Thursday, January 30, 2014

Week Four


- Drum along with the Count Basie, Oscar Peterson, and Art Blakey recordings in the drop box. Practice drumming even quarter notes, quarter notes with accents on beats 2 and 4, ride cymbal pattern. Drum triplets with the slower tunes (Lil Darlin' and Things Ain't What They Used to Be).

- Compose and record five new A A' B phrases with the following perameters:
     Use the C Drone track (or accompany yourself with a low C on piano)
     Each phrase should use a four-note combination from the packet in a single octave
     Compose rubato melodies
     The B phrase should answer the two A phrases
      Explore dynamics, rhythmic phrasing, tone color, and pacing.

Email me a recording of your phrases by Wednesday 2/5 at 8:00 PM.

- Begin to listen to Lester Young's tenor sax solo on "All of Me." You will need to be able to sing and play it from memory by the end of the quarter.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Week Three

Jerry Lewis bit on Count Basie's "Blues in Hoss Flat":

Assignment for 1/28

- Learn the melody to the first two A sections (16 measures) of Count Basie's "Taps Miller" by ear. Listen and sing with the recording many times before transferring the melody to your instrument. Be ready to sing and play it in class without any notation. Analyze the melody in scale degrees.

- Using four-note limitations over a drone, compose five A A' B phrases. (We will discuss this in class on Thursday). Record this assignment and email me the mp3 (or video) before class on the 28th. Let me know if you need help making a recording.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Week Two

Assignment for 1/21

- Transpose two of your melodies into six keys by thinking in scale degrees. You can look at your scale degree map, but don't write down the pitches. Be ready to perform them in class.

- Spend a couple hours playing and experimenting with the one, three, and four pitch limitations over a C C drone that we worked on in class. Focus on varying the dynamics, rhythm, tone color, pitch inflections, and proportion of notes to silence.

- Choose your favorite pitch combinations, and compose five phrases with AB (or question-answer) structure. Write down the phrases on manuscript paper, bring five copies, and be ready to play them in class. The notation can be approximate, especially if your phrase is rubato.

- Listen to the mp3s in the dropbox


Cello Drones For Tuning and Improvisation

Download mp3 tracks at Amazon
or order a CD directly from Marcia Sloane

Pair of drumsticks and practice pad

Standard drumset sticks are Vic Firth 5A, but any pair of sticks will be fine. The closest place to buy them is Capitol Music on 50th and Roosevelt.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Week One

Assignment for 1/14

Teach yourself three simple melodies entirely by ear and be ready to perform them for the class. Choose songs you know well and can sing. Work through this process:

- Imagine the melody in your musical imagination
- Slowly and accurately sing the melody
- Figure out the melody on your instrument through trial and error
- Practice the melody until it's performance ready

- Vary and personalize the melody
- Figure out what key your song is in and write down the scale degrees.

Ex: When the Saints Go Marching In

1 3 4 5, 1 3 4 5, 1 3 4 5 3 1 3 2, etc. . .