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Tryouts for RochesterNY Allcounty Jazzband

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by GroovyJazz, Dec 19, 2001.

  1. GroovyJazz


    Dec 1, 2001
    Rochester NY
    If anyone can shed some light on how i can prepare myself best for tryouts ide be very thankful. Im trying out on upright. This is my 1st time trying out for something like this so i have no clue. Thanks
  2. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    They'll be looking for several things:

    1) Can you walk a line that swings and makes sense over changes?

    2) Can you play decent "2 feel" and Latin grooves from changes?

    3) Can you play a big band type of chart (i.e. - one that involves all of the above plus reading not only single note lines but also kicks and hits within the walking line or groove) ?

    If so, you're all set. If not, start with #'s 1 and 2 and work from there. If you're pretty new to all of this stuff, I'd suggest getting with a good teacher who can guide you in your approach to all of the above.
  3. Sam Sherry

    Sam Sherry Inadvertent Microtonalist Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2001
    Portland, ME
    Euphonic Audio "Player"
    FitzDurrrl has nayllled it again. Here's some thoughts about your ultimate goal, which is not just getting the chair but rather playing it well.

    Playing big band bass charts is an art and a science of its own. It's not at all like reading Beethoven. Most big band arrangements are done by people who aren't bassists. If the chart has a written quarter-note bassline, it's not by any means what the band "needs" or the composer "wants" -- more likely, it's a mediocre line that leaves out a lot of the "hits" that really drive the band. You'll have to read the chart, figure out the chords, and try to shape your line to work with them horns.

    Conversely, if the chart just shows slash marks, there may be an unwritten "written" part to play. Listen for places where doubling with bari sax, bass trombone or other players would fill things out well. All this takes practice and comes with time -- the first two hundred are the toughest.

    So, to prepare for this audition, listen to lots of good big band music like Basie, Thad Jones & Mel Lewis, Toshiko Akiyoshi, and Basie. Did I mention Basie? These folks may not be the greatest jazz artists ever, but they are the great big band jazz artists.

    And while you're playing, try to not act like a sax player: Don't just read, LISTEN.

    Now stop reading this. Good luck. Have fun.

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