musical ability they want so bad. ever to be interrupted during your practicing. etc. They just don‘t get it. And you have a computer. you have desktop updates. they will steal your time and interrupt your practice sessions without flinching. Most people are not striving towards a goal.htm 21 . Advancing Less Many jazz musicians find that the results they are getting from their practice sessions are incongruent with the effort they are putting into them.
The point is to learn something or improve something in your music each and every single day.com LLC All rights reserved ~ www. And with the right practice habits and approach.com/monsterjazzformula. Something about his phrasing and lyricism really hits you where it counts. If you get that together Make Your Goals Realistic. But there needs to be a point.learnjazzfaster. one particular record that you like. That‘s the Way to Skyrocket Your Musical Abilities into the Stratosphere. You‘ll need to create a goal that‘s realistic for your situation. you take that information and use it to decide exactly what you are going work on today. a result. articulation. dynamics and rhythmic feel. dynamics and feel. Be Sure to Improve One Thing or Learn One Thing Each and Everyday. articulation. But if you break it down into a tiny bite size result that you will achieve today or tomorrow. Your goal must be challenging but doable. Your Musical Progress ©2010 LearnJazzFaster. Suppose that you really dig Miles Davis. you are now clearer about where you are going. So if you‘re just starting to play. So your goal is to grasp and internalize his approach to soloing from say. from memory. Challenging but Doable. many students approach the practice room with no idea about what they will practice or what the point of it is anyway. You decide as part of your plan to understand and internalize his approach that you will transcribe and learn several of his solos from Kind of Blue. if you‘ve already transcribed and memorized 15 Lennie Tristano solos this goal will be quite feasible. First you have to figure out the notes and rhythms. But it‘s a worthwhile task.Many. Then Get Busy Nailing Them One ‗Result‘ at a Time. After completing the exercises from the values and goal planning section. Now that‘s no small task. and you continue in that fashion eventually you will arrive at your desired goal. If you try to do that all at once you will most likely end up frustrated with some pretty crappy results. You decide that you‘ll start with his solo on Freddie the Freeloader. So for day 1 (That‘s today) you may decide that your target. the goal of learning Mile‘s solo by ear might be too far a stretch. And your timeline for your goal must also be realistic. I‘ll use Kind of Blue as an example since pretty much everyone knows and loves that record. then the phrasing. perhaps even in a very short period of time. So. You must believe that it is possible. it‘s a target you will be able to hit faster than might think. your desired result is to learn and transcribe the rhythm of the first four bars. along with the record. in tune with Miles. Now there‘s a lot going on in that goal. IMPORTANT NOTE: Your goal must be realistic to your current situation. Maybe you buy a transcription of the solo and work on learning just the notes and rhythms. Your final goal here might be defined as such: Upon completing this goal you will be able to: Play the solo on your instrument. matching his phrasing. a purpose. Conversely.htm 22 .
com LLC All rights reserved ~ www. If your first Miles solo takes you one month to get through with this method. You will be lying down your foundation and solidifying your musical skills. you continue tomorrow. in tune with Miles.htm . Then at the end of the session make a few quick notes about the session. you move on to the next four. You continue with this process. And with each solo you will find yourself digging deeper and deeper into the music and hearing more and more of the incredible detail and nuance that is contained within his music. The desired result now may be to figure out the pitches of the first phrase. tone. You will be able to see real progress happening. This journal will also serve as a chronicle of your progress. going step by step until you reach your target: Play the solo on your instrument. Great players simply do things differently than the mass majority of mediocre players. Looking back through it you will gain great insight about your practicing. Plain and simple. articulation. Now here‘s the magical part. before you start to play write down exactly what result you plan to achieve. The greatest players in the world are the ones that are willing to do what others are not. dynamics and rhythmic feel. At the beginning of your session. I recommend you add two simple steps to your practicing. 23 ©2010 LearnJazzFaster. Now to further strengthen this process. Then you start with the pitches. musicality.com/monsterjazzformula.learnjazzfaster. development etc then most musicians cover in 5 years. It won‘t take as long as you think to go through the entire process this way. And if you do the things that great players do you will get the results that great players get. Like follow this disciplined and deep path into Mile‘s music. And it would probably take you a matter of months. The awareness of this progress will only serve to give you further momentum and confidence. Then you move through the entire solo. As your foundation grows stronger you will move faster and faster through the material. little by little until you have all the rhythm memorized and/or written down. Did you achieve your result? What worked? What didn‘t? What could you do different or better tomorrow? Were there any other take aways from the session? Keep this journal and review before each session. matching his phrasing. the second four bars will come faster. along with the record. If you don‘t get it today. and take it to completion. articulation. your next one might only take you two weeks. Once you REALLY get the rhythm from the first four bars. And the next phrase even faster. There‘s no magic or extra talent or luck or circumstances that make it possible.fast. from memory. It‘s not as tedious as it sounds. If you were to complete this process with the entire record you would learn more about phrasing.
