plus📅TriangleTriangleclockplusemailoutfax⚙instagramlocationGroup 13phonepinterestplayplus💲search

Undergraduate Requirements

Note: Jazz auditions are not available at regional audition sites.

Applicants to Peabody’s undergraduate program in Jazz Studies must successfully complete a performance audition on their applied instrument and an entrance examination to assess proficiency in theory and aural skills.

All Applicants

The audition comprises performances of:

Scales

Major, natural minor, harmonic minor, melodic minor – ascending and descending.

*Drummers are encouraged to play vibes or piano but may also sing to fulfill this requirement.

Improvisation

Performance (melody and improvisation) of three tunes from the standard jazz repertoire:

  • A medium tempo 12-bar jazz blues.
  • A medium or medium up-tempo standard jazz tune.
  • A standard ballad.

*Drummers must demonstrate both the ability to delineate the melody and must solo over the form of each of the required vehicles.

Applicants must provide their own accompaniment. Play-a-longs or good quality accompaniment tapes are acceptable. At the audition, a selection without accompaniment may be requested.

Sight-reading

Demonstrate proficiency at sight-reading.

Additional Performance Requirements

Vocalists

Standards should be selected from the songbooks of Ellington, Rodgers & Hart, Berlin, Porter, Gershwin, Kern, etc. Vocal applicants with piano skills are encouraged to accompany themselves.

Guitar

Demonstrate proficiency at comping in various styles.

Piano

Demonstrate proficiency at comping in various styles.

Bass

In addition to all other requirements, bass players must:

  • Demonstrate the ability to play in a range of styles including 4/4 walking time in a range of tempos, jazz waltz time, a bossa-nova feel, slow ballad accompaniment, a rock or funk groove, and an ostinato pattern. Possible examples of these might be:
    • 4/4 walking, a slow, medium or fast 12 bar blues, medium or fast ‘rhythm changes’, a tune form such as Groovin’ High, Four, There’ll Never Be Another You, Confirmation, Out of Nowhere, or Autumn Leaves.
    • Jazz waltz time – a tune like Someday my Prince will Come, Up Jumped Spring, All Blues, or Blusette.
    • Bossa Nova feel – Some possibilities might be The Girl From Ipanema, Wave, Triste, Once I Loved, or Desafinado.
    • Slow Ballad accompaniment – A standard ballad form, such as Body and Soul, What’s New, In a Sentimental Mood, Soul Eyes, or Sophisticated Lady. Be prepared to play a tune of this type in a slow ‘2’, or half note pulse, without going into a 4/4 walking line.
    • Rock/Funk Groove – Pick something that you like to play, and that you’re comfortable with. It could be a bassline from a current favorite song, or something classic such as a James Jamerson bassline , a New Orleans groove like the Meters or the Neville Brothers, a 16th note based funk line like something Tower of Power might play, or a groove from your favorite Hip-hop artist or Jam band. The main thing is to pick something that you like, and feel comfortable with.
    • Ostinato pattern – This could be a part of a tune that has a repeating bassline such as Bolivia, or Joshua, the intro ‘vamp’ from Song for my Father, or the opening bassline in Footprints. It’s not difficult to find ostinatos within the standard jazz repertoire. Just pick one that you like.
  • Play something that demonstrates the level of technical proficiency. This could be an etude or technical study from a bass method or etude book, a scale study, or a solo transcription. Something that you’ve work on, and fell that you can play well.
  • Double Bassists only – Play a melody of your choice with the bow. This can be included as part of your required jazz audition tunes. Some good choices might be Body and Soul, What’s New, Goodbye Pork Pie Hat, or In a Sentimental Mood.

Note to jazz bass applicants: We won’t have time to hear all of these during your audition, but you should be prepared to play an example of each one. They can be short examples, but in each case should demonstrate that you understand what it is that we’re asking you to do. If you’re unfamiliar with the styles, songs, or terminology that we’ve used here, please go to one of the thousands of jazz resources out there and look them up. Learning to be resourceful in your studies is an essential part of your jazz education, and you need to begin that process now, if you haven’t already. Good luck!

