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Thread: Big Band audition at junior college

  1. #1

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    Post Big Band audition at junior college

    So I thought I had a good chance at landing it. The initial part of the audition went well because it was just the instructor on piano while I went through the charts. Samba chart, bossa, shuffle. But, of course some kid shows up in the second part of the audition (to sit in with the horn section) who boasts having 3 top-notch instructors, a history of education in march band/ensemble work, and Disneyland band experience. There it goes.
    Plus, this brat talked sh*t on the vet who was the bands official drummer! No respect, no talent, I thought to myself. I got the chance to talk with the main drummer after class (nobody else bothered to even say thanks) and it was a great pleasure to hear his stories about the "good ol' days" being in the moments of history at the Apollo and meeting the great drummers we all look up to from the swing era.
    So, what's my question? I need some help on what books, tips, and practice methods I should consider to becoming a much better swing drummer while being able to know the ins-n-outs of charts upon first reading with less trouble. I've next to no experience in a big band setting but my reading skills are O.K., I've been reading music for the last year, and I've been playing on/off for over a decade with rock/funk/hip-hop. I want to hear other stories of how people got alot better at playing in ensembles and swing bands. Also, I just wanted to vent about kids coming up as musicians today and not giving a toss about who made it even remotely possible for kids today to mimic the great players of the past.
    Thanks for your time guys.

  2. #2

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    Default Re: Big Band audition at junior college

    Welcome to our family PT. Yea, some guys just shoot off at the mouth without any respect. Respect is the name of the game here at Drum Chat so you should fit right in here.

    I would recommend immersing yourself in the style of swing. Buy the music and listen to it daily. Steve Houghton has a good book with CD and charts covering swing drumming. Steve is one of the best in the business and has played with numerous artists through the years as well as taught at many noted schools.

    If you live and breathe swing and just start sitting in with bands and getting your feet wet, you'll do just fine. It will take a little time to get used to but you'll get it. Concentrate on the swing ride pattern. Swing drumming is centered there and branches out... unlike rock/pop/funk drumming where it goes from the bottom up. Also, swing drumming pushes a bit. It's on the top edge of the beat as opposed to "on" or slightly behind the beat like in some styles. So if you don't play on the top of the beat the other musicians will give you looks. To them, you're dragging. Make sense?

    Good luck and welcome again.
    - Tom

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  3. #3

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    Default Re: Big Band audition at junior college

    Swind Drumming by Charlie Wilcoxen. Check out these ole timers. Louie Belson, Buddy Rich, Don Lamond, Gene Kruppa etc.

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