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					Brass Basics Manual

    2005-2006


  Trumpet
      By Jay Michalak
           Brass Basics
       Introduction

Hi everyone and welcome to Brass Basics. By compiling this manual, chock full of the
most up to date philosophies of brass playing, I hope I can give you some of the tools you
need to reach your goals.

   The best way to improve at what you are pursuing, regardless of what it
     is, is to understand what is you’re doing, then work your butt off.

I have known many different people throughout my life and career, and for the most part
they have been good, hard working, intelligent and motivated. However, not everyone I
know has made it as far as they dream or hope to. Some do. What differentiates them?
Those who make it, undeniably, have a steely work ethic. They choose a harder path in
life than those around them. These people also continually pursue a deeper
understanding of what they do. With their understanding, they are able to identify what
will make them better - “THE FUNDAMENTALS” - and that’s what they work on.
Working smartly and effectively, it can even be relatively stress-free! I recommend
several books that describe effective and beautiful ways of learning:
       Zen in the Art of Archery. Herrigel, Eugen.
       Effortless Mastery. Werner, Kenny.
       The Inner Game of Tennis. Gallway, Timothy.
       The Inner Game of Music. Gallway, Timothy and Barry Green
Playing any instrument is a mind-bogglingly complex task. We will look at ways to
isolate the fundamentals of playing in ways that will help your understanding of how it
works. I will also give you a wide variety of ways to pursue your development through
solutions and understanding. We will start, however, by looking for an understanding of
what it is we are doing – we are performing art.

A lot of this manual may be seriously long winded, but everything is in here for a reason.
The topics included are derived from my years of experience and study. I have been
lucky enough to study with some of the best brass players and teachers in the world. I
encourage you to read and reread the information here. It will not sink in fully right
away…the task of developing your understanding will take time and vigilance. I hope by
working on these concepts, you can look up in time and genuinely see tremendous
improvement not only in yourself, but also in the groups you play in!




Foothills Brass Quintet – Brass Basics – JKM
           Brass Basics
        Performance

Let’s start off by looking at the act of performing and understanding what goes into it.

All art forms are centered on one basic human activity – Communication. Whether it’s
painting, sculpture, dance, music, or theater, an artist creates something that an audience
then experiences. The artist has poured their deepest inspiration, emotions, feelings,
thoughts, beliefs and principals into their work, which are then communicated through
the medium to the audience. It’s truly an incredibly personal and sensitive thing.

As musical performers, we are in a unique scenario. Each time we step on the stage, our
art is created again, communicated to new and different people each time. Think of it as
a gift you are giving to the audience…you have worked on it, nurtured it, even suffered
for it, and now you are giving it to them for their enjoyment. They will applaud, they
will cheer, and they will cherish what you gave them – a great moment in life. That’s the
power of art.



 Performing Effectively requires preparation. Preparation includes group
 cohesion, personal skill development, practice performance and mastery of
what is being performed. Most importantly, it requires personal investment
          and a willingness to share who you are with other people.



The best performers are ones who make every single note a musical statement. Nothing is
ever done thoughtlessly. A great artist will slave over what might not seem to be
important. They may play a half note a hundred times looking for just the right way to
play to fit how they feel the music should go. Often times real meaning is buried deep
and the only way to find it is to dig until it hurts.


A great phrase that captures this sentiment is “Max It Out.”
It can be used in millions of ways, but truly anything you do            Max It Out!
in life can be thought of in this way. Max out a musical phrase.
Max out your potential for becoming a great brass player by
practicing individually. Max out your effort during every rehearsal. Remind each other
often. Max it out and leave no room for regrets!




Foothills Brass Quintet – Brass Basics – JKM
           Brass Basics
   Showtime – Focus
     and Nerves
One of the things I find funny about performing ensembles is that they rarely do much to
develop their group’s ability to excel in performance situations. I would suspect many of
you have your own ways or methods of dealing with the intensity of performance, and I
hope I can teach you a few more things from my own experience as a professional.

So you’re at a show waiting to go on, you’ve done warm-ups, and everything is feeling
great and ready to go. How do you spend that last 10 minutes or so that we inevitably
have to wait around? What you do with that time can have a huge impact on your
performance. Here are a few suggestions I have found to be very effective at eliciting
great performances.

1. MAKE SURE YOU STAY WARMED UP!!!
   In the amount of time it takes to leave warm-up and head to a performance, I
   guarantee you will be less than ideally ready to go unless you take measures to
   counteract this.
       - Keep blood flowing to your lips by buzzing them lightly, flapping them out
           or stretching them gently.
       - You can buzz quietly in your mouthpiece by covering the hole at the end of
           the shank with your pinkie finger.
       - Do a few breathing exercises from our routines, focus on deep breathing.
       - If it is any colder than 20º, the temperature will affect the intonation of your
           horn – keeping moving warm air through horns until the last possible
           moment. Don’t forget to empty your spit valves (more water when it’s cold)
       - Don’t forget about your body! A little stretching of the torso, arms and legs
           can help keep you loose.

2. Creating Focus
   There are lots of ways of getting focused for performance; here are few reminders:
      - Keep in mind the task at hand.
                Ideally you should be thinking only of what you are about to do. Block
                out the temptations to think about the party afterwards, or what you’re
                doing the next day at school or at work. If you find yourself drifting,
                gently bring your mind back into focus. Don’t get down on yourself for
                drifting - it happens to all of us especially when you’re excited. Help
                each other out. If you see someone seeming not focused, give him or
                her a friendly “have a great performance.”
      - Visualize tricky spots in the performance.
                The best way to prevent “stupid” mistakes is to think ahead. Always be
                anticipating. We don’t always do this automatically. Even times when
                we try to remember, in the heat the battle we still forget. A good way of
                providing a mental trigger is to do some visualization.


Foothills Brass Quintet – Brass Basics – JKM
                    *See yourself a few moments in the show before the trouble spot.
                    Now start the action. Watch yourself approach that spot and
                    successfully negotiate it. Do this a couple of times, and chances are
                    when you’re in the performance, your focus will take right where
                    you need to be make that spot happen.
       -   Remember all the Time and Effort that have gone into to making this
           moment happen.
               Thinking on these topics lends a bit of gravity to the moment at hand.
               Especially early in the season, we don’t tend to think on these things too
               much. Adding gravity to a situation peaks our focus simply because of
               our desire to do well.

3. Dealing with Performance Anxiety
   Everyone gets excited before any big show. We are not used to being in front of
   hundreds or even thousands of people, and this situation can be overwhelming, even
   threatening. When we are faced with an intense situation, our bodies respond in
   several ways. These responses are natural defenses that are designed essentially help
   us as humans evade predators. Think of a Neanderthal man trying to outrun a hungry
   saber-toothed tiger…he needs all the help he can get!

    First, all of our systems quicken – thinking, breathing, heart rate – our bodies are
    prepared for extreme physical activity. The body releases gobs of adrenaline as a
    precautionary measure, so we feel a rush of energy that can leave you almost
    shaking. This also makes focus difficult, as your brain is literally racing along.
    Finally, and most unfortunately for brass players, our breathing gets shallower. You
    can imagine, and probably have experienced, how this all can have a negative impact
    on playing and music making. Combating these symptoms is a two-fold task, mental
    and physical.

Have the Right Mindset
    One of our biggest causes of stage fright is the fear of having people hear or see our
    mistakes. This is actually pretty non-sensical if you look at it from an audience
    perspective. People come to a performance looking mainly to be inspired,
    entertained, or to see their kids. They are looking for all the good things; they don’t
    care one bit about mistakes (which they can’t pick out 99.9% percent of the time
    anyway).

    You have prepared this awesome performance as a gift to them. If you honestly give
    110%, you could fall on your butt and crack every note, and the audience would still
    cheer you on. I doubt this would happen though (:

    In terms of judges or adjudicators, you need to remember they are there mainly to
    help us learn. Do not try to impress them. They are professional musicians/visual
    people and can see and hear everything you do. If there comes a point when a judge
    says you’re perfect, that person is not a good judge.


Foothills Brass Quintet – Brass Basics – JKM
Draw on your confidence
       Confidence in your abilities will calm your nerves as you prepare for
       performance. But building your confidence is a long-term project. You gain
       confidence from knowing you can do something, not just once, but every single
       time. Learning and being able to nail your music early on leaves lots of time to
       build the confidence that you can produce the same top notch performance every
       time.

Brain Breathing
       Brain breathing techniques have a number of highly beneficial results as it
       pertains to preparing immediately before a performance. It creates focus, it
       extinguishes the tendency to breathe shallow, gets your body used to resisting the
       urge to breath in when O2 gets low, and slows the systems down. It puts you back
       in control of your body. It should be practiced regularly so that when it comes
       time to use it before a show it is very natural.

Follow this sequence as an example

                     Start by standing tall and relaxed
                     Do a couple of sigh’s to get rid of any tension
                     Breathe naturally. Don’t try to control it
                     Close your eyes and envision a number 1 on your next exhale
                     When you begin to inhale, switch to a number 2
                     Continue this pattern, back and forth a while

                     Next breathe in for 6 slow counts
                     When you are full, suspend the air (do not close your throat) for 6
                     Slowly exhale for 6
                     Repeat this process this time using 8 counts

                     Return to normal breathing imagining 1 exhale, and 2 inhale
                     See the colors of these numbers change, the backgrounds
                     Follow your breath

                     After a while, take a deep breath in over 10 counts
                     Suspend for 10
                     Exhale for 10
                     Repeat the process using 12 or 15 counts

As you do this, you can feel everything relax. I encourage you to press the limits. At
present I can take a breath in over 30 counts, hold for 90 and exhale 30 – that’s 2 ½
minutes for one breath. As a professional performer, I cannot stress how much this little
exercise has helped me improve on stage!




