Improve Your Clavinet Playing

In this article we’re going to cover some tips to help you improve your clavinet playing. The clavinet is one of the funkiest-sounding and yet most elusive instruments in all of funk. Despite its classic and iconic sound, many players struggle to understand how to play the clav effectively. Here, we’ll cover some pointers to…

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Funky Giant Steps Solo

Many students are unnerved by the challenge of trying to solo over the chord changes to “Giant Steps.” And rightfully so – it’s a hard set of chord changes to navigate. But the pros understand that simple, melodic ideas and contours can be hugely effective and can sound very advanced. In this article, we’re going to…

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3 Reasons Why Stevie Wonder Should Be In Your Practice Room

I am a huge Stevie Wonder fan. No big revelation there because most musicians pay homage to the great Mr. Wonder. But I didn’t always recognize the genius behind his music. So in the event that there are some fans of funky keyboard music out there that haven’t checked out Stevie’s remarkable catalog, may I…

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Creating Your Own Drum Beats

Creating your own drum beats is a fun way to learn more about funk music and composition in general, and rhythm and time in particular. Most students (non-drummers) think that creating their own drum grooves is over their head, but the truth is that there are some basic and easy tips that you can learn to help you create…

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Funk Keyboards and Gear

Every musician loves to check out, talk about, play, buy, sell, and trade gear. What is “gear”? It really refers to anything that becomes part of your essential setup. Here at JazzEdge, we use lots of different gear, both in our online video lessons, behind the scenes, and even out on the gig. Students are often…

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Playing Outside the Chord Changes

Playing outside the chord changes is a technique that gives jazz and funk improvisers that advanced, pro sound. In this article, I’m going to give you an inside look at outside playing. In the jazz/funk improvisational world, “outside” playing refers to the idea of using a scale (or collection of notes) for improvisation that is seemingly unrelated…

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Learning and Practicing Funk Keyboard

So many students are interested in practicing funk keyboard, but oftentimes the allure of the synth sounds, effects, and drum beats overshadows the real essence of funk music (and music in general)… the GROOVE! In this article, I’m going to introduce you to a few fun methods for practicing funk keyboard and “groove” by focusing on 3 areas. Learning…

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Uptown Funk… With an Extra Side of Funk

Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars teamed up in late 2014 to release the smash hit “Uptown Funk.”If you’ve listened to the radio for only a few minutes of 2015, attended a wedding, or heard a live cover band including even a single horn player, you undoubtedly heard this song. You may even be like me, having heard (or…

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How To Practice Chameleon by Herbie Hancock

If you don’t know Herbie Hancock then I envy you because you’re about to be introduced to a pioneer in MUSIC – not just traditional jazz, but jazz-rock, funk, fusion, orchestral works, classical, pop… the man has literally done it all. But Herbie’s oft-covered funk-masterpiece “Chameleon” may be the song that straddles the largest cross-section…

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