In spite of rainy weather and general fatigue after a long day, we came together and worked really hard tonight, and went home with smiles on our faces! We really came a long way in a short time, with targeted tips from Neil Yorke-Slader, our guest clinician. We are sounding very good, but will sound AMAZING after implementing these finishing touches and general principles of playing jazz, as well as tidying up a few problem notes and rhythms.
This week’s HOT TIPS:
- Listen to the links of our pieces – see previous band notes, and to CBC 102.5 from 5:30-8 for a great blues and jazz listening, and many examples of soloing.
- How to play softly? This link is for trumpet, but the air flow described is basic to all instruments, so it is worth watching. (substitute the word ‘tight’ with firm corners on embouchure) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zo3AuZZzz84 Next,try a Google Search for ‘how to play soft on “your instrument”’ – although lessons vary greatly by instrument (some great flute lessons, but I couldn’t find a good trombone lesson, for example) Patrick Sheridan gave an excellent masterclass on breathing and brass playing in Ottawa last Friday. If you missed it, there are online lessons and masterclasses by Patrick, including this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BVJ8CNs6eS8
- Practice improvising on the scales Bb concert, Bb pentatonic, Bb Mixolydian, Bb Dorian. Noodle around (preferably using the IPS from Kjos, which is free – just follow the directions in the front of your book, and use the code on the inside back cover)
- It is helpful to know this rule about sharps, flats and naturals that are added to a piece and are not in the key signature (known as accidentals). If an accidental (sharp, flat or natural) appears in front of a note, then that note and ALL of the notes of that same name will be played using the accidental. The accidental stays in effect until the bar line at the end of the measure. (example: if a C has a sharp in bar 3, then all subsequent Cs, no matter which register – high C, low C…, will be played sharp.)
Next week, we will decide together what we will add to our basic black to distinguish our group. We will also discuss whether a dinner together in January is something we would like to do, or if we prefer to go for a macrame session following a rehearsal.
Here are Neil’s observations and tips from our band clinic:
Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Swing)
It’s about beats 2 and 4 (not 1 and 3) in swing
Two eighths: Dow Dat, push second note more
First note of melody in m 5,6,7 JUMP ON IT
Firsts note and last note are always loud- silence/STRONG —- lay back —STRONG CONTRAST/silence
m20 hit accent, then get out of the way then m21 definitive, strong and SHORT! DAooooooDAT
m 27,28, 29 (and apply concept everywhere!) Shape notes of length like dotted quarters, half notes (strongly articulate, drop down in volume, but no drop in air support)
m36 crescendo to end of bar
m42 don’t rush last note
m51, 52 shape notes of length DAaaaaaa
m62 three notes are important to the crescendo, lay back on the others (first, fourth and last)
m64 ACCENT, then drop right down on last note! (as at m 20, cheating is possible: play eighth note loud, then rearticulate a soft long note, and grow it)
Remember, CONTRAST creates the emotional response in JAZZ
Tuba as legato smooth as possible (doodoodoodoo, keep air flowing)
In melody, emphasize off beat syncopations (strong first note and last, and first note of a tie)
m20,21 unison (all playing same note) moves to harmony (everyone on their own note of a chord), bring out harmony notes more
m29-35 it is all about the off beat ACCENTS (contrast, drop back on the other notes)
m41 accent last note, and shorten it (make a rest on beat 1 of next bar, erase the second tied eighth in m42
65 triplet on beat one, then get to beat two on time soloists
m 77 – 85 sax soli not secure
m 92 excellent sforzando accent, drop back and grow it trombones!
m 109, watch for cue
m 1 -2 (flute) and m 9-10 (trumpet) syncopation is not convincing Listen to recording, push the + (and) of beat four
m 11 beat 4 + (push the +)
m 15 legato (smooth)
M 33 key signature
Great ending! m 70 p m 71 sffz (last note DAaaaaaAAAAAA DAT dooda doowa daaDAT)
Into the Sun
Emphasize notes on beats 1 and 3, or notes that imply 1 and 3 (these are the + (and) of beat 4 if there is a tie to beat one or a rest on beat one; the + (and) of 2 if tied to three or there is a rest on three
Shape long notes DAaaaaaaaaa
m 1 m 60 rhythms not secure yet in upper brass section – listen to the recording, and notice that the first note is longer (dotted quarter) than some are playing it. We need to be precise and together on the rhythm.
Percussionists all need to get in the groove together, and lock in to the beat. Here are some Latin percussion sounds that you can practice with to get in the groove and learn about technique. Practice is all it takes… and lots of it. Keeping steady is one of the most challenging things about playing percussion, and requires a relaxed, fully present and engaged mental focus… very challenging.