Jazz Band BS - Jemsite
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-07-2009, 05:29 PM Thread Starter
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Jazz Band BS

I am a junior in high school. I have been enrolled in the Jazz Ensemble class (guitar player for rythm section) for the last two years, which I had to try out for. I have improved a ton by learning to read from very little music knowledge and my skills have increased immensly. This year I tried out and was suprised to hear that the teacher was taking another kid instead of me! Apparently, a freshman was chosen! The audition consisted of a take home piece and a few parts to cite read. I practiced the jazz/blues stuff on the take home sheet and got it down. I do not take lessons or play another instrument so my cite reading was not very fast. I found out that the other kid cite read better than me and was chosen for the next year. I can definetly understand that he beat me under cite reading, (he plays clarinet) but technically he literally looks like a little kid to me. My shred and accuracy skills are very high and I can learn almost anything. I've improvised on many solos during performances and really brought some cool licks to fit into the songs. This kid has zero improvision skills.

Since I am more of a Vai/ Petrucci follower I have other interests and Jazz is not my listening type, I wasn't completely crushed. It just is pretty degrading considering I am one of the top 3 best players in the whole school. Another thing that really got to me was that the day before, during a guitar 2 class, (same teacher) my friend and I played stream of consciousness as a playing test. I played lead, and my friend played rhythm. We played to up after the first melodic solo by petrucci, NOTE FOR NOTE. We nailed it, and yet, he decides to take the clarinet player/guitar player for his rythm section in the jazz band. What a *****.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-07-2009, 05:44 PM
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Re: Jazz Band BS

Sight reading is a really important skill in a more formal band situation. If this kid is better than you in this key area, the teacher has got a valid reason. If you're relying on the fact that your "shred and accuracy" skills are very high, then it might be that you're not necessarily fitting in with what the teacher has in mind for the band as a whole.

It really sucks to be replaced but don't think of it as you not being good enough at sight reading for the jazz band. Think of it as the jazz band not being free form enough for you

It might be that Allan Holdsworth might not have got that gig either
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-07-2009, 05:51 PM
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Re: Jazz Band BS

Don't worry, many of us have probably had our musical woes in high school. Our school built a really nice studio a few years ago, but it's run like a joke. We have this one "music" teacher who manages our school's acapella group, so when the studio was built, the ignorant administration just assumed that the guy knows everything there is about music, including recording and producing. The reality, though, is that the guy doesn't know much about music at all (he thinks that there is no flat third in the minor pentatonic) much less recording. He wasted $30,000 on sound treatment, only to realize he messed up and had to do it all over again. In actuality, the people who donated the money for the studio are quite angry, because they were under the impression that the money would have provided for both a studio AND a new recording/producing teacher. But now this guy runs it, and it's a disaster...

Anyways, he also runs our "studio band," which I was a part of in the 10th grade. We each got to pick a song to rehearse and record for the CD at the end of the year. I can tell though that this guy doesn't like hard rock. He's a big Beatles, Grateful Dead (yuck), Bob Dylan, etc. fan, so when I wanted to play something a little more hard rock (not necessarily "shred," just hard rock like UFO, Purple, etc...), he scoffed. There's a reason music is being run down these days. Even many schools that still have music programs still have bad teachers.

The best thing you can do is just do something really well outside of school and let them eat their words.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-07-2009, 07:37 PM
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Re: Jazz Band BS

Originally Posted by waylay00 View Post

The best thing you can do is just do something really well outside of school and let them eat their words.
Go solo. You get these kinds of issues with bands out of school too!

If I hear the term musical differences one more time........
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-07-2009, 09:59 PM
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Re: Jazz Band BS

Hey man don't worry about it. In high school I was always being laughed at and had jokes made about me because of the jazz band guitarists. They thought they were so great and on and on. I admit my attitude was bad too right back at them. But as you keep learning guitar and as you grow up you realize it's not a competition. You may have to compete to get a gig but it's not really a "who's better thing," it's a who right for the part thing, and for your band teacher he needs someone who can read quickly. Or maybe he wanted to give the kid an opportunity.

It's good your not too worried about it so just let it go. Your favorite guitarists probably weren't their school's Jazz band's guitarists. You just need to study the insrument and play with as many people you can in all the styles you can and eventually you'll be at a level where you aren't having to sweat any gigs.

