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Author Topic: My Experience @ Jazz Jam Session  (Read 7446 times)

DaNatiMaestro

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My Experience @ Jazz Jam Session
« on: October 24, 2007, 09:58:45 AM »
Hello all,

Since no one really posts to the Jazz section like that I thought I'd post some of my experiences in Jazz.

A few weeks ago I started going to a Jazz Jam Session at a spot here in Cincinnati on Tuesday nights.  (If you're interested in going let me know, all are welcome! We have cats come in as far away as Indianapolis, IN)

The first night that I went I just sat there with everyone else and just listened.  The jam session was set up in a way that if you could play then you could hop on that instrument or bring your own and play.  They were mostly playing standards (Autumn Leaves, Rhythm Changes, Stella By Starlight, Misty.. etc, etc).  I don't know what it was but I felt intimidated by these musicians. Now I can play, I've been playing in church for a long time but this was different.  There was definitely more structure and a standard to how they played.  I can read and play by ear.  I've purchased MANY jazz piano books and have gone through them.  While I was sitting there I felt like I could "hang" with them but I decided not to speak up.  (I went home and shedded on jazz like crazy..)

The next week that I went a good friend of mine that plays and goes to the local university for music was there and he was playing.  After the song was over he called me up in front of everybody like "JR, do you wanna play?".. Needless to say all eyes were on me so I couldn't let that jazz shedding go to waste so I got up my confidence and sat on the keys.  Now let me explain something, this wasn't just a "jam" session.  There were actually people there who came to listen and enjoy the music an audience so to speak and a bunch of my friends were there from church and stuff.  They know that I play "jazzy" and that I play jazzy at church but this was the real deal with real jazz professionals.

So I got up there and asked what they were going to play.  Straight no Chaser - A Monk tune in F Blues.  Mistake #1 I left my fakebook at home so I had to play by ear.  Good thing the bassist was good and I was able to get through it.  It was choppy at best IMO because I was pretty nervous but everyone said I sounded great.  I even soloed a bit over the changes and it was actually pretty fun.  I only played one song that night but again I went home shedded on jazz again like crazy.

Now we fast forward to yesterday, guess what... the guys at the jam session asked me to play very early and often in the session.  This time I had my fakebook and my Jamey Abersold play along book "Maiden Voyage".  I had been practicing that one for a minute so that asked me what I wanted to play and I said "Maiden Voyage".  Man, it was SO tight.  The chord progression for Maiden Voyage is very simple and a really laid back tune for beginners to solo over. (If your interested in a breakdown of that tune, let me know!!!)  After that I played like 3 more songs Oleo, Bb Rhythm Changes, Straight No Chaser (again!!).  And every song I played fairly well and my confidence was just very high.  I got to interact with these professional musicians and learn alot from them.

Needless to say, I'll be at this spot every Tuesday to hang out and play and just increase my musicianship.  There wasn't any competition or anything like that because everybody knew how to play.  It was just about the music and talking the musical language.  This was so refreshing because in the "clique" of church musicians in my area they aren't sharing or coming together like this.  I guess I'm writing to say that if you're in an area where you don't have musicians that will play with you or shed with you.  Expand your horizons go to the local jazz clubs in your area and find out if they have open jam sessions where you can sit in and listen and then eventually play. 

I love all styles of music and I play all styles of music. I've played in church my whole life and never went to school for music or to learn to play the keys.  And I'm sitting in this session with seasoned vets holding my own.  GOD IS GOOD!!! AND HE WILL GIVE YOU THE DESIRES OF YOUR HEART IF YOU DELIGHT YOURSELF IN HIM!!! God knows I've wanted to play in a jazz club for the LONGEST. and He has made a way for me to do that.

Anybody else have any similar experiences? Or any comments?


"If I hear it, I can play it." - JR aka DaNatiMaestro

Offline momuzik

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Re: My Experience @ Jazz Jam Session
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2007, 02:09:06 PM »
Sounds like a good experience for you.
What's part of Cincinnati is this? I often times go to Hamilton Co/ Lincoln Heights area.

Offline Shadow_

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Re: My Experience @ Jazz Jam Session
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2007, 07:55:27 PM »
Nice Experience man...i shall be pm-ing you for that Maiden Voyage breakdown.lol
Why do bad people happen to good things?

DaNatiMaestro

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Re: My Experience @ Jazz Jam Session
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2007, 12:32:03 PM »
Sounds like a good experience for you.
What's part of Cincinnati is this? I often times go to Hamilton Co/ Lincoln Heights area.

It's at the Greenwich Tavern, 2442 Gilbert Ave Cincinnati Ohio.  Tuesday nights from like 9pm to 12am.
All are welcome!!

Offline Jbroad572

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Re: My Experience @ Jazz Jam Session
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2007, 04:24:58 PM »
Hey man congrats on that! We've got a similar deal on Tuesday night downtown. I haven't had the guts to get up and play yet, but I shall. glad you had a good time. It is definitely fun and something you really enjoy and have a great time.

