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jazz audition for music school

Discussion in 'Recordings [DB]' started by soundofphysics, Feb 6, 2001.

  1. soundofphysics


    Jul 17, 2000
    i have my upcoming audition for music school as a jazz studies major. As part of the audition they ask you to choose a few songs to play.
    They are looking for talent, creativity, and versatility. My selections as of right now are a melody of trane songs- mr. pc, blue train, good bait, giant steps; Bean- Hawkins Barrell House; Mingus- haitian fight song; and ornette coleman- Law Years
    I'm not sure if that will be to long, so i might have to do exerts. so waht do u guys think of my choices.
  2. The couple of schools I'm familiar with post audition guidelines with either a list of tunes to choose from or different styles they want to hear, and what they want you to do with each tune (just play the melody, melody-improv bassline-then solo, etc.)

    You should forget the medley of Coltrane, one is enough. Mr. PC might not be a good choice because it's so simple. If you do Giant Steps you'd better be prepared to walk and solo. I wouldn't do that one. Haitian Fight Song is another blues, they'll probably want to hear you walk and solo on a blues, but one instrument playing that head by itself doesn't offer much. Don't do Ornette.

    If you get to pick your own tunes you want to have ready the following: a ballad, a medium tempo swing, something up tempo, be able to walk and solo over a blues and rythm changes.

  3. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    Forget about Giant Steps. It has become a litmus test for young, inexperienced musicians (not just bassists) trying to prove something. And they always play it too fast. Seems to be a macho thing. You risk classifying yourself as one of those. Also, the judges have probably heard it so many times they'll want to throw up. If you want to stand out, do some standards with genuine harmonic and melodic development. Tunes by Cole Porter, Harold Arlen, Jimmy Van Husen, and on and on. Their structures will give you much more to work with.

    [Edited by Don Higdon on 02-07-2001 at 07:19 PM]
  4. AlexFeldman


    Jun 18, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    I'm doing a college audition for jazz bass performance. Trane tunes... I think I'll do 'My Favorite Things'. With the bow. :D

    But seriously, I think what impresses those college cats the most is being able to play simply and with confidence. Yes? No?
  5. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Well, I can't speak for all of them, but my view from the inside is that the people who run Jazz departments have this little radar that charts HOW USEFUL YOU ARE TO THEM. If you can accompany well on various styles while playing with good intonation, good time, and good feel, you'll start to see dollar signs going off in their eyes...because somebody who can do that coming in as a freshman means that they are not going to have to deal with a crappy big band rhythm section for the next four years. If you can blow doubletime sh** over Giant Steps but can't make a walking line feel good, you won't see any dollar signs at all - your solos are not USEFUL TO THEM to nearly the same extent as the other stuff.

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