Jazz School News, Thoughts and Events.

David Bloom

Recent Posts

The 3 Speeds of Improvisation

Posted by David Bloom on Jun 29, 2018 2:36:32 PM

by David Bloom
In improvisation, there are three elements of speed: the speed of aural comprehension, physical execution, and imaginative creativity. Attention to each is critical to successful jazz.
Most musicians spend the majority of their practice time on the speed of execution. However, musical artistry is more than muscle memory. It is critical that you spend an equal amount of time developing the other two aspects (which are often ignored or unknown).
The speed of comprehension is achieved by training your ear to quickly understand what you hear, whether the sound is imagined or from other musicians. Then, you must be able to play what you hear on your instrument.
Also, you must work on how fast you can access your imagination on the spot. It is much easier to create a solo on a blues with a metronome marking of 120 than 220. The slower tempo gives you more room. When it is fast, you have less time to integrate all three aspects.
If the speed of recognizing what you hear is slow, you won’t be able to find it on your instrument in real time.
Often, when musicians don't hear ideas in their head and play anyways, they will move their fingers without having a clear or articulated idea. The results will sound vagrant; sounds without a home. You must be able to have an idea in your head and know where to find it on your instrument immediately.
The goal is to woodshed on all three speeds separately until they are roughly the same. I highly recommend isolating each speed until it is fast and fluid in execution. In improvisation, you have to be able to comprehend, create, and execute in milliseconds.
One exercise I recommend to all serious improvisers is to play a given tune at 90 BPM, 130 BPM, 160 BPM, and 200 BPM. I have found that starting with a very slow BPM gives you more space for your imagination; then increase tempo from there.
Focusing on all three elements will help you not only to play what you hear and do it at faster tempos, but make you a better improviser all around. Record yourself playing a couple of choruses at each speed, then listen and assess for effectiveness.
To learn how to develop each of these speeds, reach out for a refresher course or consultation. Call (773) 860-8300.
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Voice & Guitar Clinic June 25 2018 7:15 PM with Erin McDougald and Bruce Forman

Posted by David Bloom on Jun 18, 2018 3:12:05 PM

Presented by The Bloom School of Jazz and hosted by David Bloom, this clinic features world-renowned jazz guitarist Bruce Forman and Chicago-based jazz vocalist, bandleader, composer-lyricist and producer Erin McDougald.

The evening will center around the difference between just playing SAYING something important. Before you can say something you need to learn how to listen. All too often, instrumentalists will play differently for vocalists with an assumption handicapping the creativity of the music. And, all too often singers treat instrumentalists as if they are "in the background" instead of inviting an intertwined voice in a cohesive narrative.

Both Mr. Forman and Ms. Erin McDougald will bring our perspectives and tips for how to go from accompanying someone to really making music TOGETHER -- like a natural conversation. This is especially insightful for anyone looking to improve their improvisational skills.

All ages and skill levels welcome.

It is $20.00 per person (collected in cash at the door the night of the event-- doors open at 7:15pm)

RSVP Only - Call (773) 860-8300
or email hannah@bloomschoolofjazz.com.
Space is limited.

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Workshop Announcement: Jimi Hendrix Master Class, Saturday 4/21/18 2 PM with Guitarist Pat Fleming: RSVP Only

Posted by David Bloom on Apr 9, 2018 5:51:27 PM

To RSVP, call (773) 860-8300 or email hannah@bloomschoolofjazz.com.

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Understanding Storytelling and How it Can Dramatically Improve Your Music

Posted by David Bloom on Apr 6, 2018 4:03:16 PM

Many great musicians and music teachers have described good music as storytelling . A story is a series of events that usually involve overcoming an obstacle. Great stories set up a scenario and then surprise us with the ending-boring stories don't. People from every culture love stories, whether sharing what they learned or following the exciting journey of a certain character.
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Practice Tips: One Week To Better Solos

Posted by David Bloom on Mar 22, 2018 1:20:33 PM

Practice Tips
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Topics: inspiration, jazz intro

The Power of Slow: Tips for Beginning and Intermediate Players

Posted by David Bloom on Mar 13, 2018 12:00:00 AM

The Power of Slow

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Topics: jazz education

Bloom School of Jazz Vocal Class Recital November 18th, 2017, 1:00pm at Andy's Jazz Club in Chicago

Posted by David Bloom on Oct 24, 2017 4:59:30 PM

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Improvisation Workshop with David Bloom in Minnesota: June 23-25, 2017

Posted by David Bloom on Jun 15, 2017 2:00:00 PM

Join us for Weekend Workshop with David Bloom: Improvisation for all instrumentalists and vocalists in all genres, on June 23-35, 2017. 

This is David Bloom's second workshop in the Twin Cities as he expands his teaching nationally.

"I can hardly believe how far I progressed in such a short period."  -J.O.

"I learned a ton about teaching: it's art, science, and a little bit of soul." -N.N.

Students, band directors, music teachers, instrumentalists and vocalists, as well as professional musicians will experience dramatic results in their musical artistry. 

Thank you to Hot Spot Music in Northfield, Mn.


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Topics: workshop

June 18, 2017 Workshop and Concert with Gene Bertoncini and Larry Gray, 7:00pm

Posted by David Bloom on Jun 2, 2017 3:35:53 PM

Students and musicians are invited to the Workshop and Concert featuring Gene Bertoncini and Larry Gray, held June 18, 2017 at 7:00pm at Bloom School of Jazz, 226 S. Wabash. Admission $15. RSVP by emailing dbloomjazz@gmail.com, or call 773-860-8300.
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Topics: chicago jazz, jazz events, bloom school of jazz, workshop, concerts

David Bloom Receives "Jazz Educator of the Year" 2017 Award from Jazz Institute of Chicago

Posted by David Bloom on Apr 10, 2017 7:00:00 AM

The Jazz Institute of Chicago, dedicated to promoting and nurturing jazz in Chicago, has recognized David Bloom with a Jazz Educator of the Year Award for 2017. Also recognized is Dr. Roosevelt Griffin III. 

Enjoy an evening of food, music and fun honoring these two educators on April 19, 2017 at The Standard Club. For more information about this event, click here.

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Topics: david bloom, Awards