Improvisation 

 

This is a work in progress. At the moment this serves to host training videos created specifically for PSU Inner Dimensions and jazz combo students while in corona proximity distancing mode.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BASS LISTENING

 

Maria, in a wonderfully expressive testament yesterday, made me aware of an intense interest in listening to jazz yet not knowing quite what to choose. Thanks to Spotify's endless lists, there's ample dancing down memory lane, from yesterday's discoveries all the way back to junior year in high school! Endless thanks to Mr. Morrow and Mr. Jacober for hooking me up!

 

This list will continue to grow:

 

wayhttps://open.spotify.com/playlist/4wXk8A8B4DG7G8JtCoUOIY?si=mutpUOALSAOhdyHQCRTs6w

 

 

JAZZ LISTENING 

 

I have long thought there could be meaningful enhancements to the content I've put together for the 30-40 instances of teaching jazz history to non-majors at Susquehanna and Towson Universities. Now, thanks to what seems like a budding interest from Inner Dimensions (one of many wonderful Penn State big bands), I will begin drafts of new content.

 

 

 

 

DRAFT ONE OF A NEW COURSE FOR MAJORS 

 

WEEK ONE

Jazz was born around 1900. The first known recording, first on the playlist here, was made in 1917. The explosion of popularity in the years to come would include public affection for rather diverse kinds of jazz, ranging from radically creative approaches as found in some of the music of Duke Ellington, to commercially driven variations of dance forms like the Artie Shaw Orchestra’s style the Swing Era.

This is far from complete overview of the first half of the history of this music, first assembled for non-majors to have initial exposure:

 

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLnJJup6uvT79No5DYbjWFPb3nGFKRnNz_

 

 

 

WEEK FIVE

Let's move to the middle. 1959. Listen:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZYHezhSR4E&list=PLnJJup6uvT78x3D8ZHceZbH8tZJtKZ78J

 

 

 

 

WEEK EIGHT

Jazz History for Music Majors

 

 

The Jaki Byard Experience

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1gUK942Lwto&list=PLyHn3f7-9IUIKHIG_-QVkCpjLnH6VPLrd&index=2

 

The first tune, Parisian Thoroughfare, is so progressive and absolute in its insistence to fit the jazz mentality of being progressive and willing to take risk. To really understand this first listen to the the original recording (made by the composer playing solo piano) recording of this tune, from 1951: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6hP9FEqlz3A

 

And then three years later, a recording made by arguably one of the most progressive voices in ensemble playing at the time, the band led by Max Roach, featuring the very young but very well-practiced and mature Clifford Brown: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJ7tDo-TOOw

 

What do we hear here?

Max arranges the melody with fantastically ferocious double time drumset playing that then settles to the true tempo at half speed for later phrases of the melody and for solos. But hairs were raised from the outset thanks to Max’s energy. Hear Here!

 

Modernists of today get this project. The leader is a radical, in his day here on 9/18/1968, and has chosen to surround himself with other radicals. Richard Davis with Sarah Vaughan (and others) shows us a power in creative yet supportive bass playing that few have matched. Roland Kirk and Alan Dawson too…playing unlike anyone else before them. Have you heard of The Ritual by the way? All my best buds from New England learned it, from Alan himself…folks like Les Harris Jr. and Bob Gullotti. It’s a steady stream of drumset fundamentals that are arranged in a beautiful butt-kick progression of learning.

 

 

 

 

WEEK ELEVEN

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KC3GrzoQG9U&fbclid=IwAR07pelg3hLBsIEYgGputNrZWLgS4gkPYqA7gxsXQvY9DwMPaBNg1GwgMWk

 

Wow.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JgturagD0hA

 

Complete.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rhythm Meter Workshop

Practice along with the lessons below to expand your rhythm and meter skills as a performer or composer. Contact us for free pdfs, curricula, and access to over forty additional videos.

 

 

 

Penn State Double Bass Practicing, April 2020

 

Everyone’s Practicing – for the week beginning Friday, April 17

 

Let’s begin with x hovering around 5-7 minutes as energy allows, 3 minutes for tired days, and shifting minutes from one topic to another as your needs suggest. Keep careful notes on your tempos and feel free to play slightly faster if suggested tempos come easily.

