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Music Prep

On Sunday you will take a short, informal audition and fill out a theory test. This will allow the instructors to place you in a combo, theory class and master class with others of your same level of proficiency. The auditions are not held under any pressure to you, but are completely relaxed.  Of course, the more you know about scales and chords (and arpeggios) before you arrive, the more you will feel comfortable and benefit from the week; however, we do have spots for people of ALL levels so don’t be intimidated if you do not know anything about jazz.

We do not require you to buy any materials for the workshops; but there are several items, available from the Jamey Aebersold Jazz catalog at, which, if studied in advance, may allow you to better enjoy and benefit from the week. Here is a sample list of materials you may research:

Practicing Jazz: A Creative Approach by David Baker
How To Practice Jazz by Jerry Coker
Improvising Jazz by Jerry Coker
The Jazz Language by Dan Haerle
Vol. 1 How to Play Jazz and Improvise
Vol. 21 Gettin It Together
Vol. 24 Major & Minor
Vol. 42 Blues In All Keys
Vol. 54 Maiden Voyage
Vol. 70 Killer Joe

The more you know and can play, the more you’ll get out of the Week. Scales and chords are waiting to become friends with you.

Memorize some melodies too! If you’re looking to begin working on some of the tunes you’ll play and hear frequently at the workshop, below is the best place to start:

• Blue Bossa
• Blues in Bb
• Blues in F
• Satin Doll
• Maiden Voyage
• Summertime
• Doxy
• St. Thomas
• Autumn Leaves

About Your Audition

Your audition for the Jamey Aebersold Summer Jazz Workshop serves two purposes, both of which benefit you:

• To get you acquainted with some of the faculty with whom you’ll be working.
• To ensure you are placed in a combo or small group whose members are approximately at your same stage of development.

Most instrumentalists (except for drummers) will be asked to play some scales, perhaps play a couple of choruses of a blues, and probably sight-read a melody and improvise on the chord progression of that melody (pianists and guitarists will probably be asked to read/play a chord progression and bassists will probably be asked to play a walking line over “changes”). To prepare for the week we suggest practice on major, minor (Dorian minor), and dominant 7th scales/chords. Try to memorize the chords and scales to the Bb and F blues (concert key), and practice improvising on the Blues.

If you’re a beginning improvisor, it may sound to you as if you’re going to be expected to do a lot. Don’t worry about it! If the faculty at your audition asks you for a scale you don’t know, simply tell them you can’t play that one. If you don’t read music very well, just say so. If you only improvise by ear or have never improvised before, give it your best shot. Don’t be intimidated or embarrassed about anything that you might be asked to play.  You come here to learn, we come here to help you to learn. We all have to start somewhere. Relax, learn, and have fun!

    Call with ANY questions!
    (10am-4pm Eastern Time M-F)

    2020 Workshop Dates

    Choose from 2 Weeks of Jazz:
    • July 5th thru July 10th
    • July 12th thru July 17th
    2-Day Workshops
    • July 4th & 5th
      “Anyone Can Improvise!” w/Jamey!
    • July 4th & 5th
      “Guitar/Bass/Drum” Workshop
    • July 11th & 12th
      “Guitar/Bass/Drum” Workshop
    NEW Mini-Workshops
    • July 3rd thru 5th
      Jazz Piano Workshop
    • July 3rd thru 5th
      Vocal Workshop
    • July 10th thru 12th
      Brazilian/Latin Jazz
    • July 17th thru 19th
      Big Band Workshop