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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
These are the New School's Instrumental proficiency requirements. This is an invaluable guideline for auditioning for a top program and general musicianship. Be patient; it could take years to develop these skills, so don't kill yourself over this.

Note: These are not audition requirements; these are guidelines for students attending the school.

-Bluenote
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INSTRUMENTAL PROFICIENCY
GUITAR
New School University
Jazz and Contemporary Music Program

55 West 13th Street
New York, NY 10011
(212) 229-5896 Ext. 4577
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INSTRUMENTAL PROFICIENCY

The placement criteria described below are the minimum skills that must be developed by a student as a basic instrumental proficiency in the New School Jazz Program. All entering students are evaluated based on these guidelines; the results will affect assignment of the private lesson instructor. Until these skills are developed, the student will work towards mastering them with an assigned teacher deemed most appropriate to the individual's needs. When these skills have been mastered (which can be demonstrated by performance on the proficiency placement evaluation), the student will be allowed to choose an instructor with whom he/she wants to study (dependant on approval by the student's advisor).
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NEW SCHOOL JAZZ PROGRAM
PROFICIENCY REQUIREMENTS FOR ALL MELODIC AND CHORDAL INSTRUMENTS

1. All major scales
2. All minor scales (natural, harmonic, ascending melodic)
3. All (2) whole-tone scales
4. Pentatonic scales
5. Blues scales
6. All diminished scales
7. Chromatic scales
8. Bebop scales (ionian add #5; mixolydian add Maj7; melodic minor add #5; mixolydian b2 b6 add Maj7; dorian add Maj7; locrian add Maj7)

All the above scales in 15 keys (7 sharp keys, 7 flat keys, and the key of C)

9. All dominant 7th, minor 7th, major 7th, half-diminished 7th (minor7 b5), diminished 7th. All inversions
10. Dominant 7th arpeggios chromatically
11. II-V progression arpeggiated from the root
12. II-V pattern chromatically
13. II-V pattern moving up in minor thirds
14. Flat 5 substitutions in all keys (tri-tone substitutions)
15. Scale fragments (i.e. 1231/1235/1b761/1b7b5), played in cycle of 5ths, chromatically, minor 3rds, etc.
16. Scale fragments also applied to II-V progression.
17. Scale fragments combined in the cycle of 5ths

It is in the best interest of students and teachers to apply all of these scales and methods to practical applications of performance.

REPERTOIRE

1. Play "basic blues" in all keys (i.e. Bags Groove, Blues in the Closet, Buzzy, Bluebird, Now's The Time, Cool Blues, Straight No Chaser, and other melodies).
2. Play "Rhythm Changes" in at least three keys.
3. Memorize three jazz standards, other than the blues, which are of a complex nature (i.e. Donna Lee, Confirmation, etc.)
4. Be able to play with other musicians, keeping consistent time, keeping track of song form, and interacting.

PRACTICE

1. Student is shown how to practice
2. Student is shown how to organize his/her material

SIGHT READING
Student's sight reading ability must be at least on the level of the second semester sight-reading level 1 class.

TECHNICAL & PHYSICAL ASPECTS
All instruments have specific physical properties of construction and design that musc be understood and assimilated in order to achieve proficiency. In addition, every instument requires specific physical techniques in order to properly produce sound and achieve a basic ability to play the instrument.
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NEW SCHOOL JAZZ PROGRAM
ADDITIONAL GUITAR PROFICIENCY REQUIREMENTS

1. Have familiarity with entire guitar neck.

2. Be able to play Maj7, dom7, min7, and m7b5 chords, in all inversions of closed position (all 3 string sets), drop 2 (all string sets), and drop 3 (both string sets) voicings.

3. Be able to play diminished, augmented, min/maj7, maj7b5, maj7#5, min7#5, chords with added tensions (9, 11, 13), chords with altered tensions (b9, #9, #11, b13). Be able to play slash chords (i.e. B/F), and chords that fit major and minor modes (i.e. G Phrygian)

4. Have familiarity with intervals, and be able to play them in any position on the guitar neck.

5. Know and be able to play different fingering approaches; different "in-position" fingerings, different techniques of moving horizontally on neck.

6. Be able to play all basic scales and arpeggios in position and also in 3-octave forms.

7. Have proficient, relaxed, and accurate fingerstyle, pick, or both techniques. Be familiar with alternate, consecutive, and economy picking approaches.

8. Be able to play melodies in more than one position on neck, and in different ranges.

9. Be proficient at playing octaves, chord solos, and solo guitar renditions of tunes, interspersing chord melodies, chords, and single-note melodies. Be able to create a simple chord solo spontaneously.

10. Be able to play a walking bass line (on the lower two strings) to blues, rhythm changes, and standard tunes.

11. Be capable of playing with a variety of phrasing: legato or staccato; straight or swinging 8th notes; accented down-beats/ghosted off-beats, accented off-beats/ghosted down-beats.

12. Be able to accompany a vocalist or another instrumentalist.

13. Be capable of improvising a solo on a tune, developing melodic and rhythmic ideas, and playing through harmonic changes.

14. Have connection between ear and guitar sufficiently developed to be able to hear a brief recorded solo passage or a section of melody with changes, and to play them on the guitar.