 

Daily:

 

?”        Arco Jtude 2 -play along with the video

 

x”         Gb major 3 octave scale (E: 1 4 A: 1 2 1 4 D: 1 2 1 4 1 3 t 2 3 G: t 2 3 t 1 2 3)

            a. half notes with rich vibrato at mm=50

            b. as fast as possible -remember today’s tempo and surpass it tomorrow

 

3x”       Rossini Duet for Cello and Bass, second movement, bars 40 – 50, mm=40

 

2x”       Modes in all keys (recently emailed) -single octave or full range beginning with low E

 

In order, repeating back to the beginning:

 

2x“       Memorizing Ray Brown’s walking on Days of Wine and Roses, 0:50 – 1:03

 

3x”       Rossini Duet for Cello and Bass, third movement, bars 34 – 49, mm=40 – 60

 

1x”       Spiccato open strings at mm=80, 86, 92

 

2x”       Bach Cello Suite #1 Gigue, bars 1 – 14, dotted quarter pulse at mm=40-60

 

2x”       Bach Cello Suite #1 Gigue, bars 14 - end, dotted quarter pulse at mm=20-40

 

3x”       Rossini Duet for Cello and Bass, third movement, bars 62 – 78, mm=40 – 50

 

1x”       Spiccato open strings at mm=92, 98, 104

 

3x”       Rossini Duet for Cello and Bass, third movement, bars 116 – end, mm=40 – 69

 

3x”       Improvising over Cantaloupe Island using a play-along

 

4x”       Dragonetti Etude #2, begin with the last system and work backwards through page two

a. day one mm=40

b. day two mm=40-50

c. progressively faster and skip over the bars that come easily

 

1x”       Dragonetti Etude #1, read through the whole thing at your tempo without stopping

 

 

 

Alex’s Practicing – week beginning April 3, 2020

 

the material

 

Slow Bow Jtude 1

mm=50, unaccented throughout, mp – mf, play along with the video

 

G major 3 octave scale (E: 1 4 A: 1 2 1 4 D: 1 2 1 4 1 3 t 2 3 G: t 2 3 t 1 2 3)

Create progressive fragments anywhere there is a tuning challenge

 

Bach Cello Suite -new movement of your choosing (from 3 emailed editions)

 

Rossini Duet for Cello and Bass, first movement, mm=100

Spicatto all detache sixteenth notes.

There are several instances of needing to begin bars with an up bow in the interest of ending the motif strong on a down bow: bars 3, 7, 15, 18, 20, etc.

 

Dragonetti Etude 1, mm=52

Focus on three new phrases each day.

Bar 2   also vibrate, like bar 1, rather wide

Bar 7   match the A’s

Bar 15   vibrate D’s

 

Vibrato, sixteenth notes, mm=40

Using the new 3-octave G major scale fingering (the one with no open strings), play half-notes all the way without repeating any of the G’s. Keep the vibrato size enormous for now, lightly touching both edges of your hand at the top and bottom of each arc. Maintain an even speed throughout the motion. Don’t worry if it doesn’t sound good; we don’t pay to watch ballet dancers practice first position pliés but you can bet they all still do them!

 

Marcello E Minor Sonata

Adagio  8th note as the pulse at mm=60

Allegro   

Largo  8th note as the pulse at mm=72 for now

Allegretto

 

Freddie Hubbard improvisation excerpt from Cantaloupe Island

Work on all of the skills presented on each of the four videos posted at http://www.joshuadavis.org/learning/

 

Additionally, learn the bassline on the play-along by ear, and be able to play along at tempo.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NcAjaIonIOc

 

 

a sample five routine rotation

 

Practice #1

Slow Bow Jtude 1   5”

G major with tons of fragments 10’’

Vibrato (using G major) 5”

Rossini bars 59-60, 63-65, 66-69, 70-73, 86-90

Dragonetti bars 31-34 (begins 2nd bar of page 2) 15”

Marcello Largo 15”

 

Practice #2

Slow Bow Jtude 1   5”

Vibrato (using G major) 5”

Marcello Largo 10”

Marcello Adagio 20”

Freddie Cantaloupe 15-30”

 

Practice #3

Slow Bow Jtude 1   5”

G major with tons of fragments 10’’

Vibrato (using G major) 5”

Rossini 20”

Dragonetti three old phrases 15”

Dragonetti three new phrases 30-40”

 

Practice #4

Slow Bow Jtude 1   5”

Rossini 20”

Marcello Largo 10”

Freddie Cantaloupe soloing 20”

Rabbath 10”

 

Practice #5

Dragonetti page 2 bars 2 – 3, 4 – 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10   15”

Rossini bars 59-60, 63-65, 66-69, 70-73, 86-90   20”

Bach solo movement of your choice, first few bars only 30-40”

 

 

 

Kyle’s Practicing – week beginning April 3, 2020

 

the material

 

Slow Bow Jtude 1

mm=50, unaccented throughout, mp – mf, play along with the video

 

G major 3 octave scale (E: 1 4 A: 1 2 1 4 D: 1 2 1 4 1 3 t 2 3 G: t 2 3 t 1 2 3)

Create progressive fragments anywhere there is a tuning challenge

 

Bach Cello Suite -new movement of your choosing (from 3 emailed editions)

 

Rossini Duet for Cello and Bass, first movement, mm=100

Spicatto all detache sixteenth notes.

