Blue Magic Wombat

by M.C. Handel/arr. Paul Jennings

Latin-flavored rock tunes are a lot of fun to play, and we know that you and your students will enjoy playing this one. It was inspired by the great songs of Carlos Santana, and our gang of studio musicians certainly gave us some inspired performances for the recording, especially guitarist Sandy Williams.

Featuring the notes low E, G, A, B, C, D, and high E, this tune gives your players a chance to play repeated notes with some separation, alternated with the expressive, legato melody of the song. They also have the opportunity to "trade phrases" with the solo guitar at bar 21. (This section can also be used for improvisation, if you prefer, using the notes of the song.)

To make this song even more usable for more of your students, we are also providing a simple percussion pattern [page 57 in the magazine] for you to adapt anyway you like. We recommend that you just use this when the song is moving along steadily. For instance, you might start the tune with no percussion, and gradually add an instrument or two every other bar until you reach bar 5. At 5 and every other time this rhythm is played (including bar 17 and the Coda), your percussionists should all play the same rhythm as the band on the recording (and/or the simplified rhythms provided for the recorders). Then, at bar 9, start the "Time Pattern." Feel free to add any instruments you like, as there are many percussion instruments that would work well with the tune, including claves, guiro, timbales, et al. Listen to the recording for other ideas if your players can do more complex rhythms.

By the way, the title actually started as a joke of sorts. We don't always have titles when we conceive tunes, but this title had the same rhythm to the ear as a well-known Santana tune, so it showed up on the score. The more we used it, the more we liked it. So now your players can have fun looking up "wombat" on the Internet. M.C. is hoping to see lots of pictures of cute blue rodents with magician's hats in next year's cover contest!

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.