Though the exact beginnings of jazz are still disputed, the general consensus is that jazz has been around since the late 1800s. Ever since then, numerous musicians have been taking up the genre and practicing various styles in an attempt to become serious jazz artists.
The question is, what does it take to become a jazz musician?
What You’re Going to Need to Become a Jazz Musician
When it comes to what it takes to become a jazz musician, we can tell you. Our band, the Razmajazz Dixieland Band has been performing live and jamming to jazz music for over two decades. Though our areas of specialty are mainly focused on traditional or original jazz styles like Dixieland, ragtime and swing, we have a pretty good sense of what you’ll need to get to where you want to be!
This one’s a given. Sure there are those who are born with certain talents and affinities, however, the only way you can ever get good enough to call yourself a jazz musician is to practice. You’re going to need to spend hours every week just perfecting the way you use your instrument and practicing different scales, harmonies and melodies.
It is through practice that you will gain the comfort to perform, jam and improvise.
An Understanding of Music
Jazz music requires a basic understanding of how harmonies and music in general works. It is understanding of the same that allows musicians to take apart and deconstruct musical structures to create new standards.
Patience and Consistency
Learning to play music isn’t easy— least of all jazz! Sure musicians like us make it look easy but the amount of skill and energy that goes in to playing like we do is not visible during performance.
In order to become a skilled jazz musician, you need to practice a lot and that takes patience. You won’t make it overnight and if you stop half way, you never will! Be patient with yourself and consistent with your practice sessions. After a period of time you will see results.
Curiosity is in a sense important for anyone who is looking to create something. This holds true for scientists as much as it does for artists and musicians. As far as jazz musicians go, one can say that curiosity is what created the genre so it stands to reason that you would need a degree of that to excel!
The Ability to Experiment and Move Beyond Your Comfort Zone
Jazz is about pushing boundaries and your skills. If you want to be a jazz musician, one who plays with a band, improvises and has a good time doing it, you’re going to need to be okay with moving beyond your comfort zone.
In our experience, it is the musicians who are all about pushing themselves that make great jazz artists and if you’ve got that drive you’re good!
We hope those of you interested in becoming jazz musicians find the blog useful. If you want to see us play, feel free to connect with us for more information. Alternatively, you could also check out some of our music online.
In any case, good luck with that music!