Jazz is primarily about rhythm and articulations, those tricky bits that are impossible to notate. Harmony is like math, fun for many and much easier to get your head around for most. Or so beginners believe. But when the moment of truth arrives at a jam session theory goes mostly out the window and instinct kicks in. Adam Maness explores this theme in his video "Why do I still suck".
Jorge Mabarak, on Facebook, puts it well, theory is a tool. I propose that rhythm is the key. And ear training is the secret to unlocking the mystery.
Here is a practice time breakdown that may work for you:
If I can help, please call me.
All I can add is this. Say and do these things long before they are teens. Set and normalize these healthy behaviors/patterns when they are young.
"How do I play/teach swing rhythm?" The perennial question from non-swingers. The exercise below may be helpful. The video illustrates the concepts.
2. Decades ago, Julliard jazz teacher John Mehegan recommended a similar approach, though he started on the downbeat. This is how I started back in the 1970s.
3. There are other variations of the scale exercise that can be explored.
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Have a swingin’ week enjoying the Scott Hamilton concert, he swings in this manner.
Ten things to do when learning a new piece of music that will simplify the process.
Playing the piano well is not easy, but it is possible with time, effort, and focus. Click on the photo to enjoy the whole story.
You've got to learn your instrument. Then, you practice, practice, practice. And then, when you finally get up there on the bandstand, forget all that and just wail.
I'm a professional pianist and music educator in West Toronto Ontario. I'm also a devoted percussionist and drum teacher.