He‘s got great concepts about success and goal achievement that work extremely well with musical goals. Next. You are clear about your values and you are clear about your goals. Much of this next section is taken directly out of my ―Monster Jazz Formula‖. ©2010 LearnJazzFaster. I‘ve taken these laws and adapted them to a musical context. I‘m sure you‘ve heard of the law of straight lines. whether you are learning tunes.htm 24 . By this point you‘ve begun to lay your foundation for musical success. entrepreneur. It‘s the level of skill or knowledge about a particular musical topic that we want to attain.com LLC All rights reserved ~ www. You see we‘ve been brainwashed by society to believe that learning and advancing with music has to take a long time. when applied. these concepts will be invaluable to your musical success. it is an analogy and a method to approach goal achievement. I originally came across these laws of success from a writer. You‘ve taken this foundation and picked your most important goals and worked your way back down to today‘s practice session. It‘s the tune we want to learn or tune we want to write. It is one of the basic laws of geometry. lets talk about four laws of success related to results based practice that when applied will further skyrocket your musical advancement.com/monsterjazzformula. For our purposes.You can apply this approach of results based practice to any area of music. It‘s the band we want to start. The shortest path between two points is a straight line. I‘m no mathematician or physicist.learnjazzfaster. it‘s the record we want to record. Let‘s say then that one of the two points is where we are right now. Musical Success Law #1 The Shortest Path between Two Points Is A Straight Line. Now. and all around inspiring individual named Mark Joyner. But I‘d like to share with you 4 laws of musical achievement that if applied will really push your music over the edge and speed up your progress. But it‘s possible to move forward far faster than you realize. Now. The other point is of course where we are going. I‘ve reprinted an abridged version of it here because I believe you will find. so I‘m presenting this law loosely. our current skill level with a particular musical topic. This work you‘ve done alone will put your practicing on the fast track. practicing scales and arpeggios or working on an improvisation concept.
Achieving a goal is usually far easier than we think. Imagine you were an archer and you wanted to hit the bull‘s eye. a bow and arrow. You would first define certain parameters. You wouldn‘t need to get a hold of 30 recorded versions first. You might use some memorization techniques to learn it. piece by piece. and then work through it phrase by phrase until you had it. Do not introduce unnecessary steps. Sometimes society and our peers want us to believe that success is hard and elusive. Keep your eye on the prize. but you have never even touched a piano before there might be preliminary steps. such as learning basic piano techniques and the necessary fundamentals of music. Clear vision applies to all levels of the planning process. tempo etc. But if you just want to learn the tune. then another. To hit your target you must see it. from the big picture to the details.htm 25 .If you‘re in New York and you want to go to Boston you don‘t go there via Las Angeles. until you reached your goal. This principle can be summed up another way: keep it simple. You might break it down into bite size pieces.learnjazzfaster. It‘s simply a matter of taking the right steps and staying the course. finish the Hanon piano technique book. such as key. read a book about learning tunes or any other steps. until you hit your target dead on. Of course learning 30 versions of Body and Soul would be an excellent study of the tune and the many possible interpretations of ballads. Musical Success Law #2 The Law of Clear Vision. You choose the shortest path available to you. We over-study and over-practice. look at the target. You might listen to a recording of it a few times to get the sound of it in your ears. You just need to learn the tune. But once you have your plan you would simply get busy working on the tune. You would take out your ‗instrument‘. If you want to learn the melody to Body and Soul for instance then that is the point you are aiming at. Many jazz musicians (including yours truly) tend to get hung up on some aspects of studying. If your goal was to become an expert on ballads and the tune Body and Soul this might be your course of action. Whether the extra steps are unnecessary musical steps or blatant procrastination eliminate them. you would learn how to direct the arrow where you wanted it to go and you would acquire all of the skills necessary to hit the target. How far you go on the path to your goal. less is more. The same is true for learning music.com/monsterjazzformula. than just do it. We add extra steps. always preparing. The shortest path between two points is a straight line. We overcomplicate matters. Now if you wanted to learn the tune on piano. You must simultaneously see your vision for the future and the target you are aiming at today. If you mis sed you would simply take another shot. ©2010 LearnJazzFaster. But it‘s not. aim and fire. never doing. But assuming at least a novice level of piano skills you would simply learn the tune. While going through this process your aim would improve. depends on your ability to find the shortest path and STAY ON IT.com LLC All rights reserved ~ www.
