take it down an octave

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by songbook, Oct 18, 2014.

  1. larry tscharner

    larry tscharner Forte User

    Apr 30, 2010
    dubuque iowa
    At 70 you have earned the right to play a solo as you see fit. Jazz is always a personal thing and if you feel that you can play a better line than what is written then have at it! Stressing about high notes will only ruin whatever comes out if you try to be someone else other than you. Do the right thing and play what the audience will enjoy. They don't have the score in front of them, and most of them wouldn't be able to read it if they did. Best wishes.
  2. SteveRicks

    SteveRicks Fortissimo User

    Aug 15, 2009
    I can totally relate. I've never had a high range and am playing the same seat as you in jazz band. On the written out solos, if range might be an issue I find some other notes to play within the form of the solo. No one has ever complained - or I doubt even noticed. As long as it sounds good, what you are doing is as good as the original.
  3. songbook

    songbook Piano User

    Apr 25, 2010
    kingtrumpet, would it sound like the melody, or the harmony to the melody?
  4. veery715

    veery715 Utimate User

    Mar 6, 2007
    Ithaca NY
    A "solo" shouldn't sound like the melody. It should be your improv. There is nothing wrong with playing the head when it is supposed to be played, and it should be written. If your question is, "Can I take the head down an octave?", you should ask your director (but probably NOT to do). A solo in a jazz tune is usually NOT written down, so you can play any notes you want that fit.

    So the difference is HEAD vs SOLO.
  5. songbook

    songbook Piano User

    Apr 25, 2010
    Getting great advice from all of you. Thank's for taking the time.
  6. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    You can do almost anything you want in a Jazz setting IMO, unless it's something like the solo to "In The Mood" that everyone knows note for note. I had a thing when we were doing the 2-CD Christmas album with Blue Moon Big Band (my only solo credit on the album) where I didn't really have the fingers to play the transcribed boppish line, so I changed it to something I could play. This was on the "Dance of the Floreadores" tune from Ellington's arrangement of the Nutcracker tunes.

    It's by far not the best solo on the album, but I'm not ashamed or embarrassed of it either.

    I say take it down, change the line, do whatever to make it yours and put it in a range you are comfortable with.
  7. Brass_of_all_Trades

    Brass_of_all_Trades New Friend

    Sep 8, 2014
    Does the written solo have chord changes written above it? If it does then typically you are expected to improvise and the written solo should only be played if you don't know how.
  8. songbook

    songbook Piano User

    Apr 25, 2010
    That seems to be my problem Brass_of_all_Trades. I can handle the improvised solos where just the chords are shown, but when the solo notes are written out, most times no chords are given. I feel I should play the solo the way the arranger wants it played.
  9. Brass_of_all_Trades

    Brass_of_all_Trades New Friend

    Sep 8, 2014
    Yeah, if there are no chord changes then play the written solo. However, if you have to choose between missing notes and taking a lower octave then just take it down. I'm pretty sure the arranger would rather hear his music played well down an octave than poorly up high.
  10. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    I disagree, some of my favorite solos closely follow the melody. My favorite is Lee Morgans solo on Ceora. It follows the theme so well. That solo defines excellent improvisation. And it never goes above mid range.

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