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IMPROVISATION SAVVY

The ear-based online training to elevate your jazz improvisation

Does this feel strangely familiar?

Your THINKING and CALCULATING and PROJECTING could be

exactly what is preventing you from playing as you imagine!

"The very thing you think is helping you play

is actually hurting you."

Are you ready to rid yourself of the barriers blocking so much

of your ability to improvise?

The online improvisation course that actually trains your

ear, not just your eyes and analytical brain.

Improvisation Savvy box and shadow4

I want to help you play jazz better. And I can.

Get rid of the barriers standing in the way of your playing

Play the music that's inside you and get it flowing out of your instrument.

Learn how to be your own best teacher

Learn cool musical hacks you'll never hear about anywhere else.

Learn how to enable the music inside to finally flow out of your instrument

"My ear has improved since taking your course and have seen improvement in my improvising. Hope that more aspiring musicians find out about your course. They won't be disappointed." - Jim M.

"After years of practicing patterns and licks and hoping for them to magically come together as a solo, Improvisation Savvy has given me the tools to slow down, listen and play music. 

I am playing better, having more fun doing it, and I have noticed a difference in my playing and so have the people I play with."

- Mike R.
Chicago, IL

Some of what you will learn from Improvisation Savvy

YOUR INSTRUMENT IS NOT THE SOURCE OF YOUR MUSIC

Improvisation is not simply about playing a bunch of notes that sound like jazz. It is about expressing yourself through an instrument that is basically a tone producer and an amplifier for the music inside. (aka piano, sax, trumpet, bass, etc.)

Learn how to put your musical mind before your instrument.

HOW TO OPEN UP YOUR EARS AND LISTEN DEEPER

You probably first learned music with your eyes rather than with your ears like most of us. Unfortunately, too many musicians as they get older still think of music visually over aurally. 

You might be amazed by how much more you can hear when you really listen.

RECOGNIZE WHAT IS GETTING IN YOUR WAY

Think about the possibility that the very things you think are helping you are actually standing in your way of improvising better. Learn what they are and how to eliminate them.

FUNDAMENTAL MUSIC THEORY

Knowing a certain amount of music theory will help you more fundamentally understand the music. Learn through hearing the elements of music rather than just memorizing them. This is a very practical approach to theory.

PRACTICING EFFECTIVELY

Practice makes permanent, not necessarily 'perfect'. If you are stuck, it could be that you aren't practicing the right things. Learn how to find the most important things you should be practicing right now in order to improve much quicker.

IMPROVE YOUR SENSE OF TIME AND RHYTHM

You can play all the 'right' notes but if they are out of time and the flow of the beat, they'll sound bad. On the other hand, play all 'wrong' notes with great time and you will sound accomplished.

Improvisation Savvy provides you with some unusual but very effective tools for strengthening your time and building a better sense of your groove and/or swing.

About Your Instructor Michael Lake

The jazz chops, knowledge, and communication skills to guide you into taking your playing to the next level.

(Whatever level that means for you...)

GRAMMY-NOMINATED

Recognized jazz and latin musician having played with Hank Mobley, Ray Barretto, Nancy Wilson, and many more.

AUTHOR & COMPOSER

Written over a dozen books on jazz, trombone, & skill development. Composer of over 100 pieces of music for chamber groups and electronic orchestra.

ML-drama-bone-shot

LIFELONG INSTRUCTOR

Passionate teacher and communicator of improvisation, musicality, and personal self-development.

WORLDCLASS MULTIMEDIA STORYTELLER

Founder of the Jazz Master Summit as well as a 30-year producer of commercials, instructional videos, and communication tools.

What's Included within Improvisation Savvy?

Full Improv Savvy Graphic2

Three levels to fit any budget and desired learning

  • 27 video lessons
  • Jazz Patterns for Ear eBook
  • Genius of Herbie eBook
  • Magic of Snow Leopard eBook

Apprentice PLUS:

  • 11 additional video lessons
  • A Framework for Jazz Mastery eBook
  • The Art of Skill eBook
  • Circle of Fifths mini-course
  • Piano Comping Savvy mini-course
  • Free All-Access Jazz Master Savvy pass

Professional PLUS:

  • The complete course of video lessons
  • Jazz Ear Savvy spiral bound book
  • Personal playing assessment and coaching recommendation
    for the course
  • 1-hour Zoom coaching session

MODULE ONE

Introduction

In the introduction, I help you think clearly about your musical goals and expectations. A questionnaire and assessment exercise provides a benchmark for beginning the course

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  • What are your personal musical goals?
  • How good is your ear?
  • A conversation about developing your unique musical personality
  • Four video lessons

MODULE THREE

Hearing the Music

The core of this course is the strengthening of your ear and its connection to your instrument. These lessons help you identify and eliminate internal chatter and reliance on analytical thinking that is getting in the way of your music. It really is!

