Week 1 Rehearsal Note and Welcome!

Hello JJB Musicians,

The first rehearsal is a bit chaotic, with music sorting and deciding who plays which parts. I hope everyone had fun starting to tackle our pieces- remember that your best is good enough. I look forward to us all making music together!

Welcome back to Al (trombone), Anne (tenor), David (clarinet), Geoff (drums), Linnea (trombone), and a warm welcome to our newest members:  Aileen (flute), Benjamin, Christine, Ryan (the Three Bass Guitars), Remy (flute), Tomomi (alto). 

Band Rep: Harry Turner (trombone) (cc’d)    Please reach out to Harry or to me if you have any questions.  Communication is the key, so don’t hesitate to get in touch!

Music Librarians, Assistants: Sue Christian (clarinet), Errol Fletcher (trumpet), David Alexander (clarinet)

Jazz Volunteer:  Dave Jones (Dave is a retired teacher who plays in other ONHB bands, and comes out to help us beginners in jazz)

Social Committee: Patricia Power (trumpet), _________________,

Refreshments:   Louise Lefort –purchasing (trumpet), Errol Fletcher (trumpet) clean up, set up _________________________.

We take a refreshment/social break from 7:30 – 7:45 in the staff room. Thanks to Louise for taking this on!  Suggested contribution $2 – $5 (which should cover the whole session).  There will be a donation basket set out over the next couple of weeks.

Routines to help  –

-please sign in with your initials on the attendance each week, and mark in planned absences (mark an A) well in advance, to help me to plan clinics and sectionals

– leave footwear at the door, and bring slippers/shoes to wear in the music room

-leave the room and the school tidier than we found it. Following rehearsal, please check that you have everything, and that the room is set up for Liz Hanson, the new Brookfield music teacher (chairs back, and stands at the edge of the ledge,  Front row 9, Middle row 11, Back row 13, no chairs to conductor’s left – for double bass players, who stand).

Please mark Friday, April 17 on your calendar now – we will be performing on stage for friends and family at St. Thomas D’Aquin on Kilborn near Bank that evening from 7 – 9. We will need everyone, as this is very much a team effort!  Let me know asap if you cannot be there. Details to follow!


Week 1 Review:

In general, we do “read-throughs” of pieces, and we expect that it will be a rough and jazzy approximation.  We also break it down, to work on playing rhythm patterns and “chunks” of the piece with increasing accuracy. By week 7, we start working on the pieces as a whole, polishing, refining, and going over the challenging bits.

Print off music from the fall session if you haven’t already.  We will choose one piece each week to review, and new members may join in where they feel comfortable.

Listen to the music links as part of your daily practice, and follow along in your music, counting out your bars of rest and listening particularly to your part as you watch your music.  The Listening Links can be found in the previous note, and notes are always posted and archived on our website –  See “Welcome, Music and Listening Links.”

Week 1 in Review, with links to help you review:

Bb concert scale (half notes) (tenors, trumpets, clarinets begin on C, altos begin on G, trombones, flutes, guitars are in concert pitch, so begin on Bb.

Bb Blues scale (half and quarter notes)

Improvization on the 12 Bar Blues, a basic blues form in 12 measures which repeats this chord progression:

I      I      I      I     IV    IV     I     I      V     IV      I       I

Link:  Review – Understanding Chords –   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rt6zDOFNAdY

(You may find this annoying, or you may have an epiphany.)

Link:  12 Bar Blues audio – practice improvising with this Bb 12-Bar Blues (Use notes from the blues scale and the chords on page 14 in First Place in Jazz.)


Can you identify the chord changes in this blues song?  ( Using the three chords I, IV, V).

Murray Porter sings blues-  “Highway 16”


(If you want to play along, it is in “concert pitch E” blues (E, G, A, A#, B, D, E).)

Puttin’ On The Ritz swing   (measures 1 – 20ish)  Work out the rhythms slowly and with accuracy for one or two measures each time you practice.  Loop them once you are certain.  Contact me if you wish to have a link with the correct rhythm of specific measures sent to you.

Respect ( measures 1-11 ish)  Each instrument section has the same rhythm patterns, but it sounds complex when we put the parts together – so each part must be tight within the group.

Green Onions (mm1 –  40 ish)  The piano and rhythm section “found their groove” in this piece, and we looked at it “at tempo” to get a feel for how it goes.  It is deadly boring played under tempo in band rehearsal,  but may be necessary.  Do your “woodshedding” (chopping it up into little bits and mastering your rhythms at a slow tempo) at home.

What we will do Monday –

Warm up.  Challenge yourself to memorize the notes for the 2 scales (Major and Blues) starting on concert Bb.. Try the same scales starting on concert F.  (

*tenors, trumpets and clarinets concert Bb = C, and concert F = G – think up one note.

** alto saxes concert Bb = G     concert F = D

Look at page 18 in your book for the scale, Exercise A

Sao Paulo (in book First Place for Jazz) pages 18 – 21

Puttin’ On the Ritz  m 25 – 32

Respect   measures 1 – 21 and 57, 58, 75

Ain’t No Mountain High Enough  mm 69 (pick up optional) – 76 (possibly to 81)

Green Onions m 28 – 40, and a look at the first section again.

Cousin Mary  mm 1 – 8  (tenors and trombones have a soli section from 9 – 21 for Jan. 20… next week), plus mm 68 – 82

Mercy Mercy Mercy mm 64 – 66, m 15 – 23

Everyone should be signed up for the IPS (Interactive Practice Studio) on page 1, an online copy of our method book “First Place for Jazz“. The IPS is free with the purchase of the method book. The short exercises are great for developing familiarity and skill with reading and playing jazz rhythms, however we discovered that there are a few quirks – exercises that are not played as they are written in the book.  We covered pages 1-17 in past sessions, and plan to continue with the next piece – Summer in Sao Paulo (a holiday from winter weather – and reviewing/learning the Bossa style.