A Reader's Guide To Jazz Composition From Band Director Tom Patterson
Band director Tom Patterson offers a lesson in the path needed to become a successful jazz writer.
- (1888PressRelease) March 07, 2011 - Previously, band director Tom Patterson wrote about some of the basics of jazz composition. Tom Patterson noted that all aspiring composers study basic musical theory, train their ear, and understand musical instruments. After this, he recommended that fledgling composers try their hand at arranging an already existing song. Once a musician has practiced making arrangements, Tom Patterson added that a musician might explore the challenge of writing an original song. It should be emphasized that the skill of arrangement is critical to original composition.
When the original song is written, Tom Patterson reminds composers that the song must be arranged. Band director Tom Patterson explains that musicians must practice arrangement so they will be ready to arrange their own themes when the time comes. Tom Patterson noted that with an original composition a songwriter has to choose an original format rather than emulating previous musical incarnations. The possibilities for arranging original music are practically endless. Tom Patterson has encouraged his young musicians to enjoy the freedom of creative composition. Tom Patterson pointed out that the essence of jazz is in its creative freedom.
Leave room for improvisation, Tom Patterson encouraged his young musicians! Improvisation is the heart and soul of jazz music composition. When composing a song, improvisation cannot be notated in any way on sheet music. A good jazz composition makes room for improvisation. Tom Patterson taught students that improvisation could be at the bridge of a song, an embellishment before the end, or even in the beginning. He also told students to explore how improvisation involves the current emotional state of the performer, allowing them to, in effect, communicate with the composer.
Tom Patterson concluded that successful jazz composition could be a long road. The hard work brings great reward. Band director Tom Patterson also pointed out that a musician must first learn music theory and train their ear to several instruments. After that he suggested a study of jazz arrangement to provide the skill set for composition. Finally, Tom Patterson told students to write their own compositions, incorporating the theory and arrangement skills from previous lessons with improvisation. After this process, assured Tom Patterson, skill and practice begin to kick in, reaping the benefits of delightful shortcuts and inspirations. Now let the songwriting begin!