Comeback-ers & Etudes

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Comeback, Apr 1, 2012.

  1. Comeback

    Comeback Forte User

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    Comebackers & Etudes

    Fellow comebackers, TM friend richardwy has tried a time or two to get some of us to post brief examples of our playing for each others' encouragement, amusement, constructive criticism, and, possibly, inspiration; and he has been bold enough to set the example! I owe the genesis of this idea to him. I suggest we identify the instrument and mouthpiece we would like to use for this effort, work up some etudes, and post our best efforts by way of an audio or video clip periodically. As far as who is qualified to be a comebacker, I imagine we all might be in some sense or other, but pros and highly skilled experienced players may find little more than amusement here. I am working on Robin Adair in Arban's (I had to research "gruppetto" in order to remember how to play it) as part of my normal practice routine right now. It will be my first TM audio post if this thread attracts participation interest from anyone else. My instrument and mouthpiece will be a lacquered 2009 Blessing BTR-ML1 (a .460 bore Bb Strad clone) played with a Blessing 5C (pictured below). What possible benefits might be derived from participation? I referred to Richard's boldness (read confidence) early in this post. I have not performed in over 40 years. This is one means for comebackers to acquire or reacquire performance confidence before what is, more or less, a sympathetic audience of like-minded people.
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    Last edited: Apr 4, 2012
  2. Local 357

    Local 357 Banned

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    My advice is among the minority in regards to Arbans. In fact as far as i know no one else anywhere expresses mine or similar thoughts regarding this much revered, hallowed scared cow of trumpet technical books.

    Instructions of best use of Arbans Book:

    Take Arbans book with or without cover attached (usually the binding wears out within a few weeks) and either:

    A. Insert, drop or throw into recycling bin. Or...

    B. Twist tie into makeshift "Presto Log" and drop in fireplace. (for cold weather use/savings only).




    The Arbans book is well over a CENTURY old. Jazz music wouldn't be invented nor popularized until another half a century later. The range of the trumpet was considered to be a concert High B Flat which wouldn't earn you a gig in a college big band today. When Arbans was writ the "Carnival of Venice" was a huge hit. By the time Queen Victoria died (her body EXPLODED due to decomposition from excessive public display) ? Arbans was probably already an old book.



    (am working off my recollection of history so please do not diss me for a few petty historical inaccuracies)


    Advice to comebackers?:

    1. Get at least THREE weekly playing commitments.

    2. Play a relatively easy mouthpiece to get endurance on. There will be individual variances but the norm will probably fall around a Schilke 11B to 14B

    3. Follow Maynard's advice on breathing starting at about 2;00 minutes here: Maynard Ferguson 1977 clinic - YouTube

    4. Develop an extremely AGGRESSIVE, take no prisoner playing attitude.


    I consider Maynard to almost be underestimating the importance of breathing and air support. Which may seem strange because he always emphasized it. The thing is is that WE CAN'T EMPHASIZE AIR SUPPORT ENOUGH!
     
  3. Comeback

    Comeback Forte User

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    Re: Comebackers & Etudes

    Definition of √ČTUDE
    1: a piece of music for the practice of a point of technique
    2: a composition built on a technical motive but played for its artistic value (Merriam-Webster)

    Local 357, thank you for your advice. I am sure that all of us comebackers that want to play jazz just like you will accept it without reservation. By the way, my suggestion concerning comebackers posting etudes was not intended to imply that selections should come from Arban's. Arban's is merely my "much revered, hallowed scared cow of trumpet technical books" of choice.

    Jim
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2012
  4. Local 357

    Local 357 Banned

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    Re: Comebackers & Etudes


    It is sort of my self proclaimed job to spear all sacred cows. I wouldn't have gone as far as asking Mother Theresa for a date but that only because I never found her attractive.

    It isn't that the Arbans book can't help you. Is more that it simply isn't well equipped to MOTIVATE a trumpet player. that and in addition it is severely inadequate at promoting the kind of breathing and air support imperative for performing music. Either from the 19th century on up to today.
     
  5. TrumpetMD

    TrumpetMD Fortissimo User

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    Re: Comebackers & Etudes

    As a fellow comeback player, I'm looking forward to your audio post.

