I'm trying out for the Jazz Band in High school...

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by frankencow150, Apr 15, 2002.

  1. frankencow150

    frankencow150 Guest

    Oct 17, 2001
    Right now I'm in 8th grade, and my mom talked to the high school band dude about me "trying out" to play bass for the school in June.He says these are the requirements:

    Scales Major and Minor
    Needs to be able to read Jazz music
    Demonstrate an understanding of jazz
    Must be proficient on his instrument.

    Ok,so I know major and minor fairly(i can work on them).I can read normal sheet music,but is there a difference between sheet music for Jazz or sheet music for any different genre?I guess I'm proficient on my instrument.I've memorized almost every note.Thanks.
  2. cool, im in my schools jazz band too. ll i have to do is read the music and i didnt have to try out since im the only one in the school that can play and read music. well good luck.
  3. CamMcIntyre


    Jun 6, 2000
    I'm in my high school jazz band too, 1 of my favorite bands. The thing that might be different from stand. sheet music & jazz charts is that sometimes you'll just have chord changes radther than a written out part. I don't know all my scales yet but have a good enough handle i can fake the parts until i can write one out. Have Fun & Best of luck. thats all
  4. I'm in my school jazz band. I prefer to read chord charts because my reading of rhytms sucks!
  5. Brad Barker

    Brad Barker Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2001
    berkeley, ca
    franken, you were in the same situation i was in two years ago!

    except the criteria wasn't nearly as regimented! i would have been screwed, i tell ya!

    hm..i guess every school is different, but in my experience, i've never had anything BUT sheet music.

    i would say that about 80% of what you'll read is straight quarters. "walking bass."

    it's fun and it's worth it! do your best.
  6. frankencow150

    frankencow150 Guest

    Oct 17, 2001
    when you say ''straight quarters'' do u mean just like keep playing in 4/4,like no weird timing or rests?cool
  7. Chace90

    Chace90 Supporting Member

    Feb 1, 2002
    Denver, CO
    i started playing in my school's jazz band my freshman year. didn't have an understanding of jazz at all. but i made it somehow. in my experience, i've only needed to know how to read notes (an occasional chord chart, but very rarely), and a few terms such as swing or stuff like that. definetly learn your scales as you'll be much better off when playing in unfamiliar keys. just be cool about it, practice, have a good time. if you don't make it, try again and practice hard. it's definetly worth the experience. back then i had no real interest in jazz, but now i'm going to major in it. hope you enjoy.
  8. thrash_jazz


    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    Most songs will probably be in 4/4; depending on the band's level, you may have one or two in 3 or 5. You will find some rests, too.

    The only difference between jazz sheet music and "regular" sheet music is the all-important swing feel. Basically, play each quarter note as long as you can (this is probably not the most accurate explanation) and swing 8ths are played as a dotted 8th and a 16th.

    I never had to read chord charts without written notes in high school jazz band, but if they want you to know your scales, they might well throw a chord chart at you.

    Also, what the !@#$%^&*() does "an understanding of jazz" even mean, anyway? That sounds pretty vague and confusing to me!

    If you're delving into jazz, I would say that you shouldn't worry about memorizing notes so much as understanding how bass lines are put together.

    Anyway - good luck with it! :)
  9. Brad Barker

    Brad Barker Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2001
    berkeley, ca
    apology for my kinda vague terminology (and if you weren't confused before, you probably will be!)

    what i meant by "straight quarters" was just that the rythm was predominately right on the beat. quarter note after quarter note.

    this is not to be confused with "straight eighths"-this is how eighth-notes are usually played, with one getting the downbeat and the other getting the upbeat.

    in jazz (swing, in particular), the eighths are "swung." the first eighth note is played slightly longer.

    RASH AZZ said that two eighth notes, when swung, are actually played as a dotted eighth followed by a 16th note.

    i've been taught that swung eighths are equivalent to two tied triplets followed by the last triplet in a beat.

    after listening to some swing, you'll cop the feel (...)...er...the swing feel very easily.

    and there are messes of ways to swing things, so none are the de facto standard.

    learn those scales, especially the dominant scale (mixolydian mode). x7 is THE jazz chord (with x being any root note, most commonly Bb, F, or Eb)
  10. thrash_jazz


    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    He's absolutely right - my mistake! :eek:
  11. frankencow150

    frankencow150 Guest

    Oct 17, 2001
    This thread is sorta making its way to General Instruction,so feel free to move it...

