Jazz And Classical

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by trjeam, Nov 14, 2005.

  1. trjeam

    trjeam Pianissimo User

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    Dec 5, 2003
    Maryland
    This a repost that I did on another forum:

    I was wondering if i could get some tips or read some of your experiences as to how you balance both jazz and classical playing at the same time...

    Here are 2 big issues that I'm having:

    1. Practice Sessions are too long!

    I'm not sure if there is a way around this but i find myself spending the 1 hour working on warming up and workingon arban's and clarkes for maintaining and such things. Then I return and have a 2+ hour session working or literature and etudes and things like that, and then I return for to more 2+ hours of working on transcribing solos and improvisation...

    I'm not sure if there is a way around this or if this is just the work that needs to be done in order to do both at the same time... I know that 5 hours isn't allot and soon (like next week) I'll probably be doing 7 -8 hour practices, but my issue is that I'm not going to have all this practice time in the future so how would i cut my practice time to say 2 hours and fit everything?

    2nd problem: sound concept... Sometimes my jazz sound is really killing (in a good way) but then I can't get away from it and I play classical with the same tone that i play jazz, which is not good. it's like listening to chet baker (not that I sound as good as chet or anything) trying to play classical...

    It's funny because its very easy to go from my classical sound to jazz but it's allot harder to go from my jazz sound to classical..

    If anyone has had similar experiences or has input please share!

    Thanks.
     
  2. loweredsixth

    loweredsixth Pianissimo User

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    Mar 11, 2005
    Fresno, California, USA
    I have definitely been there. I remember the frustration in college when, in one day, I would play in Jazz band, Wind Ensemble, Orchestra, and Trumpet Ensemble.

    For me, and many others trying to play many different styles of music, tonguing (or articulation) was the biggest challenge. We articulate much differently in jazz than in classical.

    Although, as a classical player I'm sure you have to be able to articulate in many different ways. Jazz is different though. It's hard describe it, but it seems heavier, more exagerrated.

    Anyway, I remember Wynton talking about how articulation was his big challenge also.

    The actual tone was not really different for me...just the articulation. I'm not sure what the solution is. I just gave up on the classical stuff and focused my energy entirely on jazz.

    Joe Lewis[/i]
     
  3. wilcox96

    wilcox96 Mezzo Piano User

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    Oct 31, 2005
    charlotte nc
    Ah...another chameleon! How many times do I sit myself down at a gig, take a breath and say to myself (now...where am i?). Usually, it takes a bit to remember. (I keep a supply of ear plugs for the violas or oboists in front of me! ..until I remember..hahaa).

    As for practice... you should always start out with some basic..set up your wind/sound type stuff. That gets you going no matter what style you are playing. Get ready to play "trumpet"...that is key first. From there.. I'd really just look at catering to what you have in front of you. If you have a classical gig in the near future, work on that sound/style. If it's a jazz thing...work on that. (you mentioned Wynton...I heard that if he's been playing jazz for a while, it takes him about a month to get ready to switch gears towards classical...though I'm sure he could fool most of the people most of the time whenever he wanted! )

    Anyway... it takes big effort, concentration and preparation to make those kinds of switches. Perhaps mpc, horn or combinations of the 2 are the way to go. It is amazing how picking up one horn you dub your "classical" horn (or visa versa) can trick you into thinking/playing more like that style. Know what I mean? Kind of like putting on a nice suit and tie versus some jeans and a tee shirt! You just transform.

    Be interested to see what works for you. Good luck.
     
  4. trjeam

    trjeam Pianissimo User

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    Dec 5, 2003
    Maryland
    Articulation is also a problem sometimes but mainly the sound concept it what beats me up the most and in reply to wilcox96:

    allot people have given the same advice that you gave me but here is my problem:

    Right now I'm in the developing stages of jazz and classical. I'm just now really starting to develop my own voice and starting to get my soloing together and in classical i'm really starting to understand how to interpret pieces and develop a decent sound and technique...

    i really don't want to just focus on one thing and let the other down the drain, because i have worked so hard to get to where I am in both styles... plus i play gigs in both styles also all the time so i need to keep improving and getting better in both jazz and classical.
     