As for me many of the guys I used to compete with have either quit playing guitar bcause of other things or when I see them (well I don't now cause im in Japan) they are cool with me and just like any guy on the forum. Many of them have asked me to jam and to hang out. I got over my arrogance too. I had to really fight hard to get over the same type of thing you are dealing with but it's cool now. You know, thinking that someone isn't as good as you and some ttimes being right yet still losing out on a gig. I just had to learn that guitar is fun period, wether or not I'm the most amazing guitarist around.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-07-2009, 10:48 PM
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Re: Jazz Band BS

Drop out.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-08-2009, 06:22 AM
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Re: Jazz Band BS

I wouldn't sweat it. I can read music but my sight reading sucks. I lost a gig because of it once, too. Rejection comes with the territory. Just appreciate the times when things go well. High school barely prepares you for one of life's most important lessons: that life isn't fair. Just pick yourself up and keep going.
Music is something you do to make yourself happy. It's not about competition or one-upping someone. Do it because you like it!
OK, after-school special over!
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-08-2009, 06:40 AM
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Re: Jazz Band BS

if high school taught me one thing...

it's that life is full of *******s, stupidity, dishonesty and a whole load of similar things. it's kind of off topic, but it developed this sense of "well, **** em, i'll do what i want my way" in me.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-08-2009, 07:47 AM
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Re: Jazz Band BS

I played in Jazz Band too. Wasn't at all jazzy, thank God, as I don't care that much for jazz. It was more classic rock and 50's rock than anything else. I'd hardly get upset for not getting in the class either. Sounds like most high school music teachers are a bunch of tools. Mine was too. I did it to screw off for an hour.

Don't sweat it. It's nothing. You could form a band and call it the "Real Jazz Band" with fellow students. Do it after school. You can get permission to form a group like this and get space provided to you at school to practice if you go to your principle and detail it out. Perhaps the reason is to give others that don't take band that would like to be involved musically a chance to play in a group. Do you have a music club there? If not, this could be it. You could run it. You could form a group of guitars, drums, strings, woodwinds, horns, select music, practice it after school at school, play it at school functions. Play the Star Spangled Banner at games. Play for a school dance.

Now that would really be slapping the music teacher square in the face. It would also so leadership on your part. And everyone might think, "Why is this music club so much better than the Jazz Band?"

Just a thought.

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-08-2009, 08:57 AM
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Re: Jazz Band BS

You should just start an amazing rock/metal/anything you like band and laugh at the kids who still have to play something boring while you're playing unacompanied solos with girls throwing their bras at you. You can even get a cool honeywell fan to always blow your hair during a solo.
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-08-2009, 10:33 AM
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Re: Jazz Band BS

Think of it this way, maybe the teacher decided the freshman need more guidance than you did, so he chose him because the band would benefit the other player more. If you take it as a strictly, "Who is the better musician?" question, then maybe you are the better musician. Take it as a "Who does the band experience benefit more?" question, then maybe the other kid is the obvious answer.

If the band is just there to play some music and nothing else, then better musicians should get the gig 100% of the time. If the band is there to better budding musicians, then sometimes giving the gig to the less accomplished musician is the wiser choice. If the choice is between someone who'll really grow as a musician from the experience or a guy who'll never break a sweat and not learn anything, I think the responsibility is to the former. Maybe you were too good for the band. That happens too, trust me.

At any rate wish the kid luck with a smile and put it behind you.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-11-2009, 04:31 PM
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Re: Jazz Band BS

Kiss his girlfriend.
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-11-2009, 09:19 PM
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Re: Jazz Band BS

that really sucks. I'd go for improv in a jazz band over sight reading anyday. If it was orchestral that'd be another story.

I got kicked off the air at my high school's radio station for playing Cannibal Corpse's "Death Walking Terror" due to a letter from a local church....long story but i was reinstated after a few weeks.... kind of off topic but high school seems to suck for almost everyone.

I'd try to outdo him in some way if I were you. Maybe you guys can do a Macchio/Vai type shred off?
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-13-2009, 08:07 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Jazz Band BS

Thanks guys! Your comments reinsure my worries. I talked to the guy and he said that the main reason was because I didnt take private lessons, like every other kid in the band. I told him I get my lessons from Paul Gilbert. :P AS the other kids in the band found out their jaws dropped. They couldnt believe that I could kicked out, especially since every time the rhythm section quiets and I come in with a solo, they were all amazed. Even going to the class now, (the semester isnt over yet) I always blow them away with a couple runs or sweet soft phrasing. For my final repritore to the music hall at Rock Canyon High School, in the guitar class my friend and I are playing Stream of Consciousness, Home, and For The Love of God. If he cant realize what he's lost now, hes just like every other idiot that fails to appreciate these gods for who they are.
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