Which is the easiest Arbans characteristic study?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Trumpeter_1, Dec 3, 2011.

  1. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    You need to have the respective Arban modules down to start the characteristic study.

    Your post brings up a very important point missing in many of the current "young" generations thinking and posting: the concept about how good that we are.

    In American schools you learn something, generally close to when you get tested on it. In many cases, you do not need KNOWLEDGE to pass the test - rather only a usable short term memory. The test score is therefore not a confirmation of knowledge, rather often a measure of how much luck with short time learning and multiple choice was possible.

    Arbans is labeled Conservatory Method and I firmly believe that this is what it is - designed to be presented and monitored by professors. Those teachers with higher education are in a position to offer the student a superior "BALANCE" of basics, technical and musical exercizes and then determine when the student is capable of adding the characteristic studies.

    This means that there is a PLAN based on the PERFORMANCE of the student. A student with superior tonguing could perhaps start on a different exercise than someone with superior slurring talent. One thing that a professor does not do is give a student with NONE or few of the capabilities something that will only demoralize them.

    Judging from many of the posts - including the first one of this thread, NO BRAIN POWER has been spent on the players own real capabilities, if there is a realistic chance of getting this decent in a couple of weeks or not. None of the characteristic studies were designed to be worked on for two years. They were designed to give the student a sense of power and accomplishment AFTER achieving the skills necessary to master them.

    To judge if you are ready, just grab the two hardest bars in your opinion. If you cannot play them "perfectly" after 15 minutes, your box of skills is missing something and you probably should be working on something "much" easier.

    Thus rowuks simple rule of thumb: "if you have to ask the question, you are not ready."
  2. jonterman

    jonterman Pianissimo User

    Jan 4, 2009
    +1, I'm not sure Arban is the best book to start at the beginning of any section and work your way straight through...
  3. gbdeamer

    gbdeamer Forte User

    Oct 16, 2008
    Good point that is frequently overlooked in my opinion. I chuckle a little bit when I see 4th and 5th grade students lugging copies of Arban's around with their instruments. Most of them pick up the instrument twice a week for 30 minutes, but their parents were convinced that they needed a copy of Arban's with their "band director approved trumpet kit (complete with white gloves)).

    Arban's is definitely not a "start at page 1 and go" type of book. Absent a good teacher to guide the way, I highly recommend that anyone who has the Arban's book and isn't sure what to do with it, pick up a copy of Eric Bolvin's "The Arban's Manual" - ::: Eric Bolvin Music Studios - Publications ::: ARBAN MANUAL

    It's a great resource for navigating through Arban's and Eric (regular poster here) is a great guy and well-schooled teacher/player.

    Fantastic rule of thumb that I was guilty of breaking many times when I was younger. There were times I would WANT to do something (for various reasons) even though my chops were in no way ready. By the skin of my teeth I managed to squeak by in most situations, but it also lead to a few "wake up calls" that could/should have been avoided.

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