Jazz

Jazz

I have rediscovered jazz again this past couple of days.

I was wondering due you have to have masters degrees in music theory to be able to improve to jazz?

Are are the demands alot higher than learning trad?

Just listening to it I feel like my intelligence is getting a full workout which is rare. I love it! πŸ™‚

I really enjoy listening to it but was also interested in how feasible it would be for me to learn jazz violin or if its impossible for a lowlife like myself to ever grasp.

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Nah. No music degree needed. Start with blues, and build on that foundation.

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Jazz, whats that? πŸ˜‰ seriously though , a few yrs of getting to grips with your instrument and you will be surely able to play all sorts of music and as a beginner you have many possible directions to go in. Here its all about playing trad standards , not jazz standards, both genres deserve a lifetime of study, which is it to be πŸ™‚

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Add more accidentals. Replace notes that should be in the music with notes that shouldn’t be there, and you have jazz.

In all seriousness, I don’t think a masters degree is needed to play jazz. It is definitely a tough genre to learn, possibly one of the hardest. However, if it is something you love, then it might come easier in learning it. Also, really getting to know your instrument well can help for any genre.

I would also suggest taking a basic music theory class to get an understanding of the structure of music. Those classes are very addicting, and rewarding. I don’t know where you live, but in the States any local community college should have music theory classes.

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"I was wondering due you have to have masters degrees in music theory to be able to improve to jazz?"

No, but I think a sound knowledge of music theory and harmony is more central to jazz than it is to Irish trad. Some people, no doubt, get there without ever reading a note of music or knowing the name of a chord - although I suspect they are few and far between (not so for Irish music). But, like Irish trad, nobody can learn to play jazz based on the theory alone, without extensive listening and deep familiarity with the music.

You use the phrase "improve to jazz", by which I assume you mean something like "progress to jazz". But why would it be an ‘improvement’ or a ‘progression’? They are different disciplines - different languages, if you like - not levels in a musical hierarchy.

It is also worth bearing in mind that the term ‘jazz’ encompasses a huge variety of widely divergent styles, whilst us tradheads are more inclined to define narrow boundaries as to what is allowed to pass for ‘trad’.

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blues is probably a sensible first step outside the envelope of ITM. There’s enough in blues to keep you busy for a lifetime, and jazz spans much more than that.

I think the important difference between trad and jazz is that jazz is driven by harmony and trad isn’t (or shouldn’t be, in my opinion).

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here is a basic start, learn the blues scale.
the scale is 1, flat3, 4, flat5, 5, flat 7, use it against the 3chord trick, take 12 bar blues, tonic sub dominant, dominant, in a major that is a major, d major, e major, for a major use a, cnat, d d#e gnat a, when the rthym guitar is playing d use d fnat, a, c nat, g , g# in any order, for e major use e g nat a a#,b,d nat, in any order against an e major chord.
learn to hear chord changes, this is the most basic improvisation using only certain notes of the major scale, it is fun.

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Id been thinking about a music course. Would it help my trad playing too much or not that much? I thought it might sitll be a fun thing to do to leanr my instrument better and have a better appreciation of music in generla as it relates to playing.

‘improve to jazz’ was a typo, i meant improv. as in improvise.

Yes id again be wary of the jack of all trades master of non thing but learning general music theory im guessing would be good for whatever direction i wanna take.

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"β€˜improve to jazz’ was a typo, i meant improv. as in improvise."

OK. Apologies for jumping to conclusions.

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"learning general music theory im guessing would be good for whatever direction i wanna take."
Can’t possibly hurt.

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Some fiddlers move to "swing" from Bluegrass, Irish, Old-time. Listen to Joe Venuti, Stephane Grappelli, et al. "Swing" aint a bad place to start jazz on fiddle - except you have to get to grips with Louis Armstrong’s cornet/trumpet too, and he started a wee bit before swing. Armstrong is the fundamental improviser - listen and read transcriptions, get with the feel. But really, if you want to commit to jazz, like another guy said, it’s a lifetime thing. It’s not really a style you can play too well on your own, unlike Irish tunes. Good luck!

