Flex Format for Concert Band (GROOVE FORMAT)

Please take a moment to check out my NEW Flex Format for Concert Band!

I'm in the process of developing a new line of arrangements for young concert band.

I've been thinking about this for a while.

I always try to do a few pieces during the year that give the kids at each level a chance to rock out. I teach at a 5-8 Middle School, so there isn't much music that is available that is cool-sounding AND is accessible given what the kids can play on their instruments.

Hmm… time for a BAND SOLUTION!

The question formulated in my mind,
"what if there were a bunch of easy-ish tunes, that correlated with my instructional sequence, that were ROCK TUNES that reinforced the concepts I was teaching, and gave the ALL of the students the chance to play the BASS LINE, the MELODY, and a HARMONY PART or COUNTERMELODY."

… "and has a DRUM SET part!".

Necessity is the mother of invention, so I played around with a few different formats, and decided on a 2-page QUARTET.
A part - MELODY
C part - BASS LINE
DS part - DRUM SET

Level of difficulty is about the same for each part. If the concept that is being reinforced is 8th notes, ALL of the parts have conspicuous use of 8th note patterns. This way, no matter what part the student plays during practice or play-throughs, they get a lot of "touch-time" with that concept.

Sections of music (Intro, A Section, Bridge, Coda, etc.) have a NUMBER in a BOX. This way, if you want to repeat a section, or be clear about where the DS goes back to, all you have to do is HOLD UP A FINGER.

Chord changes are notated in the C part, so keyboard players or guitar players can play along without having to read 3 staves at once (Nadia Boulanger, anyone?) Advanced students can experiment with writing their own melodies, harmonies, countermelodies, and practice improvisation using this information.

At the moment, I am
TIME-POOR and EXHAUSTED from trying to do my job and keep the family going (anyone else?). I have about 16 of these things swirling about in my head that I would like to just sit down and write out, but it will take some time before this can actually happen. So, until that time, here are my free offerings for the first 3 months of school…

Here is a template for the GROOVE format:
GROOVE Template5

I encourage you to write your own GROOVES, notate them with some pro notation software and post them somewhere and/or share with your friends. Think of the ENORMOUS body of new rockin' literature we could have if even a small percentage of music educators did this! The passcode to viewing and printing is:

Here is a FREE sample groove that I encourage you to download, print and try out with your own students:
Groove No2 Do Dat Thing FINAL

You can view this as a model upon which to base your own rockin' stuff! Use the chord changes to write your own bass line, melody, and countermelody/harmony parts or just invent your own tune that's unrelated to this one. The passcode to viewing and printing is:

NB - I teach a fair amount of drum set at my school (because drummers take drums to rock out, right?) using my
Cheeseweasel Drum Set Method, which takes the students from ZERO to ROCK in 29 pages. (for the basic rock grooves. The more advanced rock grooves take a little longer, and page 53 ends up with students playing 16th note grooves.) If you don't teach percussion this way, you can still make these grooves work; you'll just have to instruct your kids how to read the drum set part, dividing up the part using more traditional concert band instruments.