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The Spirit Of Jazz

CalendarMarch 21, 2014
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The spirit of improvised music, jazz, has always been a personal music. Each person playing jazz has their own sound, articulations, phrasing, note-choice and personal ways of constructing their solos. Some solos are simple, laid back and very melodic while others can be just the opposite with lots of 16th notes, high energy and running throughout.

As you gain facility on your instrument, your mind’s melodic and harmonic ideas may change to match your new knowledge. Thus, you have players who go through stages of development and may have admirers at one stage but lose them at the next stage.

Imagination has no limit. The mind can conceive anything it chooses and as you practice, you’ll often come up with more things to practice. Once you begin making your own music and feel comfortable improvising, you’ll find there just aren’t enough hours in the day to practice, work on ear training, compose, arrange tunes, rehearse with your group, etc.

This is why I always recommend avoiding anything that knowingly may delay or stop you from reaching your musical goals. Anything self-destructive such as alcohol, tobacco, recreational drugs, marijuana, negativity and laziness can hinder your progress.

For many years drugs of various kinds were thought to help ones inspiration and enhance creativity. With the advent of jazz education and Eastern spirituality and meditation in the mid 1950’s, ways were found to enhance creativity without using tobacco, alcohol or other drugs. You could use your mind. Without having to rely on outside sources to achieve ones musical goal, many more people were experiencing the joy of playing their own inspired music and thus the image of jazz musicians gradually changed.

In the past, jazz has been very competitive. Competition: Compete with that part of yourself that tends to be lazy.

A primary goal of jazz education is to allow people the opportunity to express music creatively and spontaneously. We owe it to ourselves and the world to bring out into the open our creative musical potential.

“Anyone Can Improvise” is my motto. I know because I’ve heard it over and over. Our mind hears melodies. Our voice can approximate those melodies and with practice and discipline, those same melodies can be reproduced on our instrument. Keep at it, never give up.

All of us at Jamey Aebersold Jazz are here to help you better achieve your musical goals.

Jazz means FREEDOM. We love FREEDOM. We love JAZZ.

– Jamey Aebersold

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