Who has played in a straight-ahead combo?

Discussion in 'Band Wagon' started by Califiddler, Jul 23, 2020.

  1. Califiddler

    Califiddler Friend of Leo's

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    I mean something like drums, upright bass, piano, guitar, maybe a horn or two, doing jazz standards out of the Real Book. How did you like it? Was it fun? Thank you!
     
  2. bluebirdrad

    bluebirdrad Tele-Meister

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    I have played with a combo like that doing old jazz standards and 50's and 60's standards. I'm not a jazz player but learned enough chops to get by. Those old songs are really fun to play but a lot of work to learn (for me, anyway). It was a great experience and I learned so much about music and playing the guitar.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2020
  3. dannyh

    dannyh Tele-Afflicted

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    I’ve done it a fair amount, enjoy it, wish I was better at it. It’s not something I’d want to do as my only thing, but it’s a nice change, and you usually encounter great players in that environment. I’d say it’s definitely worth exploring if you have the opportunity.
     
  4. DonM

    DonM Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    When I was in HS my drum instructor used to overbook himself on gigs and would ask me to go fill in for him. A number of them were such gigs. Wasn’t really my preference but it was always a challenge and was fun. One night the guitar player said that the bass player wasn’t showing up and could I go little heavy on the bass drum to try and compensate. Now, that was a challenge.
     
  5. T Prior

    T Prior Poster Extraordinaire

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    No , I did not, but much of that is the music I studied early on with Orchestral Chord study. I probably could have played in a combo as described but thats not the music direction I wanted to travel. Still isn't.

    Satin Doll, Misty etc...the greats , the classics . I wasn't into wearing a TUX for gigs back then ! I don't even own a TUX, you can call my home and ask my wife !

    The good news, the REAL good news, those songs, that music , from the fake books, is still inside my head and lately I have gone backwards to that Chord study . And yeah after all these decades, I still have those 3 inch thick Fake Books !
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2020
  6. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Poster Extraordinaire

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    I did quite a bit of musical direction in regional theatre with similar setups. I’d play electric bass off the sheets on lots of the show standards rather than guitar if band-leading too. Yep. Its fun and you don't need to overplay if you are not the soloist or there is a singer.

    I just like to play and its nice to entertain and work with others. I’m not too precious about the style if its enjoyable and its a bonus to be paid.

    Just don’t ask me to play country.


    I’d say give it a go.

    Get the iReal Pro app if you have a tablet. It has practice exercises and backing tracks to work on.

    https://apps.apple.com/gb/app/ireal-pro/id298206806
     
  7. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

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    If I had the musical ability, I'd love to do something like this.
     
  8. kennl

    kennl Tele-Afflicted

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    I have certainly progressed more as a musician in that environment than playing in dance/pop or classic rock cover bands.
    The "Real Book Combo" gig ia great way to improve your chops, expand your harmonic knowledge and develop your ear. Best if you refer to original recordings for changes and melodies, and use the RB as a "Cliff Notes" guide.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2020
  9. maxvintage

    maxvintage Friend of Leo's

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    I've played bass and guitar in that setting 100s of times. Love it.
     
  10. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I’ve done it.
    I was a little out of my depth.
    I read chord charts, OK.
    I don’t read music at all.
    Luckily, I do know a lot of standards, and i “hover” pretty well.
    So, to answer your question, it wasn’t much fun, but that is entirely my fault.
    My excuse (and it’s a poor one) is that I love songs, but I don’t like to solo.
    I smarter man would work on it.
    Doh!
     
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  11. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Poster Extraordinaire

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    I sort of 'skirt' this dynamic in one of my groups, Combo Indigo, but maybe in a R&R context.
    We mix in some Standards, Jazz, R&B instrumentals, Surf, into the Rock/Blues , Country vocal songs we play. It's just a trio, but 'all over the place' musically. FUN! Great rhythm section!
    20200713_135916.jpg IMG_7332.jpg
     
  12. ndcaster

    ndcaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    It's the best, but to play for money, pick the songs you feel and care about the most, and just play those. Good cocktail jazz can turn into grooveless schlock faster than you can say "muzak." Have clear ideas and approaches and you'll be fine.

    People don't want to hear a rehearsal.
     
  13. drmordo

    drmordo Tele-Meister

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    I did it on and off for several years, it was the highlight of my gigging career. Mostly a piano trio (I was the drummer), but we had occasional gigs with guitar, sax, trombone, and/or trumpet.

    There's just nothing like playing the standards with a good band. We did a bunch of tunes that were essentially Sinatra arrangements of classics to get folks dancing, but then we also did some more obscure jazz tunes and then a few rock and roll and older pop tunes to break things up. We always focused on entertaining rather than getting too far out, but we had about as much fun as the crowd.
     
  14. dougstrum

    dougstrum Tele-Afflicted

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    First time was in my early 20's. Bass, drums, keys, guitar, sax and trumpet.
    We were all good players and wanted to do jazz, but the result probably sounded more like painting by numbers:rolleyes:

    Did a trio bass, drums, and guitar. Lasted 3-4 yrs had a couple of regular gigs. I would sing some of the standards. We were pretty improvisational and had a lot of fun!
     
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  15. Jimmy Dean

    Jimmy Dean Tele-Afflicted

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    Played in a community swing band in the eighties. Used to play out of ,"the Real Book" in the nineties with my mother-in-law on keyboards. Am currently using the ,"the Real Book" as a solo project. Love playing jazz standards.
     
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