Duets Part 3 - Jason Klobnak Music

Duets Part 3

Welcome to the 3rd part of this duets mini-series. I truly hope you have enjoyed them and that they have added value and benefit to your playing in some way. In Part 3 we are going to look at how doing call & response in a duet setting can help your personal improvisation development.

Part 3:

I’ve given a quick definition of what call and response is in previous posts (particularly in Key Fluency part 2). However, if you haven’t checked that post out, here’s a quick definition: “One person makes a call, or musical statement, and then another person (or group of people) make a response back.” This is really simple to do in a duet setting. One person plays an idea/phrase and the other person plays it back. However, in this post I want to talk about a few  different ways you can do this  beyond the standard call/response to enhance your duet experience:

  • Call and Response. The traditional form where Player 1 makes the statement and Player 2 plays it back verbatim. This works ear-training, phrasing, articulation and helps add vocabulary to your arsenal.
  • Call and Response Pitch Chasing. Player 1  makes a statement and Player 2 plays it back with a slight change at the end of the phrase. Then Player 1 has to play back what Player 2 just played verbatim. This is a great ear-training exercise, but it also forces you to anticipate what might be played. That’s a great skill to have on the bandstand when interacting with other musicians.
  • Call and Response (no accompaniment). This is the same as the traditional call and response without having an accompaniment. You rely on your collective time which improves your timing, phrasing and overall rhythm.
  • Call and Response Free Jam. This is call and response without any pre-determined progression or key center. A great challenge to your ear as Player 2 doesn’t have a key center to reference what Player 1 played. This can also free up your creative mind because you are not stifled by trying to make your line fit in a chord progression. You never know what phrase you could conjure up. It might just become one of your signature lines when playing over a progression.

These are all great ways to exercise your ears while having fun and developing your personal improvisation vocabulary. Playing duets allows you to draw from other people’s experiences and is a great way to keep the jazz community alive and active.

I truly hope this post has added value and benefit to you and your students. If you haven’t yet, please check out my Digital Store where you can find more information on two books that I have released (Targeting: Improvisation With Purpose and Breaking the Monotony).

About the Author jasonklobnak

Jason Klobnak is a versatile trumpet player that has been performing as an active musician, author, clinician, composer and educator. His band, J's Ruckus, is Denver's blend of Post-Bop, Soul, Gospel, and Hip-Hop. They perform infectious and up-lifting originals for audiences hungry for a memorable live experience. J's Ruckus released their latest album, Suck Less, in March of 2020 and their first EP, Sermons, in July of 2019. Both were recorded live in front of an audience. Suck Less was recorded to a packed auditorium at Arapahoe Community College's Waring Theater in Littleton, CO. Sermons was recorded in front of a sold out crowd at the Soiled Dove Underground.  The JKQ (the Jason Klobnak Quintet/Quartet) is Mr. Klobnak's Hammond B-3 centered groups. The JKQ released their third full-length album in March of 2018 called Friends & Family. It has been very well reviewed, on numerous Top 10 lists for Jazz radio stations across the country (including Denver's KUVO 89.3FM which named it May 2018's CD of the month), and in Jazzweek's Top 100. Each composition was written for specific family and close friends (that might as well be family). Their second album, New Chapter, was recorded in part thanks to the Pathways to Jazz Grant from the Boulder County Arts Alliance. In 2015 and 2016, New Chapter was in the Top 75 on the Jazzweek charts and on the Top 10 playlists for over a dozen radio stations worldwide. Their first album, Mountain, Move made the Best Recordings of 2013 list from AllAboutJazz.com by C. Michael Bailey. His very well reviewed Christmas single, Hark the Herald, in 2016 as part of a creative project with musicians James Roberson and Nathaniel Kearney Jr. Besides the JKQ, Mr. Klobnak is a B.A.C. (Best American Craftsman-custom trumpet), Denis Wick (mouthpiece and mutes) and Westone Audio endorsed artist (ES20 and Tru Customs). Mr. Klobnak has played and recorded for numerous groups ranging from jazz, soul/R&B, indie-rock/pop and gospel. In addition to performing, he has also written two improvisation-based books called Targeting: Improvisation With Purpose and Breaking the Monotony and is currently an adjunct professor and brass instructor at Arapahoe Community College. Mr. Klobnak holds a bachelor degree from Drake University (Des Moines, IA) and a Master’s degree from the University of Denver, Lamont School of Music (Denver, CO).

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