When you hear a new song you want to learn you figure out the chords or tabs, sit down, play it, and typically it sounds pretty close to the real thing (hopefully). But how do you learn to play jazz music when the performer plays it differently every time?
One of the cornerstones to the Jazz genre is the improvisational freedom the artists have while playing together— band members acting like a basketball team reading and reacting to each other to see where they are going next. The harmony that can be found when three, four or five players are reading from the same imaginary sheet of music is a joy to witness, and an unparalleled experience to be a part of. I’m seasoned with this “same page” sensation from time spent on the basketball court, and when I watch live jazz it’s like they forgot I was on their team—I know they are communicating, but I can’t pickup on the language. So I went looking for a rosetta stone for Jazz and stumbled upon a comprehensive guide to learning this craft: 'The Jazz Guitar Handbook.' Starting with a history of the musical style to scales and fundamentals of improv., this is a great way to break your way into the huddle and figure out what play the band is on.