Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Let's Be Blue
I'd like to take the time to point out some simple ways to have a lot of fun with music, especially as an instrumentalist. Starting out with jazz can be quite the undertaking, but there are some cool scales you can try that will get you jamming in no time at all.
There are a lot of scales and modes in which to play, but I'm going to focus mostly on the blues scales. At one point or another you've probably heard one played. It's a scale used in many genres, not just jazz, so it should be pretty familiar, especially once you hear it. Minor blues is a great and simple key to jam in, and it's pretty universal. You can sit down with a bunch of musicians and start playing blues without much discussion or drafting. The scales are easy to learn, so to get things started, here's a chart to use as a frame of reference:
The photo is of my little Opus SopranoOnce you get the twelve bar going with a pianist playing chords and a skilled drummer, you'll learn a bit more about what you should and should not do while improvising. It's while playing to these tunes that you'll really find out about your own playing as a jazz musician. A shocking amount of young people don't know how to improvise at all, something that I find pretty sad. There are probably many reasons for this, but regardless, I urge everyone who wants to play this sort of thing to get out and do it. It's a lot of fun, and it's entirely your own each time.