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  #1  
Old 06-03-2014, 06:28 AM
ahsdrumline2013 ahsdrumline2013 is offline
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Default Jazz Band Tryout

I'm on the drumline at my highschool and I'm also going to try out for the jazz band to play drumset since I enjoy that better. My band director told me he would give me some music to play and a tryout when band camp comes this summer("this one time at band camp"). Until then he told me to look at and be able to play jazz, funk, rock, swing, and ballad styles of music. Does anyone know of anything I could do to practice these. There are 2 spots open and only me and one other guy are trying out so we're both pretty much going to make it as long as we know how to hit the drums, I just need some background in these styles if anyone has any tips.

Thanks ahead of time.
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  #2  
Old 06-03-2014, 07:33 PM
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brady brady is offline
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Default Re: Jazz Band Tryout

Check out Tommy Igoe's Groove Essentials. It's a nice primer on the styles you mentioned, plus many more.
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Old 06-03-2014, 07:44 PM
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Default Re: Jazz Band Tryout

http://www.amazon.com/The-Drum-Set-C.../dp/157623522X

Russ Miller's "The Drumset Crash course" covers pretty much any style you will be required to play. it is a smaller book than Tommy Igoe's ( which is excellent as well).
It comes in a book/CD package and also a DVD as well.
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Old 06-03-2014, 08:36 PM
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rogue_drummer rogue_drummer is offline
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Default Re: Jazz Band Tryout

Sounds like a great / fun opportunity! Good luck and kick butt!!!
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  #5  
Old 06-03-2014, 09:58 PM
mymarkers mymarkers is offline
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Default Re: Jazz Band Tryout

Auditions for drums in a school jazz band are a bit different than auditions for the concert band or marching band. You're probably accustomed to being given a few pieces to prepare for the audition and then playing them as best as you can. Any of the auditions for school jazz band I've had are significantly different than that. The director asks me to play a medium swing. Then uptempo swing. Then afro-cuban, samba, funk, rock, shuffle, jazz waltz, with brushes... It never really ends.

Swing will be the bread and butter. Two books in particular are helpful with that. John Riley's The Art of Bop Drumming is a great overview of things that are useful. I actual gained more from Mel Bay's Studio Jazz Cookbook by John Pickering. It's not as instructive, but it features an exhaustive set of bass and snare patterns to play against the swing ride. In fact, that's your main goal right there. If you do nothing else this summer, make sure you can read a rhythm on the snare drum while playing the swing pattern on the ride and hi-hat on 2 and 4.

For latin stuff, I really liked Afro-Cuban Coordination For Drumset by Maria Martinez. The format is almost identical to the Cookbook above, but it's with afro-cuban rhythms instead. Her Brazillian Coordination for Drumset is helpful, too, but not quite as good. For your purposes, a basic bossa nova beat would suffice.

Even if you are essentially a shoe-in, I wouldn't take this lightly. You will enjoy the experience way more if you properly prepare yourself. You do not want to be struggling with the basic feel of a song once rehearsals start. It's way more fun to focus on things like setting up unison hits, accenting notes, and just generally adding some color and excitement to the music. This will be especially important from a drumline background. All too often with high school jazz bands, I've observed that you can take the drummer out of the marching band, but you can't take the marching band out of the drummer. Actually, you can, but you just have to think about everything a bit differently.

Good luck and have fun!
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  #6  
Old 06-04-2014, 01:26 AM
ahsdrumline2013 ahsdrumline2013 is offline
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Default Re: Jazz Band Tryout

Thank you all for the help, I will look into all of these and won't take it lightly.

By the way, Markers, what is the jazz band in your school like? Sounds really good if that is your tryout. The guy who was the drummer last year said all he had to do was sit behind the drums and, "show Mr. Talent that your're not mentally retarded and he'll take you."

Thanks again, keep the advice coming.
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Old 06-04-2014, 06:52 PM
mymarkers mymarkers is offline
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Default Re: Jazz Band Tryout

Quote:
Originally Posted by ahsdrumline2013 View Post
Thank you all for the help, I will look into all of these and won't take it lightly.

By the way, Markers, what is the jazz band in your school like? Sounds really good if that is your tryout. The guy who was the drummer last year said all he had to do was sit behind the drums and, "show Mr. Talent that your're not mentally retarded and he'll take you."

Thanks again, keep the advice coming.
Jazz band for me was intense. Auditions were the first week of September. By the middle of October, we had to play 30+ charts for a fundraising event; essentially, we were the band that played for a fancy dinner and dance. Many of those tunes were only rehearsed once. After that, we'd work on say 8-10 pieces for a variety of concerts, festivals, and contests throughout the year. We rehearsed two or three mornings per week before school.

Jazz band tends to vary quite a bit from school to school. At some schools, it's a class during the day and may only be for a semester. For me, it was an extracurricular activity. The quality of the band can vary quite a bit, too. There are schools with strong music programs and weak jazz bands and vice versa. From a drummer's perspective there are only three types of directors. The one who knows nothing about drums and just hopes you know what you're doing. The one who knows nothing about drums and dictates exactly what you do. The one who is a drummer himself, generally trusts you, offers helpful hints here and there, but heaven help you if don't fulfill those standards. Can you guess which one I had? Sounds like you might have the first.

