We love the Festival of Chichester.  Jazz Smugglers have become one of the famous FESTIVAL BANDS in SUSSEX. The JAZZ SMUGGLERS EVENTS are all different. Sometimes the music is full of Gershwin and Cole Porter. At other times we are playing songs loved by Jazz Club patrons.

Jazz Smugglers band, Jazz Smugglers workshop, Jazz websites, Listening to jazz, Jazz Events, Playing jazz tips


Live jazz bands in Sussex The website for jazz enthusiasts. See the gigs Jazz Smugglers band is planning for the 2017 Festival of Chichester

Our email address or
Tel. 07812 207749
Beautiful Jazz songs Jazz bass, Jazz guitar Jazz trio Play Jazz Sussex Play jazz piano Jazz bands Sussex




One of the Sussex Jazz Bands One of the Sussex Jazz Bands

We play mainly in CHICHESTER, WEST SUSSEX, which is close to BOGNOR for LIVE JAZZ, but we also work as a live JAZZ BAND in WORTHING, and as a JAZZ BAND in PORTSMOUTH,  There are not many JAZZ BANDS IN CHICHESTER, there are one or two live BANDS IN BOGNOR, more BANDS IN WORTHING and even more BANDS IN PORTSMOUTH.

There are many JAZZ BANDS IN EAST SUSSEX but far fewer JAZZ BANDS IN WEST SUSSEX. If you want soft romantic music for WEDDING RECEPTIONS SUSSEX. or a LIVE JAZZ TRIO at your WEDDING or PRIVATE PARTY as background music book us please.

Web master Geoff Valenti

Playing simple jazz

An amateur can get away with playing simple jazz by turning down the sound on the amplifier. Afterwards you should ask if there was something amiss with the sound balance. Experienced amateurs realise that there are seven notes in each scale. (Actually there are eight notes in the diminished scale but only pianists know that.)  Players can cut down the amount of notes they have to think about by 28% if they only use the pentatonic scales. (5 notes in each pentatonic scale, saving 2 notes. 2 notes saved out of  7 equals 28%. Music is very mathematical)

Theoretically, you can cut the number of notes used in a solo to four if you just use tetratonic groups. (This is the pentatonic scale minus one note). But very few people know this, and it has never been tried in anger.  It is mentioned only by clever dicks who want to get one back on the pianist.

(Actually the chromatic scale has 12 notes in it – but this is so obvious that even Rover Scouts can work it out, and no one can use it for long before being thrown out of the band.)

Jazz teaching

Jazz teachers will tell you that there are no bad notes in jazz only “poor” choices. They say that if you can play immediately a semi-tone below or above your bum note you will get out of trouble. In theory this may or may not be true but by the time you’ve tried it the band has gone ahead with another couple of bars by which time the “corrected note” will now have become a bum note so no one has ever found out. Look at the motives of jazz teachers who say this kind of thing. Jazz teachers want you to like them and keep hiring them which is why they tell you this crap.


This heading is to test you, to see if you know the “in” words in jazz. Band leaders hate it when people can’t turn up for the gig. People always claim illness but it is usually because they have got another gig that night which pays a bit more. Sometimes band leaders insist on you providing and rehearsing your own deputy. (“Dep” – see it now?)  Never ever bring a dep who is better at playing jazz than you are.  By the way the yanks don’t say dep but sub (substitute) but that could be confused with “tritone sub” an awful chord, so stick with English.

Avoiding copyright fees

No copyright exists if you wait 70 years after the death of the last surviving composer. You can bring this event forward by several years if you let the composer hear you improvising on his music.  Jerome Kern hated jazz.  

Copyright exists only in the melody, no one can copyright chords.  This is how bebop was started by a bunch of crafty but poor musicians.  They took the chords used in standard songs and then invented new melodies over the top of them.  This is how Ornithology sounds so much like How High the Moon. You still have to pay the estate of the composer of Ornithology a copyright fee. I don’t know who he was or when he died but no doubt several million jazz ancestor worshippers will e-mail in and tell me and I’d reply that any nerd can look it up in seconds.*

*before you clever dicks start it was Charlie “the Bird” Parker, d 1955, the bird, ornithology, Birdland the famous New York jazz club, geddit? Did you know that they put a flock of birds into Birdland as a decorative feature, but they all died of smoke inhalation when a fire broke out. Laugh a minute jazz is.

Real Books

For about £35 you can buy a Real book consisting of about 500 jazz song manuscripts with the words. This costs you 7p per song and looks like a bargain. But you’ll never play about 450 of them in your lifetime. So it actually costs you about 70p per usable song. Still a bargain when compared to paying for downloaded music scripts.

Bandleaders have to buy Bb and Eb versions of Real books because you can never expect alto sax players and trumpeters to buy their own copies.

What the sellers of Real Books don’t tell you is that the song the band wants to play is in a different copy of the Real Book – one you don’t own.

No, I’m not going to tell you how to get an illegal copy of half a dozen different Real Books downloaded to your hard drive. But you can.

Playing by ear

You are not supposed to do it. This is what the old great jazz players used to do because there was no jazz music theory then.  But how can you build a business of jazz music education if people just pop off and play by ear?  As a trained jazz musician you are supposed to know what you are doing and why  at any time. This of course is absolutely impossible and all professionals end up playing by ear themselves. They go on autopilot. Afterwards they’ll tell you what they probably did in theoretical terms, but will be unable to reproduce it.  “I was using D7 over C major, I think” they’ll bluff.

Band in a Box

This is a brilliant software programme, absolutely brilliant

You can use it for backing tracks, you can change the key with a button, change the tempo, put in the words, alter the style.

Altogether brilliant for about $100.

But it is impossible to understand. It was developed when computer people only ever talked to each other. The idea of making something “intuitive” had not been invented.

You can also get ‘000’s of songs downloaded for it from a Yahoo Group free. Don’t know how they do it avoiding copyright, but they do.

We circulate songs for the workshop in advance by email, the players open them up in BIAB and practise.




Playing jazz simply

Teaching jazz


Avoiding copyright

Real books

Playing by ear

Band in a Box

Our specialised

Jazz Smugglers

blog website


has posted over 100 videos, interviews,

tutorials, films of jazz players, has had 6,000 page views from folks learning to play jazz.

Use it.