When to Start Accompaniment 2
Sandy L., Nebraska
I would like to ask your advice on exactly when to start Acc. 2. As you know, the pre-reqs obviously include Acc 1: all triads in all keys, ratios, inheriting all contemp chords, ability to identify and transpose I, IV, V in all keys, ability to sight-read chords and experience playing acc. pieces.
But, the part in the pre-reqs that confuses me is that Jazz Program Level 1 is listed. That’s it. In the training DVD when Neil references this, he points out how the Jazz Clues 3 and 4 in particular relate to the rhythm track projects in Acc. 2. But, unlike the specific requirements listed above related to Acc. 1, I can’t find anything that specifically lays out whether or not students must have completed the Jazz 1 program, or have gotten through a certain portion of it, or any exact requirements of what they have done regarding Jazz 1 in order to start Acc. 2.
I think my students are ready for this material (Acc. 2), as they are strong accompanists, but they are still working on Jazz Clue 2, and I would like JC 2 to be quite easy for them before I start JC3. Would you kindly share your thoughts?
Laurie Richards, Nebraska
You’re right; it’s a little vague regarding when to start it. Neil does say Jazz 1 is a prerequisite because of the rhythm tracks. However, it takes a long time to get through Jazz Clues 1, 2, and 3 to even get to Jazz Clue 4, and I believe most students are ready to start it way before then. Also, there are all the theory components in Acc2 that students are ready for in Level 8 – 9 ish.
I look at it as a “what came first – the chicken or the egg’ situation. Meaning that if students are exposed to the more advanced rhythm tracks in Acc2 first, it will help them in Jazz Clue 4. If they are exposed to them in Jazz Clue 4 first, it will help them in Acc2 rhythm tracks, but it will be a long time before they get there.
Here is how I have it mapped out in my studio for Jazz and Acc2. I have several upper-foundation and development-level classes, and it has worked pretty well. I’m a tweaker though, so it tends to continue evolving.
Level 7 – Jazz Clue 1
Level 8 – Jazz Clue 2, Acc2 (rhythm tracks)
Level 9 – Jazz Clue 2, Acc2 (inversions, start scale projects)
Level 10 – Jazz Clue 3, Acc2 (continue scale, set other acc projects)
Level 11 – Jazz Clue 3, Acc2 (transposition/embellishments, set other scale/acc projects)
Level 12 – Jazz Clue 4 (start)
I know Gordon starts Acc2 just before Jazz, so there isn’t just one answer. Hope this didn’t confuse the issue more for ya!