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Start listening with the roots of Jazz, Dixieland, Armstrong, Early Swing, Ellington, that kind of stuff. There is more in common with Irish music there. And the bebop era was a lot of fun, Dizzie Gillespie, Charlie Parker, et al. And the big band stuff was full of great music. Along with the vocalists of the period. Billie Holliday, Sarah Vaughn, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra. Great stuff. In the sixties, a lot of jazz got too introspective and hard to appreciate, but there is still a lot of good stuff out there.

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I’ve always had a greater gift for improvisation than for playing trad, yet I consider the skill of improv much harder to master. I know few who aren’t steeped in jazz, blues, or rock who are any good at it. I would add that just being able to improvise doesn’t make you a jazz musician. Depending on the form, you can really find yourself being in over your head. The more you understand musical theory, the better off you will be, especially if you want to jump around from one form of jazz to another. Also, it helps to have an extensive knowledge of many forms of music and songs that have withstood the test of time so that you are comfortable playing in a vein that compliments the tune. If you know your way around a Billie Holiday, Frank Sinatra, Cole Porter, Billy Joel, or Beatles tune (and this is only an example), you will have some idea of how to improvise a break within the performance of their tunes. If you’re clueless about how the original sounded, you will struggle at best.

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I can work my way through an improvised solo in an adequate manner, and enjoyed being part of a big band playing bits and pieces and harmonies that fit into the larger whole of a jazz piece, but I love a good melody, which is why I was drawn away from the jazz I played in my youth, and toward trad and session music.

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albrown are you saying that jazz isnt melodious?

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Hey Al: "In the sixties, a lot of jazz got too introspective and hard to appreciate" yeh you’re right in some ways, but I appreciated it *then* - and I was just a kid, maybe an introspective one back then. Jimmy Smith, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, MJQ, I was mad into it between the ages of 13-17. It’s **all** melody, based around chord progressions, but quite unstructured compared to Irish/Scottish melody templates. The little melody fish are free to swim wherever they want, but lack direction. A good primer for learning trad. BTW I’d best repeat - this is just my viewpoint.

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It’s helpful to specify *jazz* theory—I’m not sure why an MA specifically would be thought to be the way to go. (Even though I have two degrees in theory)—I’d recommend putting the playing part first, and along with that a teacher is hugely important and can direct from there. You can even propose to work with. Teacher who plays a differtn instrument, since they can still teach you the idiom. Though one on your instrument is super great of course.

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I wouldn’t say jazz is not melodious, but it is certainly less oriented toward melody than what you hear in a session.

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I agree that jazz can give you good insights that can help inform your trad playing, Danny. In fact, I would go as far as saying that no musical endeavor is ever wasted, it all becomes a part of what we are.

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@Arthur, what were you listening to?

[*I was wondering due you have to have masters degrees in music theory to be able to improve to jazz? *]

No. Improvisation can be learned, basics first.

[*Are are the demands alot higher than learning trad?*]

Yes they are, very much so, but there are some very simple tunes you can start with, and build up your technique on to get a decent result fairly quickly. ‘Little Brown Jug’ is a common one for starters.

[*I really enjoy listening to it but was also interested in how feasible it would be for me to learn jazz violin or if its impossible for a lowlife like myself to ever grasp.*]

I think this is a good starting point - it covers the basics of scales and bowing patterns, plus a CD - very easy to follow. I have it :

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Jazz-Violin-Studies-Usher-Abell/dp/0786657022/

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I Like playing a bit of Blues & Jazz when the occasion arises,
and even went to Holland with a blues and rock band : )
But when I was about 24, not long at the fiddle I was mad about
putting fancy jazzy thing’s into Irish Music. Untill a very good
old Irish fiddler approached me and said, ” Son, you’d make a
Great Jazz player ” : (
But that helped me !
jim,,,

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@jim i was listening to chet baker and stan getz, bill evans.

I think it may remain a flight of fancy, ill will read up more on it and see. i think ill be satified just studying it academically/intellectually and appreciaiting it, but if that still doesnt scratch the itch them maybe id look to leanr it but i think that will do the job, as there currently isnt a burning desire to leanr it. bette rot stick with one craft for now i think.

