By The Book

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by wiseone2, Jan 19, 2005.

  1. wiseone2

    wiseone2 Artitst in Residence Staff Member

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    I have played the trumpet for a very, very long time. The music was always in my face. I played Arban in elementary school, Hering in Junior High and Charlier in High School. I got excerpt books in high school. The Philadelphia All City High School Orchestra, when I was a member, played The Ravel G Major Piano Concerto. I had, I thought a heck of a good background.

    Lately I have been playing with a friend who is from a different side of music. We played all the standard stuff, but before we opened the books we did some playing of a sort that I hadn't ever done before.
    We played scales in diatonic thirds, fourths and fifths. We played cycles that were never introduced in my student days. I thought I had fingers.......forget that. I am amazed at his technique. For maybe the first time I thought the music and did not rely on the printed page.

    The bottom line is- How much of your practice time is devoted to things that get the brain in gear?

    Wilmer
     
  2. PH

    PH Mezzo Piano User

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    Wilmer-

    What a GREAT post. I'll reply at length later, but being a jazz guy I certainly do a lot more of that kind of stuff. I think of it as building a musical infrastructure for my music making.

    I'll be interested in what others say.

    Give Jimmy my regards. Is that who you are speaking of?

    Pat
     
  3. JackD

    JackD Mezzo Forte User

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    Hi Wilmer, my old teacher used to get me doing the scales in thirds etc. without music - it really reveals which scales you don't know back to front and top to bottom.

    Thanks for the reminder - I should start practising that stuff again.
     
  4. wiseone2

    wiseone2 Artitst in Residence Staff Member

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    Yes, Jimmy is my practice buddy. I am having the time of my life doing things this way.
    On to scales in augmented fourths :D
    Wilmer
     
  5. PH

    PH Mezzo Piano User

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    One of the best things about Carmine Caruso's teaching was that he boiled playing music down to a few mechanical principles that were universal. One of these was that all music consisted of a series of intervals, so it was reasonable to assume that the more accurately and automatically one learned to execute and hear intervals the better one would play. This applied to every instrument and therefore made his successful students include not only brass players, but saxophonists, oboe players, violinists...

    I always wondered why all musicians didn't practice the kinds of things jazz musicians practice. I'm not talking about licks, repertoire, or style-driven things. A great portion of what most jazz musicians practice consists of all types of scales, chords, intervals, sequences, and myriad varistions and inversions. These are the components of all western music, not just jazz. Obviously, if you can play and hear all of these intevallic patterns and sequences without a lot of conscious thought you will be able execute any music better, hear better, read better (because sight-reading is mostly pattern recognition)...

    If you look at the scale studies in Arban, Ernest Williams, Clarke, etc. you will find that they created many of their exercises by devising patterns and sequences within every major and minor key. This is exactly what a jazz musician practices, but it is only a small representation of the possibilities for patterns and sequences in those keys. Jazz musicians also do this kind of practice on modal scales and even sometimes use things like Messiaen's modes of limited transposition, fragments of tone rows, etc. for this kind of work.

    The problem is that as soon as someone writes some of these patterns down in a book that becomes a set routine. However, if I say that every day this month I am going to practice playing different sequences through all the modes of the major scale in broken thirds this leaves me with a virtually unlimited array of possibilities for further investigation.

    For me it is designed to give me better technique and an arsenal of musical resources for use in improvising. However, at the same time I find that practicing this way improves my ability to hear and that in turn might be the most important thing.

    For an interesting comment on learning music without a book and how this has impacted the pedagogy of William Adam check out an article by Bob Baca on the Kjos Music C. website. Go to http://www.kjos.com/ and follow the links. Click on "band", the "what's new", then "Kjos Band News Vol. 10".

    Pat
     
  6. talcito

    talcito Piano User

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    Jazz trumpet great Donald Byrd used to tell us at Jazzmobile "Its important not to just recreate exercises but to CREATE exercises" . Do not recreate-instead Create.

    He would have us create our own patterns and AFTER we were able to explain what our patterns were mathematically and what the relationships were between the notes then he would have us play it thru twelve keys, without writing down the pattern.

    Practising this way works the mind and the ear.

    The next level of practising of practising I believe is when we make an efffort to involve our "heart and soul" into our trumpet playing by trying to achieve different "expressions" thru our horns. This is when you become an artist----and thats what people pay for!
     
  7. wiseone2

    wiseone2 Artitst in Residence Staff Member

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    We are talking"Small World" here :-o
    Back in the seventies, Jimmy Owens would throw a party for all us December babies. Donald and Jimmy have been my friends for ages.
    At one of these get-togethers, Donald told me of a piece he was writing for me. The piece was based on the perfect fourth interval. Just recently I found the score and solo parts. It is a challenge!
    Jimmy has been goading me to explore the long dormant jazz player in me.
    Donald's piece has a set of chop busting studies to prepare you for the piece.
    Donald Byrd is a bad..........shut my mouth.......... :evil: Can you dig it.

    Wilmer
     
  8. talcito

    talcito Piano User

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    To Mr. Wise:

    At Jazzmobile Dr. Byrd always had a huge binder with him. He would tell us that he had a great number of exercises and thoughts about practising that he had accumalated throughout years in this binder. "I will put out a book soon" he would tell us. I would love to see him put out this book!

    He also carried a picture camera with him all the time. It was a habit he had learned for many years --"You never know who your are going meet today" he would say.

    Since you are good friends it may just be the right time to give him a call-----Get him to publish that book and send you some of those 1970 party pictures!

    Oscar Onoz
     
  9. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

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    "Donald Byrd is a bad..........shut my mouth.......... :evil: Can you dig it."

    Everybody,

    I want to do a generation check.

    If you know what Wilmer is paraphrasing with that line just answer and say "Yes", nothing else. If you don't, don't ask anybody... just answer and say "No".

    This might be kind of fun. AND IF YOU KNOW IT , NO CUTE HINTS!!! I really want to watch people expose their ages (especially the old [email protected]$)

    "YES"

    ML
     
  10. ROGERIO

    ROGERIO Mezzo Forte User

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    PHOENIX, AZ
    Youthfulness is over rated....

    YES
     

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