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I wanna learn some jazz ! Where do i start ?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by ntbhoang, Sep 22, 2013.

  1. ntbhoang


    Nov 1, 2010
    Hi folks,

    After many years playing rock/metal exclusively, i got pretty good techniques, ears, can do speedy stuffs well but i always felt that i'm lacking something like the ability to walk over chords change, the music theory knowledge. And i think i need to make up my mind and learn some standard jazz, but i don't know where to start. What songs is good for a beginner like me to step in that strange land. Please, school me, any input will help alot
  2. robinunit


    Aug 9, 2010

    My name is Robin Betton and I happened to see your post on learning jazz and wanted to help out. My biggest piece of advice I give to my students when learning jazz is to take the time to find recordings and players that YOU like to listen to. Find tunes and recordings that you respond emotionally to and will LOVE listening to over and over again.

    I suggest physically writing out what you like about a tune/recording. Really try to articulate what you like about the music. The more you do this the more you will do to find music like it and the easier it will be to accurately recognize what is going on in the music.

    If it ever feels like you're listening as if it's a chore or an obligation then the music may not be for you... does that make sense? If you respond well to something you want to take the time and effort to understand it better.

    So... that being said there are different eras of jazz and different styles. Here's a list I found on the internet of some top recordings.


    I'm also starting a music lessons studio in Boston as I've just graduated from on of the top music schools in the US, the New England Conservatory of Music, and would like to invite you to take a 30 minute lesson over Skype in exchange for a testimonial. It's kind of an experiment as I've only taught in person lessons up to this point.

    Take Care,

    Robin Betton

    c: 617-861-7060
  3. Jookbox

    Jookbox Registered Drummer

    Mar 16, 2006
    You should learn the smooth jazz version of Enter Sandman
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  5. ddhm


    Mar 18, 2011
    Memphis Tn USA
    Scottsbasslessons.com has a bunch of stuff on Jazz. He's a good teacher too. I think I paid $40 bucks for the whole jazz course with ...oh jeez, let's call it 120 backing tracks covering all the major and minor keys, a bunch of lead sheets, a great video and probably some more stuff I'm not thinking about.
  6. lexington125


    Sep 11, 2013
    hollywood, baby......
    it's funky this, and funky funky that, if you ain't funky, y'all, you ain't where it's at
    Just based on your other statements (walking over changes, etc) you might find the easiest route to the jazz is straight through the blues. I can't imagine trying to walk over jazz changes if I wasn't already very comfortable walking over blues changes. But thats just me. (when I mention the "blues" I'm not referring to the guitar gymnastics stuff that passes for blues these days. Listen to some Willie Mabon, or Little Milton for some tasty walking lines; I have no idea who their bass players were, but they sound like they could play jazz or blues convincingly)
  7. bass12

    bass12 Fueled by chocolate Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    The best thing you can do is find a good teacher. :)
  8. ntbhoang


    Nov 1, 2010
    Thank you for all your input ! I will take a look at Scootsbasslesson.com, i've watched some of his videos on youtube and that guy is a great teacher.
  9. fearceol

    fearceol Supporting Member

    Nov 14, 2006
    +1 on this. OP, IMO the best way to start into jazz is through learning walking bass lines, and the best way to do this is through blues.

    Dave Marks has a series of lessons on walking bass. A great place to start IMO :

  10. Dbt25677


    Jun 9, 2013
    You can't be taught jazz.
    Jazz is more than a skill, it's an emotion.
    Jazz can't be taught, jazz can't be learned.
    Jazz is or is not. You have it or you don't; it can only be felt, experienced for yourself.

    I suggest James Bond.

    (Intro: GG G~, GG G~ GG)

    (Verse: C... C... C... C...)

