Jazz & R&R Horns Session 17

In this Session, we get into conceptualizing an arrangement for trumpet and tenor, backing up a vocal.

It's best to have some concept of how you're going to attack your arrangement before you sit down to write.  I conceptualize a lot when I'm walking my dogs.  I run the tune through my head and try out different ideas for a particular section, like the verse, chorus or bridge.  I may not know what the exact notes are going to be, but I know they will play something short and percussive, or long held notes, or high, low notes, etc.

Depending on length and style of a tune, I don't always write out an emotional or dynamic contour.  But for this session, I wanted to write one out on the board just to show you the idea.  Most of the time, I just imagine it in my head.

It's a little contrary to what you would normally think, but the more defined a piece of music is from the onset, (style, vibe, tempo, instruments, etc) the more freedom you'll feel when writing.  I heard Quincy Jones discuss this very idea when he was on Charlie Rose talking about his studies with the music educator, Nadia Boulanger.

I love reading everyone's comments and questions.