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Old 01-15-2013, 09:14 PM   #1
Austindicola
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Question Playing Sting For Jazz Audition?

Hello, hopefully this is the right forum to put this in. Anyway I've applied to William Patterson University. To enter their music program I need to submit an audition CD.

The requirements are to:

Play one uptempo song
Play one medium tempo song
Play one ballad

There are all supposed to be jazz of course

My audition will be done on guitar (acoustic or electric). I'm having great trouble finding good chordal jazz that I like to play. I've chosen The Girl From Ipanema for the ballad (hope they don't mind Bossa Nova!), and I was considering doing Sting's "The Hounds of Winter".

Although it's not a jazz song, the chords can easily be played in a jazzy fashion. So do you think it's ok to take a non-jazz song and make it a jazz song for the auditions? The guidelines are not very specific. Thanks for the time everyone!

<<< Song link

Last edited by Austindicola : 01-15-2013 at 09:16 PM.
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Old 01-15-2013, 10:03 PM   #2
Andalus
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Why not? Give it a shot.
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Old 01-15-2013, 10:13 PM   #3
Austindicola
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Originally Posted by Andalus
Why not? Give it a shot.


I'm just worried that it could be interpreted as "Not following directions", I don't have much room to experiment since it's college
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Old 01-16-2013, 01:26 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Austindicola
Although it's not a jazz song, the chords can easily be played in a jazzy fashion. So do you think it's ok to take a non-jazz song and make it a jazz song for the auditions? The guidelines are not very specific. Thanks for the time everyone!


You don't seem to understand that Jazzy isn't Jazz. Two completely different words. And college IS for experimentation, not the other way around. But give it a go anyway, because many Jazz standards were not Jazz until Jazz musicians reinterpreted them.
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Old 01-16-2013, 01:33 AM   #5
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It seems like something that could go over really well if you do it right or entirely backfire if you don't really know what you're doing.

If you don't really have a specific vision of how you want it to go, you may have a hard time making it worthwhile. You could definitely do some cool chord-melody stuff if you have experience with it though.
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Old 01-16-2013, 09:49 PM   #6
Austindicola
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Originally Posted by GoldenGuitar
You don't seem to understand that Jazzy isn't Jazz. Two completely different words. And college IS for experimentation, not the other way around. But give it a go anyway, because many Jazz standards were not Jazz until Jazz musicians reinterpreted them.



Maybe not, Jazz is a new discovery for me really. I only found an interest in it within the last few years, and even now I can't name any jazz artists I specifically like other than Yusef Lateef and Ryo Fukui. But I listen to a jazz station every day and hear tons of great stuff, I just never know what it is I'm hearing.

Anyway, I know that they are looking for the performers ability to play a part in jazz, and not the ability to play certain songs, I just don't want to seem like an idiot if I send in a CD with non-jazz songs. Perhaps I'm not cut out for the program in the first place, but I want to try my best
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Old 01-16-2013, 09:51 PM   #7
Austindicola
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Originally Posted by food1010
It seems like something that could go over really well if you do it right or entirely backfire if you don't really know what you're doing.

If you don't really have a specific vision of how you want it to go, you may have a hard time making it worthwhile. You could definitely do some cool chord-melody stuff if you have experience with it though.



I kind of have a certain picking pattern worked out to jazz it up, and I'll probably remove a lot of chord notes so that I'm not hogging all the voices that other musicians would cover. Thanks!
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Old 01-16-2013, 10:34 PM   #8
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If it were me, I would stick to the Real Book standards. I get your wanting for exploration, but, playing something standard with high proficiency gives them a better scale to judge by. Besides, if you are wanting the study jazz guitar, that is the literature you'll need to know, anyway.
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Old 01-17-2013, 12:36 AM   #9
food1010
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Originally Posted by Angusman60
If it were me, I would stick to the Real Book standards. I get your wanting for exploration, but, playing something standard with high proficiency gives them a better scale to judge by. Besides, if you are wanting the study jazz guitar, that is the literature you'll need to know, anyway.
This. Even if you pass the audition, you're going to have a hard time if you don't know the literature or have any vocabulary under your belt.

My advice is to buy a few classic jazz albums and just transcribe as much as you can. A Real Book is a must-have as well.
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Old 01-17-2013, 01:25 AM   #10
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Just play Confirmation, Stella by Starlight, and Misty and be done with it.

It's standard practice in auditions to arrange a chord melody for jazz ballads on guitar. You should be able to comp and play the heads for the faster tunes, and be able to improvise -at least- over the mid-tempo.

Showing that you're actually interested in the very traditional musical institution of Jazz is what's expected. You need to demonstrate that you 1) can read, hear, and understand music, 2) are comfortable improvising, and 3) have a serious interest in the musical area you want to study.

If you're auditioning for a real music program, you should spend at least a few months preparing. Many students spend a year or more preparing their audition pieces with instructors.

And demonstrating interest is really important - have favorite players or influences; have something to say about yourself and your relationship with music.
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Old 01-17-2013, 10:56 PM   #11
Austindicola
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Angusman60
If it were me, I would stick to the Real Book standards. I get your wanting for exploration, but, playing something standard with high proficiency gives them a better scale to judge by. Besides, if you are wanting the study jazz guitar, that is the literature you'll need to know, anyway.



