JJB Rehearsal  Spring Session – Week 2

Great second rehearsal, Everyone!

A note is coming soon from the Social Committee regarding going out after practice next week.  Sometimes we may be thirsty after rehearsal, but at least one outing will be gelato! Any other ideas are welcome!

Here are the notes for this week, plus NEXT WEEK focus –

Ice breaker  –  Every week a section stands up and introduces themselves:  – First Name, favourite song ,  performer, or style,  Last Name .   For example  “ Hi, I am Chris “Diana Krall” Murphy”, or    “Cathy- Motown- Wilcox”.  The saxes started us off – thanks!  Here is a memory puzzle for you : John, _   _  ,Fysh.  Prize to first person to tell me the correct response next Tuesday!

Warm Up :    Doo  – Do  bah  –  doo  –  doo,    (swing second beat)  Scale  (Bb concert)

Demonstration of chromatic scale.  Daily, practice a slow, whole note chromatic scale to practice fingering and listening to minor seconds.  All scales are made up of a pattern of intervals. The chromatic scale is 12 semi-tones (or half steps), or every note in your fingering chart.  Start at a comfortable note, and go to the next note of that name (12 notes), ascending and descending.

Major scale is:   tone, tone, semi- tone, tone, tone,  tone,  semi-tone

Mixolydian Scale is:  tone, tone, semi-tone, tone, tone, semi-tone, tone  (flattened seventh)

Interval to practice listening to and playing – Major and Minor Second  –  two adjacent notes,  line to space or space to line note…. Will either be Major  M +( a full step or whole tone) or minor m  (a half step or semi-tone, two adjacent notes on your fingering chart)

This week, we focused on the beginnings and endings .

Hit the Road Jack.  (Art kit – great light swing on second beat!  Strong back beat on 2 and 4 on snare for R& B feel)  Saxes and flutes dig in aggressively at bar 9.  Listen carefully for playing in tune.  Great bending this week– it was just enough, not too much!  No need to do it if you are not comfortable with the bend. Trumpets and clarinets, precise practice will pay off in the end, so practice the sections beginning at 5 and at 19 very slowly, with the metronome ticking the beat, to make sure your rhythms are correct.  Pitch notes in the “centre” of each note.  Try it staccato as an exercise several times, then slur.  Gradually increase the tempo.  Measure 9 (“daht” for the roof accent), on 3+ (otherwise known as the  and  of three).  Try singing in slow-motion and tapping the beat, and put a tongue click on your note – “Hit the Roooad Jack  – X – and don’t… , then listen to the link and try the tongue click at tempo.  Then go to the instrument. Basses – I am sure you could make up a more interesting walking bass part, but when we play this up to tempo, this part will be sufficiently interesting, I bet!  Guitar – strum quarters holding the pick loosely between thumb and index, and try to cut off (mute) the sound of the chord right after striking, for a bright, rhythmic sound that matches the bass. Strum from the elbow and propel the rhythm section forward. NEXT WEEK – M 37 to 44 focus, and then reading through to 44.

Girl From Impanema  (Jill – kit ,  super steady eighths) Wind players – It is the easy things that foil us!  Avoid the temptation of jazzing up measures 9 and 11 – these are straight quarter notes on the beat.  If you don’t get this by next week, you owe me a beverage or gelato!  Ha ha!   Measure 4 – we are not yet playing all together on the second note – on 3+ – but we should be!  NEXT WEEK – Triplets should be played thinking tri – pul – let (be careful that it is an even three feel, and not “fast fast long (dragonfly)”, or “long fast fast(blueberry)”!  Or think “Ca-na-da”. Look at the coda, and we can add in the solo section at m 55 for a complete read-through if alto/tenor 1 and trumpet 1 are ready, and/ or anyone can volunteer  to do an 8 bar solo loosely based on the tune of the song. Try playing 8 bars of this lovely tune, and wander away, embellish all you like.  Trombones, flutes, piano, guitar, start in concert F Major on the second note of the scale (G – E- E -D ), (for alto saxes, that is D Major, start on the E-C#-C#-B), and clarinets, trumpets, tenor saxes, G major, start on (A – F# F#- D). F horn would start in C Major, on the notes (D – B -B- G).

Brown-Eyed  Girl  (Mary G – kit )  The magical groove of the rhythm section, with all the auxiliary percussion, was great, and will be amazing when Mary returns! We played m 1- 29 and m 81 to the end.  Rhythm section,  you can dig into the accent in bar 4 a bit more, as it helps to propel back to bar 1. Winds, enjoy working on the second endings, building the dynamics into the fall off. Trumpets/clarinets work on counting for your entry at m 22, and listen to the recording to really nail it. Trombone/F horn/baritone, you have the tune measures 6 – 13, so pour your hearts ( and lots of air) into it.  Your cool rhythmic pattern from 15 sometimes locks exactly with the sax tune, like in measure 19, for the first two notes, so our rhythm has to be precise (no problem, of course!) Measure 33  Think “Sha la la la la la la la la lalaht te da” we are all together, except the bass and percussion groove, so sing and play this correctly this week.  Thinking ahead to mid-May – Alto sax 1 (first time) and Trumpet 2 (second time) have solos at 40.  A flute solo would sound good there too, if a flute player wants to make up (or transpose the trumpet 2 solo).  The range is G above the staff to high Eb, so you can think about it.  NEXT WEEK we will look at m 60 (Coda) to the end,  (rhythm section solo at 60, then all in at the key change on same rhythm at 61 (off beats! – listen to it and try vocalizing “tah” along with this section, while dancing  around the room)

