Easy Jazz Standards for the utes (and old guy)...?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Shaunpski, Nov 17, 2015.

  1. Hi All,

    I have some budding musicians in the family. All are getting personal lessons and play in the regional youth orchestra. My 15 y-old son is on percussion, 13 y-old daughter is on piano and violin (and can do vocals), and my 10 y-old is on trumpet (my 5 and 6 year olds are roadies for now). The trumpet player is getting some strong instruction at the local college from a jazz player and wants to play in an ensemble. All of us can read music (although my bass reading is pretty rudimentary). Anyway... I've decided to push the limits of my patience and try and play a few jazz standards together. Simple at first (of course). I have PA support in the basement with keys and a drum set. I just need a few good song ideas/arrangements. I don't mind buying the charts if I can find them. I would prefer written music, although we all can play some by ear.

    We have done some simple rock and blues tunes, so I think this is feasible. Anyway... if you have an idea of some standards that will help this be a positive experience, I would greatly appreciate the input. Thanks in advance!

  2. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    April in Paris - easy as pie
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  3. I'm going to point you to books of sheet music. Jazz Guitar Standards, Melbay cost $20 and has 20 songs in four different formats, for example; Lead sheet, chord melody solo, comping backup, and single line improvisation format for each of the 20 songs. One of those formats is going to fit your "group."

    I'd suggest you go to a music store and pick out a book of songs you would like to play. What I would offer may not be what you would like to learn. Only takes a moment to look at the printed music to tell if it is easy or hard.

    Some books in the $20 range have as many as 100 songs listed. Buying books of the songs you would like to play seems the best route to me.

    Good luck.
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2015
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  4. Thanks. I appreciate the suggestions.
  5. GastonD


    Nov 18, 2013
    Belgrade, Serbia
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  6. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Yep - get the real book - will have chord changes and melody lines for hundreds of standards. There are also on line versions that will allow you to transpose (or maybe the trumpet player can borrow a B flat version from his instructor - can also ask him for suggestions). Flip through it and see what songs you know from the title. If they continue to play jazz in the future, they will always need it.

    Since you have been doing some blues, there are plenty of songs in there with blues changes, like All Blues. Maybe also some easier songs like Autumn Leaves.
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  8. Oldschool94


    Jan 9, 2015
    This is the real book that most people use around here. You can get it in treble or bass clef. It is not always the best, but just about everyone uses it in high school, and it's still common in college. For tunes, try Autumn Leaves, So What, All Blues, Freddie Freeloader, All The Things You Are, C Jam Blues, Song For My Father, Body and Soul, St. Thomas, There Will Never Be Another You, Surrey With The Fringe On Top, and Take The A Train. That should give you a solid hour of music for a gig. And all of it is pretty simple. I think it is all in the book I linked.
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  9. Bob_Ross

    Bob_Ross Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 29, 2012
    Wow! With the exception of "Surrey With The Fringe" that is exactly the list of tunes I was going to recommend!!! Uncanny.
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  10. Morrighan

    Morrighan la Contessa Supporting Member

    Oct 22, 2015
    Isle of Everywhere
    Straight No Chaser may have been my first Real Book head, also thinking Giant Steps and Autumn Leaves has already been mentioned.
  11. Wouldn't you need both in the same key for a combo??
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  12. Oldschool94


    Jan 9, 2015
    Depends. I prefer to just buy the treble cleff one, since I can read treble cleff. Most of the tunes are really easy to read, largely quarter notes in the middle of the staff. It's easier to share with the pianists/guitarists, and horn players that I play with can transpose my book easier that way. But you might depending on you situation.
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  13. Yeah, I need the Bass Clef for me then!!

    Do you find most groups using C, Eb or Bb??
  14. Oldschool94


    Jan 9, 2015
    Buy the C edition. The Bb/Eb books are for trumpets and saxophones. The trumpet/saxophone is a transposing instrument. By that I mean that when a trumpet player plays his C, it sounds like our D. It's kind of confusing. Here's the wiki. The songs in the C edition aren't always in C, in fact most of them aren't. The C edition just means the book is written for non-transposing instruments like the piano, guitar, and bass.The Bb edition is for trumpet/tenor sax, and the Eb is for alto.
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  15. "April in Paris" and "Giant Steps" are probably not good choices for beginners.
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  16. Morrighan

    Morrighan la Contessa Supporting Member

    Oct 22, 2015
    Isle of Everywhere
    :: looks at Real Book "Giant Steps ::

    oh gosh you're right. How quickly memory goes :roflmao:

    Facing page is The Girl From Impanema and everyone likes that.

    (/me <3 playing bossa)
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  17. WBasstrolo


    May 10, 2014
    Find a bunch of Bossa Novas, Ballads, and Blues out of the real book. Then you can start to work in the rest.
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  18. Thanks for the explanations, that's helpful!!
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  19. Since my son plays trumpet (Bb), is my best bet to buy the C and Bb editions and use them together? I'm trying to avoid any of us (trumpet, keys and bass) having to transpose on the fly. Thanks!
  20. My new understanding is that the Bass Clef version would be for a trombone player that reads BC.

    He'd want the Bb version for Treble Clef.

    As bass players, it appears we get the chord progression only, and the different flats and clefs are for "voice" arrangements.

    I was hoping to find some suggested bass lines.
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