There are several instances of needing to begin bars with an up bow in the interest of ending the motif strong on a down bow: bars 3, 7, 15, 18, 20, etc.

 

Dragonetti Etude 1, mm=52

Focus on three new phrases each day.

Bar 2   also vibrate, like bar 1, rather wide

Bar 7   match the A’s

Bar 15   vibrate D’s

Page 2 bars 2 – 3, 4 – 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

 

Vibrato, sixteenth notes, mm=40

Using the new 3-octave G major scale fingering (the one with no open strings), play half-notes all the way without repeating any of the G’s. Keep the vibrato size enormous for now, lightly touching both edges of your hand at the top and bottom of each arc. Maintain an even speed throughout the motion. Don’t worry if it doesn’t sound good; we don’t pay to watch ballet dancers practice first position pliés but you can bet they all still do them!

 

Freddie Hubbard improvisation excerpt from Cantaloupe Island

Work on all of the skills presented on each of the four videos posted at http://www.joshuadavis.org/learning/

 

Additionally, learn the bassline on the play-along by ear, and be able to play along at tempo.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NcAjaIonIOc

 

a sample five routine rotation

 

*****Practice #1*****

Slow Bow Jtude 1   5”

G major with tons of fragments   10’’

Vibrato (using G major)   5”

Dragonetti page 2 bars 2 – 3, 4 – 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10   15”

Rossini bars 59-60, 63-65, 66-69, 70-73, 86-90   30”

 

*****Practice #2*****

Slow Bow Jtude 1   5”

Rossini bars 59-60, 63-65, 66-69   20”

Dragonetti any three previous 1 or 2 bar fragments from page 2   15”

Dragonetti last 3 lines of page 1   20”

 

*****Practice #3*****

Freddie Cantaloupe 10”

Vibrato (using G major) 5”

Rossini bars   70-73, 86-90   10”

Dragonetti any three previous 1 or 2 bar fragments from page 2   15”

Freddie Cantaloupe 10”

Bach solo movement of your choice, first few bars only 10”

 

*****Practice #4*****

Slow Bow Jtude 1   5”

Rossini bars 59-60, 63-65, 66-69, 70-73, 86-90   20”

Dragonetti last 3 lines of page 1   20”

Freddie Cantaloupe 20”

 

*****Practice #5*****

Freddie Cantaloupe 20-30”

Bach solo movement of your choice, first few bars only 30-40”

 

 

 

Ben’s Practicing – week beginning April 3, 2020

 

 

the material

 

Slow Bow Jtude 1

mm=50, unaccented throughout, mp – mf, play along with the video

 

G major 3 octave scale (E: 1 4 A: 1 2 1 4 D: 1 2 1 4 1 3 t 2 3 G: t 2 3 t 1 2 3)

Create progressive fragments anywhere there is a tuning challenge

 

Bach Cello Suite -new movement of your choosing (from 3 emailed editions)

 

Rossini Duet for Cello and Bass, first movement, mm=100

Spicatto all detache sixteenth notes.

There are several instances of needing to begin bars with an up bow in the interest of ending the motif strong on a down bow: bars 3, 7, 15, 18, 20, etc.

 

Dragonetti Etude 1, mm=56

Identify phrases and focus on three new phrases each day. The first phrase lasts through the middle of the second system, for example. When in doubt about phrase lengths, wing it and choose 8-12 bar ‘chunks’ and focus as though it is a singular phrase.

 

Vivaldi Violin Concerto, opus 3 no. 6

bars 33 - 44   – elbow party

mm=90

 

Bach Courante

Thumb tuning focus

What cellists’ performances do you love?

 

Marcello E Minor Sonata

Adagio  mm=60

Allegro

Largo  8th note as the pulse at mm=72 for now

Allegretto

 

Dexter

Transpose diatonically. Shift location of motif placement.

