Clinics at Madison schools to prepare for the 2013 Strings Festival

Welcome students and teachers from Wright, Hamilton and Cherokee Middle Schools! Here you can find recordings and sheet music to help you get started (or go farther with) improvising.


Your teacher gave you a handout that shows you two scales that work well for the solo section of “Jumbo Shrimp.” If you’d like to have another look at them, click below to download a PDF.

Jumbo Shrimp handouts

Backing track

A fun way to practice improvising is to play along with a recording of the rhythm section. This way you can get comfortable and try out anything you want. You can listen to a version of the solo section by clicking below.

Recorded solo examples

I played along these backing tracks and recorded two examples of a solo using only the five notes from the “5-Note Scale” that is on the “Two Scales For Jumbo Shrimp” handout (above). One solo (“Basic 5-Note Solo Example”) is very straightforward, the other (“Busy 5-Note Solo Example”) includes some grace notes and inflections that you can try out. You can download and listen to these by clicking below.

Basic 5-Note Solo Example:

Busy 5-Note Solo Example:

Sheet music for solo examples

I also wrote out these two solos so that you can study and learn them. Remember to keep listening to the recordings of the solos as you work on them. The written out part is only a partial representation of the music! You can find sheet music of each solo written out for your instrument by clicking below.


Basic 5-Note Solo Example – Violin
Busy 5-Note Solo Example – Violin


Basic 5-Note Solo Example – Viola
Busy 5-Note Solo Example – Viola


Basic 5-Note Solo Example – Cello
Busy 5-Note Solo Example – Cello


Basic 5-Note Solo Example – Bass
Busy 5-Note Solo Example – Bass


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