Foothills Brass Quintet – Brass Basics – JKM
           Brass Basics
          Music
      Fundamentals
Constructing a musical image of a piece, not only requires learning “how it goes,” but
also applying musical fundamentals to the image. You absolutely must hear the music
with great sound, great rhythmic underpinning, and pure intonation. These are the laws
of music…don’t break them!

What is a great Sound? How do you know if you are making a great sound? This is a
pretty fundamentally difficult question to answer. People will give lots of answers: a
great sound is… big, open, free, clear, flexible, resonant, dark, brilliant. A lot of times
what these terms mean is very
nebulous and hard to explain in a              Find a recording of someone who sounds
technical way. We will discuss later         great on your instrument. Listen very closely
some techniques for developing sound,          to how they sound and try to emulate that
but the best way is to hear great sounds
                                                          sound in your playing.
and imitate.

We also need to address your understanding of what a great brass ensemble sounds like.
There are lots of great recordings out there and some of my favorites come from the
group German Brass. We’ll listen together to some of their recordings and we’ll talk
through what they do right.


Intonation is very important to having a great sounding group. Interestingly, having
players with great sounds makes playing in tune much easier! Beyond working on
sound, there are some other practical ways to develop your sense of intonation.

              1. Make sure your instrument is always in tune. Tune to A=440
                   Use a tuner to test whether your instrument is properly adjusted.
                     -       Make sure you are fully warmed up and that your
                              instrument is not cold.
                     -       Since brass instruments are at the best of times fairly out
                              of tune with themselves, I recommend tuning on at least
                              three open (1st position) intervals, usually the first three
                              partials. (Bb, F, Bb concert … F, C, F concert on horn)
                              you will find that even if one is in tune, the others may
                              be out just a bit. Find the tuning slide position that gets
                              the most notes closest.

              2. Once your instrument is in tune, spot check yourself occasionally
                            - land on a note and hold it. Check the tuner to see if you
                                are playing in tune.


Foothills Brass Quintet – Brass Basics – JKM
                             -   If not, notice the tendency and be prepared for that the
                                 next time it comes around. Try to hear the correct
                                 intonation in your musical image.
                             -   Fixing Tendencies
                                     o Trombones can simply adjust their positions in
         You will find that               or out to find the proper intonation (except 1st)
       nearly every note on          o All others can adjust smaller slides (i.e. 1st and
      your instrument has an              3rd slides on a trumpet, which should be
     intonation tendency. Be              working smoothly by the way!) to lower sharper
      prepared for what those             pitches
        are, and counteract          o When it comes to notes that are typically flat,
       them when you play.                we have to “lip” it up by using just a little more
                                          embouchure and energizing the air.

              3. Use a drone pitch to practice interval intonation
                           - find a sustained drone source: keyboard, tuner, etc.
                           - I use a Dr. Beat and listen through good headphones
                           - The drone must be fairly loud compared to your sound
                           - Play different notes above and below
                                    o Start with major scale – check out each note
                                    o You will be able to find a “place” on each note
                                        where you get the strongest co-vibration with
                                        the drone…that’s where it’s in tune
                                                you will notice your tendencies come
                                                into play here as well
                                    o Try all the chromatic notes vs. the drone
Perfect Pitch
 “Perfect Pitch” is the ability to hear/identify notes or generate/sing them without referencing an
 instrument. Some people are born with it. Many others develop it because it so useful, especially
 to brass players. Here’s how you can work on this skill…

          Start by trying to simply imagine a Bb, and once you have a clear idea, sing it. Then
 check it (with piano or your instrument). Were you close? Another way is to try imagining the
 start of a favorite song. Often times this can be easier than just trying to pick a pitch out of
 nowhere. Learn what note your song starts on, say it’s an F. Then practice hearing the song in
 your head, and singing the note. Check yourself again. It may take some time to develop your
 accuracy at this but the payoff is big.
          Once you are able to generate that one note from scratch, you can work on finding the
 other notes in relation. An easy one is to try to find a fourth (use the opening of Mendelssohn’s
 wedding march “here comes the bride”=automatic perfect fourth). Start by hearing your note,
 then hear the tune starting on that note. You should end up on the note you want. As you get
 better at this, the process will quicken and you will be able to find any note you need quickly.
 You will also be ready to hear new things and match them to what you hear in you head, being
 able to “magically” name notes out of thin air!




Foothills Brass Quintet – Brass Basics – JKM
Rhythm is the other major music fundamental that we as a group and as individuals
need to develop. Correct rhythms need to be precisely divided over the beat. The beat,
or pulse, needs to remain constant. Within these two areas, pulse and rhythms, there is a
tremendous possibility for small pitfalls that will detract from the music. If pulse and
rhythm are cornerstones in every player’s technique, the rhythmic clarity and energy this
combination creates will knock the listener’s socks off. Here’s what to work on.

Pulse – ability to maintain a steady beat by oneself and as a group

       1. Use a Metronome often in your own practice.
             Even if you’re working on things at a slower tempo, the metronome
             provides precise pulse for you to coordinate with. If you practice
             coordinating with steady pulse, you will be much better prepared to
             accomplish it.

       2. Find the Groove, Baby!
             This exercise we will do as a group for sure but it is also useful to do
             during your own practice. Groove is something you might find
             percussionists talking about a lot, but there’s no reason we can’t work on
             this concept as well.
                             - Start by creating a simple beat; use a metronome.
                                     o Perhaps use the tempo of a particular piece you
            Groovy



                                         would like to improve on.
                             - Next add some vocalized rhythms, whatever you like,
                                 have fun, improvise, beat box – make it all fit with the
                                 beat.
                             - Finally, start moving your body. Anything you want to
                                 do, go for it!
                             - If you were using this to generate the pulse of a
                                 particular piece, at this point you would phase out the
                                 vocalizations and movements while you keep the pulse
                                 and groove going. Then count off your piece. Play
                                 within the groove that you have established and you
                                 find rhythms will fit easily into the groove you are
                                 feeling.


Rhythm – ability to accurately divide a beat into smaller note values

When approaching a new piece of music, it is vitally important to accurately understand
all rhythms in the work. Part of being able to accomplish requires having the ability to
subdivide different types of note values perfectly over a beat, and to be able to switch
between them readily, especially eights and triplets.
 For a humbling experience, try setting your metronome at quarter = 60. First,
 practice different types of subdivisions (eighths, triplets, sixteenths, quintuplets)
 accurately placing them over the beat. Next, play one right after the other, in different
 orders and strive to maintain even subdivision, and steady pulse!
Foothills Brass Quintet – Brass Basics – JKM
In complicated passages here are a few suggestions to help simply any problems. We
will go over these techniques and how to use them at some point in rehearsal; they are
here for your reference.

       1. PRACTICE SLOWLY AND WITH STEADY TEMPO
       2. Find the beat, and mark it.
       3. Remove ties between notes for practicing, when you go to play as written,
          pretend that you actually play this note and it will help you feel the rhythm
          accurately.
       4. Find the smallest note value, subdivide the entire passage by that value.
              a. For example if the smallest note is a sixteenth, play all quarter notes as
                 four sixteenths, eighth notes as two sixteenths, etc.
              b. Practice playing the passage this way several times, then go back and
                 play it as written.




Foothills Brass Quintet – Brass Basics – JKM
           Brass Basics
Individual Practice


Individual practice is the #1 key to how much you will improve. Knowing what
          and how to practice will determine how fast you get there.


Finding Time – Finding time to practice can be challenging.           Choose the times you
are going to practice at and stick with them. Write it in your schedule. Ideally go for 2
times a day, 5-6 days a week, with each session lasting 1 – 1½ hours. It is much better to
practice for shorter intervals more often and here is the reason: the skills and muscle
coordination involved in playing are very fine and small. As a result they have a much
shorter-term memory than larger muscle groups. Even a gap of just 24 hours will send
you backwards. So someone who practices 5 times a week for one hour, will greatly
outperform someone who chunks through two 3 hour sessions. Find time every day, and
you will be amazed how much faster you improve.

Fundamental Skill Development: the first part of practice – The
fundamentals are those concepts that when improved, will directly improve your ability to
play your instrument. Fundamentals should be one of the primary foci of each and every
practice session. You should develop a routine, in which you progress through the
fundamentals in this specific order: Air, Buzzing, Sound, Flexibility, Articulation. The
reason for this order has to do with the hierarchy of these fundamentals that I will explain
later on. There are numerous exercises for each fundamental, and these can be varied
from day to day. I recommend starting your practice session with this work, as it can also
serve as a warm – up. We will go into more specific detail about the fundamentals later
in the manual.

Musical Practice: the second part – During this time, you will be
developing your ability to play specific music. Continue to focus on proper
fundamentals as you work through more technically difficult music. Work on
intonation and rhythm in the context of the music.

1. Focus on the problem areas, analyze the playing problems, and develop a solution.
   Work on very small sections of music at a time.

2. Don’t be afraid to slow down a passage. Slow repetition is often necessary in order
   to develop the skills needed to perform on your instrument. Gradually work things up
   to the desired tempo.

3. Learn it right the first time! It is pointless to rush through a piece of music and



Foothills Brass Quintet – Brass Basics – JKM
   learn something wrong. You will only be backtracking in order fix your errors.
   Learning it right implies all the right notes, articulations, fingering, tuning and
   dynamics.

4. Simplify complicated rhythms. Sometimes it helps to take out slurs and faster notes
   for learning purposes. Once the basic rhythmic outline is understood an playable,
   then start to add these elements back in one at a time.

5. Work on Fingers/Slide positions without actually playing. Finger or slide
   coordination is a purely mechanical part of playing. Make sure your fingers can get it
   right and in time. Again start slow and work up to speed. By practicing this without
   playing, it can save a lot of face.

