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I am currently a member of a very lively student jazz society, with some kind of a jamming session at least every two weeks, and a full jamming night every month. In some time I will be moving to a city where it seems there is not much of a jazz/blues scene, or at least not among students.

Theoretically, to start a jazz night with fellow jazz musicians, all you need is a Realbook and instruments. But what if the fellow musicians are not so much into jazz? How do I kickstart them into the good side without having to give a full course in jazz and blues?

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This seems more like a request to start a discussion. Voting to close, but perhaps the question can be edited to be more directly answerable? –  neilfein Aug 2 '12 at 9:25
I think this question can be salvaged by editing. –  American Luke Aug 2 '12 at 12:31
@neilfein, what is bad about this question? I understand that it is not answerable in exact terms, but what is? –  akkkk Aug 2 '12 at 13:57
Already said: This sounds like a discussion question. @Luke - Editing how? –  neilfein Aug 2 '12 at 15:50
As your question stands, I am not completely sure what you are asking. Are you asking how to find musicians for your group? Are you asking how to train (informally) other non-jazz musicians, whose skills you already know, to play jazz with you? I think a few more details would help this question be more useful. –  Andrew Dec 18 '12 at 22:24
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closed as not constructive by neilfein, Dr Mayhem, American Luke, Babu, Andrew Dec 18 '12 at 22:24

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1 Answer

Ensure the rhythm section is solid, and able to catch up with the improviser. Start with an easy modal tune such as "So what", or a blues such C Jam Blues, quickly explain the concepts, the "allowed" / "good sounding notes". Be sure to let an experienced improviser take the 1st solo, and ask the experienced musicians to

  • keep their solo "inside"
  • keep their solo short (2 grids max)
  • breathe and not drown everyone under a deluge of notes

Its nice to have 4 bars exchanges between soloists (inc. the drums), as it gives an opportunity to listen to short phrases and reproduce / expand on them.

Stay close to the newbies and show them the current position in the harmonic grid. Ask the drummer to emphasise the end of the grid so that they get the cycles correctly. Show the newcommers the 4 bar and 8 bar subcycles.

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+10! good answer saves a bad question. BTW, almost every Rock or Country song is blues, too. –  luser droog Aug 6 '12 at 4:54
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