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Author Topic: My Experience @ Jazz Jam Session  (Read 7872 times)

Offline PianoWizard

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Re: My Experience @ Jazz Jam Session
« Reply #20 on: February 12, 2008, 02:44:49 PM »
Welcome to the LGM family "seniorgentle".....Be Blessed.


Offline seemunny

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Re: My Experience @ Jazz Jam Session
« Reply #21 on: May 18, 2008, 02:45:25 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

Very interesting, inspiring, and insightful experience. Thanks for sharing! 8)

Offline bug

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Re: My Experience @ Jazz Jam Session
« Reply #22 on: April 23, 2011, 03:53:01 PM »
Indeed, all genres are different. Just because you can play well in a Jazz jam session does not mean you can go play for a church. Just because you know how to play well for a church does not mean you can go read a chart in a big band. Just because you can read a chart of Jazz symbols does not mean you can do well performing a classical composition like a concerto with a symphony.

The head of a well established music university or conservatory who can read well and interpret classical music will fall flat on his face in a Jazz jam session. Music is very vast and difficult. When kids at church ask me is it hard to learn how to play the piano and/or the organ I tell them yes but it can be done.

I have news for these cats who play well in Gospel and walk around with their noses in the air. They don't know anything. They just are too stupid to know it.

There is no end of learning.
The greatest mistake most amateur musicians make is giving up.  Don't give up !!!


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Re: My Experience @ Jazz Jam Session
« Reply #23 on: January 07, 2012, 03:12:26 AM »
Words of advice, "there are no wrong notes in Jazz" If you make a mistake, do it again and people will think you did it on purpose!!! Improvisation is SO MUCH FUN!!!!!

God blessings to all!!
8) :P


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Re: My Experience @ Jazz Jam Session
« Reply #24 on: January 07, 2012, 03:20:17 AM »
oh, I always like the standards and will always play "All of Me" Professional Musicians enjoy having novice and amateur players perform with them.
It works for both: the "Pro" remembers what it was like for him or her starting out nervous, and for the "novice" It's an educational free lesson from a professional!!   
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