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Graduate Auditions

Audition Requirements for Prospective Jazz Studies Graduate Students

Jazz Saxophone, Trumpet, Trombone, Guitar, Piano, and Bass

  • Prepare a blues head and improvise on the changes
  • Prepare the melody to a medium-up tempo swing jazz standard of your choice and improvise at least two choruses
  • Prepare the melody to "All The Things You Are" and improvise at least one chorus
  • Prepare the melody to a standard jazz ballad and improvise at least one chorus
  • Prepare all major, harmonic minor, and diminished scales

In addition to the above, bass players should be prepared to walk an up-tempo bass line and demonstrate a "two-feel" for the tunes above.

Jazz Drum Set

Prospective drum set players must audition for Butch Miles (cm52@txstate.edu). Jazz drum set auditions consist of the applicant being able to demonstrate rhythmic and “groove” competency in the following:

  • 4/4 swing at a variety of tempos
  • Funk and rock styles at a variety of tempos
  • Various latin rhythms (Samba, Bossa Nova, etc.)
  • Music sight-reading ability

In addition to the above, the following skills will be assessed during the jazz drum set audition:

  • Brush technique
  • Knowledge of form and repertoire
  • Trading fours
  • “Call and Response”: ability in drum set patterns and ear exercises (i.e., hearing a phrase and playing it back)

The prospective student should be prepared to discuss previous performance experience, teachers, and method books used in study. If available, the prospective student will have an opportunity to demonstrate the above skills in a performance situation with either a large or small jazz ensemble.

There is no classical audition requirement for graduate students.