Jazz Studies

The Jazz Studies program at SCPA includes the following instruments for audition: trumpet, trombone, saxophone, piano, guitar, bass and drum set. Students auditioning for the Jazz Studies program will be required to play the scales below from memory.  Drummers will be expected to perform the scales either on piano or vibraphone.  Pianists will perform scales with 2 hands.  All scales should be performed in 8th notes to the 9th degree at= 100 beats per minute, with the proper articulation in the following example.


Major Scales (Concert Pitch): Bb, Eb Ab, D, G
Blues Scales (Concert Pitch): Bb, F

In addition to scales, students playing trumpet, trombone, saxophone, piano, guitar and bass will be expected to play the melody to Blues by Five and improvise 2 choruses of Bb blues.  There will be a brief sight reading example as well.

Blues by Five (Bb Instruments)
Blues by Five (Concert Pitch Instruments)
Blues by Five (Eb Instruments)
Blues by Five (Bass Clef Instruments)


Pianists and guitarists will be expected to comp in swing style on the chords of Blues by Five in addition to playing the melody and improvising.  It is suggested that 2 note voicings (i.e. 3 and 7 of each chord) be used.  Guitarists should expect to comp in the style of Freddie Green.

Video Demo Here


Bassists will be expected to walk the provided bass line outlining the chord changes in Blues by Five.  Ideally, bassists will perform on upright acoustic bass without an amplifier.


Drummers will be expected to demonstrate the following styles in addition to their scales. Students will be asked to alternate time and 4 bar solos in the appropriate style.

Swing (slow, medium, up tempo)
Jazz Waltz

In addition to the varying styles, drummers will sight read a big band chart using appropriate drum fills to set up music figures.

Jazz Audition Rubric

Click here for the Rubric.

For additional questions related to the audition process for the SCPA Jazz Studies program, please email Dr. John Reynolds: jreynolds@sandi.net