Learning Jazz

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by neal085, Dec 16, 2013.

  1. neal085

    neal085 Mezzo Forte User

    Sep 6, 2012
    Ft. Worth, TX
    So I'm about 18 months into a comeback, and want to branch out into jazz. I've played all classical or classical style music to date - some hymns, and also some movie soundtracks. I listen to lots of Miles Davis, Wynton, Botti, and even Coltrane, but I've never tried to play any of it.

    I was thinking about getting one of the beginner jazz books with cd - I read music fairly well, but it's one of those deals that I can read it better if I know what it's supposed to sound like, if that makes sense.

    Recommendations for some starting music?

    Also, are there any studies in Arban's that more readily lend themselves to the style?
  2. Dr.Mark

    Dr.Mark Mezzo Forte User

    Apr 5, 2011
    Do Not Start Out With Coltrane!!!
    The augmented progression is usually what senior performance majors tackle. Don't get me wrong, Giant Steps is one of the most joyous pieces I can think of in jazz. But starting with Coltrane is like giving a 16 year old the keys to the Ferrari.I would start out with Maiden Voyage, Blues in All Keys or Nothin' But The Blues, all by Aebersold. Once you get that under your belt, possibly the standards by Aebersold. Then maybe ii V7 I progression.
  3. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    While Giant Steps is in fact, just as the title suggests, Maiden Voyage can be a Titanic Ride as well. Some of those modal transitions are not at the beginner level either.

    Now a 12 bar blues... or songs in that 12 bar blues tradition, that is where starting material comes from.
  4. kehaulani

    kehaulani Fortissimo User

    May 14, 2011
    Hawaian homey
    I agree that the blues is fundamental to jazz and a great place to include in your beginning explorations into jazz. Aebersold's "Nothing but Blues" play-along is a fun blow and there are tunes on it that are not that difficult.

    Regarding orienting yourself in general, most importantly, you've got to get the style imbedded into your soul and inner ear so that it's second nature to you. That means listening voraciously to recordings, and, hopefully, to local live performances. The instrument can tie your hands somewhat, so sing along with recordings. Learn to sing any number of good performances. An early experience of mine, personally, was singing along with Mile's solo on "So What" from his Kind of Blue recording, and the scat solos by Lambert, Hendricks and Ross on the recording, "The Hottest New Group in Jazz", which had transcriptions of instrumental solos put to lyrics, which helped me learn the solos easier.

    But it's the process, not necessarily the specific tunes. You can't really skip this process and expect to assimilate the style. Next would come transcribing solos. This not only sharpens your ear and ear-to-horn link, but if you slow down the tunes as you transcribe them, you can pick up a lot of subtleties you might miss otherwise.

    You asked about books. I think a standard combination are the Jamie Aebersold, volumes 1 (How to Play Jazz and Improvise), volume 2 (Nothin' But Blues) and vol 54 (Maiden Voyage). Also, Jerry Coker's little primer, "Improvising" is a concise but very informative book (also available from jazzbooks.com)

    Good luck and have fun!

    (an aside - Coltrane's a giant figure in jazz. Don't ever not listen to him. And just for the record, "Giant Steps" might be a challenge, but "Impressions" is not, unless you take it at Warp Factor 10. There's no reason to ignore Coltrane.
  5. jiarby

    jiarby Fortissimo User

    May 7, 2011
    I'd learn, in this order.

    1. 12 bar blues (+ normal progression variations)
    2. "Rhythm Changes" + learn the tunes based on them. Learn the different "store" bridges.
    3. ii-V7-I progression (and 3-6-2-5-1) turn arounds and licks.
    4. Then anything else.
  6. TrumpetMD

    TrumpetMD Fortissimo User

    Oct 22, 2008
    This is similar to how I started. I stated with Jamey Aebersold's volumes 1, 2, and 3.

    Volume 1 has a lot of introductory material, and some very easy tracks to get started with. If you're a beginner, it's a good place to start.

    Volume 2 is a good introduction to the blues, but is limited to easier and more common keys.

    Volume 3 focuses on the II-V progression. I still use this volume (30 years later).

  7. neal085

    neal085 Mezzo Forte User

    Sep 6, 2012
    Ft. Worth, TX
    Thanks for all the input, gentlemen.

    That's what I was looking for - I want to attack jazz starting from the concept level, more than just looking for songs to learn.
  8. neal085

    neal085 Mezzo Forte User

    Sep 6, 2012
    Ft. Worth, TX
    Just ordered all 3 Aebersold books off jazzbooks.com If you buy one, they give you a good discount on the second two books.
  9. And3

    And3 Pianissimo User

    Oct 7, 2013
    East Sussex, UK
  10. neal085

    neal085 Mezzo Forte User

    Sep 6, 2012
    Ft. Worth, TX
    Got the 3 Aebersold books in the mail today, and buying all of them at once may have been a bit ambitious. Think I'm going to be working on Volume 1 for quite a while.

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