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.

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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Five Ways To Stay Happy (Jazz Organ Project 58/250)

Jazz careers can be emotionally tough, for many obvious reasons. There are a few simple things I do to help myself stay happy. I’ll start with the easiest and least expensive things: 1. Exercise – vigorous exercise for about 1 … Continue reading

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Learn Jazz Organ Part 1 (Jazz Organ Project 57/250)

My first jazz organ lesson was with Ondrej Pivec in Brooklyn. I learned stock chord voicings, which are your basic no-frill keyboard chords. It’s essential that you know these as you begin jazz organ. Print out the graphic below, and … Continue reading

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Do The Reps(Jazz Organ Project 56/250)

I did a very nice studio session today where I laid down piano tracks for two songs, and also recorded an acoustic bass track. It was relaxed, and I’m proud to say I played really well. My creative juices were … Continue reading

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Two-Part Episode (Jazz Organ Project 55/250)

Part 1 – Preparing for a gig Read and understand all communications regarding the gig. Make sure you know all details including, but is not limited to: 1. Exact start and finish times. 2. How much you are going to … Continue reading

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When Will I Be Good (Jazz Organ Project 54/250)

The other day, I sat down to listen to a recording of my trio. I heard myself make tons of mistakes, and my time seemed to always be rushing ahead of the beat. I wondered, “When am I going to … Continue reading

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