Weekend Picks

Sorry for missing the last couple of weekends, but if you’re looking for some music related stuff to visit around the web, here are my weekend picks.

Are you a trombonist working on solo repertoire, like the Hindemith Sonata, Creston Fantasy, or Larsson Concertino? You might want to practice with an accompanist, but it can be expensive to practice a lot with a quality pianist. Laine Lee has got you covered, with free downloadable midi files of the accompaniment parts for those pieces – and several others. Thanks, Laine!

Do you like Latin music? Me too. Would you like to learn more about the musicians and development of the diverse musical styles that fall under the umbrella of “Latin music?” Check out Latin Music USA and watch this great PBS documentary.

Have you ever hear been at a jazz club and heard the following conversation?

Hey, man. Hip that crazy chick over there.

Yeah, I’m dig.

Don’t embarrass yourself at your next jazz gig. Learn to speak jive.

Lastly, you should take a few minutes and learn a little bit about Carol Kaye.  You may not know her name, but you probably have heard her play bass. It’s unfortunate that the full documentary was never made.

Got a cool music related link? Post it in the comments or drop me a line.

Weekend Picks

It’s Friday. Here are some random music related things around the web to educate and amuse you.

Are you a classical music fan? If so, embrace your inner geek and thrill in the 10 Geekiest Moments In Classical Music. Did they miss any that you think should have made the list?

Are you a jazz musician? How many tunes do you know? Does it take you a long time to learn new tunes? Eric has some advice on How To Completely Learn a Jazz Melody In 30 Minutes.

Do you ever feel like you spin your wheels in a practice session? Annie Murphy Paul wrote about the Myth of ‘Practice Makes Perfect’.

Finally, take a look at my next practice project, Etude 6.

Weekend Picks

It’s Friday, so I’ll share some more bookmarks of random music related stuff around the net.

For an online, freely editable database of trumpet exercises, visit the Trumpet Exercise Database. It includes warmups, warm downs, flexibility, endurance, scales, etudes, and more.

Are you looking for a fancy online pitch pipe? Check out the Virtual Piano.

Joe Jackson played trombone for Maynard Ferguson, played lead trombone with the Airmen of Note from 1991 to 2011. He also served as the Airmen of Note’s music director from 2004 to 2011. He knows a few things about how to be a good bandleader.

Do you know “The Lick?” If not, watch this video and learn in all 12 keys.

Weekend Picks

Here’s another link dump of music related stuff on the web for your surfing pleasure this weekend.

The Many Killers of the Music Industry, by Tim Cushing writing for TechDirt. It’s in two parts, The Analog Era and The Digital Era.

Looking for a pithy quote from a jazz musician to win that online argument you’ve been having? Look no further, you can find it here“What I’m dealing with is so vast and great that it can’t be called the truth. It’s above the truth.” – Sun Ra

Are you a contemporary classical composer and need to put together a composer’s statement? Don’t fret, you can use the The Contemporary Classical Composer’s Bullshit Generator to throw one together in no time. “Unlike traditional improvisations, I aim to develop illusions, including a highly polyrhythmic arrangement that explores all notions of progressive noises.”

And lastly, take a few minutes and watch the story of Harry, a racist barber in the 1930s whose life changes after the arrival of  a magical trumpet.

Swing of Change from Swing of Change on Vimeo.

Jazz on the Muppets

I was recently reminded about all the great jazz artists that appeared on the Muppet Show. They had their own Muppet Orchestra, of course, but I haven’t found a definitive list yet of who most of the sound track musicians were. Some of those muppet studio musicians had to play with some great jazz musicians. How would you like to be Ronnie Verrell, who plays Animal’s drum parts and have to drum battle with Buddy Rich?

Frank Reidy supposedly played a lot of the saxophone and clarinet parts for the Muppet Show. He got to follow Dizzy Gillespie’s trumpet solo on Swing Low Sweet Cadillac.


And while not really an example of burning jazz playing, the Sax and Violence sketch from the Muppet Shows reminds me of the Dizzy Gillespie’s bit with his  big band performance of Doodlin‘ at the Newport Jazz Festival in 1957.


Then there’s this version the Muppet Orchestra did of the jazz standard, Honeysuckle Rose. While the buzzing gets annoying to me, the interplay between bass and sax is fun and I like how the bassist covers the melody at times.

There are other children’s television shows I can think of that often featured jazz or other art music. What are some of the ones you can think of? Post your YouTube links below if you can find them.


Last week I got an email from a graduate student looking for help with a reference I made in one of my blog posts. Since the specific quote itself was by a humorist, not a musicologist, I recommended he find another source. His response was the humor was ok in “Academia” and would I please send him the page number to complete his citation. Unfortunately, he seemed to miss my other point – you should always go to the original source and confirm that what you’re reading is accurate. This xkcd cartoon offers a perfect illustration for why.

xkcd: Citogenesis

While I would like to imagine that my writing is a good resource, I wouldn’t recommend anyone cite this blog or any of my quotations without verifying the information. Even in those areas where I have some academic expertise I like to recommend that everyone not take my word for indisputable fact, but do your own research and look for yourself.

Find Your Double C

My apologies for the unexpected outage these last few days. Things seem to be back to normal now. To cheer you up, here’s some advice from Jeff Curnow on how to find your double C. “So easy, even a child can do it.”

Happy Spring 2013 Semester

Today is the first day of my spring semester of 2013. To celebrate, here’s a link dump of some very scholarly resources to start your semester off right.

Conductor cards, collect your favorites.

Trying to Get Good, trailer for a Jack Sheldon documentary (PG13 humor in there, you’ve been warned).

Whitney Music Box, a musical realization of the motion graphics of John Whitney as described in his book “Digital Harmony”

Watch a Trombonist’s Shockwave, “Musicians sitting in front of the trombone or trumpet have suffered from these shock waves.”

Simulated Guitar String Oscillations, what happens when you video your guitar strings from the inside with a cell phone camera?

Rachmaninov Had Big Hands, how is a small handed pianist able to cope?

John Swana Hits a Triple C!!! and he makes it look so easy.

Good luck to all students and teachers out there with your semester!

Jack Teagarden’s Water Glass Trick

Here’s a YouTube video I recently came across showing trombonist Jack Teagarden performing his water glass trick. He removes his trombone slide and uses the water glass as a replacement to the bell.

Try it out on your own. It’s not as easy as he makes it look.