Q: Hi Bob, I just watched the youtube lesson “Alternative to practicing the blues in all keys” and I am lost I don’t know music theory so I know this will hold me back in my playing so where do I start I have an alto and a tenor which I prefer the tenor that is. I’m just learning to read music notes and playing some songs, if you could help me get started in the right direction I don’t want to start at the wrong place Thank You Jim
Hi Jim. Thanks for picking up the CD!
A great place to start is with some of the early Jamey Aebersold books and play-alongs. Especially:
Volume 1, 2, 3, (and later, volume 16). Just don’t skip the initial pages of the books where he explains much of the jazz theory basics. He has a free PDF handbook that’s packed with helpful info. Working with the piano voicing supplement in Vol 3 could do more to accelerate your understanding of “jazz” theory than anything else. (some of it is in that PDF, pgs 47-51).
Most important: you will not “get it” (meaning theory) in a few days, weeks, or months. It’s a long (but worthwhile) journey. I studied theory for years in high school and college, and continue to “discover” new things each time I sit at the piano.
I’m just learning to read music notes
As far as playing jazz (improvising) goes, focus more on trying to emulate great jazz musicians (solos) than reading. Reading won’t teach you that. It’s a great skill, but not the fast track to making your own music, i.e. improvising.