Stretching your musical ears with jazz pianist Clare Fischer

There’s no better way to stretch your musical ears than by spending some time with the music of jazz pianist Clare Fischer. It’s important to stretch your musical ears. After all, the more you can hear, the more you can play.

If you play rock music, learn a few jazz chords.

If you play the blues, learn a few chord substitutions.

If you play jazz, check out some Clare Fischer (yeah, he’s the guy who did all those amazing orchestrations for Prince.)

Clare Fischer had a harmonic imagination that went far beyond what most musicians play, in any style. He drew from classical composers such as Stravinsky and was a big influence on Herbie Hancock. Even though I personally don’t use the same types of chords that Fischer did, I’ll spend an hour or so each week playing through a book of his compositions and transcriptions. After I play Fischer’s chord voicings, I always came away playing fresh voicings myself. There’s something about hearing and playing his unusual combinations of sounds that makes me hear more possibilities in my own music.

Listen to his composition Blues At Play. It’s included in one of his piano songbooks and the chords will stretch your musical ears just as they do mine.

So check out the music of Clare Fischer (both his own and the stuff he did with Prince). You’re ears may never be the same again!

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