This is an archived article. Click here for current issue.
This Little Light of Mine: Shout Chorus
Traditional, arr. James Hill

Download FREE score (Printer-friendly PDF format):
C6 Tuning (g, c, e, a)
D6 Tuning (a, d, f#, b)

Listen:  

Can't see the audio player?
You need the Flash plugin.

Here we have a "shout chorus" for This Little Light of Mine (the "head" is available for free right here). In a big band arrangement, the shout chorus is the biggest, loudest, and (often) most exciting part of the chart. It's where the whole band plays together as one, often with all parts playing the same rhythm. It's a chance for everyone to combine their strengths and crank up the intensity toward a big finish!

Once again, this chart is presented in "mini-score" format (i.e. all parts on a single page). The advantages of the mini-score like this one are:

  • Class prep is a snap: all four parts fit on a single page so there's no need to guess about how many copies of each part you'll need.
  • Students can quickly switch between parts (i.e. no changing seats or passing paper)
  • Students get a "bird's eye view" of the arrangement and learn how to read a multi-part score.
Link: More "mini-scores" as well as full-length four- and five-part arrangements are available here.

In This Issue: PRELUDE IDEAS & LETTERS UKULELE REPORTS INTERVIEW FEATURE ARTICLE FREE ARRANGEMENT PEDAGOGY CORNER

 

 

This Little LIght of Mine: Shout Chorus
Teaching/Learning Notes

View print-friendly PDF Teaching/Learning Notes

Focus On:

  1. Syncopated rhythms
  2. Note reading
  3. Ensemble techniques

Key Points:

  • While the rhythms are repetitive – this arrangement is, after all, intended for a beginner-level big band – they're very syncopated and should not be taken for granted.

  • Have students clap the rhythm of m. 1-2 many times. Keep it interesting by changing dynamics, splitting the class, snapping, tapping, and saying words to the rhythm. Then play the rhythm on a single note. Finally, play as written.

  • With very few exceptions, all the melodic movement is by semi-tone, i.e. the note you're looking for is probably only one fret higher or one fret lower than the note you're on. Take it slow for a start.

  • Notice on the recording that the shout chorus is repeated and on the second time dynamics are added. This is just a suggestion, just one of many things that can be done to enhance this chart. Be creative; let your students put "their own spin" on the arrangement.

Additional Suggestions and Comments:

  • This arrangement can be played by ensembles of many shapes and sizes. The minimum number of players is five (one to a part, one strummer). The maximum number? That’s up to you!

  • This arrangement does not require a low fourth string. In other words, it is 100% compatible with both low- and high-4th string tunings.

  • Be sure to play recordings of the great big bands (Miller, Ellington, Basie) for your students.

James Hill is editor of Ukulele Yes! and co-author of Ukulele in the Classroom, He also maintains a busy touring schedule as a performer; his latest CD release, True Love Don't Weep, won Traditional Album of the Year at the Canadian Folk Music Awards. Visit www.ukulelejames.com for more.