A bandleader is the leader of a music group such as a rock or pop group or jazz quartet. The term is most commonly used with a group that plays popular music as a small combo or a big band, such as one which plays jazz, blues, rhythm and blues or rock and roll music.Most bandleaders are also performers with their own band, either as singers or as instrumentalists, playing an instrument such as electric guitar, piano, or other instruments.
A rock band or pop band is a small musical ensemble which performs rock music, pop music or a related genre. The four-piece band is the most common configuration in rock and pop music. Before the development of the electronic keyboard, the configuration was typically two guitarists, a bassist, and a drummer. Another common formation is a vocalist who does not play an instrument, electric guitarist, bass guitarist, and a drummer. Instrumentally, these bands can be considered as trios.
Popular music is music with wide appeal that is typically distributed to large audiences through the music industry. These forms and styles can be enjoyed and performed by people with little or no musical training. It stands in contrast to both art music and traditional or "folk" music. Art music was historically disseminated through the performances of written music, although since the beginning of the recording industry, it is also disseminated through recordings. Traditional music forms such as early blues songs or hymns were passed along orally, or to smaller, local audiences.
A big band is a type of musical ensemble that usually consists of ten or more musicians with four sections: saxophones, trumpets, trombones, and a rhythm section. Big bands originated during the early 1910s and dominated jazz in the early 1940s when swing was most popular. The term "big band" is also used to describe a genre of music. One problem with this usage is that it overlooks the variety of music played by these bands.
The bandleader must have a variety of musical skills. A bandleader needs to be a music director who chooses the "setlist" (the list of songs that will be played in a show), sets the tempo for each song and starts each song (often by "counting in"), leads the start of new sections of songs (e.g., signalling for the start of a guitar solo or drum solo) and leads the endings of each song. The bandleader is also onstage with the group, so she or he has to be a strong performer on lead vocals or an instrument. The bandleader also needs to have a good general knowledge of the different parts played by all the rhythm section instruments (guitar, keyboards, electric bass, drum kit) and solo instruments (e.g., lead guitar, saxophone, etc.), as he/she/it/them has to audition prospective new members of the band and lead rehearsals. The bandleader also typically selects new songs for the group, particularly if the group is a cover band or a tribute band. In some cases, the bandleader may manage other aspects of the band, such as organizing tours and sound recording sessions. Some bandleaders are also composers and songwriters for their group.
A music director, musical director, or director of music is the person responsible for the musical aspects of a performance, production, or organization, for example the artistic director and usually chief conductor of an orchestra or concert band, the director of music of a film, the director of music at a radio station, the person in charge of musical activities or the head of the music department in a school, the coordinator of the musical ensembles in a university, college, or institution, the head bandmaster of a military band, the head organist and choirmaster of a church, or an organist and master of the choristers.
A guitar solo is a melodic passage, instrumental section, or entire piece of music written for a classical guitar, electric guitar or an acoustic guitar. In the 20th and 21st century traditional music and popular music such as blues, swing, jazz, jazz fusion, rock and metal guitar solos often contain virtuoso techniques and varying degrees of improvisation. Guitar solos on classical guitar, which are typically written in musical notation, are also used in classical music forms such as chamber music and concertos.
A drum solo is an instrumental solo played on a drum kit. A drum solo may be set or improvised, and of any length, up to being the main performance. In rock, drum solos are unique in that traditionally they are minimally or never accompanied, whereas other instruments may play solos accompanied or unaccompanied. They are also typically free-form in that they do not necessarily adhere to the tempo, style or structure of the song they accompany.
Often the bands are named after their bandleaders, or the backing band is given its own name, distinct from the bandleader (e.g., Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band or Elvis Costello and The Attractions). Some older bands such as The Count Basie Orchestra have continued operating under their bandleaders' names long after the death of the original bandleader.
Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen is an American singer-songwriter and leader of the E Street Band. Nicknamed "The Boss," he is recognized for his poetic lyrics, his Jersey Shore roots, his distinctive voice, and lengthy, energetic stage performances.
The E Street Band is an American rock band, and has been musician Bruce Springsteen's primary backing band since 1972. The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014.
Declan Patrick MacManus, better known by his stage name Elvis Costello, is an English musician, singer, songwriter, composer, record producer, author, television presenter, and occasional actor.
An instrumental is a musical composition or recording without lyrics, or singing, although it might include some inarticulate vocals, such as shouted backup vocals in a Big Band setting. Through semantic widening, a broader sense of the word song may refer to instrumentals. The music is primarily or exclusively produced using musical instruments. An instrumental can exist in music notation, after it is written by a composer; in the mind of the composer ; as a piece that is performed live by a single instrumentalist or a musical ensemble, which could range in components from a duo or trio to a large Big Band, concert band or orchestra.
The term jazz guitar may refer to either a type of guitar or to the variety of guitar playing styles used in the various genres which are commonly termed "jazz". The jazz-type guitar was born as a result of using electric amplification to increase the volume of conventional acoustic guitars.
A musical ensemble, also known as a music group or musical group, is a group of people who perform instrumental or vocal music, with the ensemble typically known by a distinct name. Some music ensembles consist solely of instruments, such as the jazz quartet or the orchestra. Some music ensembles consist solely of singers, such as choirs and doo wop groups. In both popular music and classical music, there are ensembles in which both instrumentalists and singers perform, such as the rock band or the Baroque chamber group for basso continuo and one or more singers. In classical music, trios or quartets either blend the sounds of musical instrument families or group together instruments from the same instrument family, such as string ensembles or wind ensembles. Some ensembles blend the sounds of a variety of instrument families, such as the orchestra, which uses a string section, brass instruments, woodwinds and percussion instruments, or the concert band, which uses brass, woodwinds and percussion.
