RE: How do I improvise to hymns without a written sheet note.

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by tjer52, Oct 4, 2011.

  1. PatMurphy

    PatMurphy Pianissimo User

    222
    31
    Aug 9, 2009
    Cherry Hill NJ
    They are expecting a trumpet player. Best one they got!
     
  2. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    18,128
    9,302
    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    Not true. Read my post above. This can be a real career enhancing experience.
     
  3. kehaulani

    kehaulani Fortissimo User

    3,462
    2,724
    May 14, 2011
    Hawaian homey
    "Career enhancing"? lol

    tjer, there are a lot of assumptions being made. Are you meaning:

    - playing along specifically with basic hymns
    - - like hymns from the hymnal, or perhaps similar simple hymns that the choir is singing from hymnal-like sheet music?

    - or do you mean anthems, which have extended musical forms
    - - and by that I mean that the music is longer than a simple hymn and that the music might change keys before it's finished?

    Which kind of music do you mean? The answer is important because the kind tools and advice you need at your playing level depends on the kind of music you are being asked to improvise on and we don't want to confuse you, what? :-)


    (In the meantime, absent more specific information, you might want to listen to some Bach choral/instrumental pieces. There are some terrific trumpet interplay with choir and choir. Not that you might have the high-note chops to play some of the music, but you can get a good idea of when and how the trumpet is used and adapt it to the technique you do have.)
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2011
  4. kcmt01

    kcmt01 Mezzo Forte User

    784
    102
    Sep 25, 2009
    Polson, MT
    Listen to a LOT of classical music, then steal ideas shamelessly from them. Keep it simple at first, incorporate new ideas as your confidence grows. I;m with Dr. Onady on this one: Learning to play by ear and improvise can be the start of a whole new world of music.
     
  5. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    8,040
    2,035
    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    Some find it easier to do a two phase conversion of the bass clef to the treble clef Begin with raising all notes just two semi-tones (half-steps). At this phase all the notes would read correctly as if they were now in the treble clef, but some may not be in preferred range of a trumpet as may require an octave shift. To then transpose from the C instrument music to that for a Bb, add two sharps to key signature and raise all note another two semo-ones (half steps). Just a thought, much of this makes interesting duets possible on Bb instruments with C instrument (piano /organ) music. Been doing it for more than half my life. Ain't sayin' the ear method won't work for some, but it doesn't work for all ... but the above will. I've yet to know a player who can do an instant acceptable ad lib / improvization by ear without prior knowledge of the music, but musically well trained sight readers often can.
     
  6. kehaulani

    kehaulani Fortissimo User

    3,462
    2,724
    May 14, 2011
    Hawaian homey
    Ed, I'm sure, since you write that you've been doing this a long time, that you know what you're doing, but I don't think you wrote exactly what you mean - or I need another double shot of espresso. You write:

    "Begin with raising all notes just two semi-tones. At this phase all the notes would read correctly as if they were now in the treble clef."
    That's not correct, Ed. If you want to read bass clef as if it were treble clef, you must displace the bass clef notes up a third, not a second as you suggest.

    "To then transpose from the C instrument music to that for a Bb, add two sharps to key signature and raise all note another two semi-ones (half steps)."
    This would be correct except that you're building it on a faulty foundaton as noted above.

    I think what you mean is, "read all the notes up a third, as in treble clef, change the key signature, and then transpose the notes up a second", or perhaps more succinctly, "change the key signature and read the notes up a fourth".

    Would that be more of what you had in mind?
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2011
  7. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    18,128
    9,302
    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    We are always could use another double shot of expresso, no matter what the reason. Natures natural diet and pick me up drink.

    Also Ed notes: ..."Begin with raising all notes just two semi-tones... as if they were now in the treble clef." To which Kahaulani replys: That's not correct, Ed. If you want to read bass clef as if it were treble clef, you must displace the bass clef notes up a third, not a second as you suggest.

    Agreed! But doing it Ed's way would keep you out of a lot of treble!

    Or my method: Just drink down a fifth and wing it!
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2011
  8. kehaulani

    kehaulani Fortissimo User

    3,462
    2,724
    May 14, 2011
    Hawaian homey
    "The hook! Get the hook!"

    * (if you're too young, I'll explain.)
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2011
  9. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    18,128
    9,302
    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    I am likely older then you, and I get the message. Exit Stage Left!
     
  10. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    8,040
    2,035
    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    Alternating line and space beginning with the bottom line of the bass clef to the top line of the treble clef the notes are GABCDEFGABCDEFGABCDEF. Really all I'm doing is octave shifting from the bass clef to the treble clef and for any note I've a choice of 3. However, shifting the bass clef up just two semi-tones (half steps), it then reads as if it were the treble clef, viz in the key of F, the flat is on the second line in the bass clef, while in the treble clef it is on the third line a displacement of just two semi-tones (half steps) in appearance. Only then do I transpose to my Bb trumpet if needed. It's worked for me through high school and college (minor in instrumental music) and in many years since. Too, conversely it was what made playing a euphonium also an easy transition for me. It's all in perception!

    I inherited my Mother's stacks of piano and organ music as has been the source of much of what I've played on my other instruments. Mostly, I'm able to sight read it directly. Such includes Handel's Messiah and Strauss's Tales From The Vienna Woods among others along with pops from the 20s thru the 50s and skads of clergical and folk music. This is not to diminish hundreds of classical and hymn selections I've played also.
     

Share This Page