Home Alt Forums Daily Practice Routine #1 Jazz & Swing – big band

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    Hey Johnny – Today i joined a big band (40+ players, surrounded
    by lots of very experienced players, and a professional conductor),
    that was starting up for the 1st time.

    We practiced for 3 hrs – guess what – 1st song we played was
    watermelon man! The altos were divided into melody & harmony players,
    completely random, & i got melody sheet music parts! there must
    have been 15 altos.

    It was fantastic, no problems with timing with a drummer at the back,
    and a double base & base guitar.The rest of the band as made up of
    Tenor Saxs, clarinets & trumpets.

    The best part – Thanks to the amount of work i put into
    using your daily sax routine – my tone was exactly spot on
    with all the rest of the players – CREDIT to your routine
    without which my tone would be CRAP!

    I had lots of timing issues – but to me sounding GOOD – outweighs
    everything else – if i had sounded crap – i would have packed it in.

    So now its a monthly practice with the band – as its new – hopefully
    playing public by the end of the year!

    I also have to give credit to my teacher for sorting out my setup,
    & credit to myself for practicing at least between 12 & 18 hours a week.
    But i’m really pleased to be in a proper band after just starting 18
    months ago.

    I’ve still got a long way to go, but for me – to sound exactly like
    them is ace!



    That’s good JB. Nothing like working out with a live group like that. will do wonders for your timing too. just have “big” ears when rehearsing and you’ll do fine. we can practice all day long by ourselves but nothing is as valuable as working out with a live situation….especially a big band like that.


    yeah – compared to the rest of the plsyers i was out of my depth, felt i was among a lot of music
    teschers & older university music players! To be fair the band was
    formed from a lot of existing orchestra players who wanted to
    start up a separate jazz/swing band.

    But for me i feel that i entered at the right time, it gives me more incentive to get the timing right & the dynamics right for
    a lot of the phrasing – when i do
    my own practicing! I told my
    sax teacher – so now he’s giving
    me a harder time with getting
    things right! lol

    The left hand side of the band
    had 5 rows of sax players – 2 alto
    rows, 3 rows for tenors and bari’s. The right hand side had
    3 rows of clarinets, and 2 of trumpets, not sure if trumbones
    were there. as i sat 2nd row from
    front! Really wierd – i though you
    could sit anywhere – lol, everyone
    else knew where to sit.

    Next month – spending a day playing in a real orchestra – that’s going to be a chsllenge!

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