The Jazz Musician's Guide to Creative Practicing

by David Berkman

Finally someone has written a book on what jazz musicians need most - a way to approach practicing that actually makes the best use of your valuable time!

In this landmark book, cutting-edge NY pianist and recording artist David Berkman shows you how to make practicing interesting and enjoyable by breaking problems into manageable tasks that you can easily master!

Filled with hundreds and hundreds of concrete things to work on, along with funny jazz anecdotes illustrating the ideas presented, The Jazz Musician's Guide to Creative Practicing covers many of the things you need in order to be a complete jazz musician

Topics covered include:
  • Basic jazz theory, clearly explained
  • How to make scale and arpeggio practicing fun and relevant to playing tunes
  • How to effectively add chromatic approach notes and upper structure triads to your solo lines.
  • How to practice tunes like “Body And Soul”, “Giant Steps” or rhythm changes and get better at the whole tune by mastering individual aspects of it.
  • How to improve your ability to swing, to play in odd meters and to play with different rhythmic feels.
  • How to play fast without losing your ability to make the notes sing.
  • Spiral-bound, 154 pages, plus a CD download of David demonstrating many of the ideas presented!

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David Berkman's book provides a wonderful glance at tips for practicing the art of improvising. The book is well-organized, fun to read, and is bursting with things to do and ponder. Reading through the book has definately got my wheels turning and ideas flowing.”
— Bob Mintzer

This is a very handy toolkit, stuffed with lots of interesting stories and good, practical information. You can't teach a plant to grow, but you can give it a positive environment — and this book does the same thing for the aspiring jazz player. I like it!”
— Richie Beirach

I always knew David Berkman had a way with words, but this is incredible! The Jazz Musician's Guide To Creative Practicing is less a 'how to' and more a 'what if' kind of book. Horray! THIS is what we need more of in the world of jazz education. The book not only inspires but welcomes you to broaden your awareness. Man, I sure hope it gets made into a major motion picture!”
— Matt Wilson

A refreshing and edifying insight into the nuts and bolts of our daily creative pursuit. For the musician on any level, this is a gift that keeps on giving.”
— Steve Wilson

I found this book to be insightful, witty, and very inspiring. Staying inspired to practice is probably one of the biggest challenges that we all face as both young and veteran musicians. Well, that and finding work — but that's another book! This is a 'must-have' for any musician looking to take their playing to the next level.”
— Sam Newsome

This book is full of great ideas for developing one's creativity and imagination. Not only is it thoughtfully written, but it is also funny. I highly recommend it for musicians of any level.”
— Bruce Barth

Getting the most out of your practice time is a challenge, and such an important step in realizing your fullest potential as a jazz musician. I'm really excited that David has taken this challenge head-on, and in the process, addressed (in his own funny, insightful way) many of the issues that loom large before the aspiring jazz artist. This book is an important read for jazz students and professionals alike. I've known David for several years, and regard him as a truly wonderful, thoughtful, and articulate pianist and composer. Congratulations!”
— Jimmy Greene

I love reviewing various texts about how to play better. This one rings a bell for me. I have played with David, and he's practicing what he preaches. He gives some great suggestions on how to enjoy the process of learing to improvise on any instrument. Thanks, David!”
— Lee Konitz

David Berkman
David Berkman is one of the top pianists on the NY jazz scene today, with seven records released under his name, and having performed with countless major jazz figures, including: Sonny Stitt, Brian Blade, Chris Potter, Joe Lovano, Billy Hart, Eddie Henderson, Lenny White, Bill Stewart, Hank Crawford and Dave Douglas. David is also an in-demand jazz educator on three continents, the author of two other Sher Music Co. music books, and associate professor of music at Queens College in New York.