Road Maps and rehearsals.
Important Dates & Info 2015
I'm very excited about sharing our music at the NIFPA festival in February, the songs are sounding great. I've included a bonus listening exercise at the bottom of the post, as well as a video of the guitar transition in Ya Khotiv Bi. If I missed anything here, or if you have questions please feel free to email me.
This week we looked at how to write an arrangement roadmap, this is an extremely important and useful skill for all levels of musicians. Writing down a roadmap allows you to review the arrangement a before a performance and run through, and gives you a quick reminder during the show. Roadmaps prevent simple mistakes and missed entrances, they are each personalized to your own role in the song.
For example MY road maps look like this:
This is the information I use to get through each piece & to queue each part in, there is a lot of info that you individually don't need, and probably shouldn't write down. Take some time this week to review your roadmaps, if there are any parts you are unsure of, make a note and confirm them next week with me or the rest of your section. Erase any parts that are not necessary, don't assume you'll remember everything.
READ THIS FIRST, then listen.
I've got a couple of recordings that Wendy caught of our rehearsal last night. Before you listen to them I want you to read this next part and follow the instructions.
-the recording device was right in front of the accordions and me.... they aren't actually that loud... and I promise to sing normally not in a cartoon voice.
- Listen as if you aren't the one playing. If this was a recording that a friend presented to you and wanted your input, think of how you would listen and react. Would you focus on every little mistake they made? Would you criticize their performance? or would you listen for what they have done well, and offer positive feed back and a few bits of advice. As you listen to these I'd like you to find 2 things that we did well AS A GROUP, and ONE thing that we should focus in on AS A GROUP in the next rehearsal. Write these things down. I'll be asking you to share them next week.
I call this exercise "two stars and a wish"
We did _____________well
We did _____________well
We could work on doing _____________________better
do this for each recording.
- Another good exercise is to follow your road maps as you listen, and answer these questions:
Did we loose are way at any point? where? How can you help prevent this?
Did we get all of our entrances tidy? if not, make a note of the tricky ones, and practice those transitions.
What are the other instruments doing while you play the ______part? are you playing an accompaniment part? or a melody? should you be loud or soft? which is the most important instrument group at that moment?
Which parts do you need to work on?
which ones did you do well?
Guitar Ya Khotiv
This video is for the guitar players to help get the transition of Ya khotiv Bi solid... in it I run through a couple quick exercises, if you do these just a couple times through every day I guarantee that you'll have a much easier time, and I won't have to shout out oom pah pah room pah!
Bonus listening exercise
grab a piece of paper and an implement of writing.
your task is to write down as many different instruments you hear, as well as parts. Just label them, you don't actually need to write out the parts them selves, just acknowledge that they are there.
for instance, if a trumpet line comes in part way through the song and plays a bunch of wild notes I would write down: "Crazy Trumpet" "Crazy tpt"
once you've heard & noted that the part exists, move on to another instrument part "bass boogie" "Rain Guitar"... if the trumpet decides to calm down or changes its part note that too: "sweet tpt"
You may end up listening through each tune a couple of times. Even if the songs I have chosen here aren't really your cup of tea its still a good exercise to listen out of your comfort zone. There are 2 very different soundscapes represented here.
Ya Khotiv Bi, E harmonic Minor
Out of business sounded amazing on Tuesday Folks! The arrangement has really come together. Your homework on it is to write yourself a 2 bar riff, same amount of time as: ( Sorry, I'm out of Business ). So that we can do a riff tag solo.
Next week we will arrange Ya Khotiv bi, and collect our pseudo russian/ukrainian lyrics.
Also, if you get a chance, take a listen to Oh Susanna and Everything is free, to get an idea of the other options for festival. The MP3s are at the bottom of the post.
Here's Gillian Welch doing everything is free: www.youtube.com/watch?v=wFle2YoQwWg
North Island festival is on Feb 7, 6:30 pm at the Old Church Theatre in Courtenay.
Ya Khotiv Bi was partially inspired by the sound track of Everything Is Illuminated. Here's a little taste of the real thing, for inspiration and enjoyment.
Out of Business - New Business
I'm trying something new here in hopes that it will help me get the MP3s and Handouts out to you faster. Updating this blog will be easier than sorting out email lists remotely.
Last week (Jan 6th) we worked on a 2 chord western swing tune called Out of Business, by Little Jimmy Dickens
I've introduced a new variation on the intro, featuring the fiddles. We also worked on harmonizing the Chorus, adding 2 harmony parts (one above the melody and one below).
We also worked through the worksheet: Intro to improvising with the G Major Pentatonic scale,