"Get Down" - Trombone Shorty

"Get Down" (PDF) from the Trombone Shorty album, Orleans & Claiborne.
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This recording features members of the Rebirth Brass Band sitting in on Trombone Shorty's original tune. It showcases the current style of "second line" brass band music from New Orleans, and it was obviously intended for the dancing crowd.

The harmony for this solo is built around a minor ii-V7 progression, and Trombone Shorty's solo stays within F minor for most of its duration. A common pattern that he uses is a descending figure of F-E-Eb, as in bars 7 and 25. Similarly, he plays around with the F minor blues scale over the C7 chord, as in bar 26. Another interesting pattern over the C7 chord is in bar 22. Shorty uses a diminished pattern (W-H-W-H) starting on the b7th and resolving to the major 3rd. In bar 2, he uses this pattern and combines it with the previously mentioned F-E-Eb pattern.

Yet, the most effective patterns of this solo are the sextuplets in bars 8-10 built on an Ab major triad, or the top three notes of the Fm chord. Obviously, this pattern requires tremendous lip flexibility and articulation. I assume Shorty is using a "doodle" tounging to play this. It definitely excites and energizes the crowd, and it will return in future blog entries.

The last thing I want to point out about this solo is the phrasing. Shorty plays this solo in 4-bar phrases. He takes the first two bars to establish a melody, usually with repetition, and then either resolves that idea or heightens it into the next phrase. This technique comes from the blues, and all the great players use it often, simply because it works.

I couldn't find a live performance of this particular tune, but here's a YouTube video of Trombone Shorty playing "Grazing in the Grass" with the Rebirth Brass Band.

Recommended Reading: Melodious Etudes for Trombone. Arranged by Joannes Rochut. Published by Carl Fischer.