Applied Jazz Lessons

Course #: MUSI 3222, section 039 (2 credits)
Spring Semester, 2018
Instructor: Earl MacDonald
Student: Grant Eagleson, trumpet
Class meeting time: Tuesdays, 2 – 3:00 p.m.
Room #: MUSB 207
Earl MacDonald’s Office: MUSB 207   Telephone: 486-0670
Office hours: Mondays, 12:10 – 1:10 p.m., and by appointment.

“Imitate. Assimilate. Innovate.”
– Clark Terry






In this semester’s lessons, in the spirit of the above two quotes, we will focus intensively on the recorded solos of trumpeter, Lee Morgan — transcribing, analyzing, learning, extracting, memorizing and applying his improvisational vocabulary. We will aim to imitate all aspects of his playing.

(This method is in contrast to the instructor’s typical instructional approach which integrates tune memorization, keyboard skills, improv. concepts, transcription, composition, etc.)

*Trumpet maintenance, flexibility and range building exercises will be the ongoing responsibility of the student.

By the end of the semester, a minimum of six Lee Morgan solos will be transcribed, thoroughly analyzed, learned (including his “head” interpretation of each piece) and “picked apart.” The makeup of these six transcriptions could be 2 twelve-bar blues, 1 rhythm changes, 1 ballad and 1 standard. Segments of the solos will be learning in all keys.

Each week you will be given a clear and definite assignment, which the instructor deems manageable and attainable. Assignments could include transcribing a solo (in part or in whole), learning a lick in 12 keys, memorization, learning an entire solo in another key, identifying and categorizing licks, applying vocabulary into other contexts, studying pacing, observing phrase structure etc.

Each week you will receive a grade based on the quality of your work from the preceding week’s assignment. Weekly assignments will constitute 80% of your final grade.

At the end of the semester, a jury will be scheduled which will be adjudicated by the jazz faculty. The jury will account for 20% of your grade.

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