March 28 Rehearsal

Notes from Kyle:

Excellent rehearsal everyone!  It’s great to be back after many weeks and hearing the immense improvement of a beginner jazz band!  Well done 🙂

Warm Up

Building chords and improv vocabulary

  • Remember to use what you have practiced for improv, not always new random stuff
  • The dominant 7th chord is especially important in jazz (1 3 5 b7)

Short notes are being skipped often.  Be sure to use a “dit” or “tuh” sound for your staccatos so they are nice and detached.  Remember to almost NEVER stop your notes with your tongue.  Always stop the air and allow for a little resonance.


Running Through all of our Pieces

I heard some common areas for improvement throughout all of our pieces.  Instead of going over every piece individually, let’s work on big picture ideas that can be applied to every piece.

  1.  Short notes (see above).  This needs to be worked on a lot so that we have distinct and noticeable variation in our articulation and style.  Try going up an easy scale using only staccato to practice the detached sound.
  2. Forte-pianos.  Again, these need to be more distinct and noticeable throughout our pieces.  If you have an accented long note (half note or longer), it is common to add a fp with a crescendo.  Practice fp on a comfortable note and really exaggerate the piano.
  3. Balance.  The balance of our pieces is often skewed and we are unable to hear where the important melodies are.  Listen to the recordings posted and mark in when you DON’T have the melody.  This will remind you to back off in dynamic and support the melody.  Then practice with the recordings and work on playing much quieter when you don’t have the melody, even if you page gives you a loud dynamic.  Overall, trumpets need to bump up their dynamics when they have the melody, and saxes need to back off when they don’t have the melody.

Work on these 3 aspects in your practice sessions and our pieces will improve overall 🙂


Next week

We have Neil Yorke-Slader coming in to work with us next week!  This is going to be a unique and fun learning experience for everyone.  Let’s show him what we’ve got 🙂

Thanks everyone!  Happy to be back,