Playing Ska (and Ska Improv)

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by note360, Mar 3, 2007.

  1. note360

    note360 Piano User

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    Oct 16, 2006
    In a room in a house
    Hello, how are you all doing. Any way so I am getting a ska band together and I was wondering, how do I improv on SKA. Also what are some good ska bands. So far I only listen to, Less Than Jake (no trumpet :-(), Catch 22 (My favorite), Reel Big Fish, Fish bone, and some Skatalites (mainly Guns of Navarone).
     
  2. TheRiddler

    TheRiddler Pianissimo User

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    Ska is a lot different than most other types of pop music. You don't wanna use too many blues licks... think real scalular, diatonic type things. Back in my Ska heydays... A brief stint in a band called Rebels Without Applause... haha... I listened to a lot of Reel Big Fish and learned those solos, then tried to mimic what he did. Think real simple melodic ideas... not burnin bebop licks.

    Start by using the melody of the song your band is playing and then spice it up with some little ideas in between... The main idea is to play simple things though, thats the beauty of ska music... its not tough, its real fun/mellow, and it makes the ladies dance :cool:

    Have fun!
     
  3. note360

    note360 Piano User

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    Oct 16, 2006
    In a room in a house
    Ya, I know about all that, my real question was.. What scales? What are the progressions? How do I write it?
     
  4. TheRiddler

    TheRiddler Pianissimo User

    Age:
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    Oct 8, 2006
    USA
    haha... now that is a tad trickier....

    When I was writing.. I wrote a few tunes with a I-vi-IV-V progression, played mostly with good ole I-IV-V-I type stuff. Stick to major/minor scales (throw in your basic major bebop/dominant bebop scales for soloing). Come up with some basic melodies you like then put some chords under them (or vice versa). I would suggest if you're having trouble writing, then start out with some cover tunes... Save Ferris' Come on Eileen, Reel Big Fish's Keep your Reciept Album has a lot of good tunes to start with as well. Look at their chords and see how they use them... thats the only way to learn this style. Once you have these cover tunes down... Use the same chords and write new melodies and horn parts for them (Jazz guys do this all the time)... It also keeps it easy for you this way because you have already learned to solo over these chords. This should get your started
     
  5. note360

    note360 Piano User

    269
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    Oct 16, 2006
    In a room in a house
    Thanks, this info was indeed very good. Maybe my dad can help me figure out the chord progressions, but he doesn't like writing ska so I have to do that on my own. Can't be to hard, though composing short classical trumpet solos probably isn't enough preparation. The main problem is finding the following, a drummer, a bass player, a singer who is better than my friend who plays guitar, and a horn section thats not just me. So far we have, a trumpet and a guitar player, I hate starting a band cause you can never find enough people.
     
  6. masterfulmusic29

    masterfulmusic29 New Friend

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    Dec 15, 2006
    If you're looking for a good lick VII iv i is good also I IV vii iii vi ii V I (works for everything) Major or minor. I don't know how much you know about theory but a good deceptive cadence will help sell any song. Also if you can find a clevar way to modulate in the middle of a solo part it could really be catchy. Hope something here helps.
    James
     
  7. note360

    note360 Piano User

    269
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    Oct 16, 2006
    In a room in a house
    Ya, I didn't take any theory classes, I am waiting for my dad who is a music major to teach me, but he gets busy so. I should have taken music theory, but I didn't have enough electives.
     

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