Starting a Jazz Combo at a Small High School


Starting a Jazz Combo at a Small High School
Jazz Education Journal
The author recounts his experience in starting a jazz band at a small school. He offers the following suggestions:
(1) If the rhythm section can create a solid "swing groove," even the most inexperienced jazz combo can sound
convincing. (2) Rock musicians often have a completely different learning style than that of classically trained
musicians, and they need special care. (3) Don't start by teaching theory; get them playing! To be successful in a
small-school setting, jazz band directors should be able to play the piano well enough to master the chord
progressions; have an understanding of basic jazz theory; be able to write a walking bass line to a chord
progression; and be able to write simple, two-part arrangements. It is also a good idea to learn to play the bass
guitar in the first position and to be able to play a basic beat on the drums. Photographs and musical examples are
Théorie et analyse musicales, pédagogie , Éducation