You must learn to literally ignore and block out all other distractions and single-mindedly focus on hitting your target. Timing your practice sessions and planning out chunks of time for several different topics is an excellent tool and practice. you might even do some damage. how in order to hit your target you have to see it.com LLC All rights reserved ~ www. Your results will undoubtedly be diminished. More importantly they are able to see it clearly. If you are trying to squeeze 10 practice topics into a one-hour practice session you will most likely make little progress. Chance.htm 26 .Now imagine that you were wearing a blindfold and were spun around 5 times. Once you see your target you must hold your attention on the target long enough to hit it. Musical Success Law #3 The Law of Focused Attention. luck and chance would determine your success. until you hit it. work on your C# major scale patterns. Now what would happened if you were simultaneously trying to hit the target.learnjazzfaster. Musicians will often have several topics they are working on. You can‘t be taking phone calls. Again imagine you were an archer. If you were blindfolded you might hit any one of the targets. They are able to hold one target in their sites. And they never take the time to see the target. watch your favorite TV show and carry on a serious conversation with your significant other about the future of your relationship? Chances are you wouldn‘t hit your target or catch much of the TV show. You would have to choose which one to hit. especially early on. If you are constantly watching the clock because you need to get to the next topic in time to squeeze in all 10 you will be distracted. Lack of clear vision is the chief cause of failure and mediocrity. You may have a clear vision of your target but if you don‘t maintain your focus and your actions you will not hit it. it would be by luck alone. To take it one step further. This is how many jazz musicians approach their musical development. or none of the targets.‘ All great musicians and highly successful people understand and practice this principle. Having too many targets can also distract you. It‘s not a recommended approach to succeed at anything. You can‘t hit 10 targets at once. You must hit it. And How about the serious relationship? Well. work on a tune and practice an improvisation technique. text messaging your friend or watching TV while aiming at a target. You see the target in front of you. The more clearly you define your target the more likely you will hit it and the faster you will hit it. How hard would it be to hit your target? If you hit it.com/monsterjazzformula. You can‘t apply the law of straight lines if you don‘t see your target. No matter how talented you are. imagine there were sixteen targets in front of you. To hit a target you focus your undivided attention on it until you hit it. They never take the time to choose a target. If you had a specific result in mind for each of the topics ©2010 LearnJazzFaster. You must learn to see one target in front of you and ‗hit it until hit it. You might have a warm up routine. the bull‘s eye. Now we‘ve covered clear vision. Again.
