#1
So, long story short, i joined a jazz camp and the main focus is improvising, and i can't play anything. The instructor was trying to explain it to me, he said some stuff about scales, chord tones, and keys, and stuff. BUT, i don't know many scales just the minor pentatonic scale. i'm VERY confused with keys so i'll just say i know nothing about them. Can anyone help explain please? i've checked out these lessons here on UG but, i still don't understand. I'm just one of those guys that just read tab, usually i just play punk and post hardcore stuff! thanks for your help! (:
#2
if you cant understand the lessons here try some of my basic theory lessons (link in sig). it should clear up any thoughts on keys and chords etc.

also, congrats on going to jazz camp. jazz is a great genre.
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#3
You need to learn the major scale first of all. Learn it inside out. And most importantly learn how it and other scales are constructed. musictheory.net is clutch.
Oh yeah.

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#4
Why would a punk guy join a jazz camp?
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#5
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Why would a punk guy join a jazz camp?


LOL alot of my buds play saxaphone so i thought it'd be fun.
#6
Dude you're paying to go to a camp. If you don't understand the material ask your instructor to explain it to you again or tell them the fact that you are a beginner and they can accommodate you as needed.
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#7
Trying to jump into jazz with little knowledge of theory or the genre itself is like jumping into the deep end of the pool without being able to swim.

As the guys say, have the instructors give you some basics to work on. Major scale, and the chords constructed from that, and perhaps basic chord progressions.
Enough to get you started.
#8
You're in the perfect place to answer your questions, and I don't mean the forums. Jazz is in my opinion, one of the most complicated genres theory-wise. Focus and ask as many questions as possible, and you'll see definite progress by the end of camp.
#9
To improvise Jazz you have to Practice Jazz and then perform what you have practiced in a spontaneous manner.
#10
Don't even try.

You're in over your head, if that's what you know, prepare to stay confused for the remainder of the camp.


Just pick up what you can, and use it as a catalyst to learn when camp is done and if you still want to, then come back and try next year.

Best,

Sean
#11
Quote by Sean0913
Don't even try.

You're in over your head, if that's what you know, prepare to stay confused for the remainder of the camp.


Just pick up what you can, and use it as a catalyst to learn when camp is done and if you still want to, then come back and try next year.

Best,

Sean


harsh as it sounds, i have to agree with this. if the minor pentatonic is all you know, you're nowhere near equipped to effectively tackle jazz.

IMPORTANT: don't even think about letting that stop you from asking questions and trying to learn. it might be hard on you, but it will be an excellent opportunity to further your studies.
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#12
I'd say ask your instructer to start from the basics.
at your current level you can be taught the basics of the major and minor scales (along with a few choice modes like dorian and mixolydian) and possibly learn some easy tunes (a blues or a modal tune like so what).
I was in your same position and I went to a camp (berklee 5 week program) to learn the basics of jazz (i knew a few heads and a few scales--major and blues and my major, minor, half diminished and dominant arpeggios, though not the way I should have) and came out knowing the basics of jazz improvisation and having a foundation that's served me well to this day. You may not be able to hang in jam sessions right now, but your in the right place to learn the basics--which by the way you will spend the next several years of your life practicing if your serious about jazz.
#13
You're probably not going to be doing any soloing but you should be able to get by with rhythm stuff if somebody calls the changes for you.

It's going to be tough, you're not going to be able to really learn anything that'll help you between now and when you go but it will be a great opportunity to learn new stuff so approach it that way.
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