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interested in jazz

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by fourstringer73, May 18, 2001.

  1. I just sat in at a florida band contest as the jazz band bassist for dobie high school! I loved it! Its a new style i had never tried and i love it so much! I was asked to sit in about a week before perfomance to learn freddy freeloader and a riff in time and although it was difficult, I pulled it off pretty well! I just thought that some people would be interested in this and also wanted to ask if there is a way i could find some music and additional tips and techniques. Thanks a bunch!
  2. It sounds like you've been bitten by the jazz bug. Congratulations!
    The cheapest and broadest way I know, to open yourself to jazz, is to listen to a jazz radio station. Take note of the music you like most and buy the CD's. Listen over and over to the bass lines and see if you can figure out the patterns of the song. Listen for an intro, then verses, chorus etc.
    Keep going to hear live jazz and introduce yourself to the musicians as someone who wants to learn. I'm sure you'll find people who'll really help you.
    Good luck and have fun!
  3. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    Congratulations on having caught the spirit of jazz.

    If you have cable TV or satellite, you may be able to get the BET on Jazz cable channel. This is jazz in all its permutations 24/7. Plus you'll have the advantage of seeing the musicians play. Also, some of the shows have now deceased players and composers such as Duke Ellington. ANd they often show great jazz festivals. (The ads will try your patience,though.)

    Another advantage is the great variety of jazz shown from fusion to Latin to swing to bebop to "cool jazz' to contemporary...you name it.

    Two other possibilities. If you have digital cable, then you have the DMX music channels--all music--no ads. DMX has a channel for jazz vocals mix, acid jazz, contemporary jazz and jazz. Take your pick.

    The other possibility is many of the computer radio stations have jazz channels. If your computer can pick up these music stations, give the jazz stations a listen.
  4. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    While I agree that you have to listen to Jazz a lot to get into the "idiom", as someone who started trying to play Jazz only recently (3 or 4 years) I must say that I found playing along to Jazz tunes on CD or Radio very frustrating!!

    I just found that I could never get it and I think doing this without any knowledge of the theory behind it, is more likely to put you off for life!

    Jazz has a lot more chords and different chords that you don't necessarily hear in any other types of music - and the basslines are difficult to hear and work out as they use things like chromatic passing notes that aren't necessarily part of that chord or key!

    When I started out, the only way I could make any sense of it at all, was to sit down with a good book like Ed Friedland's "Jazz Bass" - which I highly recommend. Once I realised what was going on, I found it was much easier to get better - but the thing that I found was the only way I really made progress, was by playing with other people.

    The role of the bass player in Jazz is very different to other types of music and I often find that the whole group is looking to you to define the time and signal the chord/key changes - which is quite daunting for a beginner and the only way to get the confidence needed is to do it - a lot!!
  5. I appreciate all of this so much! Thank you! I also forgot to mention that i am going into the air force and wanted see if that changed anything about the advice you have all given me. My band teacher said that i should try to join the air force jazz band because he said that every one is always looking for a bassist, but i dont think im good enough yet, since ive only been playing since august '00. Does anyone know how any of that stuff works?
  6. Last Summer I saw the Air Force Heritage Band in Hampton VA. had a slot for a bassist. I think I found the audition requirements on the web. It sounds like a nice gig. Having been through college I'd go in as an officer, do basic training, then your job is to play. It also mentioned that everyone has some auxilliary duty related to keeping the band functioning, eg. librarian, equipment maintence, etc. I actually considered it but decided against it not wanting to move my family and I probably wouldn't dig military life at this point. One cool benefit is that they pay for you to study with anybody you want.

    Anyway, they're looking for professionals, cats who can play and decided to take the military gig, who could just as easily auditioned for and gotten jobs with other full-time professional ensembles.

    A general word of advice: if anyone's sole reason for joining is to play in the band, arrange to take your audition before signing up, making your signing up contigent upon a successful audition. If you sign up, then take the audition, if you don't pass your stuck in the military fixing air planes or whatever.

    There's cat on the DB board who plays for the army, you might try posting something down there in miscellaneous.
  7. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Ok, I was in the Army band system for 14 years. In a few weeks I'll be back in the military, this time in the Air Force band. Some of the people here have painted a decent picture of it, I'll try to clarify some points.

    Even if you've been to college, if you join as a bassist, you'll enlist. Officer rank only comes from having an officer job. THe college is a requirement to be an officer, but doesn't guarantee rank.

    While the Air Force is looking for bassists, they won't take just anyone. The audition is extremely demanding in scope. Jazz to pop to classical to reading reading reading, scales, reading, more reading and oh, yeah....did I mention reading?

    In the Army, there definately is a "full service" aspect to the job, I remember many nights in a tent, humping a rucksack, cleaning rifles, etc. In the Air Force however, playing (and the additional duty someone else explained (nearly always called "my other job :) ) is all you're expected to do. Playing means your small group, and can also mean concert band, marching band, and the odd "pick-up" job that needs to be filled.

    The other advice about auditioning first is a must! not only is it smart for the reasons David brought up, it's also harder to change jobs once you've got one in the military. The job you're trying to change out of won't want to let you go eaither.

    I see you're in Huston. I'll be in San Antonio soon and if you'd like to get an idea of what you need to work on, etc, we can hook up sometime and hang out, etc....

    Keep working on it dude.
  8. Pau


    Dec 8, 2000
    Madrid, Spain
    if you know how to improvise try to catch "the real book" lots of jazz patterns in it. Its real fun
  9. I jusy purchased the Real Book from Sher music today. Wow, there are so many tunes I've never heard of, it's kind of intimitating. It will be good to relearn the tunes I do know and actually play them with better arrangements (and the correct chords).
  10. thanks a bunch for responding to my post, you guys are awesome! Im sorry i havent responded to anything you guys have posted in awhile, i dont own a computer and have been super busy lately with graduation stuff . anyways , im going away in a week or so, and i may not get to read the forums about two months or so.:( Ill miss you guys while im gone but ill be back soon. thanks again!

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