6. Coordinate Fingers with Tongue. It is essential that tonguing lines up with the
   valve changes. Again work away from the instrument, and use a wind pattern (we’ll
   discuss this later). Make sure the valve movement and the tongue line up. Take it
   slower if need be.

7. For sound problems, use buzzing. Very simply put, whatever signal you put
   through your mouthpiece is what ends up in the horn. If you can make your
   mouthpiece sound excellent and connected, you will definitely be able to sound good
   on the horn.

8. For articulation problems, use wind patterns. Wind patterns address the problems
   at the source, make sure you are putting the correct air signal through the horn by
   practicing it away from the instrument. Once you have perfected it, replay the
   passage on your horn and you should see some progress.

Typical Practice Session
PART I – Fundamental Skills Development (warm up) 30 minutes
          Air                     5 minutes
          Buzz                    5 minutes
          Sound/Flexibility       10-15 minutes
          Articulations           5-10 minutes

PART II – Musical Practice 30 – 60 minutes

       These times can be adjusted for longer or shorter sessions.




Foothills Brass Quintet – Brass Basics – JKM
           Brass Basics
      Wind and Song

As we move into discussing the fundamentals that we will be approaching in your
individual practice, we need to have a clear understanding of how best to learn our
instruments. The master tuba teacher, Arnold Jacobs, revolutionized the way we think
about brass playing. He was a student of psychology, physiology, and music. He
discovered that incredible musical results could be reaped from focusing on two
fundamental ideas: Song and Wind.

Song means you focus on exactly what               As human beings we are incredibly
you want to sound like to the audience. Pay        complex. Fortunately, we the have
attention to every detail – vibrato, type of
sound, articulation, correct pitch and               means of accomplishing complex
rhythm, etc. Having this mental image is            tasks without thinking about every
85% of the game and relies heavily on your         aspect involved. The key is finding
imagination.
                                                     what to focus on. Arnold Jacobs
Wind, the other 15%, means you have the              described what these are for brass
ability to apply the proper air stream to              players: Song and Wind.
create what your Song requires. This means
we need to have strong breathing skills: good flexibility, deep capacity, ability to breathe
freely, ability to control air movements. These are skills that require work and
development – they can be improved greatly.

The process works like this. If the Song, or musical image, is very clear and present in
your mind, your Wind will obey. The wind will directly effect what comes out of your
horn, which will closely resemble your image. It’s almost like you have a CD running in
your head as you play. The musician on this CD is everything you want to sound like.
Not only will this lead you into playing how you want to sound, it will also give you a
heads up on what exactly you need to fix.

By Jacobs theory, it is vitally important that you carefully learn the music you are
working with correct rhythm, intonation and phrasing. Even if you can’t play something
yet, having this perfect understanding will guide you in the right direction. The more
refined your mental image, the more you will be able to refine your own playing.

I encourage you to look into Jacob’s teachings. There have been some wonderful
collections, CD’s and books written that capture the essence of his teaching. Visit this
website, and you will get a whole new understanding of “Jake” and how he has impacted
the world of brass playing.

http://www.windsongpress.com


Foothills Brass Quintet – Brass Basics – JKM
Here are a the books ands CD’s that have been published that contain the essence of his
teaching. The CD is especially amazing for several reasons. First, he is actually the one
talking and lecturing. And you get to hear him play – it will blow your mind to hear how
he plays the tuba! I have this if you want to take a listen.


Arnold Jacobs: Song and Wind. Brian Frederikson. Gurnee: Windsong Press Limited,
       1996.

Arnold Jacobs: Legacy of a Master. Compiled by M. Dee Stewart. Northfield:
       Instrumentalist, 1992.

Portrait of an Artist. CD compilation. Summit(Classical): B00004UDEY. 2000.




Foothills Brass Quintet – Brass Basics – JKM
            Brass Basics
     Breathing
Arnold Jacobs devised many ways to effectively improve the way his students used air,
using equipment, measuring apparatus, and everyday items. Some people would say
descending into his basement was like having a date with a mad doctor. He’d hook you
up to some machine, tell you what to focus on, and all of a sudden you could play! Other
members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra brass section at the time were very much
in agreement with what Jacobs had to say, and some like Vince Cichowiez, branched out
and developed their own methods of teaching essentially the same material. Jack Stamp,
a famous trumpet teacher in LA, was also at the time coming up with very practical
solutions to reach some of the same goals.

Recently, two of the most outstanding tuba players in world, Pat Sheridan and Sam
Pilafian, combined these teachings into a comprehensive, challenging, and relatively
straightforward set of exercises called “The Breathing Gym.”1 They developed these in a
morning class they run for students at the U. of Arizona where Sam teaches. A majority
of our work dealing with air will be straight out of their teaching.

Why is Air so important as a fundamental? As Jacobs realized, air is the foundation of
everything we do skill-wise on wind instruments. Our sound is a direct reflection of the
buzz we make into our mouthpiece. That buzz is 95% dependent on the AIR we put
through our embouchure (5%). So essentially…

                               Air = Buzz = Sound
You might ask why embouchure is so unimportant in this equation. Jacobs and his
colleagues discovered over time, that if a player’s air skills were developed properly, the
embouchure would naturally, over time, adjust to the most efficient position. They found
this approach much more effective than trying to coach extremely minute positioning of
the lips. Besides, with the physical differences between individuals, they found that each
person really has a unique embouchure that works best for them. As Bud Herseth, the
Principal Trumpet of the CSO, put it, “You have to start with a very precise sense of how
something should sound [Song]. Then, instinctively, you modify your lip and your
breathing and the pressure of the horn to obtain that sound."

Preparing the Body for Excellent Breathing
Proper breathing requires that the body be prepared for it. Tension in our muscles joints
and other tissues not only make it difficult to breath deep, it also stifles the resonance in
our sound…
                            TENSION KILLS SOUND!!!
1
 The Breathing Gym. Pilafian, Sam and Patrick Sheridan. DVD and book. Fort Wayne: Focus on
Excellence, 2003. Available through WindSong Press. Calgary distributor Paul Beauchesne, 277-3575.


Foothills Brass Quintet – Brass Basics – JKM
We can combat tension (create relaxation and flexibility) in several ways.

                1. Stretching – Daily stretches should include ones that specifically
                   address the muscles and joints that are involved in breathing:
                   head/neck, arms/shoulders, ribcage, abdomen.

                2. Isometric exercise – in the 1970s the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s
                   players committee had a series of guest clinicians develop a set of
                   stretches to combat their players growing playing tensions. This
                   included isometrics (opposing muscle groups flexed at the same
                   time). These help get blood flowing to needed areas.
                                 - Example: Start by taking a deep, slow breath and
                                    flexing your arms and shoulders. Hold firmly for 5
                                    seconds. Then is one swift motion, release the air
                                    and the flex.

                3. Yoga – although similar to stretching, the discipline of yoga focuses
                   on breathing in conjunction, and many of the basic poses are
                   designed to relieve tension in the breathing system. I do yoga pretty
                   much everyday, as I have found the benefits to my playing to be
                   great.

                       a. One branch of yoga is used to help open up the nasal cavity.
                          It promotes good health of the sinuses, makes it easier to
                          breathe, and for our purposes will help resonance. This stuff
                          is a bit funky, but it’s great. A wonderful way to help you
                          feel better if you have a cold! We’ll go over these techniques.
                                 - Message the acupressure points around your head
                                 - Use air pressure to internally open up sinuses
                                 - Humming with your nose pinched to “massage” the
                                     sinuses
                                 - Buzzing lips to “massage” inner ear

                4. The “Sigh” – simply enough this is an exaggerated sigh. It is our
                   body’s natural way of relieving tension. My personal favorite!
                                - Start by taking a very deep breath and raising your
                                   arms over your head
                                - When you are full of air, release it and let your arms
                                   drop as you vocally sigh
                                - Let your arms dangle loosely at your sides.




Foothills Brass Quintet – Brass Basics – JKM
The other major aspect of preparing the body to breathe well is posture. We all know
some basics about posture: stand tall, make sure your body is aligned, weight evenly
distributed over your feet. These are all good ideas. Sometimes in marching band I will
see attempts at posture that include standing in a rigid fashion – when I see this, my spine
cringes!!! No way can you take a proper breath and play your instrument well like that.
You need to find ways to stand tall, and with great alignment, without flexing your whole
body so you do not hinder your breathing. Seated posture should aim to maintain as
much of the correct standing posture as possible!

Two quick suggestions regarding posture from Ashtang Yoga that can help align your
breathing apparatus, an aspect of posture that is often overlooked.

                1. Start by standing tall with the best, relaxed, posture you can. Often
                   times in this position our hips tend to be rotated to the back a little.
                   To fix this, think about pushing your pelvis forward slightly, and ever
                   so slightly turning your thighs out. You can even think of pressing
                   the small of your back out. This slight change in position will not
                   only free up some of your breathing muscles; it will also help your
                   step-offs by improving your center of gravity. Plus it’s good for your
                   spinal health.

                2. To more properly align your head and throat, first imagine a string
                   that ascends from the top of your head near the back of your head.
                   This will help you stand tall. Next think of pushing the small of your
                   neck (backside) back so that you create a straight line over your
                   spine. Next make sure your chin is not pushed out forward…it needs
                   to stay down and slightly tucked towards your neck.

