Category Archives: The Five-Year Jazz Organ Project

A 250-post project to document my progress over five years from where I am in January 2016 to jazz organ excellence in January 2021.

The Progress Plateau (Jazz Organ Project 70/250)

The first time I ever played a Hammond organ was at my first lesson at the Brooklyn home studio of organist Ondrej Pivec. In order to test my knowledge of the keyboard, Ondrej asked me to play an Ab13 chord. … Continue reading

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Staying Upbeat (Jazz Organ Project 69/250)

In order to be productive and creative, I need to be in a good mood. Since I thrive on using lists, I downloaded the Coach.Me app to my Iphone and populated it with a list of things to do each … Continue reading

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Four Categories – Learn Jazz Organ Part 5 (Jazz Organ Project 68/250)

Jazz organ skills, as I understand it, can be divided into four main categories: 1. Bebop – characterized by walking left hand bass, with right hand improvising bebop solo ideas. 2. Blues – swing or shuffle beat, left hand bass, … Continue reading

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Trust Your Brain (Jazz Organ Project 67/250)

I’ve found that the most time I can spend practicing before I hit a wall is about three hours a day, usually divided into two sessions. If you’re like me, it doesn’t make sense to push beyond a certain amount … Continue reading

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You Did Enough (Jazz Organ Project 66/250)

[Photo & Design Credit: bluebootsgo.com]. I have a constant nagging feeling that I’m not doing enough. I’m not doing enough practicing, earning enough money, etc. Friends my age, or even 20 years younger than me, make much more money than … Continue reading

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Top 10 Things I Learned From My Bad Gig (Jazz Organ Project 63/250)

I’ve found that I learned a lot from doing gigs that don’t go well. Bad gigs are an incredibly great source of information. 10 valuable lessons I learned from what went wrong at a recent gig: 1. I’m thrilled when … Continue reading

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Keep Doing The Reps (Jazz Organ Project 62/250)

After a while, you will get tired of doing ‘reps’ on your instrument. You will get sick of it. You’ll feel like you would rather take a nap. People will tell you that you are wasting your time practicing the … Continue reading

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Organ Bass Lines – Learn Jazz Organ Part 4 (Jazz Organ Project 61/250)

Here are a few rules for constructing strong logical walking bass lines that you will play with your left hand. First, a few Hammond organ basics: 1. Your left hand will play bass on the lower manual (keyboard) of the … Continue reading

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Finger Independence – Learn Jazz Organ Part 3 (Jazz Organ Project 60/250)

If you come to the jazz organ from a non-keyboard background (I came from playing bass), you will likely need to work on finger independence. I’ll recommend four great books for you. As you work through these books, realize that … Continue reading

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Blues Comping – Learn Jazz Organ Part 2 (Jazz Organ Project 59/250)

Here’s a blues comping pattern vaguely in the style of 1950’s Jimmy Smith. Be able play this pattern at a medium tempo over a I-IV-V blues, in every key. It’s a great pattern for a jazz or blues jam session. … Continue reading

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