Jazz Audition in September

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by rarbass, Aug 4, 2009.

  1. rarbass


    Jul 3, 2008
    Alright, so I have until around the beginning of September to learn how to walk a basic line and/or improvise behind chord changes. I really need some help here as I can never seem to focus on learning what I need to learn to improvise behind chord changes, walk, etc. So where is the best place to start theorywise? I have Ed Friedland's walking book and I've tried to get started with that but with work and such I have a difficult time sitting down to focus, so I know I need to do that, but is there any great advice you guys can provide to sort of get me started?

    I know this question might seem ridiculous but everyday I think about it and end up doing nothing, so I'm wondering if anyone can sort of "jumpstart" me on this. I've recently acquired some of the Ella Fitzgerald songbook, but while I wait for that to all convert properly for my iPod listening :spit: I'm trying to get into more jazz and learn everything I can.

  2. Dave281189


    Feb 1, 2008
    Practice will get you more experienced. Listen to all kinds of jazz, from jazz standards to free jazz. If you listen carfully your ear will get better and better and thats the most important thing for us musicians. The only thing a musician can do is listen.

    Also get to know music theory, know all modes (dorian, phrygian, lydian,....)
  3. gre107


    Dec 25, 2005
    A month to learn this? Wow...

    O.K. Learn the appregios to the four basic chord types: maj7 min7 dom7 1/2 dim7
    Learn them back and forwards to the 9th
    Then play the mode related to the chord ascending and then appregiate descending
    Then reverse appregiate asc and scale desc

    Approach all of the chord tones by a half step below, then above then mix and match
    Then try half step below and diatonic note from above leading to the chord tone then reverse it. Mix and match.

    You need to get these approaches under your fingers and in your ears as to where they are second nature.

    Modify the rhythms and directions of the patterns over the changes

    Apply all of these ideas to the chord changes of the tunes you are learning. Keep it simple and lyrical though. One well placed and memorable statement beats 40 poor ones.

    The chord tones (the appregiated notes) are what will make the passages solid and the other tones in the scale will create tension. Sticking to the chord tones for most of the time is where it is at. But you need to add tension here and there to make a statement.

    Get creative... quick!

    Maybe look into some of the Aebersold books... #24(?) Getting started: Learn to improvise or Major and minor. They have lots of ideas how to approach this. Some of the stuff is free and online for printing.

    All the best and good luck,

  4. Vakmere


    Sep 6, 2007
    I'm a couch potato, I've got 1 month to get ready to run a 26 mile race then swim an 800 meter backstroke. Dude, the above advice is well intended however it takes years to develope and mature. This aint going to happen by September.
  5. EADG mx

    EADG mx

    Jul 4, 2005
    I think your best bet at this point is to acquire a teacher.
  6. Rudreax


    Jun 14, 2008
    New York, NY
    So you're only now getting into jazz and you have an audition in September?

    If you want to play jazz WELL, get a teacher and listen to A LOT MORE than Ella Fitzgerald (she is a great singer, though). No getting around it. Personally, I don't see you pulling this off well in the next month but good luck to you.
  7. There''s no way to know how hard they will be on you, but if I were you I'd focus on:
    1. 12 bar blues with variations
    2. the chords to I've got rhythm (or the Flintstones Theme, same general idea), because of their circle of fourths in the B part.

    Both of them in many keys and by ear.

    It's amazing how many jazz tunes are essentially variations to either the former or the latter. Anyway, good luck and let us know.
  8. derekd


    Feb 16, 2009
    I seem to specialize helping kids make their middle and high school ensembles both on guitar and bass, so here it is. Get off your ass and get your nose in Ed's book for several hours each day. It has everything you need to accomplish your goal, but like most said above, being able to walk well in one month is a tall order.

    You don't say what grade you are going to be in, but that is a great book (I use it with students) to get you there. Having a teacher will definitely help. Now turn off the computer, cell phone, Xbox, tv, etc, and get to work. Good luck
  9. rarbass


    Jul 3, 2008
    Alright I realize with a month left I'm not going to become a professional bass player. I'm only relaying what I've been told I have to learn. I also have to transcribe a jazz melody and learn it, but that won't take me nearly as long. This is what I've been trying to do and due to the lack of a jazz program at my high school I've never been prepared for this sort of thing. Clearly, I had to take it into my own hands in order to learn this stuff. But I didn't realize how far advanced I would have to be by the time I got into University, even though I'm not going into music. I'm merely auditioning for their Jazz Ensemble and it turns out I need to know a lot more than I do.

    So I am fully aware that I cannot learn absolutely everything I need to know in a month's time. That being said, I came here to sort of get the best start on it that I could.

    I also realize my initial post came off as me saying "I am lazy, someone help me learn all this knowledge" but that's not how it is. Musically I'm willing to work to get what I need to know. But I don't think I can learn it from a book.

    As for a teacher, awhile back I got the only "bass teacher" (the rest are all guitar teachers teaching bass) around where I live, and I said I wanted to learn walking bass. That was the summer before last. I mentioned the Ed Friedland book, and so I took it to the lessons and I was basically paying for him to walk me through the book (pardon the pun). It didn't work out for me, as it was expensive and wasn't helping all that much.

    So I will go through your posts and try to figure out how to do as much as I can in the little time that I have. Thanks for your help, and I realize it's an unrealistic thing I'm trying to do. If I could do it in a month, I would've done it 2 years ago.
  10. try the aebersold playalongs.....some have bassline books available
  11. good one, Dr. D. !


  12. derekd


    Feb 16, 2009
    Hehe. I was trying to channel my inner drill seargent. :D
  13. cheamo


    May 19, 2009
    Saskatoon, SK
    My personal experience with high school bands and especially bass players is that the majority are pretty terrible and if you work hard for a month and get some basic stuff down you should be good, and then you can spend the rest of the year working at it and actually learning some stuff.
  14. rarbass


    Jul 3, 2008
    That was my plan, so far it's difficult of course. I will follow up in September letting everyone know if I made it.

    Now by referring to high school bands, you do mean going into University right?
  15. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    Here in the US, "high school" is grades 9 - 12 of the 12 grades that are completed before college.

    I realize you don't have a lot of time. Hopefully working through Ed's book has helped you with reading. Also, while you are not practicing, listen to some big band jazz such as Count Basie, to get a feel for swing.

    When I joined the school jazz band (in 1977), knowing how to play the bass was optional, but reading was vital. Many teachers would simply choose a student who played a bass clef instrument, and hand him the Fender bass. That's how I started on bass.

    All of the school jazz band charts had written-out bass parts.