 

Freddie Hubbard improvisation excerpt from Cantaloupe Island

Work on all of the skills presented on each of the four videos posted at http://www.joshuadavis.org/learning/

 

Additionally, learn the bassline on the play-along by ear, and be able to play along at tempo.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NcAjaIonIOc

 

 

a sample routine

 

***Practice #1

Slow Bow Jtude 1   5”

Dragonetti page 2 bars 2 – 3, 4 – 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10   20”

Rossini bars 59-60, 63-65, 66-69, 70-73, 86-90   20”

Vivaldi page 2   20”

Marcello   20”

Freddie Cantaloupe 20”

 

***Practice #2

Slow Bow Jtude 1   5”

Freddie Cantaloupe 15”

Vivaldi page 2   20”

Rossini -all remaining bars on page 1   20”

Bach solo movement of your choice, first few bars only 30”

Dragonetti page 2   20”

 

***Practice #3

Slow Bow Jtude 1   5”

G major   10’’

Bach solo movement of your choice   30”

Rossini page 2   20”

Dragonetti page 3   30”

 

***Practice #4

Slow Bow Jtude 1   5”

Vivaldi page 2   20”

Bach solo movement of your choice   20”

Rossini pages 1 and 2   20”

Marcello   20”

Freddie Cantaloupe soloing 10”

 

***Practice #5

G major   10’’

Rossini pages 1 and 2   20”

Marcello   30”

Freddie Cantaloupe soloing 20”

 

 

Kenzie’s Practicing – week beginning March 30, 2020

 

 

the material

 

G major 3 octave scale (E: 1 4 A: 1 2 1 4 D: 1 2 1 4 1 3 t 2 3 G: t 2 3 t 1 2 3)

Create progressive fragments anywhere there is a tuning challenge

 

Rossini Duet for Cello and Bass, first movement, mm=90

In addition to being standard rep, this piece affords several opportunities for technical exploration. We’ll start with spicatto, as needed in the first bar and beyond.

 

Dragonetti Etude 1, mm=52

Identify phrases and focus on three new phrases each day. The first phrase lasts through the middle of the second system, for example. When in doubt about phrase lengths, wing it and choose 8-12 bar ‘chunks’ and focus as though it is a singular phrase.

 

Rabbath Study No. 11 in D minor and D major

Pay particular attention to the tuning of the highest pitches, like the F# and E on the g-string. This piece is near completion and may be finished this week, for this year.

 

Vibrato, sixteenth notes, mm=40

Using the new 3-octave G major scale fingering (the one with no open strings), play half-notes all the way without repeating any of the G’s. Keep the vibrato size enormous for now, lightly touching both edges of your hand at the top and bottom of each arc. Maintain an even speed throughout the motion. Don’t worry if it doesn’t sound good; we don’t pay to watch ballet dancers practice first position pliés but you can bet they all still do them!

 

Marcello E Minor Sonata

Adagio, bar 1, 8th note as the pulse at mm=60

Allegro, bars 1 - 8

Largo, entire movement, 8th note as the pulse at mm=72 for now

Allegretto -You rocked this last lesson. Leave it and focus on the new movements.

 

Freddie Hubbard improvisation excerpt from Cantaloupe Island

Work on all of the skills presented on each of the four videos posted at http://www.joshuadavis.org/learning/

 

Additionally, learn the bassline on the play-along by ear, and be able to play along at tempo.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NcAjaIonIOc

 

 

 

a sample routine

 

Practice #1 (day 1)

G major with tons of fragments 10’’

Vibrato (using G major) 5”

Dragonetti two new phrases 20”

Rabbath 10”

Marcello Largo 15”

Freddie Cantaloupe 15-30”

 

Practice #2 (day 1)

Vibrato (using G major) 5”

Marcello Largo 15”

Freddie Cantaloupe 15”

Dragonetti two old phrases 10”

Dragonetti one new phrase 10”

 

Practice #3 (day 2?)

G major with tons of fragments 10’’

Vibrato (using G major) 5”

Rossini 20”

Dragonetti three old phrases 15”

Dragonetti three new phrases 30-40”

 

Practice #4

Rossini 20”

Marcello Largo 10”

Marcello Adagio 10”

Freddie Cantaloupe soloing 20”

Rabbath 10”

 

 

Tommi’s Practicing – WEEK beginning APRIL 2, 2020

 

 

the material

 

Slow Bow Jtude 1

mm=50, unaccented throughout, mp – mf, play along with the video

 

G major 3 octave scale (E: 1 4 A: 1 2 1 4 D: 1 2 1 4 1 3 t 2 3 G: t 2 3 t 1 2 3)

Create progressive fragments anywhere there is a tuning challenge

 

Rossini Duet for Cello and Bass, first movement, mm=90

In addition to being standard rep, this piece affords several opportunities for technical exploration. We’ll start with spiccato, as needed in the first bar and beyond.

