#1
The answer is really simple: practice reading daily. It doesn't have to be long and painful, but it does have to be daily and it has to be done right. And here's how: get yourself a book of stuff you've never seen, and read each piece no more than twice. Any more than that and you're starting to practice playing, not reading. If you do this for a half-hour a day between now and your audition, you will be a killer reader. Guaranteed.

Pick a book that is interesting to you, not too hard, and not too easy. I did this with the Jazz Standards Real Book and it was perfect for me. Most of the pieces fell into the range of "easy enough to sight read but not so easy that I didn't pay attention." But there were enough pieces that were a challenge to make it worth doing. And I discovered a lot of cool tunes I would not have played otherwise.

Another thing you can do is put yourself into read-or-die situations. See if you can audition into the pit band for a community theatre production. Even "easy" shows present challenges because the music changes tempo, meter, and key so frequently. And you'll have to learn to really watch the baton. Sometimes the orchestra has no choice but to follow the singer on stage, regardless of whether they are speeding up, slowing down, etc. that means you have to watch the conductor. That was a real challenge; I could lock up with the rhythm section and the band no problem but that was a problem when the conductor was actually trying to push us in a different direction. I learned to watch the baton and play with the baton even when it meant not playing with the section. Pretty soon we all learned that when we all played to the baton we did play as a section. Just in a different way.

really want a challenge? start taking casuals. Play with a bunch of older guys who know every tune in the book and I guarantee you're gonna be reaching for the book every time you turn around.
#4
Quote by angusfan16
Thanks op! I can feel the jazz rising up inside me



Good. Now you must learn to harness its power and pretty soon you will be the biggest Jazzhole in history! All will bow before your lydian-dominant and altered scale shredding.
#6
Getting a jazz standard book is something I've been thinking about doing for a while but keep forgetting.

beebadopzam zoling ading dow!
#7
I played in my schools jazz band as a bassist and didnt know how to read sheet music. 0/10 would not recommend.
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This thread topic is gold. I've been on this website for 8 years and I've never come up with anything like this. So yeah. Great job TS[457undead].
#9
Lol TS if you think reading will improve your jazz playing, which by the way is 90% improv, than you've got another thing coming.

The only thing reading music will improve is... your ability to read music.

EDIT: which btw is not a bad skill in itself but has a minimal impact on how well you can play jazz
Last edited by E7#9 at Jun 13, 2014,
#10
Quote by E7#9
Lol TS if you think reading will improve your jazz playing, which by the way is 90% improv, than you've got another thing coming.

The only thing reading music will improve is... your ability to read music.


Reading would help you to learn some jazz tunes as well though, which is needed if you want to improv over jazz. You kinda need to know the basic melody and chords to be able to do that.
#17
Quote by E7#9
Lol TS if you think reading will improve your jazz playing, which by the way is 90% improv, than you've got another thing coming.

The only thing reading music will improve is... your ability to read music.

EDIT: which btw is not a bad skill in itself but has a minimal impact on how well you can play jazz


This times 10000000000.

The best thing to become good at jazz is to get better at hearing and listening. Not reading. You should practice reading on its own merits because it's reading. That's useful in any genre. But to learn jazz, you need to learn by ear more than by sight. You need to be able to hear the changes and the vocabulary. You need to transcribe great solos. Solos that appeal to you. You need to examine them afterwards and determine why you like what you like. It all starts with hearing though. In a jazz group you have to listen to each other to be good. Spending all your time reading isn't going to help that.

Jazz is just music. Yeah. It's good music. But the best way to learn it is the same best way to learn Nirvana songs when you first buy a guitar: put the CD on and try to do what they're doing. Develop your ear. It's an aural art not a visual one.
#DTWD
#19
I can't tell if you're being facetious, but you could theoretically make that argument.
#DTWD
#21
Way back when I was still subscribing to Guitar Player, I would read all the jazz articles and columns even though at that point I wasn't really interested in playing.
I remember a quote from an interview with Barney Kessell...
He was speaking of the sort of player who came out of many jazz instruction programs...

"They are having some kind of a musical experience, but it's not a jazz experience."

What he meant (and I've heard this kind of player) is that these guys were just great from the standpoint of mechanics and theory. They could play all the appropriate chords, and play all the arpeggios for those chords, and play an appropriate scalar riff for each chord... And they sounded like they were doing exercises, not music.
Jazz is not just about theory... It's about that hard-to-define quality of "swing", and about improvisation. Some would say it's ALL about improvisation... Playing with other musicians and riffing off what they are doing....
No doubt that you need to master the fundamentals....But you need to listen to what the masters are doing, and to play with other musicians as well. (unless you just want to do the solo-guitar bit.)
#22
these ****in adcunts trying to educate us
O.K.

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~ Bill Watterson


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