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Grappelli , Jo Venuti

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Jazz musicians who know a lot of music theory(and take it too seriously) often sound "theoretical"when they improvise. Others rely less on theoretical knowledge, start out emulating musicians they admire and develop from there. There is a best of both worlds. Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie obviously knew a lot about the structure of music, but, when they played, that blues feeling was never far behind.
When it comes to jazz violin, in addition to Stephane Grapelli and Joe Venuti, don’t neglect Stuff Smith and Claude "Fiddler" Williams. Also check out blues fiddler Papa John Creach.
Mark O’Conner is and interesting case. Someone who started as a Texas fiddler and who branch out into many other musics, jazz included.

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Thank peeps will looks into the recommendations.

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interesting sound jim πŸ™‚

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And to think that in the 1930s a priest from Co Leitrim organised marches against this sort of ‘Devil’s Music’ and wanted it banned from the airways and dance halls, which it was to a great extent especially in the rural areas. Have to hand it to the Catholic church they had a wonderful habit of making everything enjoyable …sinful.

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No..but his legacy lived on for years afterwards.

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Jazz gets a bad rep but like any top level genre description, it covers a wide range of sub genres some of which can indeed be less than melodic and some of which can be a joy to listen to.

Like any genre it’ll be a case of hunting aroudn until you find the style that you enjoy. For some of these you will indeed need a high level of theory knowledge but in all honesty, to put what people would call ‘jazzy’ sounds in other genres you rarely need more than a few simple tricks.

Some of my favourites when it comes to jazzy guitar lines are to play with using both the flat 3rd and major 3rd, to add in a few flat 5ths and to use a bit of semi-tone approach, i.e. play a note from the chord, play a semi tone below, play the next note in the scale higher than where you started and end on the note you started with, i.e. C, B, D, C or E Eb F E.

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Free Reed:

perhaps the Church has, in accordance with the Law of Unintended Consequences, managed to make everything that is sinful seem enjoyable…

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"Beer is proof that God love us, and wants us to be happy."
Benjamin Franklin

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Tim Kliphuis has a superb book: "Stephane Grappelli: Gypsy Jazz Violin" (book & CD), it’s excellent if Grappelli is the kind of jazz violin you’re in to. This book is a must.
http://www.bookdepository.com/Stephane-Grappelli-Tim-Kliphuis/9780786679584

And Tim Kliphuis’s 2 DVDs "Hot Jazz Violin" are really amazing; you’ll learn a hell of a lot.
http://www.gypsyjazzviolinlessons.com/dvds

If you prefer less swing/more bop jazz then Martin Norgaard’s "Jazz Fiddle Wizard: A Practical Guide to Jazz Improvising for Strings" is good.
http://www.bookdepository.com/Jazz-Fiddle-Wizard-Martin-Norgaard/9780786647996

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Usher Abel’s book "Jazz Violin Studies" isn’t such a good place for a beginner to start, particularly one who hasn’t a strong background in classical music theory and harmony. The author expressly states in the introduction that knowledge of classical harmony and formal training in music theory is assumed.

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Im not very familiar with names, what are some of the coolest/smooth jazz sounds? ie what artists. i dont mean those genres becuase i know both of those are subgenres of jazz but wouldnt necc be what im looking for.

i think cool jazz has been the sound i like so far.

Bill evans prob some of the best.

That slow brooding melancholy type stuff, where you can just drift off after a nice hit of heroin :P

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just listening to ornette coleman ‘the shape of jazz to come; and now i see why they said in a documentary that when he joined an informal session they kicked him out of it cos it sounded like he was just screwing around and not playing ‘proper’ music :P

Reminds of the part in back to the future where M J fox goes off on one on that johhny b good solo.

Still taking it in tho πŸ™‚

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Darol Anger, Richard Green. Both crossovers from bluegrass.

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I think that you kinda need to be a bit of theory junkie to play cool jazz. It doesn’t seem to be as focused on demonstrating virtuosity and technique as bebop, and no jazz is easy, but it seems complex.
Here’s one place to go for an intro to jazz theory: http://www.thejazzresource.com (good links too!) (For some reason the jazz books is a bit messed up at the moment and the titles have disappeared.)

A little something on West Coast Cool: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxQ0zCsQ95o


Incidentally, are there an cool jazz violinists? I must say I’ve never heard any.
But can you find anything to beat Grappelli? Here he playing How High the Moon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4kf5aU1Wtg

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Just wondering is there any groups for jazz music besides dancing in Cork city ?