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Re: Jazz band...a beginning
I whole-heartedly agree with Swamplander! Essential Elements of Jazz is definitely the way to go. And again on the 15 arrangement set that accompanies the method. >>> He's also on the mark with regard to Rhythm section. Whether you start them out all together and have separate rhythm sectionals or start them before the whole band. Piano, Bass, Drums by themselves.
I started one a few years ago at a CC middle school. We started with the EEJ Books and bought their chart book for repertoire. I highly recommend it if youíre starting out. Iíd recommend having a rehearsal or two a week with the whole band, but absolutely have a rhythm section sectional every week. The hardest part is getting a cohesive rhythm section. My first one was drums, piano, tuba (because we couldnít afford a bass). Get them kicking and everything else will fall in line. Donít be afraid to make them improvise - any notes are good notes when youíre starting out.
Students want a jazz band, but there is no room in the schedule for it as of yet. Going to plan on a few days after school in the spring to get interest and get it going.
Not a lot of literature here. Would I be better served getting the Essential Elements Beginner Jazz books or something like that, and supplement with some easier repertoire after a handle is gotten on the concepts and styles?
Who has done this with a modicum of success? Kids seem eager, and interested instrumentation isn't bad.