QUOTE(RetepNamenots @ Jan 10 2008, 07:04 PM)
I'm in the Dance band at my university, and we're doing Chick Corea's 'Spain'.
I'm doing the piano part.
My problem with it is that... I don't understand it. It doesn't do anything for me, it honestly sounds close to just being a mashup of notes!
I downloaded the MP3 from iTunes to see if I could hear anything better from the original, but still no.
Could anyone help me understand it? :S
Secondly, does anybody have any tips for this type of music? I'm classically trained and have never done anything like it before!
If your dance band is playing Spain, it'd better be a very good dance band! At least, if you're going anything like the speed of the original.
I've played this tune, but don't know exactly what you're looking for. Here's some ideas:
If I remember right, there's 3 types of sections in this tune.
a) The tune itself, quite lyrical, and very short, which is bracketed by...
b) Tutti sections. Everyone in unison, very fast, very odd rhythms. I can imagine these sections making no sense at all, at an early stage of rehearsal, with a large number of players. They're not like e.g. a Mozart sonata, which when you first sight-read it will sound like a Mozart sonata played badly, but still make sense. Unless these sections are played with a lot of precision and verve, they'll sound exactly like (to use your phrase) a mashup of notes. Maybe try to play the tutti sections along with the original recording? One hand only to start with, probably - these sections are EXTREMELY difficult: at Chick Corea's original speed I had to try again and again and again to get it right, even with one hand. If the music in these parts makes no sense - join the club: it does
make sense after you've listened to it/played it for a while.
c) Solo sections. This is where Chick Corea goes nuts on the Fender Rhodes (is it the original "Light as a Feather" recording you've got?). It's probably not helpful for a beginner in jazz to try to make sense of what he plays here - I've been playing jazz for 10 years and I can't solo anything like that. I just let my jaw drop at what he's doing, but don't try to emulate him. If you're going to be playing a solo, the best practice is to just keep on experimenting over dozens of repeats of the chord changes (maybe the bass player and drummer could help you here - or even record a few repeats of the changes, which you can then put on loop on e.g. a Minidisc player, to practice with?)
Can't remember without the music in front of me, but I think the solo section is not the same length, or exactly the same chords as the tune.
By the way, moving from playing what's written on the page to playing jazz and improvising was about the hardest thing I've done in music - so you're not alone if you're finding it difficult! And "Spain" is one of the hardest tunes out there to get right. Good luck!