maye cavallaro

musician, singer, artist, storyteller

listen to jazz


Download the pdf "Creating an Arrangement"

Listen to these 3 arrangements of Mood Indigo

  1. What is the overall mood of the piece?
  2. How does the intro help to create this overall mood?
  3. How long is the intro?
  4. What is the groove of the tune? (Ballad, swing, bossa nova)
  5. What is the instrumentation?
  6. What is the song form?
  7. How do they create variety in the piece? Rhythm breaks, kicks, modulations?
  8. How do they end the song?
  9. How does the vocalist create variety and make different sections sound different?



Here are some other interesting arrangements:


focus on rhythm in singing

Here are 5 examples to demonstrate how singers use accurate rhythm. Remember to tap your toe while you're listening. Pay attention to rhythm patterns: how they're repeated, when the singer lags behind, how they catch up again. Try to hear figures: triplets, swing eights, etc. Put the groove in your body, hear the complex rhythms, not just the quarter notes, and listen to the different instruments.


Singing rubato or "free time"

Here are some examples of singers singing rubato or out of strict time. Rubato comes from the italian "to rob." and refers to stealing time from one section and paying it back in another. Play attention to how they keep everything moving along. Sentences are strung together in a meaningful way with space in between whole thoughts. Rubato doesn't mean deadly slow but rather conversational.

Some of my favorite storytellers

How I love singer who tells me a story. Some of these stories you feel you know from the first words, others take some time to spin out. These are masterful singers creating an experience for you. Listen and enjoy.


ella fitzgerald
All or nothing at all


Lou Rawls
The Shadow of your smile


marc jordan
let it be me


Ernie Andrews
You Call it madness


Some endings, intros and turnarounds

Here are some examples from Guitarist Jeff Schroedl of poplular turnarounds and endings.