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Gypsy Jazz Jam Vocabulary?

edited February 2018 in Licks and Patterns Posts: 18
Hey guys, so recently I was playing in a Jam session with some friends and more advanced players.

I was playing rhythm with other 2 guys, over All Of Me, when all of the sudden one of the guys shouted something I couldn't hear well, the thing is that the whole rhythm section stopped for about a measure, from Dm7 to G7 they only played the last beats of G7 before going to the turnaround while the Sax player was soloing.

I reacted immediately so I didn't screw it up...I think LOL

Another thing happened, but this time I heard it, He said "TAG!" when the tune was about to end and they repeated the last cadence of the tune, and finally ended.

I didn't know any of these, but I was able to react to both of them...I was just wondering if there are more kind of "signals" like these (if you can call then like that) and how do they exactly work?

Thanks :)
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Comments

  • klaatuklaatu Nova ScotiaProdigy Rodrigo Shopis D'Artagnan, 1950s Jacques Castelluccia
    Posts: 1,645
    Well, there's "STFU!" when you're playing rhythm too loud.
    BonesPapablo_CP
    Benny

    "It's a great feeling to be dealing with material which is better than yourself, that you know you can never live up to."
    -- Orson Welles
  • edited February 2018 Posts: 3,707
    tag is usually the last melodic line or phrase usually encompassing last few bars repeated .....sometimes once sometimes a few times or until cue.

    if someone is soloing and the leader calls head, it means at the end of the section go back to the top of the head and play the head out to the end. In bluegrass, as usually everyone has their hands busy, to avoid verbal cues the foot is stuck straight out (if sitting) and that means back to the head.
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • altonalton Keene, NH✭✭ 2000 Dell'Arte Long Scale Anouman, Gadjo Modele Francais, Gitane DG-330 John Jorgensen Tuxedo
    Posts: 109
    Calling "fours" or "eights" or another number usually means that's the number of bars that everyone solos for.
  • adrianadrian AmsterdamVirtuoso
    Posts: 459
    Papablo_CP wrote: »
    I was playing rhythm with other 2 guys, over All Of Me, when all of the sudden one of the guys shouted something I couldn't hear well, the thing is that the whole rhythm section stopped for about a measure, from Dm7 to G7 they only played the last beats of G7 before going to the turnaround while the Sax player was soloing.

    My guess is that they said "Break!"

    A break is when the rhythm section stops playing for a short period — usually one or two bars — which is a nice change of pace for the soloist and provides for a bit of excitement.

    It also gives the soloist an opportunity to demonstrate how well (or poorly) he/she can keep time, in the absence of rhythm backing... ;-)
  • Posts: 2,401
    adrian wrote: »
    My guess is that they said "Break!"

    A break is when the rhythm section stops playing for a short period — usually one or two bars — which is a nice change of pace for the soloist and provides for a bit of excitement.

    It also gives the soloist an opportunity to demonstrate how well (or poorly) he/she can keep time, in the absence of rhythm backing... ;-)

    I remember being in the group class at Old Town School in Chicago where teacher had us practice soloing over the break.
    He almost said the same thing word for word.
    adrian
    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
    edited February 2018 Posts: 1,310
    Full disclosure: I actually don't play gypsy jazz, but traditional jazz, dixieland and swing...

    But here are some common vocab and band signals used in my little neck of the woods

    "Head" or "top"- leader puts flat hand on top of head to signify that that the group should go back to the very beginning of the tune

    "Fist"- leader holds up his/her fist to indicate that this will be the final chorus.

    "Fours"- leader holds up four fingers to indicate that the soloists will take turns improvising four bar passages

    Finger signals can also be used before or during the tune to communicate key signatures- finger/s up indicate sharp keys, finger/s down indicate flat keys... e.g. one finger up = key of G, one finger down = key of F, two fingers up = key of D, two fingers down = key of Bb

    "Grapes" is a term also used to indicate key signature--- "one grape" = F, "two grapes" = Bb, "three grapes" = Eb, etc.

    (There doesn't seem to be any equivalent term for the sharp keys as it is rare for traditional jazz players to play in those keys.)

    "Breaks" can be signalled by the leader making a two-finger gesture of slitting his/her own throat.

    "Puppet hand" - used to indicate that the vocalist will be singing the next chorus.

    *******

    "Verse" vs. "chorus"- many old Tin Pan Alley tunes came out of the vaudeville/Broadway tradition, in which the main part of the songs were usually 32 bars long.

    This part of the song was often sung by the show's chorus (as in "chorus girls") But these songs generally had an introductory segment, usually sung by a single singer, known as the "voice" or "verse". By tradition, the "verse" usually 16 bars long, although other lengths are also common.

    For example, Gershwin's famous "I Got Rhythm", when performed onstage often begins with a single singer performing these lines "Days can be sunny, with never a sigh, don't need what money can buy...etc"

    Some jazz musicians who perform these "Tin Pan Alley" jazz standards pride themselves on being able to sing or play the verse of these tunes.

    It can be confusing in that the same word "verse" can be used by rock musicians to mean something different... actually, it's same deal with the word "break" which I believe bluegrass musicians use in a different way...

    Will

    BucoAndyW
    I live in a little tourist town called Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario, Canada, which is about twenty miles north of Niagara Falls.

    If you are ever planning on visiting the beautiful Niagara area, feel free to PM me and perhaps we can get together and do some jamming.
  • The only true standard about signals that I have discovered is that there really isn't one. Though tapping the top of the head is pretty universal.
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
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