Author Archives: jazzpanflute

About jazzpanflute

jazz panpipe pioneer and designer

Lines of Least Resistance and Trusting to Chance

I once asked South African jazz harmonica player Adam Glasser if it wouldn’t be more practical to have an isomorphic chromatic harmonica laid out around the two whole tone scales, to make intervallic improvisingĀ intuitive and everything you play freely transposable. … Continue reading

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Why Saxophonists are so Annoying

Last week a friend, who remembered me from back in the day when I used to play saxophone, invited me to come on a gig with him in Paris. I wondered how come he didn’t know any sax players in … Continue reading

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MOVES: Melodic Freedom for the Classically Chained

Followers of this blog (both of you) will have noticed that I like to quote the NLP adage: “The Map is not the Territory”. And one of my main beefs about most traditional musical instruments, when it comes to learning … Continue reading

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Playing like singing in the shower

In my ongoing research into finding the best instrument for learning to “play like singing in the shower”, and in the process helping you, the gentle reader, to do the same, one instrument I have placed near the top of … Continue reading

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Affirmative Action for the Piano

One takeaway from my recent experience in a Montessori school was the evident glee with which the children attacked a pentatonic balafon brought in by one of the teachers, contrasting with their apparent lack of interest in the expensive chromatic … Continue reading

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Adding colour to the diminished scale

It is easy to slip into the idea, from studying harmony textbooks, that the only way to form scale-tone chords is to make stacks building upward from each note of the scale, skipping every other note. Then depending on how … Continue reading

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Why Montessori Bells Get it Wrong (2)

“Why are those ones black?” The little girl was four years old and had asked the one question I couldn’t answer in a way she could understand. I wanted to see how children used these Montessori bells and what could … Continue reading

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A Quiet Revolution in Harmonic Theory

In my young day, your first lesson in jazz harmony was the so-called scale-tone seventh chords. This was the basis of the John Mehegan method back in the fifties. You just piled up your thirds on each note of the … Continue reading

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The Science of Licks

Continuing from my recent post on the philosophy of licks, one of the measures of a good lick is how it messes with the listener’s cognition and fries his brain. It arrives too fast for you to take it all … Continue reading

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Violin Mind and Guitar Mind or Why You Should Learn Two Instruments

Here is an exercise that builds on a fragment from John Coltrane’s solo on Giant StepsĀ that gets you through all the major triads (4 3) and half diminished arpeggios (3 3 4). In the original context theĀ half diminished is actually … Continue reading

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