DaNatiMaestro

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Re: My Experience @ Jazz Jam Session
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2007, 01:21:44 PM »
Hey man congrats on that! We've got a similar deal on Tuesday night downtown. I haven't had the guts to get up and play yet, but I shall. glad you had a good time. It is definitely fun and something you really enjoy and have a great time.

Yeah man!! I defintely encourage you to "step out there" and give it a go.  I was the same way that 1st time but as I practice I realized that there has to be a 1st time.  It gets easier after that.

Play the melody first and then begin to improv after that.  Let me know if you'd like some soloing or improving tips!

Offline rayjohnson83

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Re: My Experience @ Jazz Jam Session
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2007, 04:46:13 PM »
Yeah man!! I defintely encourage you to "step out there" and give it a go.  I was the same way that 1st time but as I practice I realized that there has to be a 1st time.  It gets easier after that.

Play the melody first and then begin to improv after that.  Let me know if you'd like some soloing or improving tips!


I would to have some tips doc

Offline rayjohnson83

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Re: My Experience @ Jazz Jam Session
« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2007, 05:02:44 PM »
i would like to have some tips doc

Offline Marcus12

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Re: My Experience @ Jazz Jam Session
« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2007, 08:28:33 PM »
(If your interested in a breakdown of that tune, let me know!!!)  After that I played like 3 more songs Oleo, Bb Rhythm Changes, Straight No Chaser (again!!).

Please share this with us. 

Offline bigdoodah

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Re: My Experience @ Jazz Jam Session
« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2007, 10:19:24 AM »
I actually had the same experience like 6-7 years ago (man its already been THAT long). anyways, I learned a lot by just falling flat on my face that night, and I became even more a fan of jazz than I was before....

Bottom line, you can't walk in a jam session with the shed mentality; there's different rules and a different atmosphere; for me neither is better or worse, both contexts are learning experiences....

Offline Muziqmann

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Re: My Experience @ Jazz Jam Session
« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2007, 10:57:10 AM »
Yeah, it's great to go to jazz jam sessions.  I prefer it, because the vibe is different. It's more about learning and musicianship than showing off.  I go to them when I can, and sometimes my friends and I organize them.
When the minstrel played, the hand of the LORD was upon him.  II Kings 3:15

Offline T-Block

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Re: My Experience @ Jazz Jam Session
« Reply #11 on: January 22, 2008, 08:30:32 PM »
LGM fam, I had my first "official" experience playing jazz at school last week.  I signed up for the class not knowing what I was getting myself into.  Well, I showed up for the first day and I listened to what was going on.  I sat by the piano player and observed him playing.  I was then asked to "audition" and play the same thing.  Guess what happened:  I BOMBED COMPLETELY!!!

It was so bad, I basically got up there and froze.  I felt so bad, I felt like a complete beginner just starting out.  I wanted to run out and cry, but I stayed in and kept observing.  It was a big wake-up call for me cuz jazz music ain't nuthin to play wit.  That's some serious bizness there folks, u gotta be on top of your game or u gonna drown.

That old gospel feel of RH chords, LH bass lines ain't gonna cut it in the da real jazz world.  This experience has given me a new outlook on jazz music.  As soon as I can get some jazz piano lessons, I'm going for it.  Time for me expand my musical abilities.  I will definitely be in this room a lot more in da future!!! ;)
Real musicians play in every key!!!
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Offline Wolfram

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Re: My Experience @ Jazz Jam Session
« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2008, 07:40:59 AM »
LGM fam, I had my first "official" experience playing jazz at school last week.  I signed up for the class not knowing what I was getting myself into.  Well, I showed up for the first day and I listened to what was going on.  I sat by the piano player and observed him playing.  I was then asked to "audition" and play the same thing.  Guess what happened:  I BOMBED COMPLETELY!!!

It was so bad, I basically got up there and froze.  I felt so bad, I felt like a complete beginner just starting out.  I wanted to run out and cry, but I stayed in and kept observing.  It was a big wake-up call for me cuz jazz music ain't nuthin to play wit.  That's some serious bizness there folks, u gotta be on top of your game or u gonna drown.

That old gospel feel of RH chords, LH bass lines ain't gonna cut it in the da real jazz world.  This experience has given me a new outlook on jazz music.  As soon as I can get some jazz piano lessons, I'm going for it.  Time for me expand my musical abilities.  I will definitely be in this room a lot more in da future!!! ;)

One thing to remember is that everything you already know is relevent to what you want to learn.   Keep a completely open mind and you will go far.  Talent is talent. 

Wolf

DaNatiMaestro

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Re: My Experience @ Jazz Jam Session
« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2008, 09:08:14 AM »
LGM fam, I had my first "official" experience playing jazz at school last week.  I signed up for the class not knowing what I was getting myself into.  Well, I showed up for the first day and I listened to what was going on.  I sat by the piano player and observed him playing.  I was then asked to "audition" and play the same thing.  Guess what happened:  I BOMBED COMPLETELY!!!

It was so bad, I basically got up there and froze.  I felt so bad, I felt like a complete beginner just starting out.  I wanted to run out and cry, but I stayed in and kept observing.  It was a big wake-up call for me cuz jazz music ain't nuthin to play wit.  That's some serious bizness there folks, u gotta be on top of your game or u gonna drown.

