Daily Practice 15: Melodic Minor Modes

Although I believe there is a limit to value of practicing and understanding chord scale theory, the melodic minor scale is so prevalent in jazz improvisation and composition, I think that it’s important and relevant for the developing improviser to learn these modes in all keys.

Here’s a PDF and an mp3 of all the melodic minor scales and the modes.  I made a call on the en-harmonic spellings in the various keys in an attempt to make each mode easier on it’s own.  You can play along with or sing along to the mp3 for ear training and to help you hear if and when you are making a mistake in a scale or mode




Click the link below to download the PDF of the modes in all 12 keys:

PDF: Melodic Minor modes 12 keys


New CD – Reunion

Alto saxophonist Andy Ehling and I have released our second album, “Reunion”.

We recorded ten original compositions in Kansas City over two days.

Nate Espy and Nick Crane at Rooftop Media engineered the session.

The band includes Andy Ehling on alto sax,Matt Otto on tenor sax,

Leonard Thompson on rhodes, Brad Williams on drums and Ben Leifer on bass.



You can support our project by donating or buying the CD from

CD baby, Itunes, or any of the normal online retailers.

You can also listen to the CD for free on Band Camp (link below).

Here’s the Plastic Sax review of the album.



Neon Jazz Interview

Last February I was interviewed by Joe Dimino at Neon Jazz.

Joe’s blog is an amazing wealth of interviews and inspiration where

you can spend hours learning insights from many great living jazz artists.

Here’s my interview with Joe:




Daily Practice 14: 5/8 Over 4/4

In this video I’m working on playing All The Things in 4/4 on piano. Half notes in the bass and 3rds and 7ths grouped in 5/8.  This piano exercise  helps me to play 5/8 against 4 while playing my saxophone.  Just to be clear, the grouping of 5/8 in my right hand is a quarter note followed by a dotted quarter note throughout the form of the tune.  This 5/8 grouping creates harmonic anticipation and harmonic suspension against the 4/4 half notes in the bass.  It will help you to blur the bar line a bit and improve your rhythmic concept.

~ Enjoy!