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Discussion Starter #1
I talked briefly about getting into the jazz band of my school, in my last thread regarding what saxophone to purchase. So I'm in Grade 8, and my band instructor said that typically grade 8's don't join Junior Jazz Band, and being able so would be a previlage. I just got my Yamaha YAS-475 this evening, and have been playing with it and wow..the sound is great and is much more responsive than my previous cheap, China-made alto saxophone.

Going to audtion probably next week. I've been playing for a few years now on and off with around 2 years of private lessons. I haven't been learning Private lessons for around a year now, but I am noticing I am able to pick off most of my stuff very quickly as I have my private lessons back already. I haven't been improvizing yet, but I'm pretty sure you don't need that much experience in Junior Jazz yet. I've played very little of the Charlie Parker Omnibook, and I know the head (the main rhythm, I believe that's whats it called) for around 3 songs pretty well. Also I've transposed the solo of Miles Davis' solo in So What by myself so I also can play that pretty well. I can also play most of the stuff in Volume 54 (Maiden Voyage) if I am correct, but definitely not able to solo in them.

Now, should I play the tune of the songs of the Charlie Parker or the stuff in Maiden Voyage? Do I need to demonstrate my Classical playing skills too? (he hasn't heard me play yet, will on Monday) I can play the pieces Badinerie from Suite for Orchestra no. 2, lol, and that's pretty much it. What kind of scales will I be asked?? For grade 8 band I probably have been just required to play around 3-4 major scales and the same amount of minor scales. I'm pretty sure there's going to be sight reading, and I'm playing Grade 9 piano so that hasn't worried be that much.

Now, regarding the equipment. I currently have 2 mouthpieces, and it is a Meyer 6M, not a Meyer 5M like mentioned before. Of course, I also have a brand new Yamaha 4C that feels pretty comfortable and hasn't taken much time to get used to. Also, I own a Rovner Dark Ligature. So I should use the Meyer 6M for jazz band and the 4C for concert? or just change use the Meyer 6M with the Rovner and a different reed set-up.

Thanks guys, I'm looking forward to your suggestions and replies.
 

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It sounds like you have a lot going for you already. As an ex band teacher I can tell you that the playing skills that I feel are the most important to demonstrate in an audition are:

1) tone quality and control
2) intonation and ability to match pitch
3) sense of rhythm and tempo
4) ability to sightread---especially rhythms

other non-musical qualities that are important

1) positive attitude
2) good practice (study) habits
3) ability to get along with others

If you have these down, anything else will be icing on the cake. Don't worry about your improv skills. They will develop with time and practice. Good luck in your audition. Congrats on your new sax.

John
 

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I think for equipment you will be fine with the Meyer for both, but it would be easier to control the 4c for concert band, but please check out the Index of Classical Mouthpieces thread in the Classical section.

I personally detest Rovners, but If you don't have anything else, it will work fine.
 

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Haha..the Rovner is the only "Non-stock" ligature that I own. I think I'm going to use the 4C for concert, as it seems easier to control like you said. Is it okay to only play the head of the song though, and not do the solo? Shed some light on this....
 

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theone said:
Haha..the Rovner is the only "Non-stock" ligature that I own. I think I'm going to use the 4C for concert, as it seems easier to control like you said. Is it okay to only play the head of the song though, and not do the solo? Shed some light on this....

You might want to try just one chorus. Try memorizing just one chorus out of the omnibook and making up an ending for it. Or just improv it, or a mix. Or do a head-solo-head.
 

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theone: I totally agree with with jbtsax wrote - it might be worth a second read for you.

Based on what you wrote, you probably have the basic command of the horn that your auditioner will be looking for. If I were judging your audition, the "difference makers" I would be looking for are sight reading and tone control. For the sight reading practice, you could go through another 10-15 heads in the Omnibook this weekend (play each one just once). If you can sight read that stuff, you will be well prepared for whatever they will put in front of you at the audition. Secondly, work on your long tone exercizes a little extra. If you play some part of a ballad at your audition to show off your tone control (assuming you have it), that can show that you are not afraid, and set you apart.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks guys for the replies, I'm going to try sight reading the heads of the Omnibook. So here's a basic layout of my plan:

1 or 2 heads memorized from the Omnibook: Confirmation, Yardbird Suite and My Little Suede Shoes. Which 2 should I play? I can get all 3 of them pretty well.

