How To Join

The most important thing is your enthusiasm to learn and a willingness to ‘have a go’

DYJO comprises two bands, DYJO1 and DYJO2, the latter being the junior of the two bands and the normal entry point for new members to DYJO. Entry to DYJO1 is normally only available to players who have played in DYJO2 for at least one season. Entry to DYJO is by informal audition within one of the bands (normally DYJO2) at one of our Gathering Days in Exeter. The normal entry point is in September so that full participation in the season is possible. However, later entry is possible at the discretion of the band directors. The decision about suitability for band membership will be a joint decision between the player and the band director, based on the player’s ability to cope with the standard of music in the band.

Rough guidelines of what standards are expected in each band follow. The suggested ‘grade’ levels are designed to give an idea of the level of difficulty of parts; it is not necessary for players to have taken grades, but if reading ability is much below what is necessary to achieve these grades, the player may be struggling with the band’s repertoire, both technically and in the reading. But the most important thing is an enthusiasm to learn and a willingness to ‘have a go’ – both DYJOs will stretch their members in a supportive learning environment.


Saxes, trumpets, trombones: reading – approximately Grade 6+, confident in scales/arpeggios in most keys, and will also be familiar with a wide range of swing notation and swing and funk rhythm and phrasing. Should be prepared to improvise using chords. Keyboard/guitar/bass: should be fluent in both notation and chords in all the regular grooves; no tab. Drums: should be confident in notation in a wide range of grooves. Entry to DYJO1 is normally from being a member of DYJO2.


Saxes, trumpets, trombones: reading – approximately Grade 4-5+, reasonably confident in scales/arpeggios in common keys and should ideally also be familiar with some swing notation and swing and funk rhythm and phrasing. Should be prepared to improvise (instruction & materials provided). Keyboard/guitar/bass: should be able to read in simple chords and notation and in the regular grooves; no tab. Drums: should be able to follow and respond to notation in the standard Grooves.

If you are in any doubt about suitability, please contact us with any queries that you might have. We can send you a sample of the sort of music each band plays, which can be very helpful in assessing readiness for the challenges each band presents.