This étude book has two different sections. First five études are built on developing ideas from the chromatic scale using shapes and rhythms to codify a structure like development.
The second part of the book contains etudes built of smaller ideas that go through all keys. This helps in hearing intervals which is so valuable for improvisation.
Each of these 25 études for saxophone were created from one compositional approach or device. Whether it be a pentatonic scale, note cell or modes of limited transposition the idea of developing from a single ‘thing’ makes for fun collection of études.
A soloist can create an entire performance from the various études in this offering.
Flag waiver. Sections of the band trade ‘fours’ with each other with a fun shout. Challenging but doable sax melody, nobody gets hurt. Bb Rhythm changes in the solo section. Grade 4ish.
New Orleans Second Line drumming groove. Big fun. One scale fits over the solo section, make your soloists famous! Ha! If the drummer understands the style the chart takes off. A great opportunity for brass soloists to try out their plunger technique! Chart is not rangy. Solos can be played by anyone.
Old standard done in a swing style with some simple counterpoint and simple tutti moments. Chord changes makes it sound harder than it actually is. Solos can be done with one scale. Not rangy. Solos can be played by anyone.
Medium up waltz. Light brisk tight melody. Very playable. Solo section can be played on one scale or a more advanced soloist may chose to grab more of the changes. Not rangy. Solos can be played by anyone.
7/4 never grooved so hard! A repeating bass pattern along with a ‘Birdland type’ drum groove keeps this chart chugging along nicely. Solo section uses one scale for anyone who wants to give it a try. Designed in the way where the soloist doesn’t worry about the 74 groove. The cued solo backgrounds act as an ‘alert’ letting the soloist know when it’s time to wrap up. An exciting chart that finishes with a quick, tight ending.
Side Effects is an experimental, non-tonal swinging experience. The solo section can use the chromatic scale. This is not for beginners, however, intermediate/advanced players can have a lot of fun with this. The chart swings along nicely but never settles in any particular key. Contemporary compositional techniques are used that keep the tune sounding unique which is what makes it fun. It’s easier to play than it sounds.
From Maynard Ferguson’s ‘Footpath Cafe’ album. It’s a screaming up tempo ‘I Got Rhythm’ composition. Open solos and challenging ensemble. This is an advanced chart though it’s the tempo that makes the simple rhythms sound harder than they are. (It’s a writing trick).
The whole tune is in Phrygian. Sort of a funk/march that can become whatever your drummer settles on. It’s a lot of Phrygian so by the end of it you’ll feel as if you were in a bullfighting area. Solo is on one scale and there is a lot of safety in numbers writing going on. Some fun rhythms for horns.
Brass Quintet interpretation of Rome Italy. There are 5 movements and everyone gets equal billing. Gladiators, Trevi Fountain, Driving, Sistine Chapel and Circus Maximus. Publisher rates this a grade 5. Take a trip to the Eternal City.
Accessible clarinet duets below the ‘break’. Might as well have some fun before dealing with the ever dreaded ‘break’ on the clarinet. Simple rhythms and catchy lines.
A Concert Band composition that captures the mood, reverence and stillness of Arlington cemetery. The embedded development of the ‘Taps’ theme is prevalent throughout, signaling an ending of farewell. Features trumpet soloists while not being difficult or rangy. Every player is in a comfortable range supporting contemporary restful harmonic exploration over a persistent distant field drum.
Listen below to the United States Army Field Band performing Denis DiBlasio’s ‘Arlington‘ in a summer concert from the west steps of the Capitol Building, Washington, DC.
The classic Tiger Rag for percussion ensemble. Mallets for days! Very melodic, some safety in numbers ensemble writing and a wham bam ending. Experiment with different tempos. It works with almost any reasonable tempo.