Brandenburg 2 - will I ever get there?

Discussion in 'Orchestra / Solo / Chamber Music' started by Phattlippz, Apr 18, 2005.

  1. Phattlippz

    Phattlippz New Friend

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    I'm sort-of a comeback player, in terms of "classical" music, having been a jazz player almost exclusively for the last 10 years. I'm now in an advanced degree program studying trumpet, and so I've been working pretty hard on the playing this year--mostly on fundamentals and efficiency/relaxation.

    One of my goals is to be able to perform some challenging literature on the picc. It's been about 8 months since I began playing picc, and I can only handle things like the Handel Suite in D and the Clarke Suite.

    What does it take to go from being a "meat-and-potatoes" trumpet player in terms of range abilities to being able to play the Brandenburg? It sounds silly to ask but I want to know if it's even possible to get there, or should I just accept the fact that I don't have those kind of chops?
     
  2. Bear

    Bear Forte User

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    grrr... I know that this is Manny's first shot but after 54 veiws and no one replying.. (guess Manny's in rehearsal or somethin').. I wanna say something. Now I'm just a college kid and don't know that much to tell the truth, but I think anyone can have the chops to pull of Brandenburg, just takes some consistent practice and execution of fundamentals...

    "I can't play high notes".. "You're right, you think you can't so you can't."
     
  3. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

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    Phatt,

    While I think the Brandenburg is less of a problem than most people make it to be, it's still not for everybody. Be that as it may, the piccolo is a beast that requires a certain type of attention

    Doc Severinsen once said "The trumpet is a jealous mistress". The piccolo trumpet is the same mistress with a severe case of PMS. Therefore, we have to treat it with that in mind:

    1)In order to be consistent you must pay it a lot of attention, don't just take it out every time you want to go on a date (practice it as often as you can)

    2)Be prepared to buy a lot of jewelry (save up for a collection of mouthpieces)

    3)Know when to back off (know when to back off)

    4)Stop and take a breath... exhale in a relaxed way when she gets temperamental (Breath in, breath out... no hitches or tight stomach)

    5) Don't even think about kissing her until you've done all the above (practice fundamentals and then use them to play beautiful melodies in the upper register)

    Remember those things and she'll be fun to be with.

    ML
     
  4. trumpetmike

    trumpetmike Forte User

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    Next time I do Brandenburg, I won't be able to take it seriously - I'm going to be having strange thoughts about my piccolo now - thanks Manny :lol:

    If I might take a shot at answering, there is a bug difference between the Handel & Clarke Suites and the Brandenburg. The first two are good starting points for piccolo playing. Not too taxing on the range and great for learning style, Brandenburg is the wrong way to learn how to play piccolo (believe me - it was the first piece I performed on piccolo!).
    If you fancy a real laugh, get hold of the two Michael Haydn concertos - once they are in your repertoire, Brandenburg will feel like a walk in the park!
     
  5. Kevin Hilman

    Kevin Hilman Pianissimo User

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    Jan 24, 2005
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    Here is an approach I have heard of for tackling this piece.

    -Learn to play it beautifully on the written pitches. In other words...don't transpose...just read the ink.

    -Once you have this down, traspose it up 1 half step and learn it perfectly there.

    -Once you have this down, transpose it up 1 more half step and learn it perfectly in that key.

    -continue on in the same manner and sometime in the late 2020's you should have it down pat in the correct key!
     
  6. Phattlippz

    Phattlippz New Friend

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    That's what I've always believed, but I've heard a lot of comments from my colleagues that focus on the negative. I'm just looking for some reassurance from people who have been where I'm at or know players who have pulled it off.


     
  7. Jimi Michiel

    Jimi Michiel Forte User

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    Phatt,
    Go for it, dood!!! My guess is you've already completely mastered the second movement. That one's my favorite. But seriously... Make sure you can hear it well before you play it. Either solfege through it, or play it an octave down on a bigger horn. I would also work out all the transposition issues before picking up the horn. The last thing you want to be doing is killing youself just learning the notes. You'll loose interest real quick doing it that way. Good luck!!

    And while we're talking about piccolo trumpet...

    Dear Manny,
    I'm in an interesting position. I play picc a lot better than I do bigger trumpets. I don't practice picc a lot, but I think something in the way I approach playing in general just makes me better at picc. I don't really have to "keep my picc chops up." Sometimes it stays in the case for months, but when I take it out, it's like I've been playing it all along. The tension that I always have to battle on bigger horns is not as present when I'm playing it.
    Recently, I was accepted to the New York String Seminar, but only to play piccolo trumpet on one piece. I sometimes feel like I've traded low trumpet chops for high trumpet chops. Does this make any sense?
    Jimi
     
  8. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

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    Jimi,

    Sure, it makes sense and I know what you mean. The picc takes a bit of backing off and the large horns need more fuel. The balance one needs is to be able to feed each instrument what it needs to make it go. It's like having different hats to wear for each horn but never at the expense of the other.

    If you can avail yourself of the older maurice Andre recordings you can hear how he played the large horns substantially differently, especially his articulation. Plenty of air for the big horns as well. Hey, can you find a CD of the "Toot Suite"? The differences aren't as pronounced as years ago but you'll get the idea.

    ML
     
  9. Phattlippz

    Phattlippz New Friend

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    Eugene, Oregon
    Man, if that isn't the quote of the year, I don't know what is! Oops - gotta go - I think I hear the old ball-and-chain calling me now.

     

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