Building a strong foundation of co-ordination and time are absolutely crucial, in my opinion.
However, in a real situation you will most probably be playing with a band, which will define what (and how) you play. And the most important is that you will not have time to think before you play, you will just act!
Therefore, the third part of our focus will be: Performance Practice.
How can someone practice this?
- PLAYING WITH OTHER MUSICIANS
That's the ideal way of getting experience in comping. Here is me playing a piece by Thelonious Monk with my band having in mind the topic of my research.
- PLAYING OVER DRUM-LESS RECORDINGS
Playing with drum-less tracks is certainly not as realistic as playing with a band. However, it can have many advantages.
It puts you in a musical situation in which you have to act spontaneously but at the same time it gives you the chance to play the same song more than once and try out all the things you have been working on in the practice room.
In that way, you find out by yourself which of your ideas work musically and you are more prepared for a real playing situation.
I made a list of drum-less jazz recordings which you can practice with. Enjoy!
This app provides you with play-along tracks that have a huge variety of (poly-)rhythmical options. It's meant to be used by any musician and it is certainly a very fun way to challenge yourself and improve your time and performance skills.
- USING THE MENTROME & YOUR IMAGINATION
If you happen to not have access to the above mentioned things or other musicians, don't be discouraged to practice. Do it in the good, old-fashioned way!
-Choose a song you know very well
-Turn on the metronome
-Scat or imagine a solo in your head
-Play as if you were playing with other musicians
This can be a great practice for strengthening your musical imaginaton and concentration!