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So I joined my highschool jazz band...

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Tyler Hole, Dec 13, 2005.

  1. It's true. Yesterday I was at school a tad early and I was hanging out with some friends who are in it and they got to telling me how they don't have a bassist and need one and they eventually talked me into coming in and just playing for the morning...So I did.

    Now I can't read music, so I felt really awkward and out of place. I had to resort to listening to the basslines in the recorded songs they were warming up to to get a feel on how they were constructed and go from there. I also had the keyboardist tell me what key/keys each song was in and look at me for the changes, so I was able to improv off of that.

    A few spots were a bit rough because I didn't know the songs, but it overall it seemed pretty good and everyone was surprised that I improved it all because I guess the other bassists they had played the root notes.

    I gotta tell ya though - It was FUN. One of the best musical experiences I had. I talked to the keyboardist and he said if I joined he'd teach me to read music, so that's pretty awesome.

    I went this morning to practice (which is going to kill me because it's at 7am) and it was even more fun than yesterday! I hope it gets better every day!

    So yea, metalhead turned jazz bassist! What fun :)
  2. canopener


    Sep 15, 2003
    Isle of Lucy
    Sounds cool! Good luck with it...
  3. Brad Barker

    Brad Barker

    Apr 13, 2001
    berkeley, ca
    cool. i did the jazz band thing during high school, too.

    started as a freshman. i was able to read but i wasn't able to sight-read, nor was i able to read really syncopated stuff. fortunately, most of my parts were walking bass lines. unfortunately, our audition at the beginning of the semester consisted of a really syncopated blues melody.

    learning how to "walk the dog" is pretty fun; really get an appreciation of the jazz players who are able to do that stuff--you think, "man, i wouldn't have gone from here to there that way!"

    ...i'll tell you this right now: reading is fundamental! ;)
  4. I did it too - started in my second year at high school. Worked with a drummer who plays like Buddy Rich, but was only in it for about two and a half years 'cos he kicked me out for having behavioural problems.

    Now I'm applying for the Bachelor of Music at Adelaide Uni, in the jazz stream. Here's to hoping it's just as fun.

    The jazz band at high school was one of my favourite bands that I played in, and I regret being kicked out of it.
  5. Jazz band was definitely the most fun I've had in my four short years of playing. I joined as a junior not long after I started playing bass. I shared bass duties with a double bass player, but I didn't complain because we split the songs equally and I got to be in advanced jazz band. Not knowing how to read was a major hindrance. Do yourself a favor and learn immediately.That said, most of the charts were just the changes, and I think I got reasonably good at walking (fake it 'til you make it, right?).

    Unfortunately, my university of 40,000 doesn't have much need for me on bass. I think that my playing has actually suffered a bit since leaving high school specifically because I'm not in jazz band. Oh well, my sleep has improved! 7am is killer, and I always found it funny how much better we played at actual performances just because we were all awake.
  6. Minger


    Mar 15, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    I was gonna do it at the beginning of the school year, but didn't get around to it because I couldn't (er, more or less forgot how to) read bass clef...so I picked up the DB.

    Anyways, my friends in there keep telling me I should try for it...because apparently just about anyone is better than the guy (who half the time comes in stoned) that plays bass now...-.-
  7. cheezewiz

    cheezewiz Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2002
    I did that for a year in High School. It was fun, and good experience playing things like "In The Mood". (NOT the Rush version either ;) )
  8. Brad Barker

    Brad Barker

    Apr 13, 2001
    berkeley, ca

    behavioral problems? :eek:
  9. cheezewiz

    cheezewiz Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2002
    The inappropriate showing of sunburn perhaps? :p
  10. mmg


    Nov 7, 2005
    Boston, MA
    yeah, i was going to join the jazz band. the thing is that the guy they have as their bassist may not be as good as me, but he was the one who got me into bass and he really likes jazz band, and the other bassist,who my friend splits songs with, has the jazz band leader in his pocket since he is in like 5 music classes and the lead in the school musical.

    i think for now im just going to stick with orchestra pit for the musical, the rock band i'm in, and jamming with random people.
  11. PunkerTrav


    Jul 18, 2001
    Canada & USA
    I played sax in our high school jazz band, and yes, it was a ton of fun. Lots of my good friends were also in the jazz band, so it made rehearsals somethign to look forward to.
  12. Dan1099

    Dan1099 Dumbing My Process Down

    Aug 7, 2004
    I played trumpet for three years, and then bass the senior year. I'll tell you what, it made me get better at bass REALLY fast. I felt like a hack playing with those kids, because some of them were SUPER talented, so i had to work my tail off just to not feel like a tool.

    I had a blast doing it.
  13. Eric Cioe

    Eric Cioe

    Jun 4, 2001
    Missoula, MT
    Three years of it, walking in being able to read but not being very creative. I walked out last spring a far, far better bassist than I would've ever been with without it. Great experience.
  14. ras1983


    Dec 28, 2004
    Sydney, Australia
    That, in a nutshell, is exactly the spirit of jazz. its ALL about improv and on-the-fly creativity.

    its the equivelant of talking a lot of trash naturally, making up facts and a conversation as you go along, adding to the story on a topic that isn't particularly flowing with excitement.

    jazz is built upon (usually) simple chord changes, but its the way that you improv the space that really defines jazz.
  15. Bard2dbone


    Aug 4, 2002
    Arlington TX
    I frequently confess that I'm not the player I was just, say ten years ago.

    I think the way I got to be the monster I used to be...and hope to eventually be again, had a lot to do with three years in Jazz Band, with a director who had been in the North Texas One O'Clock Lab Band.

    Lyle Mays was his roomate in the dorm. Lyle dropped by to visit Mr. Crummel my senior year, and handed out passes to see him with Pat Metheny that night.

    For a while after that I totally wanted to go to North Texas and major in music. My family really wasn't having that. I ended up joining the Navy in stead. It sucks not having money.
  16. We used to fight. It wasn't fun. The last time we fought he threatened me with expulsion, and went to the assistant principals. It's on my permanent record.

    We 'repaired the relationship' in the years following, but leave us in the same room for more than five minutes and we get uncivil. Chalk it up to incompatible personalities. On stage, we're fine - I love him (as a drummer), and regret the whole thing 'cos now I feel I wouldn't be able to come to him and ask him for jams and stuff. Off stage, and we're fighters.

    He wishes.