How do jazz musicians know when to change phrasing?

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When I listen to jazz, there’s often 64 bars or so of one riff or groove, and then they all change right away. Do they give each other musical cues? Is it decided beforehand? Do they nod at each other? It seems like magic to me sometimes.

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Anonymous 0 Comments

Generally they are following the chords and counting the bars. They’re not just playing whatever notes, they know where they are in the tune and when you get to the end of the progression it’s on to the next dude’s solo (or you play the main riff or whatever you’re doing).

In more open-ended jazz where a section might not always last the same amount of time, or something more like funk where you’re just playing a groove until you get sick of it, yeah, they will be communicating on stage both visually (eye contact is really important) and musically (hey dude I am playing this V7 real hard, so maybe you might get the idea that I want us to head back to I).