Vamps? Changes? Double time feel?

There‘s always a lot of bewilderment when it comes to the jazz musicians’ jargon. Take this quizzzzzz to end the turmoil for once and for all!

1. When singers sing rubato – it means:

A. We sing a cappella

B. We sing in a floating feel

C. We sing as loud as we can

D. We sing a famous Italian song

2. When you see the word BARS, it means:

A. A couple of licensed establishments

B. A number of measures

C. A psychological movement to free yourself from limiting beliefs

D. The obstruction to a goal

3. When a singer tells the band she will cue them, it means:

A. Most of the times, a catastrophe

B. She will legally persecute them when the form is lost

C. She will signal the next or another section

D. She will qualify them for next times, or not…

4. When a singer has a gig, it means:

A. He’s high on drugs

B. He’s got an itchy illness

C. It’s short for an ongoing giggle

D. He’s got a job singing

5. When musicians point to their head during the song, it means:

A. Are you out of your mind?

B. Can’t you read?

C. The melody of the tune is coming up next

D. I have a slight headache but will play on

6. Playing a vamp implies:

A. Playing hard to get

B. Playing billiards

C. When you leave the house silently after a one night stand

D. Measures that repeat over and over, often during an intro or an outro

7. When musicians are trading, it means:

A. They are discussing when to hold their monthly yard sale

B. They are trading instruments

C. They hold a position at a financial institute as a source of extra income

D. Every certain measures the solo gets passed to someone new (2, 4, 8 or else)

8. The “feel” of the song means:

A. The feeling it brings you; sad, happy, hopeful, etc etc

B. The feelings you have to have experienced to sing the song convincingly

C. The style of the song – be it swing, funk, ballad, bossa nova

D. The tempo of the song

9. When musicians talk about changes – they mean:

A. They are considering a change in their life style

B. They are discussing the state of the world

C. They need small change for the parking lot

D. They are discussing the chord changes of the song, the song’s harmony

10. Double time feel means:

A. Everything goes by twice as fast

B. Only the rhythm is twice as fast, not the harmony or melody

C. It’s like a double espresso – it hits you hard

D. You play twice as long for half the pay


  1. B – floating means free, I’m sure you knew it. Now doing it…
  2. B – and how many bars do most jazz standards have?
  3. C – always an exciting moment
  4. D – we are payed for it
  5. C – just so you know
  6. D – or was it C?
  7. D – great fun, but bring your abacus
  8. C – did you get this one right?
  9. D – a change is gonna come
  10. B – easy to get this one mixed up, I know

How many did you get right?

1 – 6 You’re still in lalaland

7 – 9 For you, there are hardly secrets anymore

10 You could be me, or I could be you