arm movement) on a smaller surface.com/monsterjazzformula. If your target is to learn all of the major scales on piano with both hands playing an octave apart with the ‗correct‘ classical fingerings. this could be a productive approach.learnjazzfaster. So you need complete focus and attention during your daily practice session.e. Brian Tracy calls the law of accumulation. They are the traits that truly differentiate those who realize their dreams from those who don‘t. Compare a sharp knife and a blunt rock. If you‘re like me.com LLC All rights reserved ~ www. you find it much easier to start projects than to finish them. find the shortest path to it and „hit it until you hit it. But you also need to maintain your focus and attention day by day. See your target. The law of focused energy builds upon the law of focused attention. If you focus your attention and maintain it until you hit your target. Success is built on tiny victories and perseverance. you will also be applying what success guru. It states that the more focused your energy (i. But if you want to achieve greatness—in particular. The ability to focus your attention on your target and work single-mindedly until completion will put your music on the fast track and you‘ll be well on your way to becoming a monster jazz musician. Tiny victory after tiny victory after tiny victory equals huge progress.e. What would happen if you tried to use the blunt rock? ©2010 LearnJazzFaster. If your attention and thus your energy are focused on many things the impact of your energy will be less. then move on to the next target and focus on that target until you hit it. Musical Success Law #4 The law of focused energy.‟ This simple practice will set you apart from the majority of jazz students in the world.and focused your attention solely on the topic for the allotted time.htm 27 . if you want to become a monster jazz musician—you have to develop the habits of follow-through and completion. practice) the greater your results. Let‘s look at an analogy. and so on. transcription or topic. up and down two octaves at quarter note equals 100. Somehow that initial spark of interest in a new project can fade out over time. What is the primary difference between the two? Most people would answer that the knife was sharp and the rock was not. You would than have to maintain your focused attention over the course of the month or however long it actually takes you to hit your target. than you need to focus your attention on that until you hit it. The knife is ‗sharp‘ because the point of the knife and the blade of the knife allow you to focus your energy (i. With a sharp knife you could easily cut a thin slice of cheese. It‘s exciting to start a new book. faster than you ever thought possible. At first the progress may seem minimal but stick with it and soon your musical development will begin to snowball. The plan you sketch out for yourself might extend over a one-month period with three keys per week. thus allowing you to pierce and cut.
They will become great players and then their life will begin.com LLC All rights reserved ~ www. but someday they will ―arrive‖ and live happily ever after.Our results from practicing are much the same. Young and less developed musicians always seem to be in a hurry to get somewhere. Even if this methodology worked and they somehow became great players.e. If we have razor sharp focus we ca n easily ‗slice‘ through musical material.htm 28 . And they scramble along from topic to topic trying to get there as fast as possible. While it is extremely important for anyone aspiring to excellence to think ‗big picture‘. you must simultaneously be sharply focused on your target for today. But how and why you practice is sometimes more important than how much and what you practice. conversely. ―As little as possible. By doing this we are effectively shooting ourselves in the foot. They are certainly not happy where they are. and study of a lot of topics. In order to have razor sharp focus you must trust yourself and your efforts. practice) becomes diffused and weakened as you expand it out over too many topics. I‘m not saying that becoming an accomplished musician doesn‘t require a lot of practice. Slow and steady wins the race. Wrong. Being in a hurry and trying to go too fast usually means slow progress or even complete paralysis. a major frustration for many jazz musicians.‖ Many young players practice as much as possible. I believe it was Bill Evans who was once asked what he practiced when he was coming up. Going slowly and patiently with a high level of focus. This is the jazz musician‘s great paradox. Arghhh! Now this is a biggie.com/monsterjazzformula. Your energy (i. ©2010 LearnJazzFaster. a lot of time in the shed. You must trust that you will reach your targets in due time. they still wouldn‘t be happy. Herein lies the paradox. We‘ve all got these demons and skeletons in the closet. We often want so badly to be better than we are that we move too quickly and take on too much. It does. usually means faster progress. Major Musical Challenge #4 Persistent Problem Areas That Just Won‟t Go Away.learnjazzfaster. It still wouldn‘t be enough. He answered. What tiny little result will you get today? What tiny aspect of music will you learn or improve today? The answer to that question will truly determine how far you advance with music.
