About Part Tracks, Minus-One Tracks and Rhythm Tracks
Drastically reduce rehearsal time spent learning notes, and leave more time for music making!
"Vocal Part Tracks" are part-learning aids for vocal jazz ensemble members. Part Tracks are currently available for nearly the entire catalog and can be ordered directly from the Chart Store. As soon as you submit your order, you'll receive an email your link to download a zip file for each pack of Part Tracks and the price is a low $25. I know that some directors create part learning tracks themselves, but I thought that the hectic schedules of school music directors might be alleviated a bit by my offering this new product for a fairly modest price.
Vocal Part Tracks come in a zip file pack with all of the needed parts with any divisi required by chart. The rhythm section (and in some cases, the other vocal parts) are reduced drastically in volume to make sure you can hear the intended individual part. Because the part tracks are from the original demo recordings, your students will be learning style, technique, diction, phrasing and more from professional jazz vocalist and educators (Julia Dollison for the soprano/alto parts, and Kerry Marsh for the tenors and basses, with a few exceptions when we have guest vocalists recording with us).
The purpose of Vocal Part Tracks, of course, is to allow your students to practice their parts on their own, outside of class, without having to be able to play piano. From an educational standpoint, I would encourage students to always follow along with the notes (and not just the lyrics) of their chart to develop their eye/ear connection for sight-reading music. Part Tracks do not have to serve as a replacement for teaching music reading skills. Rather, if properly used, they can supplement music reading training and, at the same time, leave more class time for working on ensemble sound, groove, dynamic shaping, etc.
The majority of my arrangements have at least Soprano 2 splits, and most also have Baritone splits as well. In the case of a standard six-part SSATBaB arrangement, I'll include the following part tracks for your students:
(S1) Soprano 1 only
(S S2) Soprano splitting to Soprano 2
(A S2) Alto splitting to Soprano 2
(A) Alto only
(T) Tenor only
(T Ba) Tenor splitting to baritone
(B Ba) Bass splitting to baritone
(B) Bass only
Deeper splits will usually require more Part Tracks, to try to include all conventional part assignment possibilities. The Part Tracks will work best if you're able to assign the parts in this sort of conventional way, of course, although, for example, if you have six singers, you may prefer to double the alto part during 2-part treble clef writing, say, and so the "Soprano splitting to Soprano 2" Part Track won't be needed.
Solo parts are generally not going to be included in the Part Tracks. The intended purpose of the Part Tracks is to help the ensemble use their ears to learn sometimes challenging parts that aren't easy to hear in the demo, nor very melodic and intuitive. Since solos are often interpreted fairly freely, I didn't think solo tracks would very useful.
Individual mp3 files of the full demo for each voice part (including all soprano 2 and baritone splits, when needed), in which the voice part is muted entirely (except where needed for tempo reference), but the remainder of the parts are mixed normally. These tracks lack reverb, and the vocals are generally well in front of the rhythm section in the mix. There are multiple obvious uses for these tracks: 1. Students can practice singing their parts along with all the other parts, helping them work on their independence and blending skills, 2. Directors may use these in class to check whether or not students have done their part-learning homework, 3. Directors may use these (or segments of these) for auditions, 4. Soloists may use the MINUS SOLO track to practice lyric solos or improvisation.
Lacking an experienced student or professional rhythm section for performance and/or rehearsal? Rhythm Tracks can save the day!
"Rhythm Tracks" are accompaniment recordings for selected arrangements from my catalog, and are available in the Chart Store for $25. These can be hugely helpful in the rehearsal process, even if you'll eventually have a live rhythm section with you on your performances. Students can use the Rhythm Tracks for sectional run-throughs when you're not with them, helping them memorize and internalize the music. Of course, Rhythm Tracks are also useful in situations in which your singers are ready for a certain level of vocal literature but you lack instrumental players to accompany them effectively.
Just as with your chart order or Part Tracks order, your Rhythm Track will be delivered to you as soon as you check out through a link sent in an email. You'll download a zip file containing your track, and then you'll be able either burn a CD with the track or load it onto an mp3 player for use in the classroom and performance setting.
One element of the Rhythm Tracks that is worth note here is that there are spots in many of my accompanied arrangements that are a capella, and in these spots on the Rhythm Tracks, a subtle click track is added to keep the group with the track until the accompaniment returns. A click is also used for the count-in on arrangements that start with vocals at the very beginning.
Try Rhythm Tracks on your next order!