JJB April 4 Rehearsal

April 4 Rehearsal

Wow!  What an awesome experience having Neil Yorke-Slader in to work with us!  He shared is immense wealth of knowledge with us and focused on a lot of the details that we don’t usually talk about.

Pieces for the Spring Concert (Sunday, April 15)

Jammin’ with Charlie

My Dinner with Ronald

It Don’t Mean a Thing

25 or 6 to 4


Jammin’ with Charlie / 25 or 6 to 4

Neil really harped on the rock pieces emphasizing 1 and 3, or the implication of 1 and 3 (meaning accented syncopations just before 1 and 3).  These emphasized notes will help our rock style.  Instead of focusing on making those beat louder, focus on making the beats around them softer (“do less work and get a better mark”).

Other elements to focus on that we went over:

-Balance: listen to the recordings and mark in when you have the melody and when you should back off

-Start soft: look at the dynamics and see what the lowest indication is.  If it’s only mf, then you should really be playing it at a piano dynamic.  The rhythm section can help with this by coming way down a quiet dynamic changes.


It Don’t Mean a Thing / My Dinner with Ronald

While rock emphasizes 1 and 3, swing tunes emphasize 2 and 4.  This is usually reinforced by the hi-hat click, but should be adhered to by everyone in the band.  Neil also focused on our forte-pianos (which we very much succeeded on!) and making them very noticeable and exaggerated, especially the piano part.  Apply this forte-piano technique to most accents in our pieces.

Other elements to focus on:

-Phrasing: never play repeated notes at the same volume (“so we are going to play all of those note the same way right?”).  Also, long notes need to always go somewhere, usually crescendoing after a forte-piano.

-Foreshadowing: the rhythm section can foreshadow our dynamic changes by doing them early.  Specifically for drummers, if you see a dynamic change approaching, emulate that change with a fill 1 or 2 bars before the band and they will react accordingly.


Dress Rehearsal Next Week

We will be focusing most of our time ironing out the details of the 4 pieces that we will be performing.  Please look at your parts and apply the details that Neil mentioned before rehearsal.  This will save us time and allow us to focus on bringing life to our performance 🙂  You do not have to wear black to the dress rehearsal.  Looking forward to finally performing our hard work to an audience!