For a drummer it might be brushes or certain tempos. It might be up-tempo playing or maybe ballad playing. We‘ve all got these things that haunt us. Occasionally they pop up at a gig or session and we cringe while that familiar knot in our stomach comes back once again.com/monsterjazzformula. It might a certain style of music like Latin jazz. We‘ve tried in vein to get them together but we never quite get there. Let‘s deal with the more abstract and psychological one first. It might be certain keys. For a pianist it might be the pedals. In fact. it stands to reason that you can play in three. If you can play bebop why can‘t you learn to play Latin jazz? ©2010 LearnJazzFaster. Self-concept. months and maybe years to struggle with these areas. or certain meters. Or it might be sight-reading certain things like sixteenth note rhythms or ledger lines.com LLC All rights reserved ~ www. how do you break this cycle and conquer this problem area once and for all? Begin by recognizing the fallacy in your assumption about this musical area. For a saxophonist it might be intonation.learnjazzfaster. or bass clef. your self-concept is made up of every belief you hold about yourself. I might even go so far as to say that it is everything! Your beliefs about your self and specifically about your music and musical abilities will determine how far you go with music. It might be sight-reading. If you can learn to play in four. It‘s really quite an amazing and important thing. Try as you might. sight-reading was impossible or that you could never learn to play fast. you continue over the weeks. “Why Can‟t I Get It” It might even be something as small as the bridge of a certain tune. Each failed attempt only further solidifies your negative beliefs in this area and this too becomes a perpetual cycle.htm 29 . If you can play in one key it stands to reason that you can play in another key.This could really be any area of music. So. There are a variety of causes for this situation we find ourselves in. For a trumpet player it might be the upper register. Now. big or small that a musician struggles with and never successfully figures out how to conquer. If you can learn to read in treble clef surely you can learn to read in bass clef. For a bass player it might be using a bow or soloing. Somewhere along the line you decided that playing in three was difficult or that eartraining was hard.
the way we talk to ourselves has a tremendous impact on what we think about ourselves. Many people have used the power of visualization to help them achieve many goals including top musicians. Then go on to the next step. Persevere and you‘ll get through it. Your mind can be very clever and will always resist change at first. Than work on that one step. Practice this exercise daily early in the morning when you first wake up or right before you practice. If you catch yourself saying something like ―I can‘t play fast‖ or ―I can‘t play in tune‖ or ―I can‘t sight read‖ or ―I can‘t improvise. especially at the beginning. Watch out for that mind of yours though. imagine yourself achieving this goal. In fact try to list as many ways you will benefit and as many reasons why you CAN learn it. Another powerful tool you can add to this strategy is visualization. sound like and most importantly. Focus on the goal and the benefits not the obstacles or the reasons why you can‘t do something. Determine exactly what you want to be able to do. Develop this visualization to the point where you can conjure it up on cue.com LLC All rights reserved ~ www. Then. Of course if English isn‘t your first language then you‘ll need to deal with whatever the equivalent translation is in your language. Now whenever we try to change our ‗minds‘ we find our selves in a tricky situation. Watch out for the word CAN‘T. Next. First let‘s talk about changing your belief system. As you begin to see yourself succeeding in this area you will slowly build up confidence and soon your false assumption will dissolve and slip away and you will be on your way to breaking the boundary for good. You see.Once you understand that this negative assumption does not make sense you can get busy breaking through the barrier. Add to this why you want to learn that. Usually it‘s a case that you WON‘T or HAVEN‘T YET learned to perform well those areas. Start by consistently reminding yourself that this is a false assumption. Determining why you want to learn something and why your music will benefit by learning it can be a powerful motivator. Next break the problem down to the smallest most easily achievable step you possibly can. Then begin to change your inner dialogue. What you‘ll need to do is change your belief system as well as apply the excellent habits of practice and goal attainment we‘ve already covered. Especially if this is an old problem area.‖ stop yourself immediately and correct y our inner speak with something more positive and optimistic. what it would look like. go through the goal setting process.htm 30 . It will try to trick you into falling into old patterns.com/monsterjazzformula. top athletes and top achievers in all fields.learnjazzfaster. So replace that language with I Can and I Will. ©2010 LearnJazzFaster. It‘s probably the most dangerous word in the English language. Sit in a quite place and relax. that one result until you nail it. Imagine in vivid detail. Determine the steps to get there. feel like to achieve this goal.
