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Old 04-08-2014, 06:54 PM
thatjazzguy thatjazzguy is offline
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Default Preparing for 1st semester in jazz studies

Hey all!!!

I have recently been admitted to Eastman School of Music's jazz program, and I will be attending next fall. I've wanted to go to Eastman for a long time, but now that it's real, and I'm just waiting to go, I was wondering if anyone here could offer any insight on what I should be including into my practice schedule now to prepare for a conservatory education in jazz and drumming.

Thank you all!
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Old 04-08-2014, 07:20 PM
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WhoIsTony? WhoIsTony? is offline
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Default Re: Preparing for 1st semester in jazz studies

I'd say just sharpen up your chart reading and start to be as familiar with as many melodies of commonly called jazz tunes as you can .... just to get in there ready to hit the ground running

everything else will fall into place and provided by the staff at that wonderful institution

congrats my man and good luck with everything

enjoy every second, be a sponge , and don't skip any performances, or optional extra jam type situations that the school provides

also while studying get out in the area and play with the local musicians .... it will be as much of an education as the one you are paying for

have fun my brother
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Old 04-08-2014, 07:35 PM
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Bo Eder Bo Eder is offline
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Default Re: Preparing for 1st semester in jazz studies

Do you already study mallets? I had a vibraphone when I started in college studying jazz and my elementary vibe playing was a tremendous learning tool for me because I was getting music theory improv training as well as drumset playing. I would think you already have some piano proficiency to get into Eastman? Have fun over there!
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Old 04-08-2014, 11:02 PM
bigd bigd is offline
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Default Re: Preparing for 1st semester in jazz studies

Contact Professor Thompson and see what he suggests. My son is a freshman there now in the classical percussion dept. He also plays in a non jazz major jazz group. Eastman is extremely intense but worth every minute. Learn to get by with little sleep. Brush up on your theory a lot!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You will love it but it's not a picnic. Good luck and have a good time.
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Old 04-09-2014, 12:07 PM
dmacc dmacc is offline
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Default Re: Preparing for 1st semester in jazz studies

Congratulations on your acceptance into a great school with amazing talent.

Since I live in town, I've spent several years of my life studying in the ESM Community Music School - private lessons, various classes, and ensembles.

Yes, contact Prof. Thompson who will steer you in the right direction. Getting familiar with his books is a good start if you haven't already done so. I've spent time with him with these. Back then he was also an advocate of John Riley's material as well as Alan Dawson.

I attend various ESM Ensemble Jazz concerts among others from time to time so I look forward to watching you play. Heck, I remember watching Rich when he was a student there playing.

Best wishes...
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Old 04-09-2014, 04:38 PM
toddbishop toddbishop is offline
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Default Re: Preparing for 1st semester in jazz studies

Great, that's a good school. Mainly I'd be getting ready for big band and combo auditions-- so, polishing my styles (swing in a range of tempos, waltz, bossa, samba, generic latin, afro 6, ballad, shuffle) and chart reading. As well as trading 4s/8s, and soloing over a form. I'm assuming you're in touch with the department head and your drum teacher-- ask them if they can give you any information about what auditions will entail. As for practice schedule, just plan on hitting it as hard as you can, forever. Many hours, every day.
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Old 04-09-2014, 04:43 PM
adamosmianski adamosmianski is offline
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Default Re: Preparing for 1st semester in jazz studies


I would listen A LOT. Start scooping up (or Spotifying) as many records as you can. If you haven't done a whole lot of listening in the past check out the suggested discography at the back of John Riley's The Art of Bop Drumming book. It's a great jumping off point. Knowing some standards is going to be a big help.

Brushing up on your theory isn't a bad idea either. I wasn't prepared for it when I went to music school, and it really slowed me down for the first couple of semesters.

And like Tony said, say yes to everything. Go to jam sessions, go to other peoples gigs. Practice hard and just always be hanging around and good things will happen.

Best of luck.
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