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Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by mixmastermike, Mar 30, 2013.
Is anybody aware of a collection of jazz standards, instead of buying a bunch of albums?
I buy mine from Amazon at 99cents each. Works out really well.
Since no version is "the" version I suggest to buy a Real Book and some software like Band In A Box.
Everyone and their mother play them differently so whatever ... the real book is the only thing you really need and even then, you will most likely right some change because the band leader want a different chords at some places.
I'd suggest buying the records and putting the compilation together yourself. And getting as many versions of particular composition as you can, precisely so you can hear how different folks approach the same melody...
This is a problem I've been facing myself... Want to break into jazz but I have a hard time putting together a sort of study repertoire. I have a realbook lying around but without some aid in form of a record I just see a bunch of chords that I hamfistedly try to string together. That each standard has been played ad nauseam doesn't help in tracking down a somewhat vanilla version, asking myself, what version do pick?
Maybe I'm giving this too much thought though. Just pick a tune from the realbook, find a record and here's the ball now run with it?
there is no 'vanilla' version and that's the point
if you're not excited by infinite variation and the awesomeness of that maybe you're not a candidate for 'jazz' (sic improvised music)
one the other hand - most jazz standards (as we call them now) were the pop tunes of their time (20s, 30s, 40s, 50s even 60s) - so, you can go back and find versions that were very staid and simple by the vocalists of the day
It's easier than ever nowadays to "break into jazz" from a study resource perspective. I suggest you purchase some Jamey Aebrsold play along sets (there are about 130 or so now), perhaps focusing on some of the "standards" sets he has assembled. Good luck!
I know, and I really like the impro aspect but I find it kind of unfortunate for someone like me who likes to learn stuff bottom-up. In a way like the Hegelian ideal of science, from the abstract to the concrete (aka from the simple to the complex with all its neverending varieties and exceptions). Lol, weird thing to say I guess.
Good point! Maybe I'll try that.
I'll also look at the Aebersold tapes, thanks Isabina; I actually have some lying around...
Also, what's with all the scare quotes, do I talk funny?
I have thought a lot about picking up band in a box but there are lots of versions to choose from and I get a little nervous about pulling the financial trigger.
Anybody have album/artist
suggestions to begin my collection?
You might want to check out vocalist's albums - a lot of the classic jazz singers recorded arrangements of tunes that are pretty true to the "standard" versions played at jazz gigs.
Definitely check out some Nat King Cole, Sarah Vaughn, Ella Fitzgerald (especially her duet albums with Louis Armstrong), Chet Baker, Billie Holiday, Sinatra, etc...
I think there's a few threads in the Jazz Technique section that cover "essential tunes" for beginner jazz players. You may want to check those out.
See the book, The Jazz Standards: A Guide to the Repertoire by Ted Gioia.
The book includes a listening guide to more than 2,000 versions of about 250 standards. you can hear these recordings on a Spotify listening list for the book's guide:
Check this out.
Nowadays whenever I run across a song I don't know in the standards world, the solution is YouTube. It seems like you can always find a decent version or two there. That and iRealbook and my stack of old paper real books now on PDF serve me well
Spotify...the Real Book will even tell you which recording was used sometimes.
Having played rock for 12 years, I bought a double bass in 1992 and changed paths. I picked up about five Sinatra CDs and a book of chord changes for piano w/ vocals. It was here that I discovered the difference between "Broadway" changes and jazz changes. A Dmin6 is really a BMin7 (b5) functioning as the ii chord in a ii V(b9) to a minor chord.
Once I had "I've Got you Under My Skin," "A Foggy Day," etc. under my belt, I got into Mingus, Monk, Coltrane, and the rest of the Blue Note, Contemporary, Impulse!, etc. catalogue. Several real books and a great deal of woodshedding ensued.
Excellent points here
This is the advice you should follow.
Check out the LearnJazzStandards.com
I would agree that starting with a vanilla version is a good way to go. You need to be able to hear what's going on, without too much tricky stuff happening that doesn't make sense to you right now.
Jamie Abersold has zillions of playalongs that are pretty vanilla and very serviceable to use to learn tunes. Also YouTube has a bunch of playalong jazz tunes. I'd start by just copying the bassline as played, note for note, if possible. This will help you internalize the changes and chord movement. Once you get that tune down, find another version of the same song and copy that bass players way of approaching the tune. Pick a version where you can clearly hear what's happening. As an aside, I think any bassline played by Sam Jones is a model of bassline clarity and efficiency.
As time goes on, you will find your own way of handling the changes. Try to mix and match different stuff that you get from different versions. You will make it your own in time. The more you do it, the easier it gets.
Everyone learns jazz by copying someone else first. It's an art that you pick up by doing it. The thing that will help your musicianship most of all is to find some people to play with. Being forced to learn the songs and playing in a live setting will give you a lot of motivation.
keith jarrett recorded many on his 'standards 'albums and on 'the melody at night with you'.
Having people to play with is the tough part where I live. I'm sure it is for a lot of us, with that said is the band in a box program a passable substitute for live situations?