Whitehorse Students Play the Blues and much more

img_1306Check out this video spot from Channel 3000.com


Grant helps jazz to fill halls of Madison middle school


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My Favorite Things

John Coltrane (most famous jazz version of this song)

a young jazz musician in 2016 – Joey Alexander

For improvisation on this tune let’s start by practicing an E dorian scale

E F# G A B C# D E

learn this up and down your instrument as high and low as you know how to play.

Next week we will try some call and response improvisation over the intro vamp in your music.

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Blues Thursday @ Whitehorse


D Jam Blues (known as C Jam Blues or Duke’s Place: 12 bar blues)

Check out these music videos for inspiration and ideas:

Duke Ellington jam- an original “music video”


Ellington Big Band


Ellington Band with Ella Fitzgerald



  1. Play melody    – AA rest rest rest AA AA A— D rest, rest, rest, rest, rest – 3xs
  1. This is the 12 bar blues form:
I chord I chord I chord I chord
IV chord IV chord I chord I chord
V chord IV chord I chord I chord
  1. Harmonic/rhythmic accompaniment: with chops on the off beats 1 2 3 4 – chops: up and down, row bow hold
I –(open)A/F# (E1) I -A/F# I -A/F# I -A/F#
IV – (A1)B/G (E low 2) IV – B/G I -A/F# I -A/F#
V – A/E IV – B/G I -A/F# I -A/F#
  1. Bass Line type of accompaniment
I: D A D A I: D A D A I: D A D A I: D D E F# WALK UP
IV: G D G D IV: G D G D I: D A D A I: D A D A
  1. Arpeggios accompaniment:

D Jam Blues I : D IV : G   V: A

D F# A F# D F# A F# D F# A F# D F# A F#
G B D B G B D B D F# A F# D F# A F#
A C# E C# G B D B D F# A F# D F# A F#
  1. The Art of the Jazz Solo
    1. Messing with the melody – rhythm and notes
    2. Using notes from the scales/making up your own melody:
      1. Major scale – works everywhere too.

D, E, F#, G, A, B, C#, D

  1. Blues scale – magic—it works everywhere

D, F, G, G#, A, C, D


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October 20, Thursday at Whitehorse

Version 2

Hi Whitehorse String friends,

I get to meet you all this week on Thursday as i will be in your orchestra classes. I thought you might like this photo!? It’s a gig i played on Labor Day with 2 of the musicians coming to your school with me in December, Jon Vriesacker (on violin) and John Becker (on keys).

I want to encourage you all to practice the things in the post from last week and to write me notes. Make comments or just say “hi, with your name and instrument” by clicking the “leave a comment” button.  below this post.

Looking forward to Thursday!

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Getting Started- C Jam Blues


Learning scales and arpeggios is a good way to build your vocabulary as an improviser. For C Jam Blues (for the ease of string players we will learn this song in the key of D Major) practice these exercises:

D Major scale – D, E, F#, G, A, B, C# D (up and down)

D arpeggio  – D, F#, A, octave D, A, F# D (up and down)

G arpeggio – G, B, D, octave G, D, B, G (up and down)

A arpeggio – A, C#, E, octave A, E, C#, A (up and down)

D Blues Scale – D, F, G, G#, A, C, octave D (up and down)


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Hello Whitehorse Middle School musicians!

This is a beginning, I’d like to introduce myself, I’m Laurie Lang bassist and composer and a musician coming to do a jazz residency with you and your orchestra. I’d like to invite all Whitehorse String kids to dialog with me as i work on jazz charts for the tunes we’ll play together and some with just a professional group.

You are welcome to ask questions here or give me ideas to make the arrangements better.

Our Tunes will be:

C Jam blues (in the key of D)

My Favorites Things – in E minor (modal)

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

and a free improv tune that we’ll play together.

Here is a photo of my family. We have a band, my 2 girls both started on violin but now 1 plays mandolin, ukulele, guitar, saxophone and trumpet and the other ukulele, piano and some drums. My husband plays sax and harmonicas and we all sing pretty well.


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December 15 – Whitehorse Middle School String Jazz

Jon Vriesaker, Chris Wagoner, Mary Gaines, John Becker and Laurie Lang will join with the students of Jessica Wahl at Whitehorse Middle school for a great couple days of fun and improvisation traveling from Duke Ellington Blues to John Coltrane Modal and free jazz.

Watch for more about this!

jon-vsnroadduocropLaurie-promo July 2011

John Becker

John Becker

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