The Misconception about the Diaphragm
          Have you ever heard the phrase “support with your diaphragm?” That is
 inherently false: as we’ll see in a moment the diaphragm is involved actively only in
 inhalation. Even the term air support itself is often misleading. Most people when told
 to “support” the air stream or sound, create some sort of compression (tension) that
 really doesn’t solve the problem. Air support simply means providing the proper speed
 and quantity of air for a given note.
          The diaphragm is a convex muscle attached to our ribcage that when contracted,
 creates a negative pressure inside us. This causes air to rush in to balance the pressure.
 In athletic breathing (brass playing included) other muscles including the intercostals
 (rib muscles) assist in creating this internal vacuum thus increasing the breathing
 capacity. During exhalation, the diaphragm relaxes allowing for a natural release of air.
 However, during athletic breathing, the intercostals as well as the abdomen and lower
 back muscles will engage to assist in literally pushing the air out.
          Tension in other nearby muscle groups can slow the breathing apparatus’ ability
 to move air in and out. You will have to exert to move the air required to play a brass
 instrument, but you must remain as relaxed as possible while you play to optimize your
 ability to move air. For more details on a “complete” breath, visit this website.
 http://abel.hive.no/trumpet/exercise/yoga.html
Foothills Brass Quintet – Brass Basics – JKM
Breathing Technique – 4 Points of Form
The Breathing Gym highlights four points of form to focus on in order to achieve a
healthy, correct breath.

       1. Oral Shape -
              The proper shape should be a very open “OH,” as if you were saying the
              end of the word, ”WHOA.” Not only does this allow the freest passage of
              air, it also puts the mouth in a shape that is most conducive to resonance.
                                   - One way to monitor this is to make a flat palm with
     Four Points of                   your hand. Place the third knuckle of your index
            Form                      finger in front of your mouth, perpendicular to the
                                      ground. When you inhale you should hear a very
                                      open, dark rush of air past your hand. If you are
     1. “OH” shape                    doing an exercise on the horn, listen carefully to the
     2. Even                          quality of air sound that is coming out of your
     3. Constant                      horn… it should be dark and full, never whistling or
     4. Smooth Change                 fuzzy.
         of Direction              - Using a Breathing Buddy can also create this proper
                                      shape and sensation of breathing. When a breathing
                                      buddy is in place, it creates an extremely free
                                      passage of air. This will give you a sense of how
                                      free the air should be flowing whenever you breathe.

       2. Air is Even –
             Just as we strive to move between dots on the marching field at an even
             pace, our breathing needs to occur at an even pace at all times. So for
             example, you may be asked to breath in for four counts; during that time
             the air should be moving at a consistent speed, never slowing or speeding.
             One of the most common tendencies is to slow the rate of your breath as
             you reach full capacity. That is not ideal, as it creates tension. Focus on
             keeping the breath moving in at the same speed all the way to the point
             where you begin to exhale. The same thing goes for exhalation. When we
             play our instruments, we really don’t need huge shifts in the rate and
             volume of the air column. It is challenging and essential that exhalation
             be at a constant, steady rate, regardless of how long or short. Be sure to
             pace yourself over long periods of time.
                                 - Use the hand monitor on the inhalation to judge the
                                    relative consistency of the air flow
                                 - On the exhalation, blow the air at the palm of your
                                    hand, and from that you can get a sense of whether
                                    or not the air is even.




Foothills Brass Quintet – Brass Basics – JKM
       3. Air is Constant –
This concept is closely related to the last. At no time does your air stop moving. Often
players will actually stop their breathing just before they play or even right after. The air
does not stop after you inhale before you exhale. When you finish exhaling/playing a
note, you begin inhaling as soon as that is done (this is how you release a note).

       4. Change of Direction is Smooth and Instantaneous –
When you reach the end of your inhalation, there is no slowdown or hesitation. The air
smoothly and immediately begins going out a steady rate. And it’s the same at the end
of your exhalation – no slow down or hesitation, just a quick change of direction.

 By combining the four elements into our breathing habits, we will be taking very good
breaths that will automatically improve your playing. We will also be doing numerous
exercises to improve various aspects of breathing. ***It is very important that you focus
on these four points as you work on any breathing exercises.

Strengthening the Skill of Breathing – 4 Types of Work
There are essentially four categories that define the types of exercises that can be done to
improve breathing abilities. We will learn these as the year go by. Most are included in
The Breathing Gym; others are ones I’ve picked up along the way.

       1. Flexibility - we have discussed a lot of the flexibility ideas that can aid in
          breathing. There are a few other exercises that we will address that stretch the
          breathing capacity internally. These are fairly strenuous and should be done
          only once the muscles have had a chance to warm up.
       2. Flow – these exercises in the main simulate the kind of airflow that occurs
          when we play. These mainly consist of moving air over various count and
          concentrating on form. These also include some over training exercises that
          are lots of “fun” and some quick breathing exercises that work on the ability
          to breath in to capacity over a very short period of time.
       3. Resistance Therapies – these are like weightlifting for breathers. We use
          different techniques to stress either inhalation or exhalation to point where we
          get a good muscular burn. These are used to strengthen the muscles used in
          the breathing system.
       4. Brain Breathing – These are mostly meditative, focusing exercises that are
          great for improving performance concentration and combating stage anxiety.

These air exercises are not written out in this manual as most are much more easily
explained. We will add more and more exercises as the year goes on. Anytime we are
doing breathing exercises, really max out the use of your full lung capacity. Clinical
studies show that most people use 30-45% of their actual capacity. Whereas the best
breathing professional wind players can reach upwards of 95% use. Just make sure
you’re filling up and expelling as much air as you can each time.




Foothills Brass Quintet – Brass Basics – JKM
            Brass Basics
              Sound
As we move into sound production, remember that proper breathing forms the foundation
of everything we do. We will work on developing a good sound, as well all aspects of
what a good sound needs to be able to do: be flexible over a wide range of the
instrument; move quickly from one range to another; maintain a clear sound from low to
high and soft to loud; and play for long periods of time (endurance).

Buzzing
Very simply, what goes into your mouthpiece comes out your horn. The horn helps us
out a lot, slotting the pitch and refining the sound. But if you can strive towards making
the signal on your mouthpiece sound great, imagine the results on the instrument. Here
are some buzzing exercises that we will use. They are in a specific order, that when you
practice I’d like you to follow. Always remember the air.

 1. Single tone
       This exercise helps bridge the gap between breathing and sound making. The
       idea is that you will take an ideal breath, with correct form, and on the
       exhalation, the mouthpiece and lips will be in place a buzz will happen. Allow
       the buzz to be a low and comfortable pitch.
                 - Strive to keep the breath as pure as possible.
                 - Have the mouthpiece set (on your lips) before you start breathing in.
                     Strive for no excess movement in your body.
                 - Aim to have the buzz start immediately on the exhalation, no skips
                     or hesitations.
                 - Repeat a good number of times, until the buzz is starting freely, and
                     you feel that your breathing does not change to produce the buzz.

 2. Slides or Sirens
         This exercise begins to move a properly produced sound into different registers.
         Make sure that you attain a pure first note, if not stop and start again.
                   - Begin by buzzing on a low note, hold it for just moment to make
Air Speed
                       sure it is solid. Then move the buzz up (by moving faster or colder
                       air) and back down (by moving slower or warmer air)
High = fast
                   - Make sure to have a strong, clear buzz the entire time and make the
  (less air)
                       slide smooth and even.
                   - Gradually expand the range of the slide, and try starting from
Low = slow
                       different places – start high and go low, or start in the middle and go
 (more air)
                       both ways.

  REMEMBER!!!
   Air is constant. Be careful as you do sirens that the air stream does not “dip”
  as you move around. Think of using extra air as you slide (esp. downwards) to
                encourage the buzz to continue to be full and robust.
Foothills Brass Quintet – Brass Basics – JKM
3. Pitching
This is fundamental work in the Song and Wind department.
                - Play a note for yourself, either on a piano or your instrument.
                - Then take a moment to hear that tone in your head.
                - Begin humming the note loudly.
                - As you continue to sing open your mouth to an “OH” shape.
                - Finish the note by taking a full breath and then buzz the note you
                    were just focusing on.
Expand this work to include scales, intervals, arpeggios, etc.

4. Songs
Simply buzz any one of your favorite songs! However, I would ask you to keep these
parameters in mind:
                - Play the song at a controlled tempo
                - Connect the notes, only tongue if the note repeats
                - Slide between notes – hit everything in between!
                - All in all it ends up sounding a bit tipsy!

5. Buzzing without mouthpiece
Buzzing without the mouthpiece has some great benefits like teaching how much air it
takes to get the buzz to respond and building embouchure muscles. However, you must
be very careful to avoid letting the oral shape collapse. I do not recommend doing very
much of this, and if you do, pay very close attention to your breathing form.

6. Buzzaid
A buzz aid is a false receiver that connects to your lead pipe. So essentially what it does
is allow you have normal playing sensations while still buzzing. This is a very useful
tool for use during individual practice and is very helpful in teaching you how to center
notes (creates a buzz that sits in the ideal pitch location to make the horn resonate on a
given note). It’s very good for developing a big sound. We will not be using them as a
group this year, but I highly recommend them.
Available at: http://www.chasesanborn.com/buzzaids.html
                       http://www.music123.com/BERP-Buzz-Extension-and-Resistance-
                       Piece-i95015.music
Sound
Like buzzing we will start working with sound in a very simple way, one that encourages
pure breathing. By simplifying the task, you allow yourself to focus on the fundamentals.
Start too complicated and the fundamentals will go out the window.




Foothills Brass Quintet – Brass Basics – JKM
       1. Single Pitch
             Make a single long steady tone on a middle range note (F concert is good,
             C concert for horn). Before you begin, focus on what you would like to
             sound like. Hear the depth, openness, and fullness of your ideal sound.
             Bring the instrument up, take a great breath, and play. As with buzzing,
             you want your breath to unaffected by the fact you are now playing notes
             on your instrument. Also strive to have the sound begin immediately upon
             exhaling. Repeat several times till your sound is responding easily and
             with pure breathing. If the sound is not exactly what you want it to be,
             first examine your breathing. If that seems in order, there are a few
             exercises you can do to find a little more vibration and quality of sound.

