anyway, that's the back story.  here i am in ny, and thinking that perhaps one day, after several years of building up the basic skills, i'd be able to audition in one of the near by music schools.  i understand there are several very good schools around here.  my expectations aren't high, as these school seem to be where many young and talented people flock to, and isn't really a place for an older (i'm still 29) newbie..  but was wondering how tough it is to get in.

reading some of the audition guidelines, i see that it's playing with rhythm section, and doing 3 or more standards of different types (fast, ballad, blues, etc) played in a specified form. (head, 4xchorus solo, head, etc)  what i don't understand is, so where do you find a rhythm section to practice with?  i'm fresh out of rhythm sections to be honest. (hehe)  how do people even prepare for this?  maybe it's too big of a dream, but even big dreams start with a little one, no?

all i know is that i suck at the piano, and want to get better at it because it's so awesome when i'm in the zone.  like 20 seconds out of a 2 hour practice. haha.
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oh oops, i deleted the first paragraph.  it just said i'm a music tech (computer music) master's degree drop out (i quit), with fair experience in producing.  so i'm not new to music itself, it's just that my piano skills are still very basic.

i was at florida international univ, which isn't a famous school, but had awesome latin jazz faculty. (like arturo sandoval)  but i couldn't take piano lessons because my program was computer related.  now that i know a little more about jazz, i'm kicking myself for not transfering to um.  oh well, ny ain't so bad.  it's actually awesome.
how long have u been playing piano? do you play classical piano? private lessons? i don't much about jazz, but to gain speed, you can play major scales 4 octaves with a metronome.  i can play up to 138bpm, but my left hand is slower than the right.
don't let the age thing get in your way. i got my master's at age 40, and when i entered i only had 4 years of piano (during those 4 years i worked my ass off)like you i wasn't new to music- just piano.  

as far as a rhythm section, get some aebersold play alongs and some good midi files. also if you look around a bit you'll be able find some real guys to play with.  recorded yourself alot.  

a frined of mine just finished bm in music and he's in his early 50's.
that's good to hear.  i've only been seriously playing with private lessons for just under a year, so i can say i've got quite a long ways to go.  i'm in no rush.  i know this takes a lot of work, and years and years of serious practice so i'm basically happy with preparing several years just to even get to the audition level.  after all, i don't think the jazz community as a whole aspires to create speed produced crap.

i guess, like you say paul, that it's important to get quality practice and to stay motivated and focused.  so many people drop out of the process, that it seems like persistence is a big part of getting good.

i got a couple of aebersolds, and also practice with band in a box alot..  how does the audition rhythm section go?  do they just play a fixed sequence?  just like you'd be practicing with pre-recorded aebersolds? (not exactly the same, but in principle)  or are you required to feed off of other player's ideas and stuff like that, which a "real people" specific.  i guess i'm not sure i really understand how organic this thing is supposed to be.
my teacher pushes me to work more with aebersold because they are a living group and a) are analog and this not "perfect" and b) may do unpredicable things.  i find bib fairly easy to keep my place in but its sometimes not so easy wtih the aebersold stuff.  short of putting a group together, these play-alongs are probably your best source.
i agree with sdm.

regarding my audition, i played a prepared transcription that they requested and then played along with some tracks (i think abersold)
that the professors picked (they gave me no prepartion time, just count off and play) the had me comp, then solo and also play a melody off a lead sheet (again with a bass and drum track)

a friend of mine just auditioned at a college and he played along with a live rythm section that was made up of students and professores. he said they would change drummers and bass players for each tune. he said one of the bass players was messing up and the drummer was rushing. maybe they wanted to see how he would react because sort things do happen in the real world and you have adapt and hopefully still sound good
paul, are you the one that went to north texas state?  is that where you got your master's?
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