    (Chorus: C Eb G Eb, C D Eb G)
  11. Shakin-Slim


    Jul 23, 2009
    Tokyo, Japan
  12. fearceol

    fearceol Supporting Member

    Nov 14, 2006

    @ Dbt25677 :

    Are you seriously saying that all the great teachers out there are wasting their time, and all the tutorial books on jazz are also a waste of time ? :confused:

    There is no doubt that to play jazz well, you need to do a lot of listening and be able to play with feeling. However you need to combine this with the "nuts and bolts" so to speak.

    You can have oceans of emotion to hand, but if you dont have the wherewithall to express it, it is not much use to you. ;)
  13. Don't get too hung up on it and watch out for the puritans who only relate to jazz on a double bass

    Like most things start with the basics

    Learn to crawl before we walk

    Good luck

    Ps Paul Chambers is a good place to start
  14. ntbhoang


    Nov 1, 2010
    God, i hate replies like that. Music is an emotion not just jazz. What i means is that i need some suggestion on the very basic like: tracks name, tutorials, theory to get me start !
  15. So which reply is more annoying - the sales pitch guy or Mr you cant be taught jazz?
  16. markanini


    Jun 25, 2008
    Learn the bass line to The Ocean by Led Zeppelin. :)
  17. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Sure, whatever. But you might want to head over to the DB side of the board, because there are people who post there that not only actually PLAY jazz, they also have done so with people whose recordings you're gonna need to become familiar with. One thing that I always suggest, somebody gives you some advice about "how to play jazz", find some sound files of them actually doing it.
    Or not, no skin off my nose.
  18. robinunit


    Aug 9, 2010
    Might I make a suggestion? When I first seriously starting getting into bass playing I went to the Berklee 5 week program in Boston and took a 5 week "basic" bass playing course with Esperanza Spalding. I'm not sure if you know who that is but it may be worth your time to check her out. She's very passionate and is very dedicated to the music.

    So we had one class every week. The first week she had us all play and we did some listening. Regardless of skill level in the class she had us all learn for the next week Scott La Faro's solo on Gloria's Step.

    These people are in it for the long haul and LOVE what they do.
    I may have some of Matt's old teaching material but would need to ask him before distributing copies.


  19. Deep Cat

    Deep Cat Supporting Member

    Jul 5, 2013
    San Francisco
    Jazz is deep, wide and profound. I'm not a Jazz guy, but I think if you want to get into any genre other than the one that put you onto the instrument, you should listen first and play second.

    Listen to Jazz that sets your hair on fire. If you aren't feeling it from an artist, move on until you find one that does.

    I would recommend you hit it from a more contemporary angle. Weather Report and Jaco. Miles Davis, for sure, but go backwards. Start with his most recent live stuff and then go back to Bitches Brew and so forth. The Allman Brothers actually rock out from jazz structures.

    Btw, I'm pretty sure the bassist for Willie Mabon and Little Milton was probably Willie Dixon. If you can't learn to walk over I IV V changes from listening to Chicago Blues, nothing will help you.

    The deeper you get into Jazz, the more you realize, there is no standard jazz. Of course, there are Jazz standards, which is makes me kinda realize that's probably where you should be focusing your search. Listen to the cool ****, but when it comes time to learn Jazz, focus on learning standards.
  20. lexington125


    Sep 11, 2013
    hollywood, baby......
    it's funky this, and funky funky that, if you ain't funky, y'all, you ain't where it's at
    Btw, I'm pretty sure the bassist for Willie Mabon and Little Milton was probably Willie Dixon

    While the odds are in your favor, and I certainly have no proof otherwise, the music I had in mind really doesn't sound like Willie Dixon, but I could be wrong.

    For two examples:
    • "I'm Mad" by Willie Mabon
    • "What Kind of Love is That" by Little Milton

    two very different songs, the two very different basslines are both credited to that fifties legend "Unknown" The Little Milton song sounds like an electric (Fender) bass (probably ruling out Dixon - does anyone know if the big man did any/much recording with a Fender?) while the Mabon tune is acoustic.

    I could be mistaken, but neither tune sounds like Dixon to me.

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