Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 20 of 50 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
149 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My kid is going to audition for a local jazz school and Giant Steps is the audition material. She's on tenor. She has around 6 weeks to prep.

The solo is a fast one. What would a teacher be looking for with this song?
The ability to not get lost?
Know when to breath? (its not the kind of solo you can just jump back in on)
OK to play at a slower speed?
Best to try and get all the notes and hope the phrasing is close?

Thx much - Craig
 

·
SOTW Administrator
Joined
·
26,208 Posts
She has to improvise on Giant Steps?:yikes!:
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2007-
Joined
·
7,134 Posts
What would a teacher be looking for with this song?
I don't know what the teacher is looking for, but as a parent I would be looking for a dismissal of the teacher.

But seriously, if he/she is asking your student to improvise on giant steps, that is unrealistic. How old is your student? Even many experienced pros would not feel comfortable doing that. But maybe we misunderstand you. Perhaps the teacher is asking students to perform the Coltrane solo as written down in a music book. That's still pretty difficult and I would question the validity of having kids play that as an indication of their talent.

In that case, the teacher would be looking for the notes to be played accurately, evenly and in tune. After that, a sense of swing or rhythm would be a cherry on top. Breathing, as you mentioned is going to be an issue if your student is not advanced. Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
149 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I don't know what the teacher is looking for, but as a parent I would be looking for a dismissal of the teacher.

But seriously, if he/she is asking your student to improvise on giant steps, that is unrealistic. How old is your student? Even many experienced pros would not feel comfortable doing that. But maybe we misunderstand you. Perhaps the teacher is asking students to perform the Coltrane solo as written down in a music book. That's still pretty difficult and I would question the validity of having kids play that as an indication of their talent.

In that case, the teacher would be looking for the notes to be played accurately, evenly and in tune. After that, a sense of swing or rhythm would be a cherry on top. Breathing, as you mentioned is going to be an issue if your student is not advanced. Good luck!
Yes, I'm sorry. To clarify - she is supplied with a transcription of the solo, and I guess the school wants to see how the students deal with it. The cover sheet offered I thought was a bit generic "listen to the solo a few times before you try it yourself" Well, yeah, I would not have thought of that one...
I guess they are throwing the kids to the lions and will see who comes out alive.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
196 Posts
Its the Jazz School in Berkeley, CA. She's gonna be a HS senior this Fall.
We are required to play Giant Steps, 2 choruses of Coltrane's solo and our own solo, as Juniors at my school. It's not that difficult if you practice 1 bar at a time. But in 6 weeks, without assistance..........good luck
 

·
SOTW Administrator
Joined
·
26,208 Posts
The Entire solo? I just don't see the point...Berkeley jazz school or not...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
196 Posts
We didn't have to transcribe it, we had music. We learn about four solos a semester, it really helps get the music in your ear, so you can hear your way through hard tunes. This was my highschool too
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
149 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
not sure when they will cut off the students. the material is 2 pages - pretty sure its not the entire thing. does seem like a major buzz kill when those auditions are over. Maybe using our Tascam trainer to slow the song down on CD will help. She has lessons but only 30 min a week - lack of $$$$
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
196 Posts
Just tell her to practice it 1 bar a t a time and SLOW. Speed will come eventually. But as an audition piece? That's pretty crazy. I worked out a whole bunch of patterens, like 1-2-3-5 on the first chord, 3-5-2-1 on the second, then hit the ii-V cadences. Giant Steps is very hard to really make musical IMO, but if you work out enough material, it's managable.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
149 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
she's never played Coltrane, not one of her favorite musicians so that adds to it all. But you gotta play what the director gives you, even if you don't like it (and I'm sure we've all been there)
 

·
SOTW Administrator
Joined
·
26,208 Posts
Yeah, that sounds like a good idea. The first two pages would only cover the head and ~the first chorus--not as bad as the entire solo. The head is quite doable, and one chorus should not be that difficult to work up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,140 Posts
My kid is going to audition for a local jazz school and Giant Steps is the audition material. She's on tenor. She has around 6 weeks to prep.

The solo is a fast one. What would a teacher be looking for with this song?
The ability to not get lost?
Know when to breath? (its not the kind of solo you can just jump back in on)
OK to play at a slower speed?
Best to try and get all the notes and hope the phrasing is close?

Thx much - Craig
Stall them for ten years and tell them you'll get right back to em.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,125 Posts
This is lame. The jazz school really isn't all that great to begin with......is it like their "advanced" improv class or something.

Wouldn't they be better off auditioning on say, oh I dunno, rhythm changes or a minor blues.

I'd save your money and go somewhere else or get more private lessons. It's not like there aren't any other jazz things offered in the bay area...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
196 Posts
This is lame. The jazz school really isn't all that great to begin with......is it like their "advanced" improv class or something.

Wouldn't they be better off auditioning on say, oh I dunno, rhythm changes or a minor blues.

I'd save your money and go somewhere else or get more private lessons. It's not like there aren't any other jazz things offered in the bay area...
Or just a regular blues, there are plenty of people that can't even do that well
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2014
Joined
·
5,160 Posts
I guess Coltrane has been reduced to an entrance etude. The Omni-book has long been the standard HS work-book. So much for listening to recordings.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
190 Posts
Uhm!! I'm insPired by this. I think I'm gonna learn Giant Steps now. I never took the time learn this standard but I guess I should. It will probably help my improv. Oh well.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
4,580 Posts
Just tell her to practice it 1 bar a t a time and SLOW. Speed will come eventually. But as an audition piece? That's pretty crazy. I worked out a whole bunch of patterens, like 1-2-3-5 on the first chord, 3-5-2-1 on the second, then hit the ii-V cadences. Giant Steps is very hard to really make musical IMO, but if you work out enough material, it's managable.
The bolded part is what I tell my teacher but he disagrees. I've been working on GS for months and can't come up with anything. Sucks.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
2,077 Posts
On a song like that the teacher will know what he's hearing by the first improvised phrase out of her horn. There are many high school kids who can rip over Giant Steps. A song like that is very "diagnostic" ... there's no hiding, it's simply a pure indicator of her musical experience.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
2,077 Posts
The bolded part is what I tell my teacher but he disagrees. I've been working on GS for months and can't come up with anything. Sucks.
I'm with your teacher. It's actualy very simple. V to I or II-V to I in 3 keys. How hard can that be? Well, if the three keys are very unrelated (most modulations have some relevance ... go to the IV, or to the relative minor etc etc) and unintuitive and happen quickly, thats why we think its hard, but we find the first four measures of Confirmation are not so hard.
 
1 - 20 of 50 Posts
Top