My first youtube video

It’s taken forever, but I have finally put together my first instructional video and put it on youtube! Here it is: This is a video lesson about a fun technique that I call “The Pretty Pop Piano Thingy.”If you’re hungry for more, I’ve also done a blog-style version with notation and sound files, and I […]

Awesome Insights is here!

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Learn how you can take big step toward finding your own “aha!” moments at the piano.

BPP 017 Reharmonization for All Levels with Dariusz Terefenko

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What is “reharmonization”? Find out in this content-packed interview with Dr. Dariusz Terefenko, who shares 6 techniques for reharmonizing for beginners through advanced players. Fun!

BPP 016 Magic Motives with Dan Haerle

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My iTunes page Show Notes Do you know what a motive is? A motive is a small fragment of a melody, something akin to a commonly used phrase, in speech. Why should you care? Because motives are awesome. Motives are small “ingredients” that play an extremely important role in improvisation and composition. A lot of […]

Sketches

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Sketches is a fully-improvised collection of piano (keyboard) music, with an “elegant, reflective” tone. It was originally released as a physical CD some years ago, and I’m happy to finally be able to offer it as a 100% downloadable, digital album. Track listing with samples: 1. The Ballroom 3:24 2. Journal of a Leaf 3:24 […]

BBP 015 The Blues Scale for Advanced Players

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It’s time for more fun with the blues scale! This time we hit it from the advanced player’s point of view. As usual, there’s lots to talk about. There wasn’t nearly enough time to cover everything, but you’ll still come away from this episode with lots of great ideas.

It’s time to “unpack” for the new year!

Most of us are kind of “pack-rats” when it comes to piano-playing, aren’t we? By that I mean, we wander through this book, and that video, and that class, or whatever, picking up great ideas for improving our playing. Then we “pack” them away onto our to-do list. Now, I don’t discourage this at all. […]

Merry Christmas! (See how fast you can spot this one!)

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BPP 014 The Blues Scale for Intermediate Players

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This episode is loaded with some of my absolute best tips for using the blues scale. If you’ve found yourself saying “I know the notes, but what do I DO with this thing, exactly?” then you’re in the right place!

What does it mean to compose music “in a mode”?

The purpose of this article is not to describe what modes are or how they work. (Perhaps I’ll write another article about that someday, but for now, I’ll assume you understand the basics of modes). Instead, my goal here is to talk about another concept, the idea of composing music “in a mode.” Composing “in […]

BPP 013 The Blues Scale for Beginners

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If you’re a beginner interested in playing jazz, blues, pop, rock, gospel, country, funk, or R&B, one of the most important things on your to-do list should be to make sure you know the blues scale, inside and out! Here’s an in-depth introduction to this awesome tool, complete with tips, some “philosophizing,” and a great blues-scale lick for you to learn.

James Dering Interviewed on KFYN Radio, 10-1-13

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Hi! Here’s an excerpt from the show “Art In The Afternoon” on KFYN 1420 AM, broadcast on 10-1-13. My deepest thanks to Lisa, Bob, and everyone at KFYN for having me on! I get nervous every time, but it’s always a blast. I was grateful for the opportunity to talk about my new ebook and […]

The Standard 12-Bar Blues Progression

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Hi! This article is Part 4 in a series of lessons on progressions that I’ve created in celebration of the launch of my new ebook and audio package, Better Blues Progressions. Here’s the full series of articles: 1. What is a chord progression? 2. What is the 12-bar blues progression? 3. The Basic 12-Bar Blues Progression 4. The […]

The Basic 12-Bar Blues Progression

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Hi! This article is Part 3 in a series of lessons on progressions that I’ve created in celebration of the launch of my new ebook and audio package, Better Blues Progressions. Here’s the full series of articles: 1. What is a chord progression? 2. What is the 12-bar blues progression? 3. The Basic 12-Bar Blues Progression 4. The […]

What is the 12-bar blues progression?

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Hi! In celebration of the launch of my new suite, Better Blues Progressions, I thought it’d be a great idea to talk about the 12-bar blues progression in general. The blues is a wonderfully rich and diverse art form- tons of fun to play- and the 12-bar blues progression is a hugely important part of it. If […]