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New Podcast: John Patitucci & Eric Marienthal - How to Play at an Advanced Level


In this week’s episode of the ArtistWorks Music Series podcast, our cofounder Patricia Butler sits down with world-renowned jazz bassist John Patitucci and saxophone virtuoso Eric Marienthal, to discuss the concept of “How to Play at an Advanced Level,” particularly in the context of jazz improvisation. Together, these master ArtistWorks instructors explore the importance of attentive listening and communicating with other musicians on stage, having a strong knowledge of harmony, and continually refining and improving on basic techniques in order to take your playing to an advanced stage. The show is available wherever you listen to podcasts, or you can listen here at ArtistWorks.


LEARN MORE: Want to learn how to play jazz saxophone from a master musician like Eric Marienthal? Try a free online saxophone lesson now!


As students in the earlier stages of learning an instrument, we often listen to more advanced players perform and wonder: how did they get to that level? What steps did they have to take to reach the advanced stage? One of the most common misconceptions is that advanced-level players no longer work on basic, fundamental techniques once they’ve elevated those skills to a masterful degree. John and Eric both heavily reinforce that that is not the case.


“There’s a misconception that once you become advanced, you don’t work on basics anymore,” John explains. “Sound and rhythm are huge things that you work on your entire life. You can’t play at an advanced level unless you have control over the sound of your instrument and the ability to manipulate your instrument properly in time. So, those things—you never stop working on them.”


LEARN MORE: Want to learn from a jazz bass master like John Patitucci? Try a free online bass lesson now!


Outside of practicing physical techniques, such as scales, long-tones, embouchure, etc., it is critical to work on ear training in order to hear and identify specific harmonic qualities, such as major, minor, and dominant 7th chords. A deep understanding of harmony will allow you to take your improvisation to an advanced stage.


“We can do all kinds of different things to prepare ourselves for advanced performance, like practicing technique, working on rhythm, coordination, etc.,” Eric explains. “But, if we can truly hear the music in our hearts and in our heads, we’re ultimately going to figure out how to physically achieve that.”


To learn more about how you can develop your skills and grow into an advanced-level player, regardless of the instrument you play, listen to the full podcast with Eric Marienthal and John Patitucci here:



If you’re interested in studying the jazz bass or saxophone and learning even more about how to take your playing to an advanced level, check out John and Eric’s online music lessons right here at ArtistWorks!



On the ArtistWorks Music Series, CEO Patricia Butler speaks with master musicians across all genres who teach at ArtistWorks. Join them as they dive deep into topics like becoming a musician, playing at all skill levels, and the journey of learning music.


Looking to dive into more music podcasts? You’ve come to the right place. Investigate previous episodes where plenty of topics are explored with fantastic, hand-selected, and knowledgeable guests.


Tune in for new episodes released every other Wednesday on all platforms, and don't forget to subscribe, rate, and review the show!


Want to get started on overcoming the roadblock on your musical journey with our online music lessons? Try out some free sample music lessons with any of our master musicians and learn from the best!



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