Get Ahead!

A Practical Course for the Developing Jazz Trombonist. Learn to improvise, and join Nick's community for new videos year after year.

   Watch Promo   Enroll in Course

Jazz trombonist Nick Finzer, covers the basic tenets of his approach to playing trombone in any setting. This course follows up on his 2013 book release "Get Ahead: A Practical Guide for the Developing Jazz Trombonist" by offering further explanation of exercises, background into many of the lesson topics, and suggestions for further study!

Your Instructor

Nick Finzer
Nick Finzer


is one of the most dynamic musicians of the millennial generation. An award-winning composer, producer, entrepreneur, educator and trombonist, Finzer is bringing the joy and power of Jazz to traditional fans and the most modern 21st century audiences. He’s on a mission to be a passionate voice defining the sound of Jazz in this age.

Born into the musical world (his mother, Sherry Finzer, is a flutist), Finzer developed a fascination for the music of Duke Ellington and found himself, in high school, performing at the annual Essentially Ellington competition of Jazz at Lincoln Center. It was then that he decided to pursue a life in music himself. His budding talent was recognized by Wycliffe Gordon who began a mentorship by writing four pieces for the young Finzer while he attended the Eastman School of Music. Nick went on to get his masters at Juilliard’s prestigious Jazz program where he was mentored by trombone legend Steve Turre.

2020 saw two new honors for Nick; a Grammy nomination with Anat Cohen’s Tentet and topping the Downbeat Magazine Critics Poll in the “Rising Star Trombone” category. Finzer’s 5th album as a leader “Cast of Characters” with his sextet Hear & Now was welcomed to critical acclaim, and a nationwide album release tour.

Famed trombonist and mentor Wycliffe Gordon called Finzer:

“a new voice [in] the pantheon of upcoming trombone greats in the making”

When away from NYC, Finzer can be found touring the globe not only with his own projects, but as part of Anat Cohen’s Tentet, teaching workshops and masterclasses, and appearing with artists like Wynton MarsalisJazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Lucas Pino’s No Net Nonet, Ryan Truesdell's Gil Evans Project, the Grammy Award Winning Dafnis Prieto Big Band, Bob Stewart’s Double Quartet, and many more.

Finzer was an early collaborator with YouTube sensation Postmodern Jukebox, where he has joined the group on television, in viral videos with millions of views, and on tours across North America, Australia, New Zealand and Europe.

In 2011 Nick was the winner of the Eastern Trombone Workshop’s National Jazz Trombone Competition and was a finalist in the 2010 International Trombone Association’s Carl Fontana Jazz Trombone Competition. Two tracks appearing on Nick’s debut album “Exposition” (Outside in Music 2013) garnered Finzer a pair of accolades: The prestigious American Society of Composers and Performers (ASCAP)’s Herb Alpert Award for young composers (in both 2013 and 2015)

Finzer’s primary compositional outlet and performance ensemble is a sextet of some of NYC’s finest up and comers of his generation: Lucas Pino (tenor sax/bass clarinet), Alex Wintz (guitar), Glenn Zaleski (piano), Dave Baron (bass), Jimmy Macbride (drums). The group has made six albums including Cast of Characters (Outside in Music 2020), Hear & Now Live in NYC (Outside in Music 2019) No Arrival (Positone 2018), Hear & Now (Outside in Music 2017), The Chase (Origin Records 2015), and Exposition (Outside in Music 2013).

Along with his sextet, Finzer has an ongoing collaboration with pianist (currently of the “Airmen of Note”) Chris Ziemba. “Chris and I have a long-standing musical and personal friendship. We first met in the very same ensemble that inspired my love for Duke Ellington and this music, way back in 2003! We’ve been playing together ever since… and we both love playing in the duo setting, it allows for so much creativity and freedom and pushes your artistry in new and challenging ways...” The duo currently has three albums to their credit: Live in Memphis (Outside in Music, 2016), Live in New York (Outside in Music, 2017), and Live at Pinch Recording (2019).

In 2013 Nick founded a new jazz/creative music record label and media company: Outside in Music. OiM is poised to take the jazz recording industry firmly into the future by producing audio and video content for some of jazz's rising stars from around the globe; and helping those fans develop and connect with their audiences. Outside in Music has grown to include four imprints that release over 30 albums each year (Outside in Music, NextLevel, Outside in Arts and Outside in Selects). In addition OiM provides consulting & publicity services to artists during all stages in their careers. Finzer is also an experienced producer, and frequently serves in that capacity with OiM artists to bring their work to life. Nick has produced artists including Roxy Coss, Curtis+Garabedian+Sperazza, the OiM Experience (Vol. 1 - 3, with over 30 artists involved), Lluc Casares (ft. Joel Ross and Philip Dizack), and Andrew Gutauskas, to name a few.

While performing might be Finzer’s first passion, education plays a tremendous role in his career. “Without the music educators I had in my life, I would never be where I am today” according to Finzer. “From inspiration, to support, encouragement, and showing me the right things at the right time, I’m so grateful to my mentors and I strive to do the same for my students.”

2018 saw Nick’s appointment as the inaugural Assistant Professor of Jazz Trombone at the legendary University of North Texas (home of the very first degree in jazz studies). Prior to UNT Finzer was a Visiting Professor of Jazz Trombone at Florida State University (‘14-’16) and served as a sabbatical replacement at Hunter College in New York City (‘17 - ‘18) Finzer also serves as the Artistic Director and co-founder of the Institute for Creative Music; a non-profit dedicated to exploring improvisation and creativity for musicians and audiences of all levels. Nick published his first book in 2013 Get Ahead (A Practical Guide for the Developing Jazz Trombonist) and relaunched that book as an interactive online course in June of 2017. Since then Finzer has gone on to develop his book series into Get Ready (a Jazz Trombone Warm Up Routine) in 2019, Get Set (22 Etudes to Study Improvisation) in 2020, and his most recent: Get Language (150 ii-V phrases in five levels). Nick also curates an online Virtual Studio where students can engage with weekly video content to bring their playing to the next level, and engage with one another (and Nick) via bi-monthly Virtual Studio Classes.

When not performing & teaching, Nick can be found on his YouTube channel sharing weekly videos on topics ranging from live performances, to educational videos, to his weekly music and trombone Q&A show “AskNick”, and his music marketing series “Create, Connect, Repeat.”

Nick is an artist for Conn-Selmer Inc. and plays a King 3B+ Trombone.

Course Curriculum

Available in days
days after you enroll
  Chapter 5 - The Piano
Available in days
days after you enroll
  Moving Forward
Available in days
days after you enroll

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 30 days and we will give you a full refund.

Hi! Thanks for checking out GET AHEAD! I can't wait to share these 7 chapters (over 4 hours of video lessons, with you!)

Get started now!