Drum Set

Drummers will be expected to demonstrate:

  • Knowledge of percussion rudiments.
  • Examples of the following drum styles using both sticks and brushes at various tempi; bebop, jazz waltz, bossa nova, samba, salsa or Afro-Cuban, funk, rock, R & B, shuffle, ballads.

GPD Audition Requirements

Applicants to Peabody’s graduate program in Jazz Studies must successfully complete a performance audition on his or her applied instrument and an entrance examination to assess proficiency in theory and aural skills.

All Applicants

The audition comprises performances of:

Scales and Modes

Ionian, Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Mixolydian, Aeolian (minor), Locrian, harmonic minor, melodic minor, altered (super Locrian), Lydian dominant, Locrian #2, blues, major and dominant bebop, major and minor pentatonic, diminished, inverted diminished, whole tone, augmented.

Arpeggios

Major 7, major 7, major 9, minor 7, minor 9, minor 7 (b5), minor 9/major 7, dominant 7, dominant 9, dominant 7(b9), dominant 7(#9) and diminished 7.

Solo Transcription

Perform a jazz solo transcription for specific instrument (minimum 32 bars).

Improvisation

A performance of three tunes (one of which must be a ballad) from the standard jazz repertoire.

Applicants must provide their own accompaniment! Play-a-longs or good quality accompaniment tapes are acceptable. At the audition, a selection without accompaniment may be requested.

Sight-reading

  • Demonstrate ability to sight-read chord progressions.
  • Demonstrate proficiency at sight-reading.

Additional Performance Requirements

Guitar

  • Demonstrate proficiency at comping in various styles.
  • Perform a chord/melody arrangement of a tune from the standard repertoire.

Piano

  • Demonstrate proficiency at comping in various styles.
  • Perform a re-harmonized arrangement of a tune from the standard repertoire.

Bass

In addition to all departmental requirements and all of the undergraduate jazz bass requirements (at a level that is appropriate for someone applying to a graduate program in jazz studies!), all applicants for the GPD in jazz bass must:

  • Demonstrate a solid knowledge of basic jazz harmony and bassline construction. You will be asked to play several basslines based on chord changes that will be given to you verbally. They will be in 4 or 8 bar structures, and will have chords moving in 2 beat, 1 bar, and two bar durations. For example, I may ask you to play a walking line on the following chord changes: 2 bars of Emi7, 1 bar of Fmi7, 1 bar of Bb7, 2 bars of EbMaj7, 1 bar of F#mi7b5, and 1 bar of B7#9, repeated.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the concept of playing ‘broken’ time. If you’re unfamiliar with this term, you should become familiar with it before your audition date.
  • Demonstrate a fundamental ability to play in odd meters, specifically 5/4, and 7/4. A standard tune form adapted for this purpose will be acceptable. The applicant should be able to sub-divide the bars of 5/4 as either 2+3 or 3+2, and the 7/4 as 4+3 or 3+4.
  • Be prepared to play a short freely improvised solo. I’d like this to really be improvised, so practice this by improvising freely everyday.

Note to jazz bass applicants: We won’t have time to hear all of these during your audition, but you should be prepared to play an example of each one. They can be short examples, but in each case should demonstrate that you understand what it is that we’re asking you to do. If you’re unfamiliar with the styles, songs, or terminology that we’ve used here, please go to one of the thousands of jazz resources out there and look them up. Learning to be resourceful in your studies is an essential part of your jazz education, and you need to begin that process now, if you haven’t already. Good luck!

Drum Set

Drummers will be expected to demonstrate:

  • Knowledge of percussion rudiments. Examples of the following drum styles using both sticks and brushes at various tempi; bebop, jazz waltz, bossa nova, samba, salsa or Afro-Cuban, funk, rock, R & B, shuffle, ballads.
  • Solos of all lengths (4s, 8s, 12s, chorus) demonstrating improvisational fluency and knowledge of song form (all tempos and meters).

Drummers must also perform a jazz solo transcription for drums (minimum 32 bars).