Think Like A Jazz Player

Think Like A Jazz Player


Jazz is not just a music style, it is a movement and a way of thinking. The type of musician you find in a jazz club is wildly different from the one you will find at a pop concert. This isn’t just because of the genre of music they play but they way they think both musically and practically. Improv jazz has many of the same practicalities as other improvised forms such as comedy or lyricism. Yet jazz seems to hold much more of dominance over just how open one can be in their environment. The disciplines that jazz asks of its best and brightest are talents and skill sets that can be put into all walks of life for the better. If this all sounds a little out there, consider the following components that make for a superior jazz player and a more efficient, well anything.

Establish A Great Team

Jazz musicians work in teams, great ones in fact. Though they commonly have a revolving door of musicians who play a few nights and then head on their way, even these new additions aren’t picked at random. Having workmates who know your style and vice versa makes for a terrific shorthand when it comes to spur of the moment thinking. Whether you are a business startup, an employer or are just putting together a sports team, picking a successful squad is the backbone to greater triumph.

Think on the Fly

This is no doubt what jazz is most known for. The skill of practiced musicians that can play, elaborate and create entirely new pieces of work without instruction is a magic trick to everyone else. This ability is what makes good actors great, and makes noteworthy journalists award winning. This type of thinking takes immense practice and can have an uncomfortable learning curve, but if you manage to persevere you will be atop of the podium with the greats.

Freestyle Within Borders

Though the letting loose aspect of jazz may seem completely divine, the trick behind it is knowing which borders to cross and which ones to stay within. In jazz this means that even though notes themselves can be mixed up in any order or pace, the chord structures, keys and scales are often what subtly keep everyone in line. It’s good to keep in mind that the difference between comfortable freedom and utter chaos are a few simple guidelines.

Nothing Is Sacred

The wonder of playing a huge plethora of songs is that boredom fails to set in, another great thing is that it loosens the attachment that can hold people back from their real potential. Artists who play a standard set list can fall into traps of trying to make their performances best their previous ones, whereas jazz fundamentally avoids this. By adding variety, no two performances are the same and therefore players aren’t constantly comparing their capabilities of crowd pleasing to one another. Letting things go and taking a step back from the pressure of self-competition means that you can truly just enjoy the moment, something which the best jazz players do on a nightly basis.