Forget You  (Stuart – kit) We played  m 1 – 37, and m 65 to the end.  The listening link is extremely helpful.  Rhythm section (piano go ahead and play, and basses)  and bari saxes, lead towards the third note (an implied beat 1 which is on the and of four) and accent the H— out of it!  (Excuse my language)  bah-doo- BAH—— bah –doo- BAH —–.  Once we have this, we will then play it cool like it is a piece of cake – easy peasy.   Alto saxes (in teams of three) practice the rhythms here carefully, as there was some confusion in bar 5 – beat 2 is a full quarter note .   Listen to the link, but watch out saxes – the guitar part blends with your part, and you hear another note on beat two , but it is NOT your note, so don’t sing that guitar note after beat 2+ (admittedly, this is hard to distinguish- use your super powers).  Also, make sure you are listening to the John Berry arrangement, as there are others out there (like Paul Murtha’s – which you can listen to, if you want to compare – it is different, though!)  Football dancing feet drill if you still don’t have the rhythm next week…not kidding – so wear runners!  NEXT WEEK we will look at m 49 – 57, so take a peek at it this week.

*Mixed Bag   (Stuart) (read-through fun review,  new people can play percussion or follow along and play)   Great fun!!!    We will pull this one out again in about three weeks, for fun.

NEXT WEEK’S  Sight piece is All The Things You Are (from Very Warm for May ).  The flute part is coming in an email!  Hedy , will you be able to do the trombone 1 part for F horn?

See those of you who signed up for the Inter-city May Clinic on Sunday!   Since the jazz clinic is in the Sanctuary, there is extra seating, if anyone did not sign up but would like to come and listen to Mark work these pieces:  Feeling Good, Hit the Road Jack, Forget You, It Don’t Mean A Thing, and Mack the Knife.

(Yes, I picked these pieces with Mark, so that you would feel more confident sitting in with the Downtown Jazz and Two Beats Ahead, along with some people from Montreal and Potsdam NHB!

Happy Practicing!


Here are the listening links and reminders from last week’s note:

Listening Links for JJB Spring Theme – In and Out of Love  (Click on the title to follow the link!)

 Focus Pieces

Hit the Road Jack – – 1961 – Percy Mayfield arr Mike Lewis  (R & B tune made famous by Ray Charles – easy swing feel)

Forget You – 2011 “Motown sound” Bruno Mars et al, arr John Berrry (made famous by Cee Lo Green – rock)

Brown-Eyed Girl – 1967  Van Morrison  arr Paul Murtha (Latin)

The Girl from Impanema  1963 Vinicius de Moraes and Antonio Carols Jobim, arr John Berry (made famous by Stan Getz and amateur singer Astrud Gilberto (wife of Joao Gilberto – Bossa Nova)

Pieces we will take a look at for sight reading and fun, but these are not our focus pieces.

Believe It Or Not (aka Greatest A Hero) – 1981 TV show – Mike Post and Stephen Geyer arr. Jerry Nowak  (moderate rock)

All the Things You Are (from: Very Warm for May) –Hammerstein and Kern arr M. Sweeney  – Latin/Swing

Review tunes (if you don’t already know these, you don’t need to learn them unless you want an extra challenge):

All My Lovin’  Lennon & McCartney, arr Rick Stitzel (easy swing)

Possible Latin additions from past repertoire- because we are lucky enough to have four percussionists – and because these are fun and sunny tunes – and we are in love with sunshine after the wild winter!

Mixed Bag (Swing/Latin/Rock-Funk)

Into the Sun (Latin – Reggae)

  1. Ready for a challenge?

Link to MUSESCORE –Write an 8 or 16 bar solo based on the tune “Girl from Impanema”  or any tune of your choice.  Musescore will play it back with an annoying synthesized sound, so you can hear it and make changes if you wish.  Musescore will also allow non-traditional instruments to transpose parts for their instruments – flautists to transpose trumpet 1 parts down a tone (example – from key of C to Bb), and horn players to transpose trombone 1 parts up a fifth or down a fourth, and from bass into the treble clef.  (Copy the part you need to transpose exactly, and then select “Style” and transpose.  The result will look like moving the notes down one step, from a space to the line below, or the line to the space below, and changing the key signature by removing one flat or, in the case of sharps, adding a sharp).

  1. Tell Friends and Family – Info Night on Wednesday, June 5 6-8 pm

Friends, neighbours, coworkers and family can come and try out different instruments and hear about the ONHB program.  Location TBA.

Can you volunteer to demo your instrument and to teach how to hold it and make a sound?  St. John’s Music will supply the try-out instruments. Email Cathy at wilcoxceo@gmail.com   if you are available to help.  One person needed per instrument.