2. Joining in

As the Chinese say: ‘what I hear I forget, what I see I remember, what I do I learn’. We learn to play jazz by doing it! Pianist Charles Beale says: ‘The best way to learn to play jazz is by listening to other players and imitating them…direct imitation on an instrument is the only way to work out how jazz is done’. There are specially produced sets of jazz recordings with accompanying scores, (or scripts where the music is written out), available for a wide range of instruments. One useful set is from the Associated Board of UK music schools; visit http://shop.abrsm.org/shop/prod/ABRSM-Jazz-Piano-Grade-1-The-CD/601273 and http://shop.abrsm.org/shop/prod/ABRSM-Jazz-Piano-Pieces-Grade-1/600411 for the grade 1 piano CD and scores at a cost of about £16. There might not be one specifically for your chosen instrument, like the guitar (which is disappointing since it’s the most popular instrument worldwide and there is a fine heritage of distinctively 'jazz' playing of the guitar) but there are sets for  ‘concert’, Bb and Eb-tuned instruments so you can still follow this approach. Another comparable American set of resources has been produced by jazz educator Jim Snidero, and we’ll come back to his stuff. These resources will help you learn by doing, by providing material where you can join in with the recording. 

Next step: Song No 1