Questions and Answers
Hi, Im seventeen y/o from Arborfield England. Ive been trying all year to set up a jazz band outside of school, I play the piano in my school's.
The problem is, although I know musicians who want to be in a band and they are good, they only want to be in rock bands, I mean, it is england, but still.
Any advice on how to introduce some peers into jazz?
The music of choice for most people your age is Rock. That's what most people want to hear. I have always thought of Jazz as music for musicians. If you don't play an instrument, it's difficult to appreciate Jazz. There are probably 10 rock radio stations for every Jazz station. In the US, most of the Jazz stations are associated with Colleges that teach Jazz. But, a Jazz piano player only really needs a bass player and a drummer to become a success. I like Jazz and I always thought that a 5-piece Jazz ensemble with Piano, Bass, Drums, Guitar, and Vibraphone would be the ultimate Jazz band. You could also add a saxophone player that could double on the clarinet. Now, finding a saxophone player, clarinet player and vibraphone player who wanted to join a jazz band should not be too hard if you can even find a serious player on one of those instruments today. When I was in my early 20s I was in a dance band that played mostly rock because that is what the audience wanted to hear. Our keyboard player, sax player, bass player and myself on guitar all preferred playing Jazz and when we played something slow, we would sneak in some jazz chord progressions and Jazz solos but, for the most part our audience was requesting the pop and rock music of that time. Some of the rock tunes we payed were more Jazz or Blues than rock such as Honky Tonk, Green Onions and Killer Joe but, back then those songs were being played on the radio and people knew them. We also played Harlem Nocturne and On Green Dolphin Street but, the vast majority of stuff we played was by the Beatles, or Elvis Presley, or the Beach Boys, or the Rolling Stones. You're facing an uphill battle I'm afraid but, when you do find a dedicated jazz enthusiast, (probably in college) who really wants to make a career of music, they will be more likely to stay with you because there will be so few jazz bands as compared to pop/rock bands. How to get them interested? Play jazz for them and those who get it in their blood will join with you. In my case, to survive, we just played everything. The only jazz gigs in Cleveland, Ohio USA where I grew up were booking big name jazz groups so we would go and hear them but, we could not really compete for those gigs. Good luck to you.
I'm looking for a similar song to Impressions by John Coltrane, with the same chord progression and tempo.
I believe Miles Davis' "So What" has the same chord changes. It's a bit slower though. Here's a lead sheet for/solo transcription for the piece. Www.learnjazzstandards.com/jazz-originals/so-what-with-miles-davis-solo-transcription/
Im trying to teach myself how to play and compose jazz guitar and id like to know how i can spice up my "solos" (im not much of a soloist lol) a bit. I'm not looking for texts just a few tips from musicians far more experienced than me :D. I still don't really know how to write jazzy chord progressions (with the altered chords and what not) so il likely be soloing over mostly diatonic chord progressions (though i probably will shift key centers a lot) mostly using major, minor, dominant, sus and some diminished chords and the other variations and extensions of those chords (6/9, sus2, 6, maj7#11) . But no b9, #9, #13 kinda stuff. But yeah, anyway, how i can spice up my solos so im not always playing pentatonic, major, and minor scales? How can i employ blues notes or chromatic notes over mostly diatonic/non-blues like progressions?
Thanks man, il try that.
Most jazz centers on the ii V I chord progression. That is to say in the key of C your chords would be ii= dmin7, V= G7, I=CMaj7. Try arpegiating those chords and connecting them. Try mixing up these arppegios with scalar runs, gut go slow at first. Take every note in the Maj scale and find it's neighbor tones, (half step below). As for shifting key centers, it is easier to see once you can recognize the ii V I relation ship. Let's say you get dmin7 G7 cmin7 F7. That's just ii V in C followed by ii V in Bb. When you play it you'll hear it. Since you are not using more complex chords all using the dorian and mixolydian modes will get you is the major scale of the tonic. As for learning more advanced chord such as b or# 9 I'll give you a crash course using the ii V I as a reference. Instead of dmin7 play a d dminished (actually a dmin7b5). Instead of G7 play a G7b9. Look it up on a chord site if you don't know it but the ii V I theory is the same just a different sound. G7#9 also works. Over any of your diminished scales you can play a diminished scale. I hope I haven't totally confused you. I wish you luck and encourage you to look at the text I site. It's helping me a lot even though it's boring.