                     Bending – you can do three different types of bending to help you
                     find a more resonant, air-dependant sound. You will also find this
                     helps blood flow to your lips, which in the long run reduces fatigue
                     and increases endurance.

                             1. Sag bend – start by playing your middle range note.
                                Let the pitch “sag” by letting lips loosen and relaxing
                                the throat, face, and neck. Now, use extra volume of air
                                to lift the pitch back into tune. It will be tempting to
                                draw your lip back taught, but resist the urge. Use only
                                the air to bring the pitch back up. Once you’ve done
                                this a couple of times, try to reproduce the improved
                                sound without doing the exercise. Often times our
                                embouchures are actually too firm to allow free
                                vibration; this exercise helps reduce that tension and
                                lets us rely more on air.

                             2. Press bend – start playing the middle range note with a
                                nice full sound. Use the thumb of your valve/slide hand
                                to begin pressing gently away from you on the bell of
                                your instrument. You will hear the pitch begin to air
                                out and sag a little. Keep the pressure on your thumb,
                                and again use more air to bring the sound back into
                                tune/focus. You should hear a much fuller clearer
                                sound. Try to reproduce the results without doing the
                                exercise. This exercise addresses the use of too much
                                pressure of the instrument against the lips, which can
                                reduce blood flow and vibration.

                             3. Mute bend – this exercise requires the use of a straight
                                mute and it’s quite similar to a sag bend. Insert the
                                mute and begin playing the middle range note. Let the
                                note sag and use a big rush of air to bring the pitch back



Foothills Brass Quintet – Brass Basics – JKM
                                     up. You will notice a huge change in the way the mute
                                     sounds – you will hear a lot of buzz from the mute
                                     (good). Now remove the mute and play your middle
                                     range note, and you will notice a BIG difference in your
                                     sound.
Working on your sound, even in on something as simple as one note, is probably the best thing
you can do to improve your overall ability to play your instrument. A good sound will facilitate
all the other aspects of your instrument, such as: flexibility, dynamics, articulation, high range,
endurance, you name it.

          2. Begin moving your best sound into different registers
                As we move into these other sound exercises, remember to be exacting in
                regards to the purity of sound. Doing these with anything less than your
                best sound is a waste of time. This is not hard music; its purpose is to
                expand your ability to create a beautiful sound. *Starting here I will be
                referencing written exercises that will appear on the following pages.

                  a. Remington Studies*
                        These are simple ½ step movement long tones. Use a little extra
                        air across the change of note to ensure the buzz/sound remains
                        perfectly constant. Keep your sound and breathing consistent.
                  b. Vince Cichowiez*
                        These exercises Mr. C. used to expand the range of your good
                        sound. Be sure to keep the connection between the notes smooth
                        and the sound consistent through all registers
                  c. Low Range
                          Often I will spend some extra time in the lower register, doing
                          more things similar to Remington, to get more comfortable there.
                          I also do some on/off buzzing exercises:
                                Start by playing your low fundamental (Bb or F on horn).
                                During the note, gradually pull your instrument away from
                                your face and continue a nice full buzz. Gently replace the
                                horn and sustain the tone till you’re out of breath. These
                                help the response of your instrument in the low range.
                  d. Clarke Studies*
                        Although most people consider these finger exercises, Clarke used
                        these as “moving long tones.” That’s how I’d like you to think of
                        them. Play them long and full, with a very steady air stream.

    Finger/Valve Coordination should be thought of in very mechanical terms. Very simply our
    valves/slides need to be in the correct position for whatever note we are attempting to play. The
    quicker our valves or slides move between positions, the better. Anytime a valve is not up or down,
    the air stream gets cut off resulting in distortion of tone. A trombone slide caught siding between
    positions creates glissando and intonation problems. Work on slamming the valves down/moving the
    slide crisply at all times. These movements must also coordinate with our articulations. Actually,
    one of the greatest sources of cracked notes is a miscoordination of articulation and slide/valve
    movement. Work on valve/slide/articulation coordination using Wind Patterns (see Articulation).
   Foothills Brass Quintet – Brass Basics – JKM
                    e. Pedal Tones*
                          Pedal tones increase power in the lower range, and because of the
                          amount of air required are good training for upper range playing.
                          In the first exercise you do not change valves or positions during
                          each phrase. You simply bend the pitch down and back up.
                    f. Soft Tones*
                          These are a series of buzzing and playing exercises that are very
Strive for as little      similar to slurs and VC studies. The goal with these is to play with
embouchure change         a gentle, quiet, consistent sound. Also strive for as little
as possible between       embouchure change as possible especially as you go high and low.
registers. Rely for       Try to keep your embouchure set within “The Golden Sixth.”
the most part on air      (G6) For low brass that is written fourth line F to D above middle
speed and volume of       C. For horns and trumpets written G to top space E. For extra
air to change pitch.      challenge, hold the last note of these exercises and gradually fade
                          out until you’re out of air.
                                  1. Lip Slur Soft Tone – these simple lip slurs are to be
                                       performed buzzing first and then on the horn. When
                                       buzzing, start the top note and then slide between notes
                                       as you descend. On the instrument, slide (no slide
                                       movements, bones!) between notes as much as possible
                                       before the break happens. Remember your dynamic is
                                       ppp, and don’t let your embouchure “set” go below the
                                       lower note of the G6.
                                  2. Al Lowry Soft VC studies – same rules apply,
                                       especially as you go higher… do note let your
                                       embouchure “set” get firmer than what you would use
                                       for the top note of the G6.
                                  3. Super soft tones – this will stretch your ability to play
                                       very quietly with a steady tone. It will also help your
                                       response in general. Play the one steady middle range
                                       note for a very long time, the sound you should be
                                       aiming to sustain is just above a whisper (it’s not a
                                       sound you would normally use). It should be close to
                                       inaudible.
                    g. High notes – generally, limit your practice of high notes to a few
                       minutes. It’s a good idea to start by working up to some high notes
                       from lower notes. Try extending the VC studies focusing on good
                       sound. Then try “picking off” a couple of higher notes.

  Here are some books I recommend for focusing on sound within a musical context:

  Concone, G. (ed. Sawyer). Lyrical Studies (Brass Press).
  Rochut, J. Melodious Etudes (Carl Fisher).
  Miersch. Melodious Studies for the French Horn (Carl Fisher).
  Knopp Larry and Vincent Cichowiecz. Flow Studies and Lyrical Etudes. (see me)




  Foothills Brass Quintet – Brass Basics – JKM
Trumpet in B b
                                    Remington Warm-up #1
                                                                                                       Jay Michalak




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Trumpet in B b
                           Remington Warm-up #2
                                                                                               Jay Michalak




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Trumpet in B b
                                                                   VC Studies
                                                                                                                                                   Vince Cichowiez




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Trumpet in B b
                                    Pedal Tones #1
                                                               Jay Michalak




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                             Pedal Tones #2
                                                                 Jay Michalak




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Trumpet in B b
                           Lip Slur Soft Tone
                                                                              Jay Michalak




& c .. w ~~Glis~s~~do~ w           ∑         .. .. ˙ ~G~li~s~. ˙ ~Gli              ∑          ..
                              Repeat down 1/2 step                            Repeat down 1/2 step


           ~~ an ~ ~                                        s
                                                                  ~ ~s~s~ w
       π                                           π
                                                                        .
Trumpet in B b
                                 Al Lowry Soft VC Studies
                                                                                                     Alvin Lowry



                                                    ####                                                  nnnn bb
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& b ˙ n˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙                                nn## ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙                               b
3



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5


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7



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9

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11

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13

                                          ˙ ˙ ˙
                                                ˙ w
           Brass Basics
   Flexibility
Slurs
Lip slurs are widely used as a means to improve the flexibility of your sound – the ability
to move between high and low registers with ease and consistent sound. The major
challenge comes because you have to slur between notes without changing valve
combinations or slide position. Unfortunately, I have seen and heard too many people
approaching these incorrectly. They are harder to perform properly than most people
think. They tend to tackle ones that are beyond their ability and end up manipulating
their air/sound/buzz to make it happen. Really they are doing more harm than good.
Slurs need to be approached with great attention to proper breathing and slur form.

Now excuse me as I step on my soapbox. I would argue that the majority of the work in
lip slurs revolves around how you use your air; there should be some (but very little)
adjustment of the embouchure as you ascend and descend. The more you can rely on
your air the better. The need to use lots of embouchure change to produce a slur is an
indication that you air is not functioning properly to produce it. If you find yourself in
this situation, assess your breathing as you approach the passage, and slow things down
being sure to maintain proper breathing regardless of the difficulty. If your air is
working properly, you will find it much easier to move around the horn.

Here are my list of do’s and don’ts for performing a proper lip slur:

    Do:
            -   Focus on sound and musical image; keep your sound consistent, full
                and even.
                   o The air stream itself is constant and even, as is the buzz.
                   o The sound is purely connected across slurs, as if it were a
                       long tone.
                   o Think of using just a little extra air across the change to make
                       it happen more easily.
                   o The change of note should be pure, smooth and precisely in
                       time.
            -   Focus on air speed to create the necessary support for the note
                   o For higher notes, you need faster air.
                               Think colder or farther
                   o For lower notes, you need slower air, and a lot more of it.
                               Thing warmer or closer
                   o When descending concentrate especially hard on maintaining
                       a full smooth sound with steady air.
            -   Use buzzing as a means of working on slurs




Foothills Brass Quintet – Brass Basics – JKM
   Don’t:
          -   Lose sight of proper breathing form, or allow dips in your air stream
          -   Manipulate your jaw, mouth, head angle to create the slur
          -   Use extra pressure to attain high notes



These books contain some very extended and challenging lip slurs:


       Schlossberg, M. Daily Drills and Technical Studies. (M. Baron).

