Middle School Jazz Bands 2019-2020

SMS Jazz Band music mp3's

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Jazz Band Auditions: Middle School Jazz Band is an enrichment group for current 6th, 7th & 8th grade band students at LRMS and SMS. Jazz band includes saxes, trumpets, trombones and a rhythm section.  Each middle school will have their own Jazz Band.  Students may participate in the Jazz Band at their school of attendance. Auditions and rehearsals will be in the band room at the respective schools.The band will rehearse two days a week before school (from 7:00 to 7:50 on Tuesday and Thursday) through the end of May. Auditions are in December with rehearsals starting on Tuesday January 7th. 

2019 Jazz Band Audition Music

Click on your instrument to see your music. You also may get printed music from your band teacher.

 Doxy - Alto/Bari SaxDoxy - Tenor Sax Doxy - Trumpet 
Doxy - Trombone Doxy -Piano Doxy - Bass 
 Doxy - VibraphoneDoxy - Guitar Doxy - Drum Set 

Doxy Full Audio 116 bpm                Doxy no melody 116 bpm

Doxy Full Audio 130 bpm               Doxy no melody 130 bpm

Doxy Full Audio 149 bpm               Doxy no melody 149 bpm

Auditions for 2019-20 will be on Thursday December 5th and Tuesday December 10th at 7:00 a.m. on both days. Students are required to come to auditions on both days.

On the first day, students will be given instruction on how to play the audition piece and have a successful audition.  On the second day students return and play a live audition.  The roster will be announced before winter break and students will get music to take home. 

Tips on being prepared for Specific Instruments:

  • Saxes, Trumpets and Trombones - Play with a solid tone throughout your instruments practical range.  Know your notes and scales. Be able to count and clap rhythms. Be able to perform various dynamics and articulation styles.
  • Vibes-Vibes parts are typically written out melodies that double the lead alto or the lead trumpet and are typically only two mallet parts at this level.  A great sense of rhythm and style is your best friend as you audition.  
  • Drumset - Be able to play a basic rock beat, swing beat and latin such as a bossa nova. One essential aspect of this is the ability to alter the balance between bass drum, hi-hat, ride cymbal and snare from style to style.  In a rock/funk setting the bass drum is more dominant, whereas in a swing beat the bass drum should NEVER be played "four on the floor" and should be reserved only for "kicks".  In a latin setting, the balance of bass/snare to cymbals is more midway between rock and swing.  When playing with the ensemble, a drummer should play more than "just time".  He/she should always be tastefully adding in rhythms which complement the lead trumpet or the first alto sax.  This is called "comping" and is what separates jazz drumming from just "playing time".  Be able to play fills in time (without speeding up or slowing down). Everything must have a steady tempo.
  • Piano - Playing piano in jazz band is quite different from playing piano alone.  Sometimes young pianists struggle with playing along with others and keeping the same tempo and groove.  Practicing to a metronome will help! In jazz bands, you mostly play chords with your left hand or with both hands.  This is called "comping". Ideally, you learn to play rootless voicings.  You should be able to play dominant 7th chords, minor 7th chords, and then add 9ths, etc.  The most important skill for a jazz band pianist is rhythm.  If you don't have it, you won't be very successful.  You should also be able to read sheet music and chord symbols, showing knowledge of major, minor and dominant 7 or 9 chords, at least in root position.
For both Piano and Guitar, we mostly play in flat keys.  Typically F, Bb, Eb & Ab.
  • Guitar - Similar to jazz piano, playing guitar in jazz band has almost nothing to do with typical guitar skills learned in the average guitar lessons.  Bands play in keys with flats, whereas guitarist typically first learn to play in keys with sharps.  Guitarist must read sheet music.  They NEVER get their jazz band music written as TAB.  The most important skill they must have is a great sense of rhythm.  A thorough ability to demonstrate major, minor, and dominant chords is essential, at least two different voicing for each chord.   Especially when playing swing, jazz guitarists must be good at comping in a "Freddie Green" style to play in a historically accurate style.  It is not required that we have a guitar in jazz band, and we only add one when the player's skills are adequate to fit the needs of the music.
  • Bass - Being able to play both upright and electric bass is huge. The bass players sense of rhythm is their best asset.  Most bass parts are written out note for note, so a players ability to read music notation is essential.  Eventually, a bass player should learn to craft a bass line when they are only given a chord chart to read from, but this is not typical in middle school jazz band music.