#1
Ok, well I've decided that after my extra year of high school I'm going to go to McGill for my major/graduate thing, whatever.

Now, I know I have to learn upright, or at least I know will have to change when I join the school. SO far what I've heard is it's ok to send in a tape of electric, but I'm not sure.

Now, Im actually pretty confused in general about this, but I'm attempting to understand it.

I was mainly wondering what should be something good to send in to the school, to earn myself an audition?

I have no idea where to start. I really don't think something cliche like Portrait of Tracey will impress them enough (they must get tons of applications with that song). What would be good for an audition? I assume something jazz/classical would be fitting, but I saw nothing barring original work (maybe I'll try writing some jazz lines).

I know this is coming off really oddly, but I'm rater flustered about this. My mind is set on this school, and I think if I have some direction, my chances of being accepted drastically improve.

MY question is generally stated to those who know something about McGill, or who have gone there, but anyone is welcome to advise me on it.

I really need help with this, so any advice will seriously help.

***keep in mind my entire life is involved here. My wonderful, wonderful future. This isn't just a regualr thread. It drips with need and seriousness ***

TL;DR - Please help me get accepted to McGill
#2
I've never been to McGill, but as a person who grew up in/around Montreal, Ive visited the school, and know some about the school. Firstly, you're going to want to go towards Jazz. McGill is known for jazz. Try something, challenging, but not to the point where it's just bare technical licks.You're going to want style, technique, and you've got to be great at it. Also, I've looked into music at McGill, and you're best off being prepared for a listening and theory exam. Most music programs call for a ear training exam. Also, DO NOT IMPROVISE. They want to know how well you can interpret a piece, not how flashy you can be. And this way, you're going to cut out many useless mistakes. As for a song, i'd suggest something in the direction of Charles Mingus.
#3
How exactly does an ear training exam go?
I've heard of them, but more or less for classes or exams not auditions.
MY ear is not bad, but more than anything I'd think it a lower point than my theory or playing ability.
#4
They are a Jazz school and they frown upon improvising? wtf?

TS. I wouldn't worry about it. My best advise is to train hard and learn on your own instead of going to this place. Go to an acedemic school and get a degree in something non music related while keeping up on your music and playing skills, that way by the end you will have two specialties instead on one. Playing real music can't be taught through class rooms, proffesors and textbooks, it can only be taught from your heart and mind, they just want your money. Do you think Jaco went to a music university?
Last edited by Randy Bobandy at Aug 21, 2008,
#5
Well, I must disagree.
Some of the greatest minds go to music schools, and I truly think it will help. If I go to one of these schools, my chances of improving and creating a career out this increases drastically. Where I live now (thunder bay, ontario) there is no music scene besides emo, and there is absolutely no chance of creating anything remotely jazz-like here. It's pathetic.
You can be taught music. Maybe not how to ultimately create it and think about it, but you learn so much when like-minded people gather together. Composition, harmonies, ideas one never would really think of.

That is one of the main reasons I want to go.
Either way, I just need advice to get it. I've already wrestled with the idea of whether or not it's worth going to school.

But thanks anyways for the advice
#6
^Man, oh man, you remind me of Robin Williams in that August Rush movie. As excruciatingly ignorant as that comment was, I'm going to leave it be.

As for ear training, I'm not sure how McGill specifically does it, but a lot of times they're playing chords you have to identify or scales as well as melodies and that kind of thing you're to transcribe. A tip for music school: if you can sing and play piano at least somewhat proficiently it's so much easier, at least that's what I've heard.

As for the Jaco thing: times have changed. Jaco lived in a time where there were gigs abound for difficult music. The time of complex or skill-testing music being culturally relevant has pretty much gone. That's where Jaco had his education, but it's not as likely to happen now.
#7
He did sound like Williams, didn't he?

Anyways, any advice on how to identify chords or melodies? I can sing somewhat well (only as a pastime) but my piano skills are limited. Do you have to out of thin air name it, or do you get the chance to work it out on an instrument, in general?

And of course, I figure a good jazz tune or two would work out well. I might be best off playing electric for the tape, because I have still yet to own an upright or get a teacher for it (resources are soooo limited here). I figure jazz standards are way too common, and I have to make myself stand out to earn an audition.
#8
good-ear.com <--- All of your ear training needs

As for how the tests are actually done, I have no idea, it'll be different for every situation.

For the actual tape itself, jazz standards may be a good idea, because the teachers will all know them and then if you do a really good job or interpret it well you might score points. That's all up to you and what you think will be best.

The other advice I have: get a double bass, NOW! Beg, borrow and steal enough cash to rent one. It doesn't have to be nice, it doesn't have to sound good. All it has to have is a bow, some rosin and strings. The upright bass is a very difficult instrument. I also REALLY recommend a private teacher for at least the basics. Your electric knowledge will serve you well beyond the beginning level, but the intonation and technique of an upright will be the real bear for you, which is best learned with a teacher.

Trust me, I just spent a year playing the upright bass with monthly lessons, however the lessons weren't really in basic techniques, but more advanced playing ideas that I already new from electric. I thought i was okay, but then I came home with it this summer and realized I'm TERRIBLE at the instrument. It is such a technical instrument and you need that guidance for beginning technique.
#9
Any idea as to what to look for in an upright?
I know nothing about brands or real quality, etc.
So far, I think $1000 can is for the lowest of the low.
What's a decent price, because I hear $6000+
If I'm getting an upright, I want one that will last me throughout school, and hopefully beyond, and be worthwhile.
I'm not looking for the Squire of uprights, basically.
#10
I'm thinking feel and sound and durability, just like an electric.
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#11
would it be better to perform as part of a group, featuring me, or to just do a solo piece alone?
I figure if I tried composing a bit of jazz it might look good on my part. Or, even if I just did a standard, to outline the progression, as I tend to write leads or melodies more than typical basslines. Maybe a lead-style bassline.