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how do you get your sheet music at gigs?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by ras1983, Jan 23, 2006.


  1. ras1983

    ras1983

    Dec 28, 2004
    Sydney, Australia
    I'm just wondering when you guys go to a gig(mainly jazz) what sort of sheet music is supplied/do you use. is it the jamie aebersold style where the chords are written or is it standard notation?

    i was speaking with my teacher about this - as i can't fluently read standard notation yet - and he said in his 20 years of gigging he has recieved the aebersold style about 95% of the time.

    by the aebersold style i mean the following:

    chords written above a music staff, specifying the root note and the type of chord. so its up to the player to improvise the bass line.

    thanks.
     
  2. BassChuck

    BassChuck

    Nov 15, 2005
    Cincinnati
    I'd agree with your teacher. Sometimes on older published arrangements you'll get a standard walking line with the chords above it, and in those cases you can do either the line or use the chords. Sometimes you'll see the chords with slashs on the music staff to notate how long the harmony lasts and on these charts there might be a couple of measures here and there that have a line written out. In that case it probably means you should play the line as it might be a unison with the band or some kind of part that needs to be done as written.

    And, of course, there are certain tunes that you should be prepared to play for memory that all "well-dressed" jazz players know. Your teacher can get you up to speed on those.
     
  3. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    The "Aebersold style" is called a "lead sheet". It will have the melody written out for the front line and chord symbols for the rhythm section.

    Basslines are written out only if it's an important part of the composition. Even then it's usually a few bars written out and then instructions to adlib the rest.
     
  4. ras1983

    ras1983

    Dec 28, 2004
    Sydney, Australia
    So when TB'ers talk about being able to read music, which are they referring to, lead sheets or standard notation?
     
  5. ToR-Tu-Ra

    ToR-Tu-Ra

    Oct 15, 2005
    Mexico City
    I think it's important being able to read anything presented to you: leadsheets, exact transcriptions, blass or treble clef. Maybe someday someone will come up and tell you to play the melody of a tune on the bass. My teacher told me something: "We need to be MUSICIANS that play bass rather than only bassists".
     
  6. When I talk about reading music, I mean standard notation. Reading lead sheets, charts, following just the chords... all of that is important. I played a last minute gig at a church this weekend where I was given a song in standard notation, and 2 song with lead sheets. I got to play through one song 1x, and another 0x before the performance (the third we played a few times because of the sheer # of people playing it I think).

    I like the quote about being musicians first. :cool: The important thing is to be prepared (and, of course, have fun).
     
  7. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Most actual jazz gigs, you don't get ANY music. Either you call tunes from the standard repertoire (which you are kind of expected to know or be able to hear) or you are in a group that rehearses a specific repertoire.

    On the rare occasion that you are handed music (for an original or a tune that isn't in the standard repertoire) you can be handed something that is a combination of notated parts and chord changes.

    For sessions and informal things where you are doing tunes that people don't really know, most folks bring in lead sheets (melody in treble clef/C instrument with chords written over).
     
  8. SBassman

    SBassman

    Jun 8, 2003
    Northeast, US
    Oh my! :)
    Every bass line is an important part of the composition.
    :)
     
  9. SBassman

    SBassman

    Jun 8, 2003
    Northeast, US
    So, anyone care to document
    The Standard Repetoire?

    I'm sure I could guess some - but not all.
     
  10. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    American popular song (as defined by Alec Wilder), show tunes, you know, THEM.

    RASCAL wants to know if he goes on a gig is someone going to hand him the changes to STELLA or a bass line notated for him to read. I'm saying they are going to expect him to know STELLA.
     
  11. Not to hijack this thread...

    I'm not a jazz guy, nor do I read music at any level of proficiency. So please excuse my ignorance - I'm trying to learn.

    But the above statement, well, it just doesn't sit right with me.

    Why would the bass not be considered "an important part?" Obviously it's at least important to us bass players...

    To me, it seems that the notes on the bass clef, thier durations and locations, are every bit as important as those found higher on the page.

    In other words, if you are handed a lead sheet, and can improvise "whatever" over those changes, WHAT you choose to improvise can totally and completely change the resulting sound, the feel, just about everything.

    Are there "standard" lines or styles used in jazz that it would be assumed that you are going to play?

    just looking for some thoughts...
     
  12. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    That's not what Brian means, he's talking about specifically composed bass parts. Like the line for FOOTPRINTS or SIDEWINDER or MAMACITA or other tunes. The composer has written a specific line to be played behind part or all of the melody and does not want an improvised line behind it. It's not that an improvised line isn't IMPORTANT, it's that the composer wants something SPECIFIC.
     
