9. Same, but different!

There is also the opportunity to start playing with professional jazz musicians by using the learning resources produced by American jazz educator Jim Snidero under the title: Jazz Conception at 3 levels; ‘easy, intermediate and advanced’. You can find these at www.jimsnidero.com as well as at leading music bookshops like Chappells in London. These three book/cd sets comprise 15-20 songs each, 50 in total, starting relatively easily and progressively becoming more difficult. Each one is a collection of commonly used jazz vocabulary with clear allusions to the well-known original tunes from which they are derived, and all fully written out. Each song is 2-3 minutes long and there is the same facility to play or sing in place of the lead instrument, supported by the rhythm section, where you have freedom to improvise instrumentally or vocally at greater length. These resources complement the AB ones well but have a distinctively American flavour and are worth exploring; each booklet/cd is about £20. You might find these songs more successful to work with before the AB ones or switching between the two might work as you fancy a change of scene. In addition Jamey Aebersold has produced a vast range of ‘playalong’ compilations but these are mostly designed for more advanced players. You can find his stuff at www.jazzbooks.com.

Next step: Working through a method book