The best way to start composing jazz is to gain a solid understanding of music theory, specifically the elements that define jazz music. Jazz music is characterized by its use of improvisation, syncopated rhythms, extended chords, and the blues scale. Understanding these elements is essential in creating jazz music that is authentic and stylistically accurate.
One source for gaining this knowledge is "The Jazz Theory Book" by Mark Levine, which provides an in-depth overview of jazz music theory, including chord progressions, scales, and modes commonly used in jazz compositions. Additionally, studying the works of jazz legends such as Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, and John Coltrane can provide valuable insight into the nuances of jazz composition.
Once you have a solid understanding of jazz music theory, it is important to develop your improvisational skills. Improvisation is a key component of jazz music, and being able to spontaneously create melodies and solos is essential in jazz composition. Practicing improvisation with backing tracks or other musicians can help develop your skills in this area.
Another crucial aspect of jazz composition is arranging. Arranging involves taking a basic melody or chord progression and adding different instrumental parts, such as horns, rhythm section, and percussion, to create a complete and cohesive composition. Studying the arrangements of jazz standards and analyzing how different instrumental parts work together can help in developing your arranging skills.
Lastly, collaboration with other musicians is an important aspect of jazz composition. Working with other musicians can provide valuable feedback and inspiration, as well as help in developing a unique and personal style. Finding local jazz jams or joining a jazz ensemble can be a great way to connect with other musicians and develop your composition skills.
In conclusion, the best way to start composing jazz is to gain a solid understanding of music theory, specifically the elements that define jazz music, develop your improvisational skills, study arranging techniques, and collaborate with other musicians. By following these steps and using resources such as "The Jazz Theory Book" and the works of jazz legends, aspiring jazz composers can begin to develop their own unique style and make a mark in the world of jazz music.