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31 | Recitals with a Rhythm Section

March 30, 2017



This podcast is for teachers who are working with students performing contemporary commercial music (pop, rock, country, jazz, musical theatre) and are interested (excited?) about giving students the opportunity to work with a small ensemble. 

Let’s face it. Some contemporary songs just don’t cut it with piano accompaniment. (Friends do NOT let friends play Taylor Swift songs on the piano!) and if you are working on jazz repertoire, you absolutely need that rhythm section to feel that swing. Singing to tracks is an option, but your students will appreciate and benefit from the opportunity to work with an ensemble. 


Getting started:

You can start small (like I did) by asking a talented guitar player to be part of your recital. (Be careful – I ended up marrying the guitar player!) Or you can assemble a small little rhythm section that will make your recital something to remember. 

There are many things to consider when working with an ensemble of musicians.

  • The venue
  • the musicians
  • choosing repertoire
  • singer pro and leadsheet charts
  • group rehearsals
  • microphones. YES, MICROPHONES!
  • sound systems
  • and how you are going to cover all the costs.

Fear not – the podcast covers all of it. 


Additional teacher resources: 

Not sure about microphones…Michelle Deveaux has got the information you need right HERE

There are several gazillion types of microphones in the live music world; all essential to bringing sound to audiences in a way that can honor the talents of the musicians. It’s sad to say that most performers don’t actually know anything about microphones, or how they work, leading them to miss out on a ton of performance capital. Knowing just a few things about mics can make the difference between a savvy and comfortable performance, and an awkward, unprofessional one.
Hand held mics…not mikes


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