Global Skywatch

Ted’s essays

putting the FUN into making music

The two girls came to their first Bitterroot Blues Band jam finding me unprepared for them. Here they are playing an unfamiliar tune, sight reading AND transposing from treble cleff into B-flat and E-flat respectively. It was about this time that I realized we needed a bass. So I began faking it with my trombone. I intend to gear up better for that option later. Meanwhile, we all had fun. I assembled a fresh batch of charts for next Saturday’s meeting. We will continue to grow together. Summertime 1st time from Ted Dunlap on Vimeo.

Bitterroot Blues Band primary charts

Every Saturday evening from late January into June we are meeting in the Darby High School music room for music making. I arrive, open up and warm up around 4:30pm. Downbeat (we start) at 5:00pm and quit officially at 6, but rarely quit on time. Do not count on me to bring your music printouts. There are just too many variables. I cannot anticipate how many of which flavor might be needed. Bring your instrument, your music and your happy face. This page is actually called a “POST” at this website. Posts move on down as new ones come along. The headings on the left column are this sites “PAGES”. They stay there as primary or subordinate reference material. At […]

Bitterroot Blues Band charts

The Bitterroot Blues Band is a Spring 2018 Darby Adult Education class. This one is open to 16-18-year-old musicians at no cost, as long as they fit in with the rest of the musicians. I encourage young, old and in-between to join us, or at least come by to see if you might want to. We meet in the Darby High School music room on Saturday evenings. I open the doors at 4:30. Downbeat is at 5:00. Class ends officially at 6:00. We usually stay a bit late. We are scheduled every Saturday to June 30th. Class fees are $48 regular, $24 for 60-and-above, free for students under 18. Download the tunes I have digitized below. down_by_the_riverside_G_bass clef down_by_the_riverside_G_ guitar […]

community music

I have been thinking a lot about our first meeting, and how that compared to what I had hoped for. That led me to this philosophical ruminating. You may or may not be curious about what motivated me to try creating this band. If you wonder, here is what I think I am trying to do. I have long thought the ideal musical developmental ground would be a community band where beginners sat among intermediates and experts. It doesn’t take great thinking for the newbies to figure playing ON TIME is your first priority, THE RIGHT NOTES is an important second, then tone quality, volume, articulation and other factors follow. Sitting among supportive musicians more advanced than you provides […]

tunes for the week

I spent the morning studying and shopping charts for next Saturday’s class. I settled on those below. Here is to hoping some, if not most work out. I spent some time at Music Notes .com reviewing, researching and purchasing trombone sheet music of the following: DON’T WORRY BE HAPPY Key of Eb Major (3 flats) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-diB65scQU Me and Bobby McGee Key of Bb Major (2 flats) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WXV_QjenbDw St. James Infirmary Key of C Minor (3 flats) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QzcpUdBw7gs Summertime Key of C Major https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uYUqbnk7tCY Take Five Key of Gb Major (6 flats) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vmDDOFXSgAs The Man I Love Key of Eb Major (3 flats) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ySszeu4H4QI When I’m Sixty-Four Key of F Major (1 flat) https://vimeo.com/10898084 While My Guitar Gently Weeps Key of […]

Bitterroot Blues Band reality check

I thoroughly prepared for my first class night. I marketed the heck out of this class. If there are any musicians in these here woods, I shure shoulda shaken them out of the trees. I was also hoping a real leader might pop up. The Darby Schools music teacher set me up with a beginning jazz band book. I had 4 trumpet parts, 4 trombone parts, books for saxes, flutes, clarinets, guitars, drums, keyboards and so on. I studied the director’s book, score, first trombone book, played along with the audio training tracks. For a guy claiming no band leader skills and wanting to hide as 3rd trombone in a big band, I was as ready as I could get. […]

Bitterroot Blues Band

Saturday evenings from now to June will mean playing in the band for me … and a dozen +/- fellow musicians. Everyone I talk with about this is ENTHUSIASTIC. The support from the Darby Schools and Adult Ed staff is phenominal. I was hopefully optimistic when I launched the idea. Now I am EXCITED. My dream gig, what I really want to do musically is play 3rd trombone in a blues, jazz, swing or big band. All that has been available to me in Montana is playing upright bass in a weekly bluegrass jam. This idea to use the marketing, support and facilities of the Darby Schools Adult Ed program to share with potential fellow blues musicians has taken on […]

Bitterroot Blues Band

Blues begat country. Rock came from blues. Swing, Dixieland and jazz also evolved from the blues. Blues is a familiar form of music to most of us, even if we don’t know it. The best part of music is making it; playing your own instrument. That is what we will be doing Saturday evenings this semester thanks to the Darby Adult Education program. Our foundation will be the blues, but we will drift into one or more of its offspring depending on desires of the participating musicians. Community? > ?Adult Ed? > Course Calendar We are excited to announce our Course Calendar! Please read below for course descriptions. You can register online TODAY. Course Registration Deadline is Friday, January 26th. […]