PlayJazzNow.com has created sets of tracks geared to beginning, intermediate and advanced percussionists Drummers can now play along with the rhythm team of piano and bass without the clutter of a pre-existing drum track. Students of jazz can practice a wide range of rhythmic styles, including swing, jazz waltz, bossa, samba, 6/8, 5/4 and ballad. Each style is available in a variety of tempos, which employ standard forms such as 12-bar blues, 32-bar AABA form, plus the less common 16- and 24-bar forms.
Chicago bassist and teacher Bill Harrison, the driving force behind PlayJazzNow.com, says, “This is the next innovation I’ve been promising visitors to the Web site. I believe these tracks are just what aspiring jazz drummers need to help them get to the next level. I haven’t seen or heard tracks of this kind offered anywhere else.”
Until the last decade or so, young jazz players could learn a lot “on the job” and at jam sessions, but Harrison notes that now there are a lot more players — and a lot fewer sessions. He feels that budding jazz musicians need a way to practice regularly with a real rhythm section at home.
PlayJazzNow.com addresses this need. The Web site offers jazz play-alongs that are different from the CD/book sets of play-along tunes sold elsewhere. PlayJazzNow.com tracks consist of chord progressions - turnarounds and forms that occur in all types of standards and jazz compositions. Harrison states, “Our play-alongs are available for immediate download. They come in all 12 keys and you can find the precise tracks you need for your level and your instrument.”
With the addition of tracks created specifically for drummers and percussionists, PlayJazzNow.com now has tracks that all instrumentalists can use to improve their skills as soloists and accompanists.
“Using these play-along tracks really helps and inspires my students,” says Harrison. “ If they work for me, I know they’ll work for other teachers, students and professional players who are looking for a new and fun way to build their jazz chops.”
Bill Harrison is an accomplished jazz bassist who has performed with many jazz masters including; Clark Terry, James Moody, Dizzy Gillespie, Max Roach, Kenny Burrell, Bunky Green and Joe Daley. He has been a faculty member of Chicago State University and the American Conservatory of Music, and has taught at the Montreux Jazz Festival, Clark Terry’s Great Plains Jazz Camp and the Saskatchewan Summer School for the Arts. Harrison currently plays jazz, commercial and theatre gigs in Chicago and maintains two teaching studios.