Rehearsal Note – April 23, 2019

Congratulations on a great first rehearsal!

In this note:

  1. Jazz Is…
  2. Clave 3/2 and 2/3 for everyone!
  3. Swing tips
  4. April 23 Rehearsal in Review
  5. Next week
  6. Listening Links (click on the name of the song)
  7. MUSESCORE link and challeng3
  8. Tell everyone –ONHB INFO NITE – June 5 6-8 pm                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1.    Jazz is -playing on the off beats with pizzazz and joy! (This is called syncopation)
  • a high art form, requiring skill on your instrument, knowledge of harmonic progressions, and meticulous rhythmic accuracy, while seeming effortless, and enjoying the off beats.
  • Every musician ( “Greats” like Oscar Peterson, Oliver Jones…) starts with basics and builds their “chops”, or technique and knowledge.  Do slow practice of scales, long tones, and focus sections of each piece, using good technique (example- no tension in arms, shoulders rolled back and down, feet planted on the floor, ready to stand)
  • Musicians must listen carefully to each other, and work together closely (beat, tuning, rhythm, improv). Lean on each other, play softly and find how you fit in to the big picture.
  • Our best is good enough – we are all somewhere on the learning curve.

2. Rhythm review – Bossa Clave 2/3 Pattern:       1    2     3     4     5     6     7     8

X marks the beats (or off beats)  clapped or played  X     X           X        X         X

Listen to this link to 2/3 claves,  and practice. 3/2 and 2/3 clave with notation and count-in

For more info, check out Claves Son in Wikipedia, or read this interesting note from Dave –

The most common clave is the 3-2.  The 2-3 is therefore often referred to as the ‘reverse clave’.   For North America, or non-Latino folks, there are 2 main claves–Cuban or son, and Brazilian.  On the Brazilian the last of the 3 comes an 1/8th note earlier than in son.     For latinos there are endless variations on these.  The New Orleans jazz sound is based on a cleverly hidden son clave as they were heavily influenced by Cuban radio broadcasts.         – Dave

  1. To swing a piece, when you see eighth notes, don’t play them evenly. Play the first eighth twice as long as the second eighth, – in other words, think even triplets, in your mind saying –  dou-bah-lah for each beat. For eighth notes, play dou -(bah is silent) – lah,   dou – lah,    dou –lah,    dou – lah.  Remember that Swing is light – everyone roll back and down the shoulders and relax arm muscles, play or tongue softly and cleanly.
  2. Our theme for this Spring is “In and Out of Love”. This rehearsal, we played one review piece and parts of three out of our four main pieces:                                                                                                                             All My Lovin’ (swing review piece from last session – optional for new people, but try to get any notes you can as you follow along… like a video game, each note counts towards playing the piece) This piece was to get us in the groove!                                                                                                                                                       Hit the Road Jack (swing)– technical thoughts – the drum kit should keep the cymbal light and play a straight quarters adding the occasional swing pattern – possibly on beat two of each measure, add 2 and 4 strong on the snare.  The “roof accent” in trumpet, trombone, and horn parts should not be staccato, but sound the note beautifully then end it – think “daht”.  Piano should think Elton John – strong fingers, relaxed and weighty arms – watch him play Benny and the Jets.  Saxes – watch out for the rhythms that don’t quite match how you think you sing the song, as this arrangement goes –  Hit the Ro-o-oad, Jack, and don’t you come back no more, no more, no more , no-more (quick eighth notes),  O hit the ro- o -oad Jack, etc….    We had a good groove going on the opening of this piece – a great start!                                                                                                                                         Brown-Eyed Girl – Great rhythm section Latin groove! At measure 33, we all play “Sha la la la la la la la la lalaahtedah” together.  The rhythm is played together in all parts, but each part plays a different note, making beautiful harmony.  Check your rhythm and pitches for these measures this week.                                                                    Forget You We played the opening, and then focused on measures 49 to the end. Don’t be afraid to edit if the fingers can’t get all the notes.  Always select a note in each motif or phrase to aim for (play towards, bring out). For example, in the bari sax opening solo, the third (last note) is king.
  3. Next week, bring your:
  • name tag (there may be a prize draw for people wearing a name tag!)
  • copy of Mixed Bag (review) to play at the end of the rehearsal, at 8:35. Keep all your pieces (old and new) in your music binder.
  • Focus on learning openings and endings of each piece
  1. Listening Links for JJB Spring Theme – In and Out of Love

New this session- 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   if you are available to help.  One person needed per instrument.