       Smith, Walter. Lip Flexibility on the Cornet or Trumpet. (Carl Fisher).




Foothills Brass Quintet – Brass Basics – JKM
Trumpet in B b
                                   Lip Slurs
                                                                              Jay Michalak


     #1                                              #2
&c w                                   ∑       .. ˙
                              Repeat 1/2 step down
                                                               ˙                       ∑ ..
                                                                             Repeat 1/2 step down


                     w                                                  w

                                               .. œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ Œ Repeat 1/2 step down
     #3                                              #4
&œ œ œœœœ œœ˙                         ∑                                      ∑          ..
7
                              Repeat 1/2 step down




         œœ                                    œ             œ
   œœœ œ                  ∑ .. Ó Œ œ .. œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ
     #5                             #6
            œœ Œ
13

&œ
               Repeat 1/2 step down




      œ
  œœœœ œœœ                                   œ œ b œ œ œ œRepeat 1/2 step down 3
                                                     #7
                                Œ # œ .. œ œ               œ ∑ .. 4
19

&
                              Repeat 1/2 step down


                         ˙               œ                    ˙
             œ bœ                         œ bœ
   3     œœ       œ œ bœ             œ œ       œ œ bœ
     #8
       œ                          œ
25

&4 œ œ                   œ bœ œ œ                           œ bœ

         œ œ  œ œ bœ œ œ œ œ œ                        2
& œœœœ                              œ œ                          ..
                                               Repeat 1/2 step down
29



   œ                                     ˙.
     #9                  bœ    œ
            œ bœ œ                    œ              œ                                  ∑ ..
35

&
                                                                                Repeat 1/2 step up

          œ                                   œ           bœ
     œ                                                             bœ   ˙.
                         bœ            œ œ                œ                             2
                                               bœ bœ
                              œ œ
     #10
                     œ                                         œ œ                            ..
                                                                                Repeat 1/2 step up

            œ
39

&               bœ                                              œ bœ bœ ˙
     œ œ                                                                  .
           Brass Basics
   Articulation
Articulation on brass instruments involves using the tongue to create a demarcation, or an
“attack” in the sound. When the tongue strikes near the front of the mouth during a
sound, a wild range of high frequencies is created. Human ears are very attuned to these
frequencies, as they often signaled danger in pre-historic times. We hear this type of
sound, and it creates a sense of separation in our hearing, helping to create rhythm and
give punch to the music. The sound itself usually does not stop during articulation.

This stresses the importance of having a good sound. A better sound will get much more
“attack” or explosion of frequencies from an articulation. A stressed/forced/muffled/thin
sound will not nearly get as much. Having a better sound will make the work of
articulating easier.

Here are some basic concepts to keep in mind that will help you achieve quality
articulation.

                      -   Use a very clear consonant – I recommend “Tu” for upper brass
                          and “Toh” for low brass.
                              o Keep the tongue forward in the mouth to make the
                                  articulation happen more quickly.
                              o Think of using a wide tip of the tongue rather than
                                  narrow.
                              o Most “T” sounds will position your tongue correctly:
                                  directly between the gum and the back of your upper
                                  row of teeth.
                              o Make the articulation happen quickly and firmly; if the
                                  tongue is too slow it will disrupt the air stream and
                                  sound.
                              o Practice this correct articulation away from your
                                  instrument to incorporate these elements. Practice with
                                  your voice, and then with air only.
                      -   For harder attacks use firmer tongue strike, for gentle attacks
                          use quick and light tongue.
                              o When playing soft, you will need to articulate much
                                  harder to make a clear sounding attack.
                              o When playing loudly, very light tonguing will produce
                                  strong articulations.
                      -   Air is still constant.
                              o 99% of the time, even when articulating, the air stream
                                  continues to move at steady rate.
                                           It’s like running a knife through water streaming
                                           from faucet…the water never stops moving


Foothills Brass Quintet – Brass Basics – JKM
LOW BRASS!!!                             when the knife creates the break.
Because of the nature of                 Even passages of “short notes” will have an
the larger instruments, the              underlying stream of air.
“toh” articulation by itself                 • Clinical studies have shown that once
may not create a lot of                          you stop the vibration of your lips, it
attack. There are some                           takes much more energy to restart them.
“tricks” that professionals                      This leads sound difficulties in longer
will use to help create a                        articulated passages and fatigue.
crisply articulated sound.     o A steady stream of air will support the tongue’s work,
For instance, if you give        and help you avoid being “tongue tied.”
an extra push of air/sound     o In very rare instances, the musical image calls for an
at the beginning of the          abruptly short note, in which case the air may be halted
note, it will have much          for special effect.
more impact to the ear.

Exercises
        First note coordination:
                      One of the more difficult aspects of articulating is coordinating the
                      very first attack with the start of the air and sound. This has to be
                      very precise, and completely second nature. This exercise is a
                      great way to discipline that coordination. Do this exercise buzzing
                      only.
                          1. Pick a comfortable middle range note to buzz softly.
                          2. Now purposefully start the buzz (with air and good breath)
                               and make the attack come in late ON PURPOSE. At least
                               a good half beat.
                          3. Repeat this exercise a number of times, gradually bringing
                               the articulation closer and closer to the proper position: in
                               exact coordination with the air and sound.
                          4. When you reach the point where the attack and articulation
                               are aligned, repeat this correct articulation several times.
                               Always listen for a good “pop” from the articulation.
                          5. Now invert the process. Start by attacking before well
                               before the sound starts, and gradually get closer to exact
                               coordination.

Wind Pattern:
                Wind Patterns are the main teaching device used by Vince Cichowiez. He
                found that often times the instrument itself was causing us to move
                towards improper air. Wind patterns are done simply by articulating and
                blowing air away from the instrument. It is important as you do this that
                the musical image is strong in your mind. In this way you are using the
                Song to promote the proper Wind without the instrument getting in the
                way. When you take this air back to instrument, you will notice a big
                improvement. Using valves/slides during a WP, adds another dimension.


Foothills Brass Quintet – Brass Basics – JKM
       Articulation Problem Solving:
Fixing articulation problems can be a very complex task. Before beginning this formula,
make sure you can do your valves/slides and rhythm perfectly for the particular passage
you’re going to work on. Otherwise, you will greatly complicate the issue.
                       1. Make sure you precisely understand the rhythm.
                       2. Make sure your valves/slide can move automatically.
                       3. Play the passage slowly, ALL SLURRED.
                              a. Often times the inconsistency of our air, can cause
                                 problems, if you’re slurring, the air has to be moving!
                              b. Make sure each note has a full sound
                       4. Do a couple of Wind Patterns on the passage – imagine the
                          sound in your head.
                       5. Play the passage on your horn slowly conscientiously
                          maintaining the Wind Pattern you just worked out. You should
                          find improvement, if not repeat 3-4.
                       6. Speed the passage up gradually to performance tempo.

Multiple Tonguing
Often times music calls for brass instruments to double or triple tongue very fast notes.
Due to the difficulty of repeat the “tu” (toh for low brass) consonant very rapidly, brass
players developed the use of a “ku” (koh) syllable. So in order to double tongue you
would say “tu – ku – tu – ku – tu” and for triple tonguing “tu – tu – ku – tu.”
There are several pitfalls that make multiple tonguing tricky. Air stream often suffers,
making sound production difficult. Due to the “k” being further back in the mouth, it is
difficult to get as much attack. So follow these guidelines and you should be addressing
all the potential issues, and be multiple tonguing in no time.

       1. Say the words – well as simple as it seems, the best way to get started working
          on multiple tonguing is to practice saying the word combinations. At first, it
          will almost seem like a tongue twister. After a week or so, though, you will
          be able to say the words as fast as you would ever need to.
              a. Say             tu – ku – tu – ku – tu
                       Say this many times in a row – start slow then speed up gradually.
                       Be very determined about making the “k” clear.
       2. Do wind patterns with double tonguing
              a. Concentrate on making a full, consistent air stream while doing the
                   articulations.
              b. As always, listen for clear even articulations
       3. Work on the “Ku” or “Koh”
              a. On the instrument play four slow quarter notes, each with a “k”
                   syllable…
              b. Now that you’re humbled, work on making that clean so that when
                   multiple tonguing the “k” is just as strong as the “t”
       4. Finally, put it all together on the horn. Start slow; work up to faster speeds.


Foothills Brass Quintet – Brass Basics – JKM
Trumpet in B b
                           Articulation Studies
                                                                      Jay Michalak


     #1

&c œ œ œ œ œ œ œ             œ œœœ œœœ          œœœ œœœœ               ∑
                                                                    etc...
     #2
                             œœœœœ œœœœœœœ œœœœœ œœœœœœœ                    ∑
5

& œœœœœ œœœœœœœ                                                           etc...
     #3
& œœœœœœœ œœœ œœœ œœœœœœœ œœœ œœœ œœœœœœœ œœœ œœœ                     ∑             6
9

                                                                    etc...          8

  6 .                           - œ . . > œ
                                œ. - œ œ œ. -
     #4
& 8 - œ œ œ œ. - - . œ œ œ œ. -
               œ œ - . .      œ                                        ∑
                                                                     etc... c
13

    œ -. .
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&c w
17
          Style and Rhythm
   -                           ˙
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                                            -          œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ
                                                       - - - - < < < <
21                                                              3     3     3   3

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                                                        Œ       r ‰. Œ r ‰. Œ
26        3   3    3   3       3   3    3        3


& œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ ˙.          œ        œ
  <<<<<<<<<<<< . . . . . . . . . . . . -                      .        .


