We’ve decided to start a new series on Teen Jazz where we answer specific questions that have been submitted by our readers. If you have a question about music, performance or the music business, please feel free to post them in the comments!
WHAT SHOULD I FOCUS ON DURING JAZZ PRACTICE?
The goal of practice, regardless of genre, is to focus on and develop skills that need improvement. That’s what differentiates practice from playing which is playing things you already know. To practice “jazz,” there are a few things to practice that are specific to the genre such as the ability to read chord changes, improvisation and style. It helps to keep a practice journal where you create a list I things you want to work on and your progress with each. So, for example, if I were just starting out, my first few goals may be to find a few jazz players who play my instrument and listen to their recordings, learn the chord tones and scales for the chord changes for a few songs as well as their melodies (good beginning songs are blues, Summertime, Song for my Father, Perdido, Four, Watermelon Man, Cantaloupe Island, etc). At a slightly more advanced level, I’d maybe work on transcribing, etudes of various difficulties, and start to attend jam sessions. It also is very beneficial to work with a private teacher.
DO YOU INVITE PEOPLE TO A JAM SESSION?
The answer to this question depends on your role at the jam session. If you are running the jam session, it is, in part, your responsibility to invite other musicians to attend. If you are only attending the jam session as a guest or to sit in, you are not obligated to invite others, but it’s always a good idea (if it’s an open event). Not only will you get to sit in and jam with your friends, but you’ll also please both session leader and venue. The more patrons a venue has, the longer it will continue to host the jam session. So if it is a jam session you enjoy attending, by all means, invite your friends! If you’re looking for a jam session in your area, check out our Jam Session Directory here.
MUSICIANS’ ADVICE FOR OTHER MUSICIANS:
We’ve interview several musicians throughout the nearly ten years we’ve been in existence. As part of each interview, we ask the musicians what their advice would be to an up and coming musician. You could get this information by reading each interview individually, but we made it easy for you by combining all of the advice into this eBook.
TEMPLATES ON HOW TO PLAN TO RECORD AN ALBUM:
You can get our album planning guide and workbook here.