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Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by etoapps, Feb 8, 2014.
I would agree, which is what my recommendation above of singing the song in advance would achieve.
There isn't always time to sing through in advance. I've played some performances where there was literally no time to look through the charts. Once I was flown halfway across the United States, and had just enough time to put my tails on and have the conductor tell me they were playing Figaro in 1. That was it. A very exciting concert. I drank lots of free beer afterwards.
And I wasn't invited? For the beer part, not the performance, in case there is any confusion, which there shouldn't be.
The more patterns that we have committed to memory, the better our sitereading becomes. The more complex the stored patterns, the easier we have it with harder pieces to siteread. (Rowuk)
Cn u rd ths? F u cn, u prbly ndrstnd rwks mssg. Pttrns r trnsltd fstr thn rdng msc nt b nt. Cn u trnslt ths?
Although I understand the “patterns” of words above, I had never applied this concept to reading music until I read Rowuk’s comments in this thread. Most of us know the patterns that form words and we can make sense of them. It would be interesting to try to emphasize the patterns of measures and phrases instead of notes as an aid in reading music…..
We are preparing for 7 upcoming performances of “Anything Goes” and I have had a helluva time with the syncopation involved, so will try Rowuk’s “patterning.” Maybe he’s put me onto something……
What I believe was a help for me was to be a copyist, back when pen and ink was used. Arrangers have this nasty habit of waiting until the last moment to submit the arrangements. Once I did about four days worth of 20 hours a day non-stop copying. Speed was important as was accuracy, and I learned to take in pretty big chunks rather than glance continually back and forth from score to parts. Often I could check mistakes the arranger had made with accidentals.
As a result I can take in a new bit of music at a glance, get an idea of the form, check for key changes, repeats, codas and the like and then play it. The patterns we play can become imbedded in our eyes, brains and muscles. (Bad physiology, but that is what it feels like.)
What has been said is great!! Allow me to add just a little:
There's a specialized section of the brain that's devoted to learning a new skill. Once aquired, that skill is stored in a different specialized section of the brain. The question is, why is it that some people never get past reading notes (still learning) to reading patterns (a higher level of learning which requires knowing how to read and knowing the notes). I think there are at least four basic reasons:
1. They are unsure because they can't read music very well. This type of learning can be kicked up by:
a. Taking music to the privy (seriously! people read there so why not read music) and instead of reading Entertainment Weekly, read music.
b. Take pieces read in the privy and rewrite them on a free software and listen to how a rhythmic, melodic, and harmonic patterns sounds. When the person "hears" how dotted 8th and an 16th note sounds together, or how notes sound from C to F#, it helps with the learning. It is also of great help to sing, hum, or whistle the piece.
2. Generally people do not invest the time to really know the fingerings in all keys (or even a few). Scales, arpeggios, intervals will assist greatly!
3.They lack a method of investigating the piece "before" they attempt to sight read. They simply start blindly. Just taking as little as 60 seconds can make a big difference. Things such as looking at the key, tempo, look for weird parts and circle them (in red pencil), circle repeats, look for dynamic marks.
4.They have never heard of approaching the process of reading music in patterns. As a result, they play choppy and awkward like a 4 year old reads which is often one word (often sounding out the letters in the word) at a time. This can be kicked up (by the musician that know how to read music and knows the fingerings) by looking for patterns and approaching them as little sentances.
Sight reading does a great job of informing us of our weaknesses in just playing the trumpet. Usually less experienced players tend to play the dotted 8th sixteenth like a triplet and the quarter to eight like dotted eighth notes. It also brings out all kinds of other weaknesses, things like air and the ends of notes and intonation....
Until you try to site read a Thelonious Monk chart!
these are exactly my thoughts. Now replace your word fragments with "a in the staff as the third in an F7chord, leading to the root in a Bb chord, slurred and played at the same volume as the first trumpet player (who is crescendoing), in a church that is 100 feet long with 6 seconds of reverberation". No way can we in real time, synchronized with the other players, "hear it first" and then react. We need the patterns stored so that we can anticipate instead of react. That means we payed our dues. Groove, timing, rhythm are all functions of properly, perfectly practiced patterns - drawn by intelligent musicality.
The first note that we play is always on autopilot - there are no audible clues to "help" us adjust - that comes when we get the first reflections from the room that we are playing in. The early reflections (< 10ms) do not help at all due to the way our hearing works. That means playing into a corner in the practice room is not a very good way to build tone. This "initial" tone is purely a product of our stored patterns!
This part of the response really hits a wow moment for me. I so agree. That first note is oh so powerful to directing the mind as to were we will go from that point on.