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30


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& ‰ œœŒ ‰ œœŒ ≈œœœŒ ≈œœœŒ œœœœœœœœœœœœœœœœ w
34


    ..    ..   ...   ...  ................ -                               w
Trumpet in B b
                       Articulation:Pick Up Study
                                                                  Jay Michalak


          #1
&c Ó             Œ ‰ j j ‰ Œ Œ ‰ j j ‰ Œ Œ ‰ j j ‰ Œ Œ ‰ j etc...
                                                              ∑
                     œ œ        œ  œ        œ œ         œ


     #2

&Ó             Œ ‰ . r j ‰ Œ Œ ‰ . r j ‰ Œ Œ ‰ . r j ‰ Œ Œ ‰ . r etc...
                                                                    ∑
6



                     œ œ          œ œ           œ  œ          œ


     #3
&Ó             Œ ‰       j‰ Œ Œ ‰     j ‰ Œ Œ ‰ œj ‰ Œ Œ ‰ œ œ etc...
                                                                  ∑
11



                     œœ œ         œœ œ         œœ


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&Ó         Œ ≈        j‰Œ Œ ≈      j‰ Œ Œ ≈      j‰ Œ Œ ≈          ∑
16



                 œœœ œ        œœœ œ         œœœ œ         œ œ œ etc...


     #5
&Ó             Œ ≈       j‰ Œ Œ ≈     j‰ Œ Œ ≈     j‰ Œ Œ ≈        ∑
21



                     œœ œ         œœ œ         œœ œ         œ œ etc...


     #6
&Ó             Œ ≈ j j ‰ Œ Œ ≈ j j ‰ Œ Œ ≈ j j ‰ Œ Œ ≈ j . etc...
                                                              ∑
26



                  œ. œ        œ. œ        œ. œ        œ
Trumpet in B b
                                      Multiple Tonguing
                                                                                        Jay Michalak
                                                j
         1
             j                                                                                3
& c œ œœœœœœœ ‰ Œ                      œ œœœœœœœ ‰ Œ            œ œœœœœœœ ‰ Œ
                                                                        J
                                                                                         ∑
                                                                                       etc... 4
         2
  3                                                                                    etc... 6
& 4 œœœœœ œœœœœ œœœœœ œœœœœ œœœœœ œœœœœ                                                  ∑
5

                                                                                              8
         3
 6                                                                                       ∑
                                                                                       etc... c
&8 œ œœœ œ œœœœ œ œœœ œ œœœœ œ œœœ œ œœœœ
9




         4

                                                                          œ œ œ œ œ œ etc... 6
                                                            3    3         3       3


& c œ œœœœ œœœœ                                                                         ∑
                 3        3             3       3


                                       œœœœœœ œ œœœœ œœœœ
13

                                                                                             8

 6 œ œœœœ œœœœœœœ œ œœœœ œœœœœœœ œ œœœœ œœœœœœœ
         5
                                                      #
                                            3       3   3

                                                 ∑
                                                etc... c
16           3        3       3


&8
                                                                 3    3        3

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         Shumka!
& c Ó.                                                                      œœœœœ œ œœœœœ œ
20



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     #
& œœœœœ œ œ                            œœœœœœœœœ œ œ œ œœœœœœœœœ œ œ œ
24


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     #
& œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ #œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ #œ œ œ
27




  # œœœœœ œ œœœœœ œ œœœœœ œ œ                                        œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ nœ œ
31

&                             œ

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                                                     œ œ #œ œ œ œ œ œ
34

&
           Brass Basics
   Brass Ensemble

Every group whether wind ensemble or orchestra should have as one its goals to have a
great sounding brass section. I have included a brass reference page with some of the
best brass ensembles that are around today. Each has a unique style and approach, but
they all have some fundamental similarities. They have excellent musical taste, they
have great sounds individually and as a group that enable them to play all styles of
music, and they play precisely together.

Sound
The number one way for us to improve as a brass section is to constantly improve our
individual abilities to make sound. For the most part, this work cannot happen at band
– it happens during your own practice time. Do the exercises I have laid out for you
on a regular basis, and you will see the progress we need to have. The best type of sound
to strive for is essentially a powerful classical sound – this is the most adaptable style for
different types of music. Here are some basic rules that you should be conscientious of:

       Blend
             1) The easiest way to achieve blend is by having individuals who produce
                           sound in the same way. This is at the root of many of my
                           suggestions regarding air and sound. Working on these
          Blend            concepts will guide you towards a quality timbre on your
                           instrument. Your sounds will have similar characteristics,
                           and will match easily. We will achieve a beautifully blended
                           and warm sound with ease – it will literally just develop as a
         Balance           by-product.

                              2) Besides timbre, there is another simple rule – Everyone
                              must contribute equally. No one sticks out. There are two
                              common problems here –
       Intonation                 - Weaker players do not fill up enough to balance.
                                  - Stronger players play too loud and stick out.
                              Listen carefully to yourself and the group around. Try to get
                              into each other’s sound.
       Balance
               I have mentioned that humans are attuned more to high frequencies, when
               thinking of balance we need to consider this. Having more bass presence
               gives the listener more of a sense of tonal center, a context or foundation
               for everything else. Believe it or not, this physiological law is actually
               helped give rise to Motown in Detroit. Up to that point in history,
               recordings tended to be very tinny and loaded with high frequencies -
               there was no mixing capability yet. Soul artists in Detroit started


Foothills Brass Quintet – Brass Basics – JKM
              experimenting with recording in industrial warehouses that naturally
              amplified the bass sound on the recording…people really like the results!

              Another reason to project more bass is that it improves the overall sound.
              A single note played on a trumpet, is actually composed of about 4-7
              audible frequencies higher than the fundamental note being played. When
              you mix two instruments, you not only strengthen these higher
              frequencies, but you also create new ones called “resultant tones.” Physics
              proves that the more bass or fundamental frequency, the stronger resultant
              tones happen when mixed with higher, in-tune frequencies. The more
              resultant tones and strengthened “overtones” we get as a brass section, the
              more powerful and massive our sound will be.

              All in all you need to think of balance as a pyramid, with the low brass
              providing the most sound, full middle voices, and lead trumpet line that
              just floats on top. There are times when we’ll adjust this because things
              need to be more present to make the music work, but in general in brass
              choir playing this is what we go for.




Foothills Brass Quintet – Brass Basics – JKM
         Intonation
         Intonation as a group starts with having individuals who are able to play in tune
         with themselves. Beyond that, it requires sensitive listening and adjustments.

                 Unison notes: When you play the same note as someone else (often we
                 have unisons as there as 3-4 people on each part) it is very important to
                 match pitch. If you are out of tune, you will hear beats in the sound. As
                 you get closer in tune, the beats slow, and eventually disappear. Strive to
                 make the unison sound like one player.

                 Chord Tones: As brass players we have an inherent set of advantages
                 over other instruments. Our harmonic series are all the same, and except
                 for horn they even start on the same note. We also have very minute
                 control over where we place our notes intonation wise. Studies have
                 shown that intervals and chords when played perfectly in tune (according
                 to a tuner, or Equal Temperament) they don’t necessarily resonate as well
                 as when some small adjustments are made to make the intervals in tune
                 (Just Intonation). These adjustments depend on what part of the chord a
                 given note is in relation to the root. Here’s a brief list of the most
                 pertinent adjustments.

   •     Equal versus Just intonation:

         Equal temperament is playing 100 cents per half step, like with a tuner. This is the way
         a piano is tuned.

         Just intonation is adjusting to make intervals and chords "beatless." As wind
         instrumentalists we have the ability to accomplish this.


       Here are the places where you should begin to do this (with relation to the root):

                        M3       Narrow by 14 cents
                        m3       Widen by 16 cents
                        P4       Narrow by 2 cents
                        P5       Widen by 2 cents
                        m7       Narrow by 4 cents

               You must know your place in the chord to accomplish this task.


Excepted from: Trumpet Intonation by Gary Wurtz , DMA. Texas Music School Project.
See http://www.tsmp.org/ for lots of great music resources

M3 = major third                 m3 = minor third                 P4 = perfect fourth
P5 = perfect fifth               m7 = minor seventh



Foothills Brass Quintet – Brass Basics – JKM
        Dynamic Range
        Not only must we incorporate the elements of blend, balance, and intonation, but
        we must also be able to maintain that delicate mix over the widest spectrum of
        dynamics. This means every player must have excellent control of his or her
        sound all the way from ppp to fff.


 3 Levels of Listening                  Playing Together
                                          The most important aspect of playing together is
                                          having a unified image of what you want to
   1.   Yourself                          sound like on the piece of music you are
   2.   Your section                      performing. When working on styles of music
                                          that you are less familiar with, such as jazz or
   3.   Brass section                     Latin, you need to make you have a clear idea of
                                          how it is supposed to go. Listening to these
        styles is the best way to learn how to play them. Outside of music image, there
        are four main details to look out for that will help us play together:

               1. Start together – this may seem obvious, but very few groups do this
                  precisely. Breathing together on the pickup beat is essential.
               2. Stop together – again this is very obvious…even fewer groups do this
                  well. Do not use your tongue to stop notes. Stop the sound by
                  breathing in.
               3. Sustain the sound – Maintain a perfectly even dynamic of sound,
                  especially at the end of notes. Don’t ever let the sound die away
                  unless there is a decrescendo. You will often need to breathe during a
                  phrase without causing a disruption in the sound. You accomplish this
                  by stagger breathing.
                      *Stagger breathing – when you need a breath during a phrase, fade
                      your sound out. Grab a quick breath, and reenter at a soft volume.
                      Fade back into the proper dynamic. Be careful that you do not
                      breath when the people next to you are. In fact, during difficult
                      sections it may be wise for section leaders to decided when each
                      person will breath to avoid breaks. Obeying these rules will
                      maintain an even smooth sound even though people are breathing
                      in!
               4. Change notes together – If even one person does not change their notes
                  on time, it reduces the clarity of the music. We must strive to change
                  precisely at the same time. This often relies on having a good sense of
                  pulse.

