Links below, but a bit o’ background first……..
A couple of years ago, I got a bit fed up with the whole ‘24/7’ self-promotion / social media content-provider web presence fandango one was supposed to be engaged in as a musician, and decided to duck out for a while and pull together something more localised and time-manageable.
I had a set of material for which I had never really found a good home in other projects, and I decided to rejig these tunes a little to suit the following carefully limited specification;
- Suitable for a jazz-based four or five piece band with sax, guitar, keys, bass, drums.
- Approachable enough to attract a small, regular audience to an upstairs room in a Midlands market town boozer on a wet Wednesday evening.
- Easily memorable tunes that could pass the ‘whistle test’ for an audience to pick up on.
- Easily understandable structures for an audience (and the band!) to grasp (usually head, head, solos, head – the classic jazz formula).
- Solo sections that move through key-changes to add a dash of high-wire thrillz for the soloists.
So nothing wildly ambitious. This was to be – to paraphrase the League of Gentlemen – a local band for local people.
I recorded a set of demos for the band consisting of sax, bass, keys & drum loops, scored the accompanying lead-sheets (tunes, chords, song structures), recruited a clutch of excellent musicians and set to work.
To cut a too long story very short, there actually didn’t seem to be any upstairs rooms in any Midlands market town boozers interested in a local band playing jazz-based material for local people on a wet Wednesday evening…
So, inevitably, the band folded. The players who worked on the tunes really enjoyed them though, and I’ve also used these tunes to help my sax students get used to soloing over changes. That gave me the idea of making some of my original demos available here – so here some of them are!
The free stuff…..
If you like any of the tunes, please feel very welcome to download them for free by selecting the tune, clicking on the Soundcloud link (top right in the player above), and then on ‘more’ & ‘download file’.
Note that the soloing sections are ‘empty’, as each tune is simply a guide for the band of the head, chords and song structure.
I’ll also be making some of the practise drum, keys & bass loops I’ve created for my students available here for free download too.
The cheap stuff…..(links below)
If you’d like to try playing any of the tunes yourself, you can buy ‘playalong packs’ for £2 from my Bandcamp page. For £12.80 (20% off) you can download all eight packs.
Each pack consists of:
- the guide track (with guide sax)
- the ‘minus one’ (no sax) backing track
- a track of the solo section looped (repeated) four times for soloing practise
- a single solo section for use in DAWs and looper apps & pedals
- printable lead sheets in Bb, Eb & C versions, (including scale choice suggestions for the solo sections)
Follow the links below for information on the individual tunes and to watch videos of the scores:
The free-to-download loops (more to follow):
By the way, I’m making this material available under this Creative Commons license, which allows the tunes to be shared and adapted (non-commercially), providing I am credited as the author. This means you can play the tunes with a band and make recordings of them etc., etc. All the regular stuff.
However, if you think you might be able to turn one of the tunes into a multi-platinum selling single for Rhianna please don’t hesitate to drop me a line to discuss terms…..