  5. joshuasullins

    joshuasullins Pianissimo User

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    Nov 9, 2005
    Silverdale, WA
    I would almost completely mirror Joe Lewis' remarks. In college I would go from marching band, to studio jazz ensemble, combo, wind ensemble, you know... the ensembles you have to do. And, to reiterate what someone else said, I would get to the rehearsal or the gig, and before getting my stuff out, I would have to ask "ok... where am I and what am I doing here?" I also somewhat have shunned the classical stuff and have chosen to focus almost entirely on jazz. My biggest problem was articulation. My great teacher, Vern Sielert worked with me forever on jazz articulation. Once I understood, it was the hardest thing ever to go into a classical setting and play with the right style. If you are really into trying to perfect both, I suppose it just takes practice, which you are obviously doing.

    All that aside, I think it might be possible that your practice schedule is inefficient. I mean no offense in any way, and the only reason I even mention it is because I was the same way in high school. I could "practice" 12 hours a day sometimes on weekends, and I got a lot done and I had great endurance. I got to college and I didn't have that kind of time, so I had to take a look at what I was really accomplishing with everything I did. For instance, look at your Arban's and Clarke books and see what exercises you are doing that are redundant. Maybe you should pick one day to focus on a particular etude or repertoire selection, and a different one the next... lastly, don't think of transcribing solos as practice on your horn. It is a mental exercise, something that I try to do daily, but I do it in small chunks. I will take a week to do a two or three chorus Roy Hargrove solo, for example... just doing eight bars at a time. It only takes a few minutes that way.

    Kudos for the determination and committment to practice. Don't forget to let your chops heal up! I am interested in hearing what Manny has to say about your dilemna as well.

    V/R
    Joshua
     
  6. joshuasullins

    joshuasullins Pianissimo User

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    Nov 9, 2005
    Silverdale, WA
    I just thought of another thing... take a look at the Vizzutti books. He offers a great weekly practice schedule outline.

    Good luck!
    Joshua
     
  7. wiseone2

    wiseone2 Artitst in Residence Staff Member

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    Nov 19, 2003
    Brooklyn,NY
    It is all in the mind :D

    If the horn is on your face more than ........say ten minutes for your warm-up .....I would call that practicing. A warmup is a beginning of a practice session, not all of it.

    Now..... to styles of performance.

    Your approach to the music at hand, Jazz or Symphonic, is a mind driven thing. Try to sing a ballad like " Over the Rainbow," then immediately sing"Nessun Dorma." You can make the switch easily if you have a sense of how YOU want it to sound.
    Practice absolute control of articulation. Practice changing styles during your session. Do Bach, and follow it with bebop.
    You can do it.
    Wilmer
     
  8. joshuasullins

    joshuasullins Pianissimo User

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    Nov 9, 2005
    Silverdale, WA
    well said, wiseone2.
     
  9. Alex Yates

    Alex Yates Forte User

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    Aug 11, 2005
    Atlanta, GA
    Yes Wilmer, Yes! Great post.
     
  10. wilcox96

    wilcox96 Mezzo Piano User

    569
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    Oct 31, 2005
    charlotte nc
    Well, maybe until you are comfortable with the sound you want in your head for these styles, try this. You have to take a break inbetween these mini-sessions, right? Maybe, have a cd ready with an artist playing the style and sound you are about to emulate and listen to that while you are taking that break. This will do 2 things...ensure you are taking a break..at least as long as one cut's worth....and may get your ears/mind set up for the next phase of your practice. ?? (practicing classical? Listen to a classical tpt cd....jazz practice?...etc).

    Maybe you just need that reinforcement for now. All the things you are practicing seem to be in line. Add some listening inbetween to help change gears.
     

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