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Choosing 2 works of contrasting styles for Lowell Audition

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by jbass116, Feb 13, 2014.

  1. jbass116


    Aug 25, 2011
    I'll be auditioning at Umass Lowell in a few weeks and they require students to prepare two works in contrasting styles. Lowell has a broad music performance degree, not a jazz studies degree, although I would be focusing on jazz.

    What I'm wondering - do you think playing a standard like ornithology as well as a blues like billie's bounce would be considered contrasting styles? The audition requirements do say to "display artistry within areas of significant individual interest", so I'm assuming it would be ok, but I wanted to hear other opinions. Thanks!
  2. BrotherMister


    Nov 4, 2013
    I wouldn't consider them contrasting styles. Not only did they come out of the bebop scene but they were written by the same person.

    If you want to do Ornithology then that is great. Since that is bop I would contrast it with a ballad if you were really adamant on having your two pieces as jazz.

    Personally, I would contrast it with something other than jazz. Do something with the bow, show them that you can play the bass in other styles as well. If it is a broad range music course then show your adaptability. Plus, if you are going to study bass at university then you are going to end up going out with/staying at home with/eating/sleeping/breathing etc with the bow.
  3. robinunit

    robinunit Supporting Member

    Aug 9, 2010
    Maybe do Billie's Bounce and a ballad like Body and Soul?
  4. Violen

    Violen Instructor in the Vance/Rabbath Method Banned

    Apr 19, 2004
    Kansas City Metro Area
    Endorsing Artist: Conklin Guitars (Basses)
    I think you might wanna get friendly with a bow and some concertos...
  5. jdepriest


    Sep 20, 2005
    Waynesburg, Pa
    If they are asking for contrasting styles:

    Do a jazz tune. Play the head, walk a chorus, solo a chorus, and repeat the head.

    Do a concerto or orchestral excerpts.

    Somewhere in the mix, play something lyrical and something technical with the bow.

    They will probably ask for scales (major and minor) during the audition. Play them all at least 2 octaves, with the bow.
  6. jbass116


    Aug 25, 2011
    thanks for the replies. I began bowing a few months ago. I think I could pull something bowed off fine, but it would not be as strong as if i switched out billies bounce for a ballad. so do you think it would be better to play a classical piece or play a ballad for my other piece? considering that my bowing would not be as strong. thanks
  7. sludgelord3000

    sludgelord3000 Supporting Member

    Oct 24, 2012
    Los Angeles, CA
    Use the bow. I think it’s more important to show that you can use the bow, even if it’s a basic piece. Don’t worry about technical showmanship, just pick something you can play comfortably and cleanly.

    I went to U Lowell, by the way, albeit as an electric bassist. That was a long time ago.
  8. I'm going to give a dissenting opinion. Given that your audition is a few weeks away, I suggest that you play material that shows your playing in the best light. For example, play billie's as a med swing and how high the moon (same changes as ornithology) as latin jazz/bossa or a ballad you are comfortable with. Once accepted you can then shed hard with and without the bow.
  9. The simple answer is... What have you and your private teacher been working on?