Dept. of Word Lists

Jazz Words

Stop noodling with your axe and gimme a vamp on your doghouse, can you dig it?

To help translate this deliciously jazzed up sentence, drummer Brian Floody, a professional musician active in New York's jazz scene, graciously gave us this list of jazz-related words and their meanings:

Axe Any musical instrument
Box Guitar
Tubs Drums
Doghouse Upright acoustic bass
Licorice Stick Clarinet
Chops A dual meaning: Technique, or for horn players, the spot where the horn meets their lips.
Woodshed Practice (see Shed)
Shed Both a verb and a noun for practice. For example: "I gotta get into the shed," or "I gotta go home and shed."
Lick Signature musical phrase of a musician, as in "that's Louis Armstrong's lick"
Head Melody of a song
Front Band leader
Tag Extra material in addition to a song's form
Dig To really like something, as in "can you dig it"
Cut A back and forth between two musicians playing the same instrument, as in "a cutting contest." Also refers to a track on a record.
Vamp Section of music that's open ended
Changes Changing the harmonic structure, how the cords move
Click here to read more articles from Department of Word Lists.