Basic Jazz Voicings Using Interval Shapes

The concept of shape-based voicings is a helpful method of organizing harmonic material on the keyboard. First, it allows us to “grab” a group of notes using muscle memory, avoiding the need to think one note at a time. This method also allows us to “recycle” a shape for use in a number of different musical situations. In this lesson, we will examine two very useful shapes.

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“Fromage” CD Liner Notes










 Download the recording here.

Most jazz musicians feel the need to do a “standards” recording at some point in their career. Most choose much-beloved classics or perhaps less-known, but nonetheless well-regarded material.

In my case I chose to do songs that perhaps haven’t gotten a lot of respect in the jazz community- or any community, for that matter. Most people understandably dismiss these tunes as “cheesy” and don’t give them a second thought.

In this recording we will do our best to give these tunes some “love.”

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Practicing Independence on Keyboard

One of the biggest challenges of keyboard technique is independence between the hands. This is especially true if there is any improvisation involved, since this prevents us from memorizing a passage by rote.

Myths and Misinformation

There are some misconceptions about independence that can prevent us from succeeding in our goals; moving beyond them can allow us to get the ball rolling with two-handed playing.

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Excerpts from my upcoming CD “Fromage”

Here are four short excerpts from my upcoming CD “Fromage.” It is comprised of jazz arrangements of songs usually considered too “cheesy” to be considered “standards.”

The musicians: Piano/arranger: Randy Hoexter Bass: Jimmy Haslip Drums: Tom Knight/Dave Weckl Guitar: Trey Wright Saxophones, flute, bass clarinet: Sam Skelton Trumpet: Mike Barry Trumpet/Flugelhorn: Gordon Vernick Trombone: Eric Alexander Congas, Djembe, Cajon: Kit Chatham Triangle, Shaker: Eric Sanders

See if you can identify these gems of 70s AM pop radio!

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Fear of Disappointment

When we are children, our parents do a great deal to protect us from disappointment; they warn us not to “count our chickens” and to remember that we shouldn’t “get our hopes up.”¬† While these warnings may make sense for a small child, we often carry them into our adult life, where they hold us back. Is an uncomfortable moment really that bad?

New Car Fever

When the time comes for us to replace our car, salespeople use our fear of disappointment to maneuver us into all kinds of unwise choices. We select a vehicle, find a model with just the features we want, and we get “fired up” about driving home in our shiny new status symbol.

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Using delay in a mix

Some ideas for optimizing delay settings.

Kick drum EQ

Using Eq to sculpt a recorded kick drum sound.


“Perfectionism” is one of those words that gets thrown around a lot, especially with regards to the arts. It gets misused almost as much as the term “genius” in the world of hype and promotion. Let’s take a look at how we can use “perfection” to our advantage in the creative process. Continue Reading…

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Come back soon for musical ideas and tips.

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