 

Dragonetti Etude 1, mm=40

Identify phrases and focus on three new phrases each day. The first phrase lasts through the middle of the second system, for example. When in doubt about phrase lengths, wing it and choose 8-12 bar ‘chunks’ and focus as though it is a singular phrase.

 

Vibrato, sixteenth notes, mm=40

Using the bottom two octaves of new 3-octave G major scale fingering (the one with no open strings), play half-notes all the way without repeating any of the G’s. Keep the vibrato size enormous for now, lightly touching both edges of your hand at the top and bottom of each arc. Maintain an even speed throughout the motion. Don’t worry if it doesn’t sound good; we don’t pay to watch ballet dancers practice first position pliés but you can bet they all still do them!

 

Freddie Hubbard improvisation excerpt from Cantaloupe Island

Work on all of the skills presented on each of the four videos posted at http://www.joshuadavis.org/learning/

 

Additionally, learn the bassline on the play-along by ear, and be able to play along at tempo.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NcAjaIonIOc

 

the work

 

Practice #1 (day 1)

Slow Bow 5”

G major 3 octave scale with vibrato, sixteenth notes, mm=40   10”

Rossini Duet for Cello and Bass, first movement, mm=20-30, bars 1, 5, 18, 20, 44-46, 65-73   20”

bassline on the play-along by ear    10-20”

Slow Bow   5”

 

Practice #2 (day 1)

Slow Bow   5”

Dragonetti Etude 1, mm=30-52, bars 97-99, 91-94, 83-89   30”

Freddie Hubbard improvisation excerpt, material from 1 or 2 videos, 30”

 

 

 

 

Maria’s Practicing – WEEK beginning APRIL 2, 2020

 

 

the material

 

Slow Bow Jtude 1

mm=50, unaccented throughout, mp – mf, play along with the video

 

Spiccato Jtude 1

mm=90, 4/4, sixteenth notes, open strings, unaccented, changing strings every bar, adjacent strings first, then skipping strings (G then A and D then E), striving for length and articulation sameness

 

G major 3 octave scale (E: 1 4 A: 1 2 1 4 D: 1 2 1 4 1 3 t 2 3 G: t 2 3 t 1 2 3)

Create progressive fragments anywhere there is a tuning challenge

 

Rossini Duet for Cello and Bass, first movement, mm=90

In addition to being standard rep, this piece affords several opportunities for technical exploration. We’ll start with spicatto, as needed in the first bar and beyond.

 

Dragonetti Etude 1, mm=52

Identify phrases and focus on three new phrases each day. The first phrase lasts through the middle of the second system, for example. When in doubt about phrase lengths, wing it and choose 8-12 bar ‘chunks’ and focus as though it is a singular phrase.

 

Vibrato, sixteenth notes, mm=40

Using the new 3-octave G major scale fingering (the one with no open strings), play half-notes all the way without repeating any of the G’s. Keep the vibrato size enormous for now, lightly touching both edges of your hand at the top and bottom of each arc. Maintain an even speed throughout the motion. Don’t worry if it doesn’t sound good; we don’t pay to watch ballet dancers practice first position pliés but you can bet they all still do them!

 

Freddie Hubbard improvisation excerpt from Cantaloupe Island

Work on all of the skills presented on each of the four videos posted at http://www.joshuadavis.org/learning/

 

Additionally, learn the bassline on the play-along by ear, and be able to play along at tempo.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NcAjaIonIOc

 

 

the work

 

Practice #1 (day 1)

Slow Bow 5”

Spiccato 5”

G major 3 octave scale with vibrato, sixteenth notes, mm=40 10”

Rossini Duet for Cello and Bass, first movement, bars 1, 5, 18, 20, 44-46, 65-73 20”

bassline on the play-along by ear 10-20”

Slow Bow 5”

Spiccato 5”

 

Practice #2 (day 1)

Slow Bow 5”

Spiccato 5”

Dragonetti Etude 1, mm=30-52, bars 97-99, 91-94, 83-89 30”

Freddie Hubbard improvisation excerpt, material from 1 or 2 videos, 30”

 

 

 

 

How does this feel so far? It is one of many practicing strategies. We’ll talk through it in bass class and draft out the remaining practicing goals for the week.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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