Friday, 10 March 2017


Are you a frustrated jazz musician?
Do you play your notes correctly but can't find the right sound? This will help you learn how jazz works and how to get it into your system.

1. Listen to a lot of jazz music. Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk, Ella Fitzgerald, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Charles Mingus, Eric Dolphy, Pepper Adams, Louis Armstrong, Chet Baker, McCoy Tyner, Art Tatum, Sidney Bechet, Oscar Peterson Al Jarreau, Ray Brown, John Scofield, David Benoit, Cannonball Adderley, Herbie Hancock, Bill Evans, Dave Brubeck and Peter White are all excellent and very different jazz artists.

2. Listen night and day. Go for days without any other music. You will notice the difference.

3. Find out where you can see live jazz performed in your city, and go see performances often.

4. Jazz often have a triplet feel called 'swing. ' It can be explained many different ways, but the best way to learn it is just to listen to jazz. However, be wary; artists such as Monk and Mingus have distinctive styles of swing that may not sound good on all charts.

5. Train your ears and brains: Try to follow the rhythm of a song throughout. Start with a simple 4 measure beat, swinging track by Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers (check the syncopation on "Moanin'"). Move on to tracks and both.

6. Only after this analytic approach, synthesize. Listen to the interaction of great tightly interacting jazz groups, like the ones of Bill Evans or Dave Holland, in live contexts. Notice how they "feel" each other in the group, how they react to one another. The musical experience will be more and more rewarding and gain depth as you do so. Try approaching more complex music.

7. Play a blues scale. There are many different blues scales. Here is "C": C, E flat, F, F sharp, G, B flat, C.

8. Play your chromatic scale in your left hand, and hold each note for two beats.

9. Choose a C note (middle, high, etc. ), and play it repeatedly with your right hand at the same time as you play the chromatic scale with your left.

10. Experiment with different rhythms. After a few times through, add "E flat" while playing.

11. Play C and E flat together or separately. Make your way up through all the notes in the blues scale above.

12. Learn the blues scale at least in the seven major keys.



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