The Miles Davis solo from "So What" no memorized. I'll remember to tell him I transposed this myself along with my teacher.

Badinerie from Suite from Orchestra no. 2 by Bach. I'm not completely sure whether or not I should play this piece, but I understand that is a very popular flute piece to play. I can play it well but no memorized.

I've been thinking about playing either Summertime or Autumn Leaves, but without the CD accompaniment. Perhaps I can get both of them memorized, cause they are pretty simple and elegant songs.

I know this is too many songs, but please, help me narrow it down. Again, thanks guys!

The Miles solo from
 

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Hold on!!!
This is a Jazz audition right? Why you playing classical music for a Jazz gig. Get a Jazz Ballad instead. Learn to improv, just starting it will be a very hard task to even think about doing.

If you get in work your butt off. If you don't learn your lesson and try again next year.
I have a story for you, and I am sure many people here have around the same story.
Anyway I am 17 just a few years older than you, and this last year I auditioned for my Reigon Jazz Band. I worked my butt off that year, after failing two times to make it. Once I made it, during the rehersal, while everyone else took a break I tried to figure out the music. And I got an Improv Funk Solo, that I didn't have any kind of lead sheet for. No Chords to go off of on my sheet. I was just given some notes and worked off of those.
The point of the story is work your butt off. Keep the private lesson teacher, and do what they say. Don't go in being cauky. As an older player it would make me less likely to get along with you if you came in cauky and then were awful. Go in thankful that you made it, and try to make friends. Without friends in a group, its just a class.
Also don't worry about equipment, I preformed regularly for a while on a Stock C** HR mouthpiece.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
So is Autumn leaves or Summertime a slow enough song? I don't think I can have enough time to learn a new song since my audition will probably be next week.

What songs should I cut out? I believe my song list is too long, I will also not play the Badinerie.
 

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theone said:
So is Autumn leaves or Summertime a slow enough song? I don't think I can have enough time to learn a new song since my audition will probably be next week.

What songs should I cut out? I believe my song list is too long, I will also not play the Badinerie.

Both of those songs should be slow enough for a ballad. Why don't you ask the people you are auditioning for how many songs you should play?
 

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Martinman said:
Both of those songs should be slow enough for a ballad. Why don't you ask the people you are auditioning for how many songs you should play?
I would have to agree with that. And I would ask the style of music that you are expected to play. IE. Big Band, Latin, Be Bop. Which style of Jazz is completly different. You can't play BeBop style Big Band just doesn't sound right.
 

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Carbs said:
I would have to agree with that. And I would ask the style of music that you are expected to play. IE. Big Band, Latin, Be Bop. Which style of Jazz is completly different. You can't play BeBop style Big Band just doesn't sound right.

You don't listen to much of Dizzie's orchestra do you?;)
 

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For an audition, about three prepared charts that vary in style/tempo should be enough. Try to pick things that emphasize different aspects of your playing ability. The Miles solo would be a good choice, because transcribing and learning other players' solos is important for a jazz musician. Summertime would be good too; not only could you show off your tone, but it also has a lot of feeling, and if you put your musicianship into it, you'll make a great impression. In addition to those, pick one (maybe two) of the Omnibook heads you have memorized. As a personal preference, I would suggest Yardbird Suite, but that's just me. :D

Overall, I'd say you're on the fast track to success. You are much more serious about playing than I was at your age. I am currently in my third year of college, and I still play on my very first Selmer Bundy II alto...I have since replaced the mouthpiece with a Selmer C* which I must say has made a world of difference, improving the intonation and tone by about 500%. Of course I've also maintained it when needed, an obvious necessity for any horn, well-made or no. However, I am a doubler, so I can't afford (yet) to upgrade my alto when I have to worry about getting a clarinet, soprano, bari, etc. just so I have one to play! :cool:

Anyway, with your hard work, new sax, and eagerness to play, you should have little trouble getting into the band. Good luck!
 
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