Starting a Jazz combo, hopefully for money lol

Discussion in 'Jazz / Commercial' started by RoyalFlush, Jul 6, 2004.

  1. RoyalFlush

    RoyalFlush New Friend

    Apr 27, 2004
    Hey guys.... yep, i'm trying to start a jazz combo at my school. I want to get out in the world lol and hopefully make some money doing what I love best: playing my trumpet.... The plan is to make it a sort of "standards only" kind of thing, but of course I can change this at need. Any advice that anyone has to give would be much appreciated. I would really like to get this off the ground. I live in the middle of nowhere, and I don't know how much interest there is in my school's band about jazz, but I figure it's worth a shot.... well, thanx all... l8er
  2. Lazorphaze

    Lazorphaze Piano User

    Feb 3, 2004
    I've got a jazz combo.
    I play alto sax, and there's a piano, and drums.
    Ok, first off.
    1. Get people who you KNOW will be dedicated. It helps a lot. The members help each other out. In my band, there really is no "figurehead" of power, I just direct rehearsals, even though we can take it whatever way we want.

    2. Enforce discipline, but not too much. Make sure that the members are focused, and not goofing off. I had a problem with discipline awhile ago when we rehearsed at school. About halfway through rehearsal, the drummer would go to a bathroom break, and after that, we'd have a pencil throwing fight. The trombone player got sick of it, and stopped coming, so I had to fire him (even though I don't pay my members)

    3. Find a good rehearsal spot. If it's in your band room after school, then fine, but make sure you get plenty done in the little time you'll probably have. In fact, that's how my band started out. We couldn't do anything else, so we did Tuesdays after school in the band room for about an hour.
    This seemed like it would be productive, but it wasn't. I have had this group for about 5 months now, and we're recording a demo tape next rehearsal, and all because of rehearsals at the drummer + pianist's house (they're brothers)

    4. Get a Real Book and transpose parts for everyone. I am doing this, and it works magnificently. The piano player got us all books of songs (just made up ones, not standards) They really help becuase they have a solo section and stuff written in, so you don't have to figure out the scales to use when during improv. But when you get good enough soloing off a lead sheet (song + chords) you can go to the Real Book. Pick some easy tunes first, like Blue Monk. It's simple, and easy to do improv. on.

    5. Get some recordings of songs you want to play. It helps immensely. We are playing Footprints, and the piano player thought it was a ballad til I showed him a recording.

    On getting gigs, I still have to figure that out.
    But anyway, good luck with this, and most of all, have fun!

    Eric S.
  3. Annie

    Annie Piano User

    Nov 13, 2003
    Anyplace to find a real book?
  4. fatpauly

    fatpauly Pianissimo User

    Nov 11, 2003
    Ellicott City, Maryland
  5. PH

    PH Mezzo Piano User

    Dec 2, 2003
    Bloomington, Indiana
    An alternative to the Real Book for a beginning combo would be for each person in the group to buy 1 or 2 Aebersold play-alongs. Each one of these has anywhere from 10-30 songs printed in treble and bass clef, Bb & Eb, plus a prerecorded CD of a professional rhythm section to practice the song with. I tell people to take the book pages apart and make separate folders for each instrument containing all the tunes from all the CDs you have (in effect it is your own fake book). The advantage is that you have the CD to practice with between rehearsals and the rhythm section players in your combo can listen to the play-along CD (as well as the original recording of the songs) to learn the style.
  6. trumpet

    trumpet New Friend

    Dec 30, 2003
    legal for abersold

    I don't want to ruin my abersold books, is it legal to copy two parts from a book so I don't have to rip it?

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