This is one case where it really is the thought that counts.There are many ways you can use visualization. it will improve with practice. like several times a day for a month. If at first you find it difficult. your creative wellspring and your self-confidence. Create a snapshot of yourself actually performing the musical concept at peak level. And visualization only works if it is accompanied by action. congratulate yourself and feel good about the victory. you should celebrate. By becoming aware of all the many false assumptions we have we remove the constraints that are holding us back from musical achievement. We become freer and freer and more truly artistic than ever before. In Closing I hope by now it is clear to you that there is no reason for you to not achieve any goal with music you put your mind to. ©2010 LearnJazzFaster. rest assured that like everything else. Create a snapshot of a your teacher or other musician telling you how much you improved in that area. Imagine every detail of the performance.htm 31 . In other words you still need to work on the problem in reality. Don‘t worry if your visualization is vague or fuzzy at first.learnjazzfaster.com/monsterjazzformula. Create a snapshot of a review by a jazz critic commenting on your prowess in that musical area. Create a short ‗movie‘ in the ‗theatre of your mind‘ where you are performing the concept/area at your peak. There are so many musicians who end up frustrated and give up on their dreams all together. We become more focused and more productive. What does the music sound like? What does the room look like? Who else is there? How does your body feel? What are you thinking? Feeling? Now. Our musical growth and artistic output increase exponentially as we move ever closer towards our musical vision and our true potential. Each time you achieve any goal for that matter. And you will be on your way to achieving your musical dreams. By applying excellent practice habits and practice planning skills we move forward faster. you need to practice. This is unfortunate and unnecessary. Along the way we throw away more and more false and negative beliefs about our music. As we move forward we improve and strengthen our musical foundation as well as our learning and practice skills. Each time you address and conquer one of these problem areas you should celebrate the victory. With each step forward you are increasing your musical foundation. visualization only works if it‘s done frequently. Here are a few more ideas. Create a stream of ‗snapshots‘ that you hold in your mind for a few seconds (say 30) then switch to the next.com LLC All rights reserved ~ www. Our music improves and our lives improve.
Practice for results. the whole world will try to steal your attention and your time and how fending these distractions off will exponentially improve the productivity of your practice sessions. Practice exactly what you need to practice to hit the goal. 6. Focus all of your attention on your target until you hit. Avoid distraction and avoid moving from target to target before completion. 32 ©2010 LearnJazzFaster. Don‘t add any extra steps. 8. Be crystal clear about your targets. 3. 2. In order to deal with information overload we must first determine what is important to us what we want to say. Here‟s a quick recap of what we covered. 7. 10. 1. Avoid being too vague or general. This habit alone will put you ahead of the pack. If you follow these suggestions you will be well on your way to achieving your musical dreams and goals. Besides. Focus on finding your purpose and leveraging your musical strengths. Then we determine the necessary steps and the information we actually need to achieve those musical goals. By learning some small thing or improving some small area of our music each and every day we skyrocket our musical development forward towards the stratosphere.htm .A Quick Recap of the Monster Jazz Principles What I‘ve attempted to do in this manifesto is to get you thinking about your music differently than you have before. How.com LLC All rights reserved ~ www. The more razor sharp focused your practicing is the more quickly you will slice through musical goals. 9.learnjazzfaster. Define your desired musical results in detail and discipline yourself to work on that result until you hit it. Remember the law of the straight line. How talent is not nearly as important as you think. consciously or not. Work step by step to rewire you mind and to finally conquer those pesky problem areas. seemingly. 5. You can‘t hit a target you can‘t see. you probably have more talent and untapped potential than you need. This is the path that all great players have taken. plain and simple. 11. Check out your self-concept and false assumptions about music. The law of purpose.com/monsterjazzformula. We only need as much as we need to say 4. and it will happen a lot faster than you might have imagined possible. Get in there deep with the music. and what we want to achieve. like Bill Evans taught us.
Chris Punis ©2010 LearnJazzFaster. I wish you the best with all your musical endeavors. the strategies.learnjazzfaster.com LLC All rights reserved ~ www.com/monsterjazzformula.htm 33 . ideas and tools I shared with you today are just the appetizers. The concepts and ideas presented in the course have changed the lives of countless musicians. To Your Musical Success.htm So if you‘re ready to take your music to the next level you need to take a look at the formula. You can check it out at http://www. Stay tuned.Let me be frank.learnjazzfaster. I‘ll tell you more about it soon.com/monsterjazzformula. The main course is ―The Monster Jazz Formula‖.
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