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SET THE STAGE
JAZZ Combo & Small Group
Arrangements & Instruction
Set the Stage combo books, by Randy Hunter, provide a comprehensive method for starting a jazz ensemble in a variety of small group settings. Easy to intermediate level selections in a variety of jazz styles are included to make this an enjoyable introduction to playing jazz for students of all ages.
Three part jazz ccombo arrangements with soli and solo sections create the feel of playing in a full jazz ensemble with as few as three players. First, second and third part books are available for a variety of wind instruments. Rhythm section books are available for piano, guitar, bass and drums.
Each book comes with a demonstration CD. A play-along CD designed specifically for wind or rhythm section instruments is also included. The wind instrument practice CD can be used in performance situations when a live rhythm section is unavailable.
The tunes are based on minor, dominant and major chords with no alterations. Along with the inclusion of improvisation and scale suggestions, these playable chord changes make improvisation possible for students having basic skills on their instruments. The wind instrument books provide optional written solos that may be used as improvisational studies.
Rhythm section books focus on teaching players to interpret and perform various styles using lead sheets and lead sheet type combo charts. Complete guidelines include suggested and alternate chord voicings, comping rhythms, bass lines and drumming patterns.
This method “sets the stage” for establishing and developing a jazz program. The tunes and instruction provided prepare students for ensemble playing and
improvisation, establishing a foundation in the fundamental skills of both combo and jazz band settings.
Each SET THE STAGE Book comes with 2 CDs:
Demonstration CD: provides complete versions of each selection performed by professional musicians.
Practice CD: provides tracks specifically designed for rhythm section or wind instrument practice.
This spring I had the pleasure of being an instructor at a music camp in Unicoi State Park in the state of Georgia. It was sponsored by the New Horizons International Music Association.
I was teaching classes in Jazz Styles, and found Randy Hunter’s method books to be invaluable to me and more importantly to my students. For the young and not -so-young players, Randy's etude books, jazz duets and the ensemble “Set The Stage” series gave the students an opportunity to play along with strong tracks which helped to improve their ability to improve their phrasing, their sight reading and a great introduction to improvising with various styles and feels.
Hey, I almost forgot to mention, the books are just Great Fun!