  13. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member


    I think Ed is right of course - but is describing an 'ideal' situation in the Mecca of Jazz!! ;)

    I've talked to quite a few Jazz pros in England over the last few years and they would ideally love to be in a group that rehearses a lot and doesn't need lead sheets and some do ... but most of them are running around trying to get as many gigs as they can to make ends meet - so have to read whatever is put in front of them.

    So all those I've met are excellent sight readers and get many of their jobs precisely becuuse they can play whatever is required first time, no mistakes.

    I go to my local Jazz club every Friday night with a very high standard of such players and you see a lot of lead sheets as well as written parts. I think European Jazz is less about the American songbook and more about fusing elements of other music to Jazz and original compositions...

    So I can remember sitting in the audience, by a pianist who had 5 or 6 sheets of music paper stuck together, spread across the entire length of the piano - and I had to help him, as it was gradually falling off, as he played!! :D

    On the other hand, the gig I saw Jon Raney's brother had a more American flavour and there was no paper in sight!!
     
  14. Snarf

    Snarf

    Jan 23, 2005
    New York, NY
    Just bring a Real Book.
     
  15. SBassman

    SBassman

    Jun 8, 2003
    Northeast, US
    You're very fortunate to be able to say that. There's very, very, very little jazz happening in my corner of the world.
    Hopefully, that will change.
     
  16. Marcus Willett

    Marcus Willett

    Feb 8, 2005
    Palm Bay, FL
    Endorsing Artist: Bag End - Dean Markley - Thunderfunk
    +1

    Or a few. I've done quite a few jazz gigs over the last 20 years or so, and while what Ed Fuqua says is quite true, it's also true that I've made use of my Real Books (originals; volumes 1, 2 and 3) at least partially if not extensively on just about every jazz gig I've ever done.

    I've been in a few jazz groups where we had our own book, and the material was rehearsed a fair amount. This was a lot more rewarding because we could tailor the tunes and avoid the common jazz gig trap of:

    Head/sax blows over changes/keys blow over changes/bass (usually) just noodles sort-of around the changes/drummer trades 4's/head & out

    because everyone is just reading off a lead sheet and/or just playing standards with standard arrangements. Nothing wrong with that at all; in fact I love doing gigs where we're just playing tunes and blowing. But I much prefer the Metheny-esque approach where the solo sections are designed into the composition, and there are more than 2 feels. (i.e., straight-ahead, or -my personal favorite that especially old jazzers use- "latin"...which usually means nothing more to them than simply "straight 8th"...never mind the fact that there are many different styles of "latin" music...nah, it just means straight 8th even tho the horn player will probably swing the melody and the blowing anyway and be blissfully unaware):p
     
  17. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    certainly your experience is your experience, but there are any number of gigs that I've played where the players can actually create arrangements on the spot that are more than "head/solos/head".

    But to get back to the whole "take a Real book" thang; Ray Parker and I once did a 3 hour duo gig that, between the two of us, knew not only enough tunes but enough melodies to get through with no problems.

    Do what you need to to do to get through the most immediate gig, but it would behoove you to come up with a methodology for not only getting a lot of tunes in your ear but with a way to wrap your ears around you don't know. Sure, you're not going to be able to hear your way through SHADE OF JADE the first time through, but SEPTEMBER IN THE RAIN?
     
  18. Marcus Willett

    Marcus Willett

    Feb 8, 2005
    Palm Bay, FL
    Endorsing Artist: Bag End - Dean Markley - Thunderfunk
    Absolutely. I was simply referring to what often happens, but that certainly is not what we should strive for.


    I'm assuming that you meant the ubiquitous "you", not me per se. And again, I agree 100%. I've done a lot of gigs, both jazz, and R&B or whatever where I had to play tunes that I didn't know. One must be able to hear, understand and adjust quickly.

    We are actually in complete agreement. I was simply addressing that in terms of "sheet music" on a jazz gig (if any), chances are quite good, it'll be a Real Book.
     
  19. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    yeah, that was for the original poster, I couldn't remember his screen name and the computer I'm on right now is kinda slow so I didn't want to scroll down.

    As far as "what happens", that all depends on localities, right? And our Erstwhile Ingenue can decide if he wants to make a decision based on where he is or where he wants to be...
     
  20. ras1983

    ras1983

    Dec 28, 2004
    Sydney, Australia
    i guess its time i spent time with my teacher on learning to read standard notation. i can only gain from it; right;)