need help/advice on playing jazz

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by motherfunker, Aug 23, 2005.

  1. motherfunker


    Apr 29, 2002
    New York
    first off let me state that i 2 jazz albums. squarepusher, and of course, jaco. i've really wanted to learn to play jazz because to me it seems the hardest (and therefore most rewarding?) technique to use.

    all i really know about it is that its based on improv and that my fretless j-bass is not a bad bass to start learning jazz with...especially with the flatwounds i have on it.

    so could somebody point me to a site or book or at least give me some advice? help apprec
  2. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
  3. AGCurry


    Jun 29, 2005
    Kansas City
    As you know, there are many subcategories within jazz, but I've always appreciated going to the roots. If you want to play like Jaco, good luck - just remember that HE learned from others and paid his dues with the likes of Wayne Cochran and the C.C. Riders (not implying anything wrong with that, just that he learned from constraints).

    If you want to learn to play jazz from the ground up, I think it's important to know the blues backwards and forwards. When you get into the more "refined" styles of blues (Kansas City, New York, LA), you will discover alternate chord patterns which introduce you to walking lines and circles of fifths. Once you know these, you can progress to playing standards.

    The more styles you experience, the better jazz player you will be. That includes country and western, latin, polka, rhythm and blues, you name it... Some fine jazz players can be found on old country and western recordings, so don't think that any style is beneath you. What IS beneath you is playing with musicians who don't care about their music.

    Internalizing the "gestalt" of jazz is really a function of how well you can listen, what you hear in your head, and how well you can play what you hear in your head. It's a lifelong pursuit, so get started!
  4. mlbarlow


    Apr 26, 2005
    Plattsburgh, NY
    Listen, listen, listen ...

    Did I mention listen ... to as much jazz as possible. I've never met anyone I would consider a jazz player who couldn't carry on a coversation about Wayne Shorter or Charles Mingus. Technique is only one small part of the picture. Feel is enourmous, and that only comes with listening.
  5. larry j

    larry j

    Jul 28, 2005
    Orlando Fl.
    I agree with the concept of learning to walk blues tunes. One very important thing is not to set your sights too high and get discouraged. I was actually thinking that a good place to start is getting a Chuck Berry collection on Chess records. Then play along. If you think of it, for instance, "Rock and Roll Music" is a jump blues. Willie dixon walks on upright, the drummer shuffles, and the 3 chords take unusual turns especially on the 5 to 1, 5 to 1 chords on bars 11to 14 in the chorus . A 14 bar chorus. Paul Anka has a new c.d. "Rock swings" which may also be a way to get your ear hearing a "Jazz" approach to rock tunes. I think Richard Cheese is more fun though, and may be usefull. When I was in high school I thought I wanted to get into jazz, so I bought Miles davis' Bitches brew.I didn't get anything but confused. It took me 3 years untill I found out that there was jazz I could get into, my initiation were a Grover washington Jr. album and a Rassaan Roland Kirk album both of which were soul albums. My point is if you get, for instance a chick corea elektrik band album to play along with you might get scared off. Play along with the Chuck Berry, or get Miles davis'early 60s classic "Kind of blue", and play along with the tune "all blues" to start. Or a Louis Armstrong collection. Just start playing along. :bassist: That's my 75 cents, and Hi Jimmy m
  6. jdThumpin'


    Aug 16, 2005
    i agree with mlbarlow
    a lot of jazz is about feel and groove especially on bass part
    if you love jazz so much, listen and understand what you are about to play. for example, understand the story behind the song. this way u'll be playing with style! because it'll be your own feeling and groove
  7. bassuser35


    Mar 25, 2004
    what made you get a fretless if you've never really listened to jazz?
  8. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    No disrespect to BGer's, but you may be better off checking the DB side of the board. There's a LOT more going on than just "feeling good", why not check in with some folks who play this music a lot?

    Check in the MUSIC THEORY forum, there's a lot of different threads in the stickies that can point you in some good directions. If the thread raises a question, all you got to do is post and the thread comes live again.

    Also check out Chris Fitzgerald's lesson on building a walking bass line in the ARTICLES section of this site.
  9. WillBuckingham


    Mar 30, 2005
    Motherfunker, find an instructor, and do a lot of listening. I would say start with Charlie Parker . . .
  10. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Moved to General Instruction - jazz isn't a technique, it's a complete art form.