Sousa is kryptonite to my chops...

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by gbdeamer, Jun 15, 2009.

  1. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Any march is a case of pacing yourself. Just play at the lower end of your possible dynamics. If somebody complains, let them try it.

    In the Army, we did this all the time, so we got used to it. Even then, I NEVER played fortissimo.
  2. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    I would suggest that normal kinds of "chop building" exercises won't help a lot for Sousa. At a tempo of 120 with sixteenth notes, we are looking (conservatively) at over 1000 notes a tune--killer stuff! The tonguing exercises in Arban can be a great help, single tongue, double tongue, triple tongue one after the other, taking no prisoneers--20 minutes of this trumps 2 hours of lip slurs, long tones and arppeggios for playing Sousa.

    Have fun!
  3. RG111

    RG111 Piano User

    Nov 12, 2003
    TrumpetCarl and I spent over 20 years together playing Sousa marches, and I don't believe we ever failed to play the dynamics as written. You develop that kind of endurance by doing it, not by cheating. My proctologist would have wondered how the Drum Major's mace got that far up the intestines otherwise! :)
    Roy Griffin
  4. tptCarl

    tptCarl Pianissimo User

    Jan 17, 2006
    Cottonwood, Arizona
    LOL, thanks Roy !!
  5. Darthsunshine

    Darthsunshine Mezzo Forte User

    Jul 19, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    We played Thunderer as our encore at my community orchestra concert tonight. No doubt, Souza can be a chop buster. However, after counting a bazillion bars of rest during most of the rest of the concert, there's no way our little trumpet section would ever complain!
  6. oldlou

    oldlou Forte User

    Aug 28, 2005
    Grand Rapids, Mi.

    Hurrah!!!!!!! An attorney that tells the truth,( as I see it ).

  7. clousemiester

    clousemiester Pianissimo User

    Jun 10, 2007
    Boca Raton
    On those days when the lead partner doesn't show up in the community band..........
    If the clarinets are doubling that stanza with the trumpets I either drop out or play alot softer. The clarinets always get it. On those times when the crowd wants Mr. S, Fillmore, or any other tune that gives those patriotic feelings, you gotta give it to them the best musical performance possible. Dynamics are relative!
  8. mkmtrumpeter

    mkmtrumpeter New Friend

    Jun 17, 2009
    Something I learned in my first year of college lessons (and something I know I'll take to the grave) is this: sometimes, you think your chops are tired, and when it comes down to it, you're just not using enough air. You'd be AMAZED at how fresh your chops feel when your really fill your tank up from bottom to top with a good, full, strain-free breath. This last concert season, we played Daughters of Texas, followed immediately (literally, we segued right into it) by The Liberty Bell. Now, the Bell has some resting in it, but I swear to God, there's hardly even an eighth rest in sight on Daughters. Myself and the other girl sharing lead would get so fatigued, but we found places to stagger breathe and it's incredible the kind of rejuvenation a good, proper breath can bring.

    Before I ever even touch my horn, I start my day off with three HUGE breaths to remind myself how to breathe correctly. Open up those lungs and feel the heal!

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