Steve Kortyka

Meet your instructor

Steve, a renowned Jazz and Improvised music artist, started as a classical player and learned chords and music theory at 18. Passionate about teaching clear fundamentals for aspiring improvisers, he offers diverse and enjoyable ways to practice and learn in this dynamic environment. Elevate your improvisation journey with us!

Improv Studio Lesson 4 pack
The Melodic Cell Workbook
The Blues Unit
The Pentatonic Index
The Routine Improvement System
The SK Improv Studio

Featured Course

The SK Improv Studio

The SK Improvisation Studio is a community of musicians dedicated to improving their facility at improvised music. With monthly assignments utilizing PDFs, Practice Tracks and Backing tracks that focus on mastery of improv fundamentals, this studio is designed to produce real and tangible results. In addition to the opportunity for personalized feedback 24/7, monthly LIVE ‘shed’ sessions will take place with an opportunity to ask for guidance directly from your instructor, Professional Saxophonist and practitioner of improvised music for over 20 years: Steve Kortyka

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Vocabulary Building Exercises (Video Course)

If you’ve always wondered about how lines you’ve worked out in all 12 keys will apply to a chord progression, this course is for you! Through years of study, I have found this to be one of the most efficient methods not only for teaching improvisation, but also creating compelling solos that engage a listener through repetition.

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The Melodic Cell Workbook (Video Course)

A step-by-step approach to improvisation using Melodic Cells! Use this method as a guide to take your imagination in the practice room to the next level. The reason I created this course was simple: Melodic Cells helped me to become a more fluent improviser. With over 65 practice tracks, 35+ etudes and video explanations, I truly believe that completion of this 7 step course has a great potential to change the way you think about improvisation

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Founder of the SK Improv Studio

Steve Kortyka

As an internationally celebrated performer who has toured the world playing primarily Jazz and Improvised music, Steve brings a unique perspective to the table: He started out as a classical player and didn’t start learning chords or music theory until the age of 18 years old.

Developing a true passion for the art of improvisation has led to a strong dedication to teach using the clear fundamentals that help aspiring improvising musicians to articulate the jazz language clearly.

Because of its unlimited potential, there is a variety of fun ways to practice and learn improvisation which is what this environment is all about. Are you ready to take your journey of becoming an improviser to the next level? You’ve come to the right place!

Steve Kortyka

All Courses

Online Courses for Everyone

6 Lessons

From Chords to Improv

Having a formula for approaching different chord qualities can help you to quickly incorporate and internalize new language over these sounds. Compiled here is an introductory sequence that can work wonders for deciphering all types of different chord qualities and cover a majority of the chords that you will encounter in Jazz Improvisation. If you are looking to get a leg up on how great improvisers think about chords, this is the course for you!

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4 Lessons

SK Improv Studio 4-Pack

This is a learning experience that is focused on the art of learning and mastering a chord progression. This is perfect for students who do not need private instruction but prefer to have the information there to learn at their own pace. The following is a breakdown of 5 different approaches for these 4 songs: Confirmation: Mastering a Chord Progression Body + Soul: Ballad Playing 3 Types of Blues Progressions: Studying Harmonic Substitutions So What/Impressions: (Modal Improvisation) For students looking for individual feedback and livestream instruction, Enrolling in the SK Improvisation Studio is the way to go 🚀

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6 Lessons

The Routine Improvement System (Video Course)

As a regular practitioner of improvised music, I honed this process to be adaptable so that it can be completed in a relatively short period of time but leave you feeling accomplished when you complete any variation of its 4 simple elements. I truly feel that implementation of this system has led me to continual growth in the practice room. I believe that anybody that studies this method will find that it can be tailored to meet your unique needs as a musician, one day at a time.

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13 Lessons

The SK Improv Studio

The SK Improvisation Studio is a community of musicians dedicated to improving their facility at improvised music. With monthly assignments utilizing PDFs, Practice Tracks and Backing tracks that focus on technical exercises this studio is designed to produce real and trackable results. Monthly LIVE will also take place with your instructor and professional practitioner of live music for over 20 years, Steve Kortyka.

