I really want to be in my High School Jazz Band but...

I really want to be in my High School Jazz Band but...

I really want to be in my High School Jazz Band but...    22:50 on Saturday, August 04, 2007          

(10 points)
Posted by Snicket

Hey everybody! I'm 14 years old and I have been listening to Jazz for years, before I get into my actual problem, I think you should know some of this:

I've been listening to Jazz for years and it is my favorite kind of music. I learned how to read music in the third grade and started writing my own music and playing the keyboard. I abandoned writing music and playing the keyboard for a while, though, to pick up on my other interest of performing magic.
In 6th grade, I started playing the trombone but I really sucked. In 7th grade, I went into beginning band and learned how to play the tuba. I started to write music with a friend of mine who can play the trumpet, french horn, violin, trombone, baritone, alto sax, drums, and piano. He can play all of those instruments very well and then some others. Anyway, we both went to the high school Jazz Band concert in 7th grade and loved it. We felt inspired to write Jazz. We have since wrote a bunch of our own big band songs.
Later on in 8th grade, my county's high school Jazz Band won like first in the nation or something like that for Jazz Ensemble. They were judged by some guys at Jazz at Lincoln Center (Would have loved to have gone and met Wynton). That same year, I picked back up learning the trumpet and the keyboard.

I am now going into high school, and the main instrument I play (the tuba) can't be in my high school jazz band. I can play the trumpet pretty decently, but there are about 12 other trumpet players that are way better than me at my school. And I can't play the keyboard as well as the girl that has been practicing for about 7 years.
I really want to play some sort of roll in my high school jazz band. I would really like to play the music, but there's no place for a tuba. Should I learn an easier instrument or should I opt to take the spot of the bass trombone?
Remember, they need quality people since this is the #1 High School Jazz Band in the nation.

Please help me out here,

Re: I really want to be in my High School Jazz Band but...    18:38 on Sunday, August 05, 2007          


I'll do the best I can here:

Considering school is starting within a few weeks, learning a new instrument is near impossible. If you can pick up an instrument and learn to play it within a few weeks, go for it!! I suggest using a popular jazz instrument. The trumpet is a great one, but considering there are 15 other trumpets, try playing another instrument as well as the trumpet in band. I suggest a saxophone, probably alto because most people start out on them when choosing a sax. They're pretty easy to play; just memorizing fingering can be a little tricky when first learning.

After reading that you write jazz as well as listen to it, I'm going to assume you play jazz, right?? If so, do whatever you think is "jazzy" while auditioning for the band (i.e. improvise, slide, etc...). If not, listen to some jazz and get some ideas, talk with your friend, or look aroud on the internet for some tips.

Hope this helps!!
Good luck!!

Re: I really want to be in my High School Jazz Band but...    16:11 on Tuesday, March 04, 2008          

(66 points)
Posted by reedy

hi im a trumpet player and have been for the last 8/9 years i love playing jazz and composing it and i have only recently joind the 'better' jazz band after playing lead in the 'not so good' jazz band for quite a long time. basically if you want to be a good trumpet player practice the right stuff, buy an arban and practice all these technical exercises, they are amazing for your overall playing. but to be honest as you already play tuba i wouldn't recommend going on to sax, it might mess your embosiour up (cant spell to save my life lol) if you play trumpet aswell i would say stick with it and practice or go onto trombone or bass trombone
hope iv helped

Re: I really want to be in my High School Jazz Band but...    01:27 on Sunday, March 30, 2008          

(10 points)
Posted by Snicket

I've got an update!

I didn't try out for Jazz Band this year on trumpet or any instrument.
And a lot of freshmen who tried out didn't make it either.

However, I was very supportive of the band and watched the rehearsals everyday they had one.
The band was great but they were missing a pianist since the pianist from the year before quit (She somehow got bored with Jazz!).
The director was constantly looking for somebody to fill in the piano spot. I could have done it, but I didn't really think I was good enough.
Then one day, just by chance, the director came up to me and asked me if I played piano. I was reluctant to say that played, but I did.
He asked to hear me play something on piano for him, so I played my arrangement of Bill Holman's arrangement of Malaguenia (I know I spelled it wrong). He was very pleased and asked me to join the band.

I'm now playing in the jazz band and the group is excited that I'm with them. This year, we're participating in the Savannah Music Festival (Next week!) and a competition in Chicago (The week after!) among other appearances at UGA and ABAC's Jazz Festival.
Our band also had Mr. Wycliffe Gordon come and teach a clinic and as you can imagine, everybody was excited. Mr. Gordon spent some time with me helping with some of the harder piano parts. He really liked my playing and recommended me to solo on a piece he wrote for the bands participating in the Savannah Music Festival.
Everything is going great!

