Saxophone Forum


by saxman2010
(2 posts)
10 years ago

Learning Jazz

Can someone give me some good advice for playing jazz for the first time.I'm in middle school

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  1. by definition
    (963 posts)

    10 years ago

    Re: Learning Jazz

    Practice. and get a good teacher to help you with the basics

    Reply To Post Yahoo! AIM


    1. by saxman2010
      (2 posts)

      10 years ago

      Re: Learning Jazz

      I practice all the time. it's the eighth notes and rhythems.

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      1. by karebear1012
        (395 posts)

        10 years ago

        Re: Learning Jazz

        try getting Lennie Nehause's beginner jazz book. that worked magic for me.

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        1. by Firk
          (31 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Learning Jazz

          if you know your horn pretty good, then my advice to you is listen. buy a couple of the jazz standards- miles davis- kind of blue, john coltrane- blue train, throw in some lester young and sonny rollins for good measure. you don't neccesarily have to mimic them note for note, but pay attention to their style and what they do with each note. another good idea is to pick up a couple aebersol(spelling?) books. vols. 1 and 2 are great for beginners and will tell you all the basics behind the music. good luck ~Firk

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        2. by jazzax
          (30 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Learning Jazz

          I agree with the last post above. Aebersold provides an excellent resource for learning about harmony and also working on doing what you need to do...playing with a rhythm section...and these guys never get tired and they don't sneer at you for playing some bad stuff while you're working it out. Keep it simple. Definitely listen to the music you want to play a lot. Try to play with records, transcribe what lines you like or melodies. Listen to old jazz and concentrate on players that don't necessarily play more than you can hear at this point...Miles Davis, Lester Young, Johnny Hodges, Paul Desmond, Lee Konitz, Art Pepper, Stan Getz...these guys can burn too, but they play a lot of eighth notes. Listen to everything of course, but when you're first trying to get it together, Bird, Trane and some of the boppers can be overwhelming. That's another thing, don't play too much. Listen and be true to yourself. Playing "fast" out of rhythm and without any harmonic and melodic sense sounds bad. You won't be fooling anybody. Play only as much as you can handle and still have it work in context. Learning chords, scales and basic theory on your instrument is essential. Another basic thing to do is to play easy songs you can sing to yourself in all kinds of keys on your instrument. Bird and Cannonball quoted things like Pop Goes the Weasel. What you are trying to do is get the song in your head out of your horn...the more you listen and work at it, the hipper the song in your head will be and the better your ability to translate that on your horn. Have fun. It takes a lot of time and effort, but it is really worth it.

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        3. by Dave36251
          (8 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Learning Jazz

          Listen, listen and listen! (you've got to get this music in your head. You will never learn it from a book.) Then transcribe, transcribe, transcribe! (and don't write it down right away. take your time and really get the solos in your head. don't rush to get a lot of solos transcribed. learning 1 solo fully and with all the nuance and phrasing is worth more than 100 solos learned poorly) All the while be working on your technique through classical studies like the ferling book and of course scales, long tones, overtones (Rashcer's top tones for saxophone is almost essential), etc. Use Aebersold's stuff in moderation, if at all. You get a lot more from playing with actual records than his canned rhythm sections, and spending too much time w/ them will make it hard for you to deal with actual rhythm sections. You can see the result of this in a lot of players out there today who just don't know how to play with rhythm sections and who think that the rhythm section is just there to back them up. Instead there should be a dialogue happening between the soloist and the other players. I've felt personally the negative affects of spending too much time w/ abersold records and with transcription books. Overall just listen A LOT to all the greats (bird, coltrane, ellington, armstrong, sonny rollins, miles, monk, lester young, dizzy, ornette, coleman hawkins, elvin jones, etc...) and imitate and little by little you'll get a grasp on this music and your own sound will emerge. Just remember to let your ears lead you more than your eyes or mind. If you're not hearing it and instead just regurgitating from a book than it won't be genuine.

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        4. by Firk
          (31 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Learning Jazz

          dave is absolutely right about the aebersold books. i infact don't like playing with them at all because the rhythem section doesn't change or take you anywhere, but they are a good tool to work out some solo stuff, especially theory stuff and the 1st two books are very helpful even if you just read them. there is no substitute for listening ~Firk

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