People will tell you all sorts of things about learning jazz improvisation. But no one tells you many of the things that could actually help you the most. As we practice jazz improvisation, we develop a concept of how we think we should go about learning things. This concept primarily comes from what our teachers, friends, and books tell us. The problem is they often either don’t know or think to tell us specific things that could help us tremendously.
It’s not their fault. We need to take 100% ownership of our education and our improvement. Part of “Being greedy for the music” is being greedy for the knowledge, all the tips and info that can push us to the next level, little gems or ideas that click in our mind and help us to do something we never thought about doing before.
And that’s what we’ll discuss today. 8 things no one is going to tell you about learning jazz improvisation…
It’s never too early to put your approach on things
When you’re developing as a jazz musician, people will tell you that you have to imitate your heroes a lot. And, this is true.
Whether you listen to them for countless hours or transcribe their every note to memory, at some point you must immerse yourself in the music to learn the nuances that are available to you no other way.
But, just because you’re copying all the time doesn’t mean that you can’t begin developing, applying, and embracing your own unique style.
Here’s the thing…people think it’s so important to learn from what came before them—and rightly so—that they forget that learning from their heroes is more about conceptualizing what’s possible than strict copying.
And when we conceptualize something for ourselves, we can’t help but see, hear, and feel things through our own unique perspective. So, this is the perfect opportunity to interpret and build upon what we’re learning in our own way, taking things in a direction that we think is ...