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Eaten alive by the horns


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Today I had my first jazz ensemble rehearsal, and it most definitely went worse than expected.


First off, I was thrown 4 new songs, each one more complicated than the most complicated song I played last year (save one). I so wish my sight reading skills were better.


The first song we played was the easy one. A never ending (everyone soloed) 12 bar blues. Guess which riff I played? I feel my solo could've gone worse, but even then it was horrible for my tastes. I guess it's just something I'll have to get used to.


The next was a pretty easy song, but still a bit harder, it was a mode based deal. 4 measures this, 4 measures that, etc. Thankfully I got the timing right my first time through. This turned out to be cool.


Going from that to "The Chip's Ahoy" song (Sing, Sing, Sing) was insane. A very fast quarter note ordeal that changed the line EVERY time. I ended up playing a 4 note pentatonic riff the time having nothing better to play.


The final song was "Brown Eyed Girl." I gave up on the line after 5 seconds. With some success I just did the first measures rhythm over the changes.


Believe me, it went much ruffer than it sounds. I think the director was expecting me to be better, which doesn't make me feel too good as I let him down.


Overall, this wasn't as much fun as I thought it was, but it's for credit and it'll definitely make me better. Now back to figuring out lines... with my tail between my legs.



In Skynyrd We Trust
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Listen listen listen. Read read read. Practice practice practice. In the grand scheme of things I'm sure you're doing fine. It might be that later you find out that you're not the stage band type. But the training will have been invaluable. And if you are lucky, there's some REAL ladies there playing something that's easier to read with : }
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I have found that usually things seem worse at a first practice than they really are. I don't have any special advice or pearls of wisdom. Hope the next goes better.

Let your speech be better than silence, or be silent.


For those who believe, no explanation is necessary. For those who do not, none will suffice.



"Rendirme? Que se rinda su abuela, *#@!^$"

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Just to share my experience in beginner's jazz.


I find that learning the song's melody by heart helps out when you are soloing.


And yeah, I think one must master all the scales (modes,be-bops,whole tone, tritone...etc). It makes soloing easier and also helps explain why the solo goes well with the chords.


My solos are still pretty straightforward. What I do is I look for common keys in the chord progressions if it's possible. It stops me from thinking about the different chords. But i do try to put some whole tone, tri- tone, diminished and be bop scale notes into them.


And also, learning other musicians' solos helps a lot. I am not sure where this motto came from but it really is true = Imitate, Assimilate and Innovate.


Trumpets and saxaphones are your best friend for solo ideas.


I just recently started transcribing solos to understand the theory bit of jazz. Did "Get the Rhythm on Your Feet (and Music in Your Soul) by Benny Goodman and it has influenced me to put bebop scale notes in my own solo. It really spice up the solos espeically the #5 and 7 notes.

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The hardest thing to do in this business is to acknowledge when and how you screwed up. I do it every day. As long as you manage to fix one or two of these in your next rehearsal, everyone should respect that you seriously intend to get better.


This is what separates the pros from the amateurs: a willingness to learn and improve.

It's only going to get better because it can't get much worse.


BTW, the second hardest thing to do is to be patient with someone who is trying to get better; it's a must-have for good music teachers. Let's see if your director is up to that challenge.


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The first time I played "Sing, Sing, Sing" I sucked as well. Get a copy of the version Benny Goodman made popular and listen to the bass player...it'll give you some ideas.


Buy a Van Morrison record and check out "Brown Eyed Girl." The line's easier than you think...it's mostly a major scale.

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I agree that you probably did better than you realized. Still, I know you'll do the work and get the songs under your fingers.


I'm not a teacher, so one of them can correct me, but learning the parts is where I'd put my time. Solos can come later - you don't need them until the performance.




Acoustic Color


Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars and keep your feet on the ground. - Theodore Roosevelt

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