15. Have ability to transpose a standard tune to another key and play it there.

16. Be able to sight-read a melody as though it were written at guitar octave and as though it were written at concert key octave.
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I took some jazz improv classes on Tenor sax about 10 years ago there (never matriculated, just took classes). It is an unbeleivable school with a great faculty and some talented students. It intimidated the sh*t out of me, but was great learning experience. I'm not sure if he's still there, but at the time Reggie Workman, Coltrane's bassist was on the faculty there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Reggie Workman is the head of the department now. One thing that's not good about the school is the money side of things; they don't give scholarship money to guitar players because there isn't any to give.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
You're partly right, toma, but I think there needs to be a balance. There are two main elemental components of musicianship: art & craft. Both need to be developed in balance, or both areas will lag.
 

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toma said:
sounds too formal for me! music should be whatever you you want it to be, not a structured form (taught how to practice! eurgh!)-would take the fun out of music
Can't agree with that! That's like saying you've learned enough of a foreign language when you can successfully order liquor and food in a restaurant ;) Learning all of the things you can do doesn't limit your fun. It may not be fun to do, but the end is definitely worth attaining. For anyone looking for a shortcut to getting some of these bits under their belts I would highly recommend Jack Zucker's awesome book "Sheets of Sound". It's at sheetsofsound.net (go figure). Jack's a great jazz guitarist who wrote the book for his sons when he got a bad case of carpal tunnel and thought his playing days were over. You'll get 1000 times more technique out of Jack's book than you would from 'Rock Discipline'

jim
 

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Bluenote Soul said:
These are the New School's Instrumental proficiency requirements. This is an invaluable guideline for auditioning for a top program and general musicianship. Be patient; it could take years to develop these skills, so don't kill yourself over this.

Note: These are not audition requirements; these are guidelines for students attending the school.

-Bluenote
I didn't want to repeat the whole thing ;) It gives you the impression that you need to know all of this before you are allowed to pick your teacher, but until you have all of this down pat you'll be in regular classes with assigned teachers. Sounds like a pretty good deal to me!
 

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jim777 said:
Can't agree with that! That's like saying you've learned enough of a foreign language when you can successfully order liquor and food in a restaurant ;) Learning all of the things you can do doesn't limit your fun. It may not be fun to do, but the end is definitely worth attaining. For anyone looking for a shortcut to getting some of these bits under their belts I would highly recommend Jack Zucker's awesome book "Sheets of Sound". It's at sheetsofsound.net (go figure). Jack's a great jazz guitarist who wrote the book for his sons when he got a bad case of carpal tunnel and thought his playing days were over. You'll get 1000 times more technique out of Jack's book than you would from 'Rock Discipline'

jim
Woooohoo hold the phone..You can't think like that. Case and point: My ex-wife was a damn good Jazz bass player, she could read/play anything you put on paper in front of her but once asked to sit in and jam she couldn't do it, she couldn't "Improvise".
I learned by jamming with friends and to jump in, I can write my own songs and improvise. In college I got A's in Advanced music theory but had a ruff go of playing/sight-reading.

Also: My current Girlfriend learned to play guitar via a teacher (picking up all his bad habits too, stiff arm strumming) and learned to play flute on her own. Guess which interment she can improv with?? ;) The flute, she is getting better at improv with guitar with my help.

How does this fit in with your post? People who learn lets say "French" may learn the rules and all but they will lack one very important thing that someone who goes to France will gain over the school taught French person…survey says…..Accent and slang! French people can pick out the school French people from the ones that picked it out of need and then they well reply to the school one in English (which is a insult).

Im not saying you cant pick up useful things from being school taught but given the loss of improv and jamming I will take picking up necessity for when I play I have an accent some school taught do not.
 

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I didn't say you need to know everything there is to know about music to get anything out of it, I said that "music should be whatever you you want it to be, not a structured form" was a bad way to look at music if you want to call yourself a musician. I've known plenty of people who refused to learn any scales or modes at all, because they thought that knowledge would constricted their playing. It's nonsense.
I also wasn't talking about learning on your own or learning in school or comparing one to the other; I was talking about learning and not learning. If you look back at my French quote, I meant "ordering a drink and a sandwich"; the implication isn't you that you will miss out on the intricacies of the local idiomatic slang, it's that you won't be able to carry on a conversation at even the simplest level. You need some study to be a musician, you need to have a clue as to what you're doing. Get it in school, or from a book, from DVD's, or from the walls of a a subway toilet. Where you get it doesn't matter nearly as much as that you get it. That was my point.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
HDS said:
Im not saying you cant pick up useful things from being school taught but given the loss of improv and jamming I will take picking up necessity for when I play I have an accent some school taught do not.
This statement is wrong. If you know anything about the kind of scene this school is a part of, you'll know that it's all about getting together, jamming, and interacting with other amazing players. If you think any respectable teacher at school will tell you not to play with soul or inflection, it would be absurd.
 

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Bluenote Soul said:
This statement is wrong. If you know anything about the kind of scene this school is a part of, you'll know that it's all about getting together, jamming, and interacting with other amazing players. If you think any respectable teacher at school will tell you not to play with soul or inflection, it would be absurd.
Well I can only go by my college cant say anything for this school. My Jazz professor didnt let just jam, can you believe it... no jamming in Jazz??!?!
 
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