Jazz Studies Audition Information


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Marshall University Jazz Studies Audition Requirements

If you have any questions regarding the required material for the jazz audition, (piece specifics, finding copies of the required music, etc) please contact Dr. Martin Saunders.

Undergraduate

Jazz Instrumentalists (non-rhythm section & vibraphone)
  • Perform 12 Major scales, two octaves, up and down.
  • Perform one blues in a key selected by the student. Play the melody and improvise at least one chorus. May use play-along recording. Suggested blues include C Jam Blues, Straight No Chaser, Now’s the Time, Sonnymoon for Two, Billie’s Bounce, etc.
  • Perform the melody and improvise on one jazz standard. May use play-along recording. Suggested standards include Take the A Train, Autumn Leaves, Blue Bossa, Oleo, All The Things You Are, Body and Soul, Summertime, Stella By Starlight, etc.
  • Perform one jazz solo transcription (written out solo performed by a reknowned jazz musician). Solo may be transcribed by student or purchased. Student should consider the style and inflection that is demonstrated by the solo artist.
Jazz Piano & Guitar
  • All requirements as above.
  • Additional requirement: Comp (play harmonies) for one chorus after playing the melody and before soloing.
Jazz Bass
  • All requirements as above.
  • Additional requirement: Walk a bass line for one chorus on the jazz standard after playing the melody and before solo. (Miles Davis’ “So What” is a good jazz standard for bass.)
Jazz Drums
  • Perform a prepared drumset piece:  A big band chart, transcription or published solo. Play-along tracks are preferred.
  • Demonstration of time and soloing in the following styles:
    • Medium Swing @ 140bpm
    • Shuffle (Swing) @ 120bpm
    • Uptempo Swing
    • 1 Latin Groove (Samba, Bossa Nova, Songo, etc.)
    • Rock
  • Snare Drum: One solo or etude from “Portraits in Rhythm” by Anthony Cirone or equivalent

Graduate

Jazz Instrumentalists
  • Scales: Major scales and their derivative modes, Whole tone scales, Diminished scales (half-whole and whole-half), Ascending melodic minor scales and their derivative modes
  • Prepared Literature: Select one tune from each category play the melody (head) and improvise on the chord changes from memory.
    • Bebop Tunes: Confirmation, Donna Lee, Groovin’ High, Half Nelson, Joy Spring, Stablemates
    • Standard Tunes: All The Things You Are, Alone Together, Have You Met Miss Jones?, On Green Dolphin Street, Stella By Starlight, There Will Never Be Another You, What Is This Thing Called Love
    • Post-bop Tunes: Dolphin Dance, Giant Steps, Inner Urge, Moment’s Notice, The Moontrane
  • Sight Reading: Sight-read chord changes as well as typical jazz ensemble parts.

Jazz Drums

  • Perform a prepared drumset piece:  A big band chart, transcription or published solo. Play-along tracks are preferred.
  • Perform a transcribed solo (transcribed by the student) of at least 16 measures. Choose a solo performed by a recognized jazz drumming master.
  • Demonstration of time and soloing in the following styles:
    • Medium Swing
    • Shuffle (Swing)
    • Uptempo Swing
    • Samba
    • Bossa Nova
    • Rock
  •  Vibraphone:
    • Perform 12 Major scales, two octaves, up and down.
    • Perform one blues in a key selected by the student. Play the melody and improvise at least one chorus. May use play-along recording. Suggested blues include C Jam Blues, Straight No Chaser, Now’s the Time, Sonnymoon for Two, Billie’s Bounce, etc.
  • Snare Drum: One solo or etude from Delecluse or equivalent.