    I got some questions:

    1)What's a chord chart?

    2)I'm just gonna use C for an example...What does it mean when someone says C7 or C9?etc...
  12. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

  13. I'm not completely sure on these, but I'll give it a try:

    1. A chord chart is just where they tell you the chords, and not the specific notes to play.

    2. Those are chords with extra notes, I'm sure they have another name, but if it doesn't say min or dim or something, you just take the major chord and add the number to it. C7 would be C major with a 7 added to it. C E G Bb. Oh yeah, for some weird reason, I think that in jazz a 7 is assumed to be flat, and if it isn't, it's called a major 7, Cmaj7.
    C9 would just add the 9, CEGD.

    Feel free to correct me, I'm sure I missed some of it.
  14. That's the first time somebody's messed with my name, I feel so accepted now, *sniff* :D
  15. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Well there has been talk of clearing up terminology, but as far as I can see nobody has mentioned the simplest explanation, which is that C7 is a Dominant 7th .

    So CMajor7 is with an added major 7th (sometimes indicated by a triangle), C7 has the flattened 7th. C9 is also a dominant 7th but with an added 9th. But as a bass player I would treat C7 and C9 exactly the same for the purposes of constructing a bass line.

    There is also more to understanding a chord chart than has been mentioned - so there will be a head which may have repeated sections and then a blowing section or "changes" over which solos are taken - you may also assume 4s 8s etc, with the drummer after solos - you may have a "shout chorus" , then it is assumed you will play the head "out" probably with a coda or agreed ending.

    There's lots more to it, potentially - but this may be part of what is meant by " a good understanding of Jazz" - the "formats" of how tunes are played and the unwritten assumptions that are made about how you will actually play a chart.
  16. James S

    James S

    Apr 17, 2002
    New Hampshire
    To kill 2 birds with one stone you need to learn to play (not know) your one octave Major, Minor, and Dominant (mixolydian) scales using the cycle of 4ths as a root motion. IN TIME!! Moderate to slow tempo like a walking bass line. (Quarter note equals 100)

    This will demonstrate technical proficiency as well as scale requirments and Jazz knowledge.

    In most jazz songs the chord changes move in intervals of a fourth. i.e. D minor7, G7, C major, . Notice the inerval from one chord to the next: up a fourth.

    You need to play through the entire 12 keys (using cycle of fourths) beginning each major scale on the A string. Use one finger per fret with NO open strings.

    Then go through the cycle again no starting each major scale on the E string. Same with B string if you have one.

    Repeat exercise with minor and dominant scales.

    You get to where you can do this smoothly with NO mistakes (pitches or TIME) and you will get the gig.

    Reading is another lesson.

    Jim Stinnett

    Cycle of fourths: C F Bb Eb Ab Db Gb/F# B E A D G C
  17. James S

    James S

    Apr 17, 2002
    New Hampshire
    Hi Ed,

    Thanks for the edification. I am glad you like the PC book.

    I am new to the web world of music. This is my first post on a bass site. I am in the process of creating (having someone else do it) my own web site to promote the products I sell.

    Thanks again for your kind words.

    Jim Stinnett
  18. James S

    James S

    Apr 17, 2002
    New Hampshire
    Hey Ed,

    I just filled out the profile. I think I did it correctly. There was not much space for my background info. Perhaps I should list it here?

    At this point I do not know how to create a link, but I will learn.

    As I am quite new to this form of communication, I am concerned about the appropriateness of "tooting my own horn" here?

    Any advise would be appreciated.


    Jim Stinnett
  19. Tronictq


    Jan 23, 2001
    In your highschool jazz bands.. are you guys allowed to improvise or do you read the walking bass line?

  20. 3rd Rock

    3rd Rock Guest

    Sep 19, 2001
    Toms River, NJ
    Is there a place online where you can buy bass clef sheet music of some jazz standards?

    Right now I'm trying to get my hands on as much sheet music as possible, so I can improve my reading skills.