ALEX'S JAZZ LESSONS
Sept 26, 2023
I changed my mind about some of the albums that will be most inspiring. The albums below are the ones to put on your constant playlist (I listened to the 4 Miles records (workin'/steamin'/relaxin'/cookin') and found much of it to be meh...).
When you're listening to recordings:
-start to notice which tracks, solos, whatever consistently grab your attention
-listen to fast runs and try to hear if they are just full-range mixolydian scales...? Are they pentatonic scales?
JUST USING YOUR EARS, memorize a few heads of tunes (listed below). Don't look at the fucking lead sheet - you can already read music quite well, so that skill needs no further attention.
Let's put the work on just using your ears. This is exactly where you can best focus your attention. Would it be faster to memorize the head of the tune from a lead sheet? Well, duh, yes. But it will be infinitely more valuable for you to learn these melodies without your eyes:
-begin with finding the key of the tune - listen to the bass and find the tonic of the melody
- then work out the melody (head)
- get a segment in your ears, hit pause, SING it, then play it
- you'll need to stop/start the recording a lot
- memorize the rhythm, the notes, the phrasing, the articulation
- play this many times along with the recording so that you have it firmly emblazoned in your mind and ears
REMEMBER: when you're practicing this stuff, USE HEADPHONES
• Blues By Five from Cookin' - memorize the head and Miles' first solo chorus (do this on the alto and also the tenor)
• Autumn Leaves from Somethin's Else (alto)
• Work Song from Them Dirty Blues (alto)
• Blue Train (tenor)
• St. Thomas from Saxophone Colossus (tenor)
Then you pick some heads that you really dig and memorize them.
-Ye Olde Stuffe-
LINK to the Great American Songbook