I also auditioned in college. I was in pretty much the opposite situation as you. I knew I had almost no chance to make the band, but I want to give it the proverbial college try. I spent my summers working through the books I suggested. I didn't make the band either time, but it was still worthwhile. Although the director did not give me a spot in the band, I was the first one he recommended when the theater department needed a drummer in the pit orchestra. Also, I get to keep all the skills I developed preparing for those auditions. In both high school and college, I was expected to show a variety of styles on the fly.

In case it hasn't been said, listen, listen, and listen some more.
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  #8  
Old 06-04-2014, 11:24 PM
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mcbike mcbike is offline
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Default Re: Jazz Band Tryout

I had a really crazy time with jazz band tryouts. Going into high school as an incoming freshman we had band auditions before band camp and I guess I did bad because I was put on cymbals for the whole first semester. I was pretty mad and upset about it too, because I was hot stuff in middle school band.

Then when august came around we had auditions for jazz band and it was a blind audition we basically had one sheet that was a basic medium swing with a few hits marked on it. It was pretty open you could play the hits or between the hits or do whatever you want really.

I worked my butt off and only worked on that once piece for two weeks straight and then we had to submit tapes and the director did a blind judge of them.

Well I ended up getting 1st chair, we had two jazz bands and each band had two drummers. I beat out some really good drummers and kept one of them out of jazz band because I did so well on my auditions. I was totally in over my head though because I basically could play that one page but I didn't really know what I was doing.

We had auditions every year and it was a pretty similar process, and I auditioned for jazz bands in college at UNT.

I would say the best advice I can give is to LISTEN TO JAZZ. It's so easy now with the internet you can probably just put on a pandora jazz station and listen to it. There are so many resources on youtube too. There are alot of kids that can technically play the parts but don't have the feel/balance/dynamics right.

If you're just in high school the important thing is getting a good feel and keeping good time. Some of the pieces you end up playing may have detailed charts or sometimes you might just be given a lead chart or a piano chart.
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  #9  
Old 06-05-2014, 06:52 AM
ahsdrumline2013 ahsdrumline2013 is offline
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Default Re: Jazz Band Tryout

Thank you all, this is really helpful I'm listening to some jazz right now. Sounds like my jazz band isn't as good compared to other places. Markers, you were right my director is the first one you mentioned, he's a trumpet player so you can guess which of our sections is the best, our assistant director plays trombone, and the middle school teacher is a woodwind player, but no percussion player, we have an instructor come in every once in a while but he's in college so mostly during the summer. Anyway the brass section in the jazz band sounds awesome we have some great players and mainly drumset is there to keep time for them.

I think you can check the marching band out on youtube if you want, look for Arab High School Marching Band.

Here's last year's show I'm bass 5. Sorry, no drumbreak :(
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jeZ_2gjEvzA

Thanks again.
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  #10  
Old 08-26-2014, 12:59 AM
ahsdrumline2013 ahsdrumline2013 is offline
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Default Re: Jazz Band Tryout

I know this is kind of an old thread and nobody is probably interested but, just letting you all know I got the spot. This is my third week of school aaaand the jazz band hasn't played a single note yet.

I never got an audition. When it came time to get our class schedules, the guy I was up against got his, and Jazz band was nowhere on in. The next day I got mine and there it was: Jazz band, 7th period. Idk what happened but I don't care either. We are scheduled to start rehearsing in class after the second football game this week.

Anyway, I'm still very glad to be in thank you all for your help and suggestions. DW rocks.
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  #11  
Old 08-26-2014, 01:56 AM
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Pyromaniac777 Pyromaniac777 is offline
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Default Re: Jazz Band Tryout

Quote:
Originally Posted by ahsdrumline2013 View Post
I know this is kind of an old thread and nobody is probably interested but, just letting you all know I got the spot. This is my third week of school aaaand the jazz band hasn't played a single note yet.

I never got an audition. When it came time to get our class schedules, the guy I was up against got his, and Jazz band was nowhere on in. The next day I got mine and there it was: Jazz band, 7th period. Idk what happened but I don't care either. We are scheduled to start rehearsing in class after the second football game this week.

Anyway, I'm still very glad to be in thank you all for your help and suggestions. DW rocks.
You should have a really fun time in jazz band. I'm actually still waiting to see if I made the jazz band or not. My school starts in 2 days, so I'll probably find out any time now.
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  #12  
Old 08-26-2014, 03:25 PM
Bart Hodge Bart Hodge is offline
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Default Re: Jazz Band Tryout

Find some big band tunes to listen to and play along with. There's more to jazz band drumming than being able to play a particular pattern. I really like Sammy Nestico charts and if you have any skill using Google, you'll find something to play along with.
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Old 08-26-2014, 07:44 PM
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