JJB Rehearsal Note for November 5

Thanks to all you brave musicians who played a jazz improv this week!  Whether you use one note and play triplets, noodle around on two notes (the third and fourth degrees of the scale), play the tune with embellishments and passing notes, wail away on the highest note you can play, or write out a melody which resembles the tune, with some interesting departures, it’s all jazz!  Use the method book and the Interactive Practice Studio to build skill and confidence at home. Do the exercises on pages 6 and 7, and try playing solos with the pieces:

Jumpin’ Jellybeans (Major Scale- tone, tone, semi-tone, tone, tone, tone, semi-tone)

Quarterback Sneak (Bossa) (Mixolydian Scale – flattened seventh degree tone, tone, semi-tone, tone, tone, semi-tone, tone).

If you haven’t downloaded the IPS yet, do it now at https://kjos.com/IPS  and use the code on the back cover of your book.  This is a WONDERFUL resource!

This week we played: Jumpin’ Jellybeans, So What, Moondance, Into the Sun, and Stay Cool.

This coming week, we meet on Monday, Nov. 12 AND Tuesday, Nov. 13 at Brookfield, in the music room.

Monday plan:  Warm up – jazz major scale, Jumpin’ Jellybeans + 4 solos

Mixolydian scale, exercises, Quarterback Sneak + 2 solos


Ain’t Misbehavin’

‘Round Midnight

Tuesday plan:  Warm up- jazz major scale (T, T, S, T, T, T, S), jazz pentatonic scale (leave out 4th and 7th degrees of major scale), mixolydian scale (T,T, S, T,T,S, T)

Concert Bb Dorian scale (T,S, T,T,T, S,T) page 10

Exercises page 11 (including improv)

A Darker Shade of Gray (swing) + 2 solos

Stay Cool

Into the Sun

So What

Following our Tuesday rehearsal, we will vote (on paper or email) for 3-4 pieces for concert

So What

Ain’t Misbehavin’


Stay Cool

Into the Sun



Composers might focus on using interesting harmonic progressions, memorable melodies, or dynamic rhythmic patterns in their compositions. A truly great piece has all three! The main chords in most blues, rock, and jazz tunes are:  I  IV  V(7)

Chords can best be understood if you watch this short clip demonstrating the chords construction and sound on a keyboard.   Listen to the whole clip, and you will hear some pieces played that demo the chord progression in pieces.


Axis of Awesome sings an unbelievable number of pop songs all based on the chords I V vi IV  (the vi chord is minor, and so is written in lower case) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oOlDewpCfZQ

These two video clips will give you a better understanding of how jazz players can play from a lead sheet and improvise using a chord progression written over a melodic line.

If you haven’t already seen this, it is worth watching too!

Pentatonix  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lExW80sXsHs

Chords  I  IV  V  in the key of Concert Bb  (Flute, Trombone, Euphonium,  Tuba, Piano, Guitar, Bass Guitar all play in concert pitch)

Do, Mi, So    I chord (Concert Bb) transpositions:

Flute/Trombone/Baritone/Tuba  – Bb D F

Clarinet/Trumpet/Tenor Sax       – C  E  G

French horn                              –  F A  C

Eb alto sax                                – Eb G B b


So Ti  Re      V chord

Flute/Trombone/Baritone/Tuba  – F A C

Clarinet/Trumpet/Tenor Sax       – G B D

French horn                              –  C E G

Eb alto sax                                –  Bb D F


Fa La Do        IV chord

Flute/Trombone/Baritone/Tuba  – Eb G  Bb           

Clarinet/Trumpet/Tenor Sax       – F  A  C

French horn                              –   Bb D F

Eb alto sax                                –  Ab C Eb


The basic progression is I – IV- V – I

A sample blues progression – 12 bars:

I  I  I  I 




Listen to some tunes by Buddy Holly, Little Richard (Stand By Me, Good Golly Miss Molly, etc) and see if your ear can hear the chord changes.  Pieces generally start on and end on the  I chord, so listen for the bass notes and chord progressions and get your ear familiar with this simple progression.