I'll try to get a recording or a video of the band up so everybody can see.

By the way, the songs we are performing at competition are:
The Groove Merchant - Thad Jones and Mel Lewis
Birk's Works - Dizzy Gillespie (Arranged by Mike Tomaro)
Savannah Trails - Wycliffe Gordon

By the way, a small ensemble competition is coming up, and I've arranged Groovin' Hard (Don Menza, performed by Buddy Rich's band) for us to perform. I'll be playing the bass lines on the tuba.
Jazz is equally awesome on tuba as any other instrument.

Re: I really want to be in my High School Jazz Band but...    22:41 on Monday, May 19, 2008          

(173 points)
Posted by music4god

Go in and audition anyways. I play the flute and also LOVE jazz band of course, it's not really a jazz insturment. I am also going into high school next year and for 10th grade I'm signing up for jazz band. I'm not allowed to but go in prepared just like every other instrument. Just go in with scales and pieces, ask them to just listen, and show them what you got! They will think it over, I can garantee.
Start with the scales and get fingerings down real well. Be able to rip through pieces fast, like most faster jazz. Any instrument can be a jazz instrument, like the tuba.
Again, go and audition, and if they don't let you, just ask them to listen to the work you've done. I'm pretty confident on getting in and I hope you do to for someone who loves jazz as much as I do.

Good Luck! Tell us how it ends out!

Re: I really want to be in my High School Jazz Band but...    13:25 on Monday, June 02, 2008          

(33 points)
Posted by jRent2011

The way you wrote the part about bass trombone, and I'm sure you didn't mean it like this, made it sound like bass trombone is just the instrument no one plays except the kid that doesn't make it. Bass trombone is a lot of fun and is not so easy. It takes a lot of air and control to keep all your notes from turning into one big blob of sound.

Re: I really want to be in my High School Jazz Band but...    19:04 on Monday, June 02, 2008          

(3 points)
Posted by Jaminsaxophone


Hi my name is william. I play the Tenor Sax and Im 15, I play professionally in Jazz combo settings. I started out on clarinet, and I hated it. I switched to bass clarinet and I hated it... I was pretty good at both clarinet and bass clarinet. However, I too wanted to be in a jazz ensamble too. I can see why you'd want to be in it. My problem is I have almost perfect pitch. Perfect pitch is when you are able to hear anything and play it on your horn. I have relative pitch which and its really close to perfect and its a really rare and great talent, but my problem is sight reading, or at least it was. I worked hard at it and got good enough to do jazz stuff, although I was comboing before I knew how to sight read. Well I just realized how little that helped you to know about me since im here to help you.

Thats pretty cool your jazz band is #1 in the nation, I could see why you'd be stressed about switching instruments. The first possibility is, you might not have to. The beggining of jazz or "jass" as it was first called, actually had clarinetists and tubas. If you convince your instructor to play stuff like that, that could be a possibility for you. Nowdays, I really enjoy playing clarinet, and Its really fun to play in jazz band because no one else knows how, so I get all the solos. But I was only able to play clarinet in jazz band because of the type of Jazz liturature my teacher chose. We played lots of Duke Ellington stuff. However Tuba stuff is a little before Ellington so you might have to go way back in time to find stuff with tuba, but its still really good jazz stuff. I think Judges over where I live would actually really dig that kinda stuff. I dont know about yours though.

Option two. If nothing else I'd recommend switching to saxophone, practicing minor scales and soloing everyday. Get a jazz artist you really like and listen to him and play like him, even steal part of his soloing if you want. Thats how all artists compose thier music, they copy and past other composer's music. If you get just tons of licks down and practice major and esspecially minor scales during the summer, I think you'd be pretty prepared for jazz band and festival and all that stuff. and since switching around in instruments isnt new for you, thats an added bonus. Tuba is a great intrument, I would practice both. And one really important part of music is Piano, learn to be good at piano and you will be great at other insturments i promise.

Re: I really want to be in my High School Jazz Band but...    10:41 on Wednesday, June 11, 2008          

(26 points)
Posted by thetrumpetguy

i can totally relate to willie. I almost have perfect pitch. It made it really hard to learn to sight read. Anyways... Hope you get better on the piano. I recomend you practice the trumpet though. Once you get good at that... you are open to play alot of other instruments. Thanks for your guys time.


btw... It's not willie(sorry). It's william.

Re: I really want to be in my High School Jazz Band but...    19:11 on Wednesday, July 30, 2008          

(3 points)
Posted by Jaminsaxophone

Well see, Im with trumpet master, trumpet is really a good place to start because Woodwinds are easier than brass, so if you wanna learn lots of instruments I say start with brass.


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