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5 Lessons

The Pentatonic Index (Video Course)

This course builds the awareness of different key pentatonics that make the foundation for solid improvisation. Learning these pentatonics first through modal applications leads to understanding of their use in tonal harmony and ii V I situations. With 15 lesson videos that include concept explanations and demonstrations, this course is of equal or greater value to multiple weeks of study with a master improviser 🎶🚀

The Pentatonic Index

12 Lessons

Vocabulary Building Exercises (Video Course)

This course focuses on implementing key pieces of vocabulary into a chord progression. This skill set is one that I use in every improvised solo and has the ability to unlock great potential over any given chord progression. A consistent study of this method will transform your improvisations by giving you the ability to navigate improvisations with minimal material in a very creative way.

Vocabulary Building Exercises

8 Lessons

The Melodic Cell Workbook (Video Course)

This course teaches a player how to utilize melodic cells in a systematic way. This is the method I have used over the years to thoroughly learn material and have applied it to the concept of improvising with melodic cells. The content here is equivalent to multiple months of study with a master improviser and will take multiple sessions to complete. Within a few practice sessions with this material, your mind will be opened to a wide variety of possibilities that exist within the melodic cell framework.

The Melodic Cell Workbook


Student Reviews

The exercises on this chord structure you laid out are awesome.
I love the Guide Tone and Guide Tone Arpeggios. They continue to keep me working hard!!

Peter on the “Body & Soul’ Unit

Steve is a great teacher, his approach is clear and analytical, every month a new challenge that allows us to improve technique, sound, ideas, repertoire and improvisational approach. I love it! Claudio on Studio Membership

Claudio on ‘The SK Improv Studio’

I really appreciate your systematic approach to internalizing lines so that they are at my disposal. I've been utilizing this approach to other lines as well with good effect.

Raghav on ‘Vocabulary Builders’

I just did one of the most productive practice sessions ever... College taught me a lot, but this way of shedding really sticks with me. I am currently on the guide tone exercise.

Javi on ‘The SK Improv Studio’

I took the 'Melodic Cell Workbook' course. I find it very useful because it is very practical for incorporating into tunes. I think it's more valuable than a private lesson because it feels the same like a private lesson and you explain every aspect of each exercise. You can also review every segment. Even though there's no direct feedback it is well explained.

Hugo on ‘The Melodic Cell Workbook’

I’m a new member to the SK Improv group, although I have taken lessons with Steve in the past. So much information, I’m excited to see how much all this knowledge helps my progression and yours.

Jeff on Private Study vs. ‘The SK Improv Studio’

Hi Steve! I recently joined and love how this works so far! Thank you for creating this awesome studio!

Rachelle on ‘The SK Improv Studio’

Steve is not only one of the best players on the scene today, but also a master at clearly and concisely explaining crucial improvisation concepts in a way that anyone can understand. Every piece of information I've gotten from Steve has been absolute gold and been presented in a way that made it applicable, accessible, and relevant to my musical career on a daily basis. I can't recommend his education content more highly.
My only regret was not investing into him sooner. Thanks Steve! 🎷

Ryan on Comprehensive Study

Frequently Asked Questions

Upon taking the Routine Improvement System, I recommend all users begin with either the Vocabulary Builders Course or Check out the Improvisation Studio. At the moment, the material in these courses is non-sequential and designed for players looking to improve beyond the scope of what they may have learned in other programs.

All products are currently digital downloads with which you are granted lifetime access too. These digital downloads serve as a guide and are designed to coincide with the video lessons and tracks provided.

Each course is designed to be completed over a series of a few weeks. Depending on the course and the level of player, they can be something that you get through quickly or take your time with. If you are able to commit more than an hour a day to practicing, you will find that you can make it efficiently through all the material presented in about 2 weeks.

All courses are designed to be taken on all instruments. Transposed PDFs are provided for each instrument and every kind of instrument can benefit from the approaches presented in each course.

While there are PDFs with many of the concepts written out, you can still get value from these courses if you consider yourself to be a good ear player. Because practice tracks are provided of all the written examples, you have the opportunity to learn them by ear without reading the music. That being said, these courses have the potential to serve as a linking pathway to what you have learned as an ear player to how to become better at reading notes on a page.

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