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Soul out to me . . .

Student NotesIn order to become accustomed to the form of a song, it is important to practice counting measures is groups of 8 bars (or 12 bars for the blues). It should eventually become second nature for you to be able to intuitively know (feel) when 8 bars have passed in a song (12 bars in a blues). Your assignment over the next few days will be to listen to songs and count their measures. Here is the counting method I want you to use and learn. Beginning with the first full measure you hear, count out loud using the following format:

1, 2, 3, 4
2, 2, 3, 4
3, 2, 3, 4
4, 2, 3, 4
5, 2, 3, 4
6, 2, 3, 4
7, 2, 3, 4
8, 2, 3, 4

Here is a recorded example in Real Audio if you need to hear it. From "History Lesson" by Dave Grusin off the "Happy Anniversary, Charlie Brown" Album.

The very first number above represents the "Measure number" in a group of 8 bars. The second, third, and fourth numbers represent the second, third, and fourth beats for that measure. You will be counting along in rhythm with the song. It is like being the conductor of the song, leading or keeping time for the band.

If possible, listen to songs that are void of singing (instrumental only). Count as many songs as you can. Listen for the "Bridge." It's not important to figure it out exactly for each group, only that you begin practicing to be able to identify each group. The main objective in this lesson is to learn to count 8 bar phrases (or 12 bars in a blues). In the next lesson we will study more forms used in the construction of songs.

Note: As with the previous lesson (number 2), listen to ways that the composer has generated interest for the song by using groupings of 8 (12 in blues) and placing them differently (arranging them) in the song. The arrangements of groupings are an important addition to generating interest in a song as are the use of note articulation, dynamics, cutoffs, and holds.

That is it for this lesson, good job. Is it Bear Hug time again? I think so. Give yourself a big-big hug for a job well done. You are on your way to becoming a Jazz musician. Wow! Cool! Totally!

12 Note Companion
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