Very true. I'll admit, if I do get in, I'm going to have a hard time with everything, but I haven't had much opportunity to develop jazz skills in the short time I've been interested. Thanks for replying!
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Old 01-17-2013, 11:01 PM   #12
Austindicola
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdgraves
Just play Confirmation, Stella by Starlight, and Misty and be done with it.

It's standard practice in auditions to arrange a chord melody for jazz ballads on guitar. You should be able to comp and play the heads for the faster tunes, and be able to improvise -at least- over the mid-tempo.

Showing that you're actually interested in the very traditional musical institution of Jazz is what's expected. You need to demonstrate that you 1) can read, hear, and understand music, 2) are comfortable improvising, and 3) have a serious interest in the musical area you want to study.

If you're auditioning for a real music program, you should spend at least a few months preparing. Many students spend a year or more preparing their audition pieces with instructors.

And demonstrating interest is really important - have favorite players or influences; have something to say about yourself and your relationship with music.


I'm just worried about boring the "judge" with stuff he/she has heard a million times over. But I totally understand your point. I'll be totally honest with you, by no means can I comp, and improvisation is no where near good on my end. I'm not fit for any lead role, but I'm hoping I can be given a lower position that will help me develop. I'm definitely not cut out for any lead roles, and even jazz rythym is something new to me. Either way, I want to try, because I am serious about this. I'm more then ready to be turned down, but there's no reason for me not to try. My guitar teacher told me that when he went to Berklee, they would assign the player to different levels based on what that player's strengths and weaknesses are. I'm not expecting to get in, but who knows. Thanks for you time!
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Old 01-18-2013, 12:32 AM   #13
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You will not bore the judge with standards; it really is what they want to hear. The task of an audition is to demonstrate competence and potential, not showcase your limitations with the style. Trying to avoid jazz "cliches" will only highlight your discomfort with the standard practices and fundamental sound of jazz, when your goal should be the opposite: to sound as generically "jazz" as possible.

Sounding like generic jazz is important especially for ensemble playing because it's far better to blend in boringly than to stick out for any reason.
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Old 01-18-2013, 09:56 AM   #14
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If you play standards and do them well, you'll definitely get in!
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Old 01-19-2013, 02:50 PM   #15
Austindicola
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Thanks a ton guys, I'll put more attention into learning the standards then, I'll ditch the sting song. All I know right now is The Girl From Ipanema, which I will do. I will count that as a ballad, so I still need to find an up-tempo song, and a mid-tempo song. When listening to the tracks on youtube it's pretty hard to see how guitar can even be used in any of them, but I suppose it can be done. Thanks again everyone!
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Old 01-19-2013, 03:09 PM   #16
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For mid to fast tempo, Sunny would be a good one. It's classed as a standard, but in a way it's kind borderline jazz-funk in some ways.

The melody is played in octaves. So if you play those octaves using your thumb, they'll think you've been influenced by Wes Montgomery... well, maybe not but, you know...
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Old 01-19-2013, 03:22 PM   #17
Austindicola
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Originally Posted by mdc
For mid to fast tempo, Sunny would be a good one. It's classed as a standard, but in a way it's kind borderline jazz-funk in some ways.

The melody is played in octaves. So if you play those octaves using your thumb, they'll think you've been influenced by Wes Montgomery... well, maybe not but, you know...



Thanks, the chords are really simple in this one! I only have till the end of the month so I think I need to focus on simpler things like this. Huge help, thanks again, I'm like to add this as the mid-tempo song for my audition CD.
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Old 01-19-2013, 06:24 PM   #18
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Np. It's essentially just a minor blues, nail those turnarounds. Don't be afraid to add extensions to chords and experiment with how heavily you can alter the V.

Ipanema is a nice one. I'd play that with your thumb and fingers, personally, to try and capture that bossa feel.

Last edited by mdc : 01-19-2013 at 06:26 PM.
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Old 01-20-2013, 02:52 AM   #19
Austindicola
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Originally Posted by mdc
Np. It's essentially just a minor blues, nail those turnarounds. Don't be afraid to add extensions to chords and experiment with how heavily you can alter the V.

Ipanema is a nice one. I'd play that with your thumb and fingers, personally, to try and capture that bossa feel.


Definitely, I'll try to make some chords dominant and whatnot.

And that's exactly how I play The Girl From Ipanema, thumb on the bass, and three fingers on the other chord notes. Same picking pattern too, with proper mutings and everything. I'm very comfortable with it
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Old 01-21-2013, 05:36 PM   #20
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it is ironic indeed...trying to define "jazz" .. yet I have seen sting do some of his work with a jazz feel...he even did 'roxanne" in a soft jazz feel..

and again..jazz is in the ear of the listener..miles davis did "time after time" (a cindi loper tune..and made it work...but its miles davis...

if you continue to study jazz and it becomes you .. all music can be jazz ..check joni mitchell...

jimi Hendrix ..jazz?? (I think he played jazz ...had he lived where would he be today..ahhh)

play well

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