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How to start out with jazz

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by tallguybcs, Feb 6, 2001.

  1. I just bought jaco's remastered album, and I am totally inspired to at least become accustumed to jazz and be able to apply it to the other forms of music I play. Where should I start, any advice is greatly appreciated.
  2. Lance Jaegan

    Lance Jaegan

    Dec 23, 2000
    Ed Friedland's books on Walking/Jazz bass are all excellent places to start, they really break down the walking line into it's components, and teach you how to improvise over chord changes. I'd also definitely recommend a teacher. Also, just going down to your local jazz jam session (if one exists near you), not actually playing, but just listening, can also be education in itself.
  3. cschenk78


    Mar 12, 2000
    Watertown, NY
    You can also start at the foundation of Jazz...take the 12 bar blues and as Jim would say "learn to play the P*ss out of it!"

    does that help?
  4. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    Here's two books that will help you besides the two excellent Ed Friedland books on walking bass lines. These books are BASIC and will start you at the start.

    Fakeschenk suggested the twelve bar blues as a good foundation to jazz. I highly reccommend:

    Mel Bay's Complete Blues Bass Book by Mark Hiland with CD.

    Written in both standard notation and tab, this book will give you a thorough grounding in the twelve bar blues, plus it builds up in complexity until it does reach a small section of jazz blues.

    Mel Bay's Complete Jazz Bass Book by Earl Gately

    No tab here. This book starts you out learning how to read standard notation. It contains among many other important information and techniques you need to know to play jazz, an excellent section of common chord progressions
    heard in jazz compositions.

    Oh, one other I just found in my pile of books on the floor here is:

    Joy of Imrov: Book One with enhanced CD for Mac or PC by
    Dave Frank with John Amaral (Hal Leonard ).

    This book is written for ALL instruments, not just bass as the ones above are. It also contains lengthy lists of important jazz music you should make an effort to collect or download or borrow or whatever. The list is considerably more detailed than Ken Burns jazz series.

    Good luck.

    jason oldsted

  5. acousticdave


    Dec 29, 2000
    Why not go buy some Cd's or used records and listen to them.
  6. Acousticdave is correct Play a CD night and day intill you hear it in your dreams and then learn to play it.
  7. frederic b. hodshon

    frederic b. hodshon

    May 10, 2000
    Redmond, WA
    Microsoft Product Designer
    one of the ICONs of jazz method bass books is


  8. Listen to "night Train" by Oscar Peterson with Ray Brown on bass, or "Kind of Blue" by Miles Davis. These two albums alone contain everything you'll ever need to know about jazz bass. Also, as suggested above, Ed Friedlands book on Walking bass is fantastic for starting out on.
  9. what about, listening to some of the mile davis stuff, or john coltrane,, it's much more interesting picking out the subdued bass line and waiting for intros and solos on the big old uprights,, i really liked the stuff that the likes of julian euell,, i think it is did back in the 50's60's

    and i'm no oldie,, 18!!

    sometimes i think the best stuffs, not always apparent,, get those ears in trainging and give flea a rest!!

  10. I personally think flea is one of the more over-rated bassist among the general public. He's good, but not as good as everyone (mostly the non-bass playing type).
  11. Ty McNeely

    Ty McNeely

    Mar 27, 2000
    We started playing some Miles Davis stuff in jazz band at school and that really turned me on to jazz a lot (especially since I have a solo:D)

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