In music performances, rhythm guitar is a technique and role that performs a combination of two functions: to provide all or part of the rhythmic pulse in conjunction with other instruments from the rhythm section ; and to provide all or part of the harmony, i.e. the chords from a song's chord progression, where a chord is a group of notes played together. Therefore, the basic technique of rhythm guitar is to hold down a series of chords with the fretting hand while strumming or fingerpicking rhythmically with the other hand. More developed rhythm techniques include arpeggios, damping, riffs, chord solos, and complex strums.
A jazz band is a musical ensemble that plays jazz music. Jazz bands vary in the quantity of its members and the style of jazz that they play but it is common to find a jazz band made up of a rhythm section and a horn section.
A power trio is a rock and roll band format having a lineup of electric guitar, bass guitar and drum kit, leaving out the second rhythm guitar or keyboard instrument that are used in other rock music bands that are quartets and quintets. Larger rock bands use one or more additional rhythm section to fill out the sound with chords and harmony parts.
Charles Henry Christian was an American swing and jazz guitarist.
Electric blues refers to any type of blues music distinguished by the use of electric amplification for musical instruments. The guitar was the first instrument to be popularly amplified and used by early pioneers T-Bone Walker in the late 1930s and John Lee Hooker and Muddy Waters in the 1940s. Their styles developed into West Coast blues, Detroit blues, and post-World War II Chicago blues, which differed from earlier, predominantly acoustic-style blues. By the early 1950s, Little Walter was a featured soloist on blues harmonica or blues harp using a small hand-held microphone fed into a guitar amplifier. Although it took a little longer, the electric bass guitar gradually replaced the stand-up bass by the early 1960s. Electric organs and especially keyboards later became widely used in electric blues.
A bassline is the term used in many styles of music, such as jazz, blues, funk, dub and electronic, traditional music, or classical music for the low-pitched instrumental part or line played by a rhythm section instrument such as the electric bass, double bass, cello, tuba or keyboard. In unaccompanied solo performance, basslines may simply be played in the lower register of any instrument such as guitar or piano while melody and/or further accompaniment is provided in the middle or upper register. In solo music for piano and pipe organ, these instruments have an excellent lower register that can be used to play a deep bassline. On organs, the bass line is typically played using the pedal keyboard and massive 16' and 32' bass pipes.
A fake book is a collection of musical lead sheets intended to help a performer quickly learn and perform new songs. Each song in a fake book contains the melody line, basic chords and sometimes lyrics – the minimal information needed by a musician or small group to make an extemporized arrangement of a song, or "fake it". The fake book is a central part of the culture of playing music in jazz, where strong improvisation abilities are expected from "comping" rhythm section players and "lead instruments" which play the melody and improvise lengthy solos over the chord progression.
Comping is the chords, rhythms, and countermelodies that keyboard players, guitar players, or drummers use to support a jazz musician's improvised solo or melody lines. It is also the action of accompanying, and the left-hand part of a solo pianist.
A rhythm section is a group of musicians within a music ensemble or band who provide the underlying rhythm, harmony and pulse of the accompaniment, providing a rhythmic and harmonic reference and "beat" for the rest of the band.
A rehearsal is an activity in the performing arts that occurs as preparation for a performance in music, theatre, dance and related arts, such as opera, musical theatre and film production. It is undertaken as a form of practising, to ensure that all details of the subsequent performance are adequately prepared and coordinated. The term "rehearsal" typically refers to ensemble activities undertaken by a group of people. For example, when a musician is preparing a piano concerto in their music studio, this is called "practicing", but when they practice the concerto with an orchestra, this is called a "rehearsal". The music rehearsal takes place in a music rehearsal space.
A pickup group is a group of professional musicians, which may be session musicians who are hired to play for a limited time period—ranging from a single concert or sound recording session to several weeks of shows—before disbanding. Pickup groups are formed to play in pit orchestras for musical theatre performances, operas, or operettas, accompany jazz singers or instrumental soloists, and act as a temporary backup band for a pop singer for a tour. As well, pickup groups are hired to perform at social events such as weddings or holiday parties. The size of these ensembles ranges from a three- or four-member rock ensemble or jazz group or classical chamber ensemble to a 20-piece jazz big band, a 20-27 member pit orchestra for a Broadway musical or a 30-100 member orchestra.
Jazz improvisation is the spontaneous invention of melodic solo lines or accompaniment parts. It is one of the defining elements of jazz. Improvisation is composing on the spot, when a singer or instrumentalist invents melodies and lines over a chord progression played by rhythm section instruments and accompanied by drums. Although blues, rock, and other genres use improvisation, it is done over relatively simple chord progressions which often remain in one key.
Jazz guitarists are guitarists who play jazz using an approach to chords, melodies, and improvised solo lines which is called jazz guitar playing. The guitar has fulfilled the roles of accompanist and soloist in small and large ensembles and also as an unaccompanied solo instrument.
A music session is a social gathering of musicians and singers who perform music in a relatively informal context. Much of the music performed at such events is traditional music for the area, popular songs and other well-known tunes. In sessions, the participants typically improvise the accompaniment, song arrangements and musical ornaments to the melodies of songs or tunes. The venue may be a public bar, tavern, village hall or a private home.
This is a list of jazz and popular music terms that are likely to be encountered in printed popular music songbooks, fake books and vocal scores, big band scores, jazz, and rock concert reviews, and album liner notes. This glossary includes terms for musical instruments, playing or singing techniques, amplifiers, effects units, sound reinforcement equipment, and recording gear and techniques which are widely used in jazz and popular music. Most of the terms are in English, but in some cases, terms from other languages are encountered.