    Mike
     
  6. richtom

    richtom Forte User

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    Any method book, be it Arban's, Clarke Studies, Claude Gordon's method, etc. will only be as good as the teacher uses them. A poor teacher will not use any method properly.
    RT.
     
  7. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    The Arban is still the standard whether we like it or not. It DOES have everything that we need to build solid playing and in decent context only seems to bother Local357. I still use the Arban after 45 years of playing every day, many things by memory. I know of no jazz method that covers every aspect of proper playing.



    I think you are taking a very good approach - making a tune the core of your work. I often think that many players miss the boat by getting hung up on etudes to get better. At the end of the day, TUNES are what our playing is about. Technical studies are only to focus on certain aspects to improve them.

    For comeback players, a hymnbook can also be of extreme value. There are plenty of tunes with verses to spell out the meaning: power and glory, hell and despair, pride and fall, humility and sorrow. That gives us mental images to achieve.

    As far as a YouTube video goes, let me tell you what I am looking for before I even click on play:
    1) assurance that this is your best shot
    2) no apologies because it was your best effort
    3) willingness to accept a critical but fair evaluation
    4) enough practice time invested to insure your best shot

    You see, we get a lot of recordings where it is obvious that a piece was only "played through" a couple of times without attention to detail. I think that before the gruppetto, you should mark where to breathe first. When players mess up, it generally has to do with inadequate or badly timed breathing. Easy to fix.

    Good luck and enjoy your stay!
     
  8. larry tscharner

    larry tscharner Forte User

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    Much good advice above, and you havent cracked a note. Now you know what you will be in for if you ask for reviews. I, for one, am of the opinion that if you cant say anything nice, dont say anything at all. There are plenty of others to do that and I just dont have the stomach for it. Please take any criticisims as an attempt to help, even though they could use some tact and gentleness. Trumpet playing requires bravery to be so exposed. It sounds to me like you have your head screwed on straight. Have fun and good luck.
     
  9. Comeback

    Comeback Forte User

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    Fort Wayne, IN
    Preparation & Boldness

    rowuk wrote "As far as a YouTube video goes, let me tell you what I am looking for before I even click on play:
    1) assurance that this is your best shot
    2) no apologies because it was your best effort
    3) willingness to accept a critical but fair evaluation
    4) enough practice time invested to insure your best shot

    You see, we get a lot of recordings where it is obvious that a piece was only "played through" a couple of times without attention to detail. I think that before the gruppetto, you should mark where to breathe first. When players mess up, it generally has to do with inadequate or badly timed breathing. Easy to fix."


    rowuk and other posters, thank you for your insights and expressions of interest in this comebacker adventure.

    Interested comebackers, the trumpet is a bold instrument for making many bold musical statements. rowuk's advice, along with the advice and comments of some of the other posters should help guide us as we prepare. I will be recording in my man-room with a "yeti" USB mic from Blue Microphones and my laptop. My posts will be audio only. On the advice of another trumpeter, I drape a light cloth over the mic when I record. This, along with monkeying around with "gain" seems to reduce distortion on attacks. I will not post until I feel I've captured my best effort, given my present level of skill and artistry. Don't be fainthearted! This could be a great way for us to acquire just a little bit of performance confidence, regardless of location and life circumstances, along with suggestions for improvement from discriminating listeners. Another thing; I suggest you establish your own performance benchmarks with your initial posts and gauge personal progress from that point. The intent here is not to create some unhelpful comebacker pecking order!

    Jim
     
  10. EdMann

    EdMann Mezzo Forte User

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    Well, you're a bigger man than I. One digital post can last forever in the www world of "what was that I just heard?" I'd just as soon play out a few times a week, as I tend to do, and guage the reactions of those around me; I'm just too critical of myself on tape.

    As for Arbans, I don't know many pros who don't jump back into that book from time to time to work on areas of deficiency. I often transpose to different keys to keep that skill up and take a few things up an octave. The melodies are dated and I avoid those, but the exercises, particularly those that address tonguing, are instrumental in my development.

    We'll be listening, and good luck to you. I'm five years in and having a blast playing and meeting an entirely new set of friends and inspirations.

    ed
     

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