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Trad Tips



 
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jhatpro
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 4:24 pm    Post subject: Trad Tips Reply with quote

I'm working with some good musicians who are new to trad and I'd appreciate some tips from players with more experience with this kind of jazz.

Most of these guys have played in brass bands, concert bands, big bands -- all bands that rely heavily on charts.

I keep telling them trad is a kind of musical conversation and we should shed our reliance on paper roadmaps but it's hard to let go of the edge of the pool if you know what I mean.

We're all watching Tuba Skinny and Shotgun band on YouTube and learning a lot from them. But we still struggle with some things as the following questions will indicate:

When and how much should others play during solos?

What are the most effective kinds of counter melodies when the cornet or one of the other instruments is playing lead?

Are there any rules about soloing over the form? Over just the chorus?

What are some things to definitely NOT do?

Thanks for any insights you can contribute!
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Richard III
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 5:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love this topic. One of the things I made a mistake early was doing too much during solos. You have a full complement of chord instruments so that there is harmony support during solos. If you didn't, we would have a different discussion. I have a fluctuating support cast as people are often not available or stuff come up, so we have to be flexible.

Anyway. so for you during solos you can have a choice. Horns do nothing or horns do something. Something can be opposing lines. Soloist goes up. other horn goes down. Soloist plays at phrase and pauses, other horn plays the same phrase and supports. Think echo. This works so well. Now think about what this can do. For example, cornet plays a melodic variation. trombone echoes the phrase and clarinet works the melodic line in the opposite direction. Bass is walking or in your case, the tuba works that. You are blessed with all those instruments to work with.

Now, imagine everyone doing collective improvisation. It can be bliss. Or hell. Try it. See what happens. I'm excited for you.

I have a bunch of people who won't listen to stuff I send them. Lucky you.
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kehaulani
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 6:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pick a trad band and emulate what they do until it becomes second nature and then move on to another. Gradually your own take - based on what you heard before - will creep in. Just keep in mind that that kind of music, maybe even more than others, is an aural art. Listen and emulate - by ear - voraciously.
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dstdenis
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 7:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are lots of videos in Jazz at Lincoln Center's Jazz Academy YouTube page. They have 329 videos up there so far, and I can recall at least one that touches on this subject:


Link

There are related videos too, like "The role of Trumpet in early jazz bands," "How to play New Orleans style clarinet," "Introduction to improvising on the blues," "Exploring New Orleans jazz," "Melodic trumpet endings in New Orleans jazz," to name a few.

They're only 3 to 10 minutes long eachjust enough to jump in the shallow end of the pooland they assume the viewer is just starting out. Maybe your gang would enjoy watching these to pick up a few tips.
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jhatpro
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 7:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All good. Thanks, guys!
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Jim Hatfield

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jazz_trpt
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is a fine line between polyphony and cacophony...
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