Student players can move on through the remaining songs at Grade 1, then the Grade 2 set and so on to Grade 5. There are 75 songs here to choose from; no need to play them all, just try the ones that capture your imagination and sound interesting, be guided by what you hear. And there are suggestions for further listening at the foot of each score page. The Associated Board jazz recordings only go up to grade 5 whereas jazz exam scores at grades 6-8 are available from Trinity Guildhall Examinations, (http://www.trinitycollege.co.uk/site/?id=1045), grade 8 being the entry level for top UK music colleges or ‘conservatoires’.)
Using a metronome or drum machine can help sharpen our timekeeping and reinforce our innate sense of rhythm. As tunes become familiar, we build up our own jazz vocabulary or set of musical stories that can be told. Progressively increasing speed to that of the recording happens naturally with practice, no need for masochistic self-punishing drills, just patient and persistent reinforcement and consolidation of our song-knowledge. Taking a week or two with one song allows a lot to be covered in a year and competence/confidence can grow progressively. Learning can be slow at first but we gradually pick up momentum as we work out our own unique and tailored approach to both the music and our instrument.