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  • What does it really mean to hear?
  • How to quiet your left brain chatter
  • Assessing and strengthening your note & pattern matching skills and harmonic anticipation
  • Putting the power of habit to use
  • 8 video lessons

MODULE FIVE

Tools, Tips and Tactics

As with any complex skill, there are physical and mental shortcuts for practicing and playing more effectively. Here, we identify and work on several that will improve your playing.

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  • The proper use of anchor notes
  • The power of constraint exercises
  • Identifying and isolating problem spots in your improvisation
  • How to most effectively transcribe solos
  • What muscle testing can teach you about your playing
  • 9 video lessons

MODULE TWO

Jazz Theory

An introduction to jazz theory that teaches you to hear the music rather than just see and memorize notes, chords, and scales.

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  • Fundamentals of jazz harmony
  • The good, bad and ugly of learning chords and scales
  • The true value of the circle of fifths
  • Basic non-piano player comping
  • Eight video lessons

MODULE FOUR

Time And Rhythm

An innate sense of rhythm is indispensable for a jazz player or for any musician. Believe it or not, your ability to keep the pulse of the music is more important than accurately choosing the 'right' notes.

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  • You'll assess the strength of your time
  • Strengthening metronomic rhythm
  • Developing your groove rhythm
  • Discovering your phrase rhythm
  • 7 video lessons

MODULE SIX

How To Practice Well

Regardless of the tools and teachers at your disposal, you must be your own teacher, and therefore, know how to most effectively learn to learn and to practice.

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  • How to know what best to work on
  • How much time should you practice and how to find it.
  • Left versus right brain practice
  • Practicing the way your brain works best
  • 5 video lessons

Choose the best course of study for you.

Three levels of immersive learning tailored to meet the needs of any level player.

APPRENTICE

$ 47
  • 27 video lessons selected from Improvisation Savvy
  • Jazz Patterns for Ear 73 page eBook containing 60 patterns for developing your jazz ear
  • The Genius of Herbie eBook
  • The Magic of the Snow Leopard eBook

PROFESSIONAL (Most Popular)

$ 147
  • Everything within the Apprentice level
  • 38 video lessons slected from Improvisation Savvy (11 additional lessons over the Apprentice level)
  • Richie Beirach's A Framework for Jazz Mastery eBook
  • Dave Liebman's The Art of Skill eBook
  • Circle of Fifths Savvy mini course (normally $10)
  • Piano Comping Savvy for Non-Piano Players eBook mini course (normally $20)
  • Free pass to the entire Jazz Master Savvy interview library (normally $47)

MASTER

$ 297
  • Everything within the Professional level
  • 47 video lessons (the entire course)
  • Jazz Ear Savvy bound book (normally $40)
  • Personal playing assessment and coaching recommendation outline (normally $150)
  • 1- hour Zoom coaching session (normally $150)

Want a more customized learning experience? Let me know at mlake@redlake.tv.

A FEW WORDS FROM STUDENTS OF MY METHODS

Pam M.

"I don’t think I have enjoyed improvising jazz at gigs as much as I do now after using your methods. I have stopped criticizing myself and just have fun. I love it!"

Charles N.

"I noticed after working on your materials that I am hearing things in music that I didn't hear before. I didn't expect that!"

Marty S.

"I just want to say thanks so much for your teachings. They are crystal clear, practical, and valuable. They are like vitamins."

Sharilynn H.

"What your teaching is doing is increasing my ear to instrument reaction time. This is really exciting for me!"

James P.

"I have to say how impressed I am with your instruction and how much I am enjoying working through it."

100% SATISFACTION GUARANTEED

If after working through it, you don't get results with this course, I'll refund you every penny and wish you the best. And you keep the bonuses.

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