Should I try jazz?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Jamerman, Jul 6, 2013.

  1. Jamerman


    Apr 8, 2013
    I play metal. I write it, I listen to it, and I'm not trying to say it's all I listen to (Far from it), but I enjoy doing it. But people have been telling me things like "Your bass skills will improve if you play jazz".

    Whether people tell me this because people typically jazz has more complex theory than metal (Although people like Alex webster or John Myung have shown theory can lead to heavy metal :bassist:) or some other reason is beyond me, but can someone explain what jazz can do for my playing that metal can't?

    I've always found "If you don't like it, don't play it" to be a good idea, and since I don't like much jazz, should I bother?
  2. JoeWPgh


    Dec 21, 2012
    You've got nothing to lose by learning it, as much of it can be (and has been) ported to other popular genres. It's a richly developed language with a fairly long and documented history
  3. Lee Moses

    Lee Moses

    Apr 2, 2013
    It will make you a better all-around player and musician. I don't know that it will necessarily make you a better metal player, though. Hearing chord changes and forming walking bass lines carries over to most popular music styles (including country, pop, and a good amount of rock and roll), but metal tends to be very riff-oriented with very few chord changes. So if you are certain that metal is all you will want to play the rest of your life, you can probably do fine without ever learning jazz.
  4. Batmensch


    Jul 4, 2010
    Media, PA.
    "If you don't like it, don't play it."
    Sounds good to me. You like playing metal and don't really like Jazz? then play metal, and play the hell out of it, and forget about Jazz. You don't need to learn Jazz to learn theory better, theory is independent of genre. Just keep playing metal, study theory on the side, work hard, and you will be a better musician overall. Play the music that inspires you, that's what will get you the furthest.
  5. musicman666


    Sep 11, 2011
    No you shouldn't learn jazz...its really,really hard and takes lots of will probably just get tired anyways and want to take a nap. Try Yodeling, its really cool and the chicks dig it! So do dogs, if ya have any of them.
  6. Jamerman


    Apr 8, 2013
    I think a lot of people would agree with this, and as Joe said earlier, I can't really lose anything by doing it. So I suppose if one day I woke up and thought "Okay, lets write a rock and roll song" jazz would definitely help in that sense.
    And a some metal players (Not just bassists) have been inspired by / have used jazzy-stuff in their playing, so I guess I'll keep looking at jazz and the walking bass it possesses
  7. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton

    Nov 22, 2008
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    Music is music, theory is independant of said but you will never realise this for yourself until you explore other forms of music, then you can evaluate any relevance it will have to your playing.....or genre.......genre is a sound, as well as a feeling.

    Check out the link, check out the date, check out the guitar, give him a tube screamer, jeans and a tee shirt and what is he playing then.....but in the middle of the 50' a way ahead of any the rock and metal players of the 70s and 80s.... as was Bach centuries ahead of them as well. :)

  8. NO!!! Instead, learn music theory (how to read and write music, etc).
  9. kreider204


    Nov 29, 2008
    Give it a shot, see if you like it. Decent jazz bass players are always in demand, so it could open some doors.
  10. Shakin-Slim


    Jul 23, 2009
    Tokyo, Japan
    If you don't like it, don't bother.
  11. kreider204


    Nov 29, 2008
    Generally, I'd agree, but I've found that jazz is the sort of music a lot of people don't know that they like until they actually try playing it. Worth a shot, anyway.
  12. bolophonic


    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    Nothing wrong with learning from a wide variety of musical genres when you rehearse, but I wouldn't recommend trying to join a jazz ensemble if you don't like the music.
  13. IMO you can't play it until you've listened to a LOT of it. If you don't like it, you won't listen.
  14. kreider204


    Nov 29, 2008
    You can't play it WELL until you've listened to a lot of it, but you can certainly start learning and playing right away - high school jazz bands across the nation attest to this fact. ;)
  15. Lee Moses

    Lee Moses

    Apr 2, 2013
    When I first started taking lessons at 14 or 15, I was definitely a hard rock/heavy metal dude. And my first instructor was a 100% jazzer. At first, I didn't understand the appeal of that kind of music--at all. But jazz was primarily what we studied. Eventually, I came to appreciate it, and ultimately, to love it.
  16. kreider204


    Nov 29, 2008
    That was my experience too - except substitute prog rock for heavy metal. :)
  17. Violen

    Violen Instructor in the Vance/Rabbath Method Inactive

    Apr 19, 2004
    Kansas City Metro Area
    Endorsing Artist: Conklin Guitars (Basses)
    Jazz isn't an art form. Its a discipline. Being able to play jazz means you can play anything. It doesn't work the other way around. The average jazz musician must have vocabulary, knowledge and facility in Improvisation, Swing, Funk, Latin Music, American Folk song, and the history of American music.

    A jazz musician is by definition a virtuoso, someone who can gunfight in any situation.
    A good jazz musician operates from a different rhythmic clock

    I started as a progressive rock bass player who wanted more. All the technique you practice, scales and arpeggios with a metronome don't really do anyone any good without function. Ridiculous speed isn't really necessary for any form of music, all it does is feed the wrong side of a musicians ego.

    If you want to really experience music and moreover experience yourself, the deepness of your soul and communion with other musicians, you need to begin this journey and pledge yourself to something greater.

    Its a journey that will take your entire life, and in my experience so far, ups and downs, i wouldn't trade anything for it.

    Oh, and I hated anything not metal for a long time, until i made the decision to embrace that fact that i wanted greater knowledge and made myself receptive to those desires.
  18. preach, this is the reason i'm cancelling projects now to study jazz really thoroughly
  19. Saxn


    Oct 23, 2010
    Nashville, GA
    One of the awesomerest posts I've read in a while.
  20. odin70


    Dec 26, 2007
    If you want to: Dont do it.
    If you have to: Go ahead.