Developing a great brass line sound takes time and individual commitment. Practice the
fundamentals and learn your music early, so that your time together as a group can be
spent in pursuit of a magnificent group sound!




Foothills Brass Quintet – Brass Basics – JKM
         Brass Basics
Brass Recordings

Large Brass Ensembles
German Brass
                     http://www.german-brass.de/german_brass/home/indexe.php
                     17 albums available online ***highly recommended

Altius Brass, Calgary                          http://www.altiusbrass.cjb.net/
Burning River Brass Band                       http://www.burningriverbrass.com/
Hannaford Street Silver Band, Toronto          http://www.hannafordband.com/
Millar Brass, Evanston, IL                     http://members.aol.com/bbdhonk/mbe.html
Philip Jones, United Kingdom
Summit Brass                                   http://www.summitrecords.com/brass/



Brass Quintet
Center City Brass Quintet
                     http://www.centercitybrassquintet.com/
                     5 CD’s – they rock!


American Brass Quintet, New York               http://www.americanbrassquintet.org/
Atlantic Brass Quintet, Boston                 http://www.atlanticbrassquintet.com/
Boston Brass                                   http://www.bostonbrass.com/
Canadian Brass                                 http://www.canadianbrass.com/
Dallas Brass                                   http://www.dallasbrass.com/
Empire Brass Quintet                           http://www.empirebrass.com/
I Tromboni (trombone 5tet), Vancouver          http://www.itromboni.com/
Rhythm and Brass                               http://www.rhythm-brass.com/home.html
Spanish Brass                                  http://webs.ono.com/usr036/luurmetalls/
True North Brass                               http://www.truenorthbrass.com/




Foothills Brass Quintet – Brass Basics – JKM
           Brass Basics
Instrument Care

                          Instrument Cleaning Procedure
At the beginning of the season, and about every three months after that, your instrument
and its tuning slides should enjoy a good bath! This will keep your instrument smelling
fresh, looking clean, and operating properly. Giving your instrument a bath, however, is
not as easy as jumping in the shower. Your instrument’s parts and finish are quite
sensitive and can become permanently damaged if proper bathing procedures are not
followed.
   1) Remove valves and bottom valve caps. Put these off to the side.

   2) Place a large bath towel in the bottom of your tub, seal off the drain, then fill the tub with
      4 – 10 inches of cool water (depending upon the size of your instrument). As the tub
      fills, squirt a few drops of mild dish soap into the water and agitate the water with your
      hand to create suds.

   3) Once the water is 4 – 10 inches high, remove all tuning slides and place them into the
      cool water. Also, place the body of the instrument into the cool water.

   4) As the slides and instrument body soak, take your snake and run it through all tubing
      openings. To get sludge off of the exposed part of the slides, place one or two drops of
      mild dish soap onto a wet cotton washcloth. Gently rub the dirty part of the slides.
                                        WARNING!
Under no circumstances should you use any cleaning solutions or polishes. They may
destroy your instrument’s finish. Also, never submerge your instrument in hot water. Hot
water will melt the lacquer and destroy the instrument’s finish.
   5) Drain the tub while rinsing the slides and instrument body in cool water.

   6) Shake excess water from the slides and instrument body, and then dry these parts with a
      soft, clean cotton towel. Allow these parts to air dry.

   7) While the slides and instrument body are drying, you can clean your valves in the sink.
      Caution! Do not take the valve mechanism apart and be sure that the sink’s drain is
      closed. Once you have towel dried each valve, place several drops of oil on each piston
      and reinsert the valves into the valve casing. Make sure that the number engraved on the
      piston faces forward. Gently turn the valve until you hear the valve guide lock into place.
      Screw on the bottom valve caps.

   8) Finally, use your fingertip to smear a thin film of slide grease onto each slide. Reinsert
      each slide, moving them in and out to spread the grease.

   9) Your instrument is now squeaky clean! All wrong notes have been washed away.
      IMPORTANT! Because the concert French Horn has secured rotary valves, you should
      never give the rest of your instrument a complete bath (only removable slides). This is
      best left to a qualified repair technician.


Foothills Brass Quintet – Brass Basics – JKM
           Brass Basics
  Memorization
The amount of music that you must sometimes memorize in any group requires much
effort on your part. Memorizing is all about finding what works best for you. Here are a
few of the most common methods:

       1) Learn measure to measure – Pick one measure and play it many times until
       you’ve got it then move on to the next. Once you have that down put the two
       together. Gradually add measure by measure. This also works backwards.
       Whatever work you get done one day, be sure to review the next so as not to lose
       it.

       2) Make an accurate play tape, and play along – simply learning a song through
       listening, you create musical understanding which will trigger the right responses.

       3) Repiece the music – spent a couple of days learning how the music
       goes…then put the music away. Use your memory of it to decipher the notes and
       rhythms, be sure to recheck in case you got something wrong. This method I find
       creates the strongest connection of the music to my fingers/chops/air.

There are many more perfectly acceptable ways to pursue. Here are some links to other
methods. I encourage you to find something that works for you!


http://rmmpiano.tripod.com/memory.FAQ.html

http://catherinemcmichael.com/strategies/articles/005.html

http://www.guitarprinciples.com/GettingBetter/essay13.htm

http://www.harpcolumn.com/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg.tcl?msg_id=0001cp




Foothills Brass Quintet – Brass Basics – JKM
           Brass Basics
     Mouthpieces
There is often a great deal that confusion in regards to finding the perfect mouthpiece.
Often people choose a mouthpiece without understanding the fundamentals behind
mouthpiece construction.

The Fundamental of Mouthpiece Construction: A Quick Reference!




                                                                    A mouthpiece consists of the
                                                                    rim, cup, throat, and
                                                                    backbore. Considering the
                                                                    relationship between these
                                                                    components and the
                                                                    individual player are essential
                                                                    in choosing the proper
                                                                         th i
The Rim

                          Wide          Increases endurance
                          Narrow        Improves flexibility and range
                          Round         Improves comfort
                          Sharp         Increases brilliance and precision of attack




Wide Rim                      Narrow Rim             Round Rim              Sharp Rim

In general, a large cup diameter and/or depth lowers the pitch of an instrument, while a
small cup diameter and/or shallow cup raises the pitch. It is important to match the cup
of the mouthpiece with the pitch of the instrument. Due to variations in embouchure, air
support, and oral cavity among musicians, individuals should select a cup which
improves overall intonation.




Foothills Brass Quintet – Brass Basics – JKM
Cup Diameter

The wider the cup diameter… the better! The large mouthpiece does not allow brass
players to “jam” out the high notes by using excessive lip pressure, it forces the lip
muscle to do the work, not the players arm strength.

A large mouthpiece with a fairly deep cup offers the advantages of producing a natural,
compact, and uniform, middle and low register, while allowing for improved lup control,
greater flexibility, and (hopefully) avoiding missing notes. A larger sized mouthpiece
will offer much more comfort, making it possible to maintain food tone quality even
when the lips are swollen from too much playing.

                          Deep          Darkens tone, especially the low register
                           Shallow      Brightens tone, for high register playing
                          Large         Increases volume and control
                          Small         Relieves fatigue and weakness




Deep cup               Shallow cup            Large cup              Small cup

Standard Mouthpiece vs. Megatone Mouthpiece

Both Yamaha and Bach offer a Megatone mouthpiece. The thought behind these
mouthpieces is that by adding weight and mass to the mouthpiece the sound quality will
be darker and stronger.

To create the Mega Tone these mouthpiece companies more than doubled the outside
mass. This darkens the sound and allows you to play at higher dynamic levels without
distorting. A slightly larger throat affords less resistance and greater flexibility. The
result is a warmer, more powerful sounds.




Standard Trumpet Mouthpiece                          Megatone Trumpet Mouthpiece



One fact is certain: “The mouthpiece which feels the best is not necessarily the one
which plays the best!”
-Vincent Bach



Foothills Brass Quintet – Brass Basics – JKM
           Brass Basics
            Trumpet
           Reference
Texts and Internet Resources:

International Trumpet Guild. http://www.trumpetguild.org/

Sanborn, Chase. Brass Tactics. http://www.brasstactics.net/

Tarr, Edward. The Trumpet. Portland, OR: Amadeus Press, 1988.

Medium – Advanced Trumpet Studies

Arban, J.B. (ed. Goldman and Smith) Complete Conservatory Method. (Carl Fisher).

Bordogni, N. 24 Vocalises (Alphonse Leduc).

Bousquet, N. Thirty Six Celebrated Studies for Cornet revised by Edwin Granko

Charlier, T. Thirty Six Transcendental Etudes. (LeDuc)

Concone, G. (ed. Sawyer). Lyrical Studies (Brass Press).

Getchell, Robert. Practical Studies for Trumpet, Book II (Belwin-Mills).

Suggested Listening

                 “What is fundamental is to have a good example of the
                sound and then to try to copy it as faithfully as possible.”
                                                              -Adolf Herseth
Artist                           CD Title
Jens Lindemann                Flying Solo, Rising Sun
Sergei Nakariakov             Concertos for Trumpet
Philip Smith                  New York Legends, My Song of Songs
Wynton Marsalis               Portrait of Wynton Marsalis
Maurice Andre                 Trumpet Concertos and Cantatas
Great Trumpet Parts in the Orchestra
Composer                      Title of Piece
Rimsky-Korskov (1875-1937) Le Coq d’or, opening
Debussy                       Le Mer, from m. 44 (muted trumpet)
Strauss, R                    Also Sprach Zarathustra, opening
Scriabin                      The Poem of Ecstasy, the principle theme
Franck                        Symphony in D minor, 1st mvt theme


Foothills Brass Quintet – Brass Basics – JKM

				
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