That old gospel feel of RH chords, LH bass lines ain't gonna cut it in the da real jazz world.  This experience has given me a new outlook on jazz music.  As soon as I can get some jazz piano lessons, I'm going for it.  Time for me expand my musical abilities.  I will definitely be in this room a lot more in da future!!! ;)

I feel you bruh.  That's exactly how it went for me.  I had to completely "break" what I knew and start from the basics with Jazz.. especially those LH voicings and stuff.  That was the first thing that my jazz teacher told me.  Because I was playing LH bass w/ RH chords and he said that I need to get my LH chording stronger and learn to play the melody or solo with my RH.  I'm still getting there but it's great to experience those other music genres and get a challenge every now and then!

T-Block I'm right there with you on this journey in jazz.  If you need ANYTHING let me know!!

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Re: My Experience @ Jazz Jam Session
« Reply #14 on: January 24, 2008, 07:29:49 AM »
Thank you very much for sharing this DaNati. I hope that we can meet sometime (YIM) so you could teach me more, I need all of the help that I can get now that I have two new churches to play for. If we can't meet on YIM, I will be spending more time in this room just as T-block said. God bless!!


LGM fam, I had my first "official" experience playing jazz at school last week.  I signed up for the class not knowing what I was getting myself into.  Well, I showed up for the first day and I listened to what was going on.  I sat by the piano player and observed him playing.  I was then asked to "audition" and play the same thing.  Guess what happened:  I BOMBED COMPLETELY!!!

It was so bad, I basically got up there and froze.  I felt so bad, I felt like a complete beginner just starting out.  I wanted to run out and cry, but I stayed in and kept observing.  It was a big wake-up call for me cuz jazz music ain't nuthin to play wit.  That's some serious bizness there folks, u gotta be on top of your game or u gonna drown.

That old gospel feel of RH chords, LH bass lines ain't gonna cut it in the da real jazz world.  This experience has given me a new outlook on jazz music.  As soon as I can get some jazz piano lessons, I'm going for it.  Time for me expand my musical abilities.  I will definitely be in this room a lot more in da future!!! ;)
This is some real good stuff right here.
Strike while the iron is hot!

Offline ddw4e

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Re: My Experience @ Jazz Jam Session
« Reply #15 on: February 10, 2008, 10:00:46 PM »
I really need to learn how to read...LOL!! I don't know why I can't get it at all. Thanks for sharing J and T!!
MERCY EN!!

Offline T-Block

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Re: My Experience @ Jazz Jam Session
« Reply #16 on: February 11, 2008, 10:21:34 PM »
I really need to learn how to read...LOL!! I don't know why I can't get it at all. Thanks for sharing J and T!!

I'm telling u man, it's harder trying to sightread on da spot than being able to study before hand.  If you got a good ear u can half-way fake it, but unless u can read good, don't jump up there in a jazz session.  They will eat u alive, LOL.
Real musicians play in every key!!!
Music Theory, da numbers work!

Offline BroAllan

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Re: My Experience @ Jazz Jam Session
« Reply #17 on: February 12, 2008, 04:14:38 AM »
I'm telling u man, it's harder trying to sightread on da spot than being able to study before hand.  If you got a good ear u can half-way fake it, but unless u can read good, don't jump up there in a jazz session.  They will eat u alive, LOL.

Hey T, I gotta give it to you ... at least you went and tried to follow along.

My own experience, well after sitting in on several weekly sessions, I came to the conclusion that I'm gonna need a whole lot more practicing before I can jam comfortably with these guys.

It really opened my eyes to a whole new genre of music, that with all it's structure and complexities, there is still a freedom to improvise and play, according to your own style and feeling.  :)

Offline seniorgentle

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Re: My Experience @ Jazz Jam Session
« Reply #18 on: February 12, 2008, 06:22:19 AM »
Please sir, i need some tips on JAZZ SOLOS,POLY CHORDSUPPER STRUCTURE CHORDS AND DOUBLE DIMINISHED CHORDS God richly bless you sir

Godwin Ariwodo
Lagos, Nigeria.
seniorgentle@yahoo.com.
+2347033267888.
 ?/?

DaNatiMaestro

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Re: My Experience @ Jazz Jam Session
« Reply #19 on: February 12, 2008, 07:52:36 AM »
I'm telling u man, it's harder trying to sightread on da spot than being able to study before hand.  If you got a good ear u can half-way fake it, but unless u can read good, don't jump up there in a jazz session.  They will eat u alive, LOL.

I hear you guys! The beautiful thing about the jam session that I go to is that there are a lot of horn players there who play the melody and stuff during the head (first section of the song that is primarily the melody before everyone goes into their solos).  So really all I have to do is provide the harmony for them to solo over and then add that to my solos and stuff.  This helps because even though I can read the leadsheet with the chords and melody.  I don't have to.  All I have to do is follow the chord changes on the lead sheet.

Solo jazz piano is where it gets tough.  Because you have to be way more melodic with your playing so that folks know what you're playing.

I love jazz though.  It so much fun to play!
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