Setting up with Jazz Big Band

Eric66

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Hey all - thanks for the advice regarding the selection of my updated tuners.

Starfire II (vintage 1966 owned since new) mated to my Music Man 212-HD 130

Houston Community College Jazz Big Band, 16 pieces at my last count. Nice to have hooked up with the group late last January after not seeing charts like these in over 30 years. Dress rehearsal last week at the Cadillac Bar.

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GAD

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Ooh nice! I'd love to play in a big band but my music reading skills have degraded significantly.
 

gjmalcyon

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Post vids or links, please - I'm a sucker for big band music.

My cousin's kid was lead trumpet for the One O'Clock Lab Band at UNT several years ago, and I got to hear some good things from their concerts.
 

Eric66

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Ooh nice! I'd love to play in a big band but my music reading skills have degraded significantly.
I’m living a charmed life. Restarted my playing early last fall to 4 walls. Picked up a used Squier Tele to be considered disposable in a worst case scenario saving the Starfire risk exposure. Having a blast with a fun challenge working on it. Used the Tele at last week’s “dress rehearsal” at the Cadillac Bar (Mex/Tex food and events place) because I wasn’t familiar with the environment in terms of Starfire type security and comfort… there is a decent video of the band on YouTube but no Starfire! (Which I tried it out Sunday evening with the group and all went well so it’s being played tonight and will fine tune the bridge height soon).

Everyone was sounding great!
 
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Eric66

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Post vids or links, please - I'm a sucker for big band music.

My cousin's kid was lead trumpet for the One O'Clock Lab Band at UNT several years ago, and I got to hear some good things from their concerts.
If there’s a good video that’s going to be posted but I’ll first have to…..

UNT - I was aware of their reputation as being tops since the Disco era and beyond. Great place for big band music. Your cousin for sure has an elite skill set!
 

chazmo

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Eric, that's great. Congrats on getting (back) into it! Good for you, man. Your Starfire looks like you've kept it in great shape.
 

jp

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Looks like it'll be a super fun time. Playing with a big band with a dedicated rhythm session can be challenging, esp. with a piano player. I learned so much when I played with one. Have a blast!
 

Teleguy61

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Freddie Green never played more than a three note chord.
 

Eric66

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Freddie Green never played more than a three note chord.
One of the tunes had specified my part a la Freddie Green! But that was mostly for the simple strum pattern effect.

Re: 3 note chord
I almost always simplify the chords as well as substitute some. Most often it’s been easier to just finger the entire chord with my hand but just pluck/strum only partially. Got to get the 3rd and 7th notes!
 

Eric66

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Looks like it'll be a super fun time. Playing with a big band with a dedicated rhythm session can be challenging, esp. with a piano player. I learned so much when I played with one. Have a blast!
I really enjoyed playing with them and was challenged after such a long dormant period. Drums, bass, and piano were solid. Piano player has a very high skill baseline and did not start improvising until last fall. I suggested something to her for one of her solos (after we were first introduced to the tune) and she showed up next session nailing it.

I played piano before I started up with guitar
 

Cougar

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I played piano before I started up with guitar
I've played keys my entire life, adding guitar a little later, but not at that level in either instrument! I'm more play-by-ear improvise solo multitracker, lol.
 

jp

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Freddie Green never played more than a three note chord.
Absolutely the ideal exemplar of guitar playing in a big band setting.

I really enjoyed playing with them and was challenged after such a long dormant period. Drums, bass, and piano were solid. Piano player has a very high skill baseline and did not start improvising until last fall. I suggested something to her for one of her solos (after we were first introduced to the tune) and she showed up next session nailing it.

I played piano before I started up with guitar
That really had to have helped to play piano before guitar. When I first started, I stepped on a lot of toes before I learned to lean it out and comp with sparing harmonic discretion.
 

Eric66

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Absolutely the ideal exemplar of guitar playing in a big band setting.


That really had to have helped to play piano before guitar. When I first started, I stepped on a lot of toes before I learned to lean it out and comp with sparing harmonic discretion.
I’d agree with you about Freddie Green.

I started with “flutophone” in 1st grade. I grew up at a time when the arts were promoted in the public schools emerging after the Great Depression, WWII, and the greatest generation transitioning from deprivation to prosperity in the 50’s.

Yes the piano really helps to “see” all the intervals, especially laid out left to right low to high notes instead of “layers” with the guitar.

Managing when to blend in and when to stand out with the band is key.

I miss having a piano. We moved halfway across the country a little over 4 years ago and had to junk a very old (1920?) upright grand that I had since about 1976. I don’t know if I have the discipline to add in time to redevelop both instruments at the same time but having a keyboard handy helps to analyze chord extensions and progressions. I printed out a 2 octave keyboard to look at for some help.

My son asked for piano lessons at 6 years of age. There’s an 88 key electronic keyboard at his house he’s had since he was 16 or 17. He just told me last week that his son (6+ years old) is asking for lessons. The circle is unbroken.

And when it was time for my solo in the tune that I was featured, everything I planned on fell to the wayside and I just let my spirit go, ebbing and flowing with the band’s charted accompaniment and the rhythm section.

Giving my fingers a rest for a little bit now.
 
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