Archive Monthly Archives: January 2020

Ten Things I Learned From Jamey Aabersold

If you've been playing jazz or blues for any length of time, you're probably familiar with Jamey Aebersold.

Jamey is the father of the playalong CD

For those of you who don’t know who he is, Jamie is the father of the play-along CD series for learning jazz improvisation.

By his website, there are 133 books in his series of books now. And I’m sure there are hundreds of thousands of users of these books over the years, if not millions. They’re effective if used properly. They help to develop a facility with the different scales and modes - major, minor, playing the blues.

I’ve been aware of him for over 30 years now. And his recordings and books have been around longer than that. He is in his late 70’s now and starting to slow down with his schedule a bit. But he has done music camps and clinics all over the world. And he has a passion for teaching people to play by ear and to improvise. I’ve learned a lot about him lately, from stuff I’ve read and discussions I’ve heard him in.

I have a number of his books and have used them on and off over the years.

One of the things I didn’t know until recently was that he started out doing these recordings so he could have something to practice to on his own. But a good idea takes on a life of its own sometimes.

He is a master at teaching people how to be more confident as improvisers. And I thought it would be good to put together a list of things I’ve heard him say or read in his books as a summary of some good points to keep in mind on your journey to learning to play better.

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If you've been playing jazz or blues for any length of time, you're probably familiar with Jamey Aebersold.

Jamey is the father of the playalong CD

For those of you who don’t know who he is, Jamie is the father of the play-along CD series for learning jazz improvisation.

By his website, there are 133 books in his series of books now. And I’m sure there are hundreds of thousands of users of these books over the years, if not millions. They’re effective if used properly. They help to develop a facility with the different scales and modes - major, minor, playing the blues.

I’ve been aware of him for over 30 years now. And his recordings and books have been around longer than that. He is in his late 70’s now and starting to slow down with his schedule a bit. But he has done music camps and clinics all over the world. And he has a passion for teaching people to play by ear and to improvise. I’ve learned a lot about him lately, from stuff I’ve read and discussions I’ve heard him in.

I have a number of his books and have used them on and off over the years.

One of the things I didn’t know until recently was that he started out doing these recordings so he could have something to practice to on his own. But a good idea takes on a life of its own sometimes.

He is a master at teaching people how to be more confident as improvisers. And I thought it would be good to put together a list of things I’ve heard him say or read in his books as a summary of some good points to keep in mind on your journey to learning to play better.

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In All Your Getting, Get The Anointing

If you’re here at Worship Winds, you’re probably here because you’re looking for something different than you’ve found at a lot of the other places out there.

YOU want to play your horn for the Lord. And you want to make a difference when you do. You aren’t interested in just playing your instrument to have fun or to entertain.

You want to lead people into the presence of The Lord.

If that is you, it’s a worthy ambition. “In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.” (Prov. 3:5-6.)

The fact is, you don’t do that in any other way as effectively as you do by finding yourself there, and letting others who are looking to do the same see you and follow you there.

Your first goal as a worship musician should be to let The Lord usher you into His presence.

As He does, you will demonstrate the presence of the Lord in your playing. The Lord appreciates our hearts to “get it right.” And technique is important. Rehearsal and preparation are important.

But the most critical thing you can do as a worship musician is to learn to hone your spiritual senses to be able to learn to draw into the Lord’s presence and what He is doing in the context of worship and follow Him there.

Technique is not “unimportant.” But it’s a means to an end.

Heidi baker has been known to say that she has learned to be “presence-focused” rather than results-oriented. As Heidi says,

“developing a life in God’s presence above all else is the only way to fulfill our God-given destinies. Keys to our callings are released when we spend time there.”

Quote from GoodReads.com

Now, I’m not sure this will register on your radar or not. I realize that I’m quite charismatic-leaning in my theology. (And I didn’t used to be. I came out of a long background in the baptist church; but the Lord has shown me much.)

So if you’re not in that stream of thinking and understanding how God moves, this might be a little overwhelming for you. Perhaps it’s even a “turn-off.”

If so, I’m sorry. I’m sure there is a place for you here to find ideas and methods that will enable you to be a better worshipper on your instrument, nonetheless.

But consider the reality that God wants to do in and through you “exceedingly abundantly above all you can ask or think.” (Eph 3:20-21.) If you think about that for even a moment, you’ll have to realize that this will require God to work in you and through you in ways that are bigger than your own abilities.

Spending time in God’s presence is the key to being a better worship leader.

It is when you become immersed in the love of the Father that you truly begin to love like Jesus. He wants to immerse you. He wants to hold you. He wants to take you to a place where you are so far over your head in the river of God that miracles happen all around you. He wants to fill you entirely with His Holy Spirit.

Heidi Baker – at GoodReads.com

I raise this point in this post for one specific reason. This web site is about worshipping God on your wind instrument. Worship comes more naturally as God immerses us in a greater understanding and experience of His presence.

You can’t lead people where you’ve never been.

If you want to lead people to a place of seeing God move, you have to let Him move you first, so you can learn how to get to that place in His presence, and let others follow you.

Jamie

PS: For a good read on how to attract the anointing of God on your life, please get a look at a good article on the subject by Mark Becerra called “5 ways to attract the anointing of God.” It’s practical and pretty solid.

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