Personally, I don't know any that couldn't read music, nor does it really matter to me since I'm not hiring them. Still, I don't believe a symphony or other orchestra would hire them if they couldn't read the music. That said, I would like to have the auditory skill to identify precisely every musical note I hear and the key in which the music is played. I believe my Mother, a pianist and organist, was at one time much more adept at doing so than I'd ever hope to be, but she could also read music very well. Now I am in the the process of being fitted with a hearing aid for my right ear and when this is accomplished I do not expect to be able to hear the music any better. They just don't include skill in a hearing aid manufacturing process yet and I don't think they ever will.
"Roses have thorns; shining waters mud. Clouds and eclipses stain the moon and the sun; and history reeks of the wrongs we have done. After today, after today, consider me gone."- Sting
I do believe that Wilmer Wise's signature quote is applicable to this discussion "Be sure Brain is engaged before putting Mouthpiece in gear". :)
As far as routine goes, my daily practice has the following three goals:
1 - warm up the mind and muscles (the musical equivalent of stretching before a run, and some focus exercises)
2 - maintain my technical (and musical) facility (what most people, including myself term "routine")
3 - achieve something new/improve on an existing technique/etc ("practice")
I strive always to make this as musical as possible at all times. Yes, I want my scales and patterns etc to come out automatically and freely without me 'thinking' about them; but this does not negate the focus and concentration required for musicality and technical precision.
All the best,
fb: Adrian Kelly
Adrian is an endorsing artist for the Conn-Selmer company, and performs on Vincent Bach instruments. Adrian performs on mouthpieces by Stork Custom.
Adrian's latest CD "Chinese Whispers 細語" is available now from www.cdbaby.com/cd/adriankelly
Getzen Eterna 900S Severinsen | Selmer Manhattan | Besson Brevete 10-10 | Callet NY (LB) x2 | Selmer C "Rose Brass" | Glier F
#1 is tone, as without such, you can scrap the rest and sell your instrument. This does not mean getting up to a solid tone of a Double High C should be your goal whereas 95+% of the world's music will never require it, and when it does for brass, it should be written for piccolo trumpet. If you are adept with good tone from the F# on third ledger line below the G clef to the C on the second ledger line above the staff as most music for a Bb trumpet is written for.
I start my warm up on the second line G of the staff for tone and using half notes work my way down to the elusive F# and back up several times. With changes in barometric pressure and temperature these will will allow me to set or know where my slides should be for tone. Then changing to quarter notes I ascend chromatically to that C and descend to the F#. Then changing to eighth notes ascend and descend again and repeat. Then sixteenth notes ascending and descending several times. Concluding, I'm ready to play music. As others will interject, there is a bit more to reading music other than just the notes, among them the annotations and phrasing. I do suggest that practice alone should always be in piamissimo (p) or less unless an annotation specifys otherwise. Yes, not often mentioned is fingering dexterity and that only improves with time and continued shove toward playing faster music which you must practice/rehearse before performance. Very seldom would I expect a student to play Rimsky-Korsakov's Flight of the Bumblebee in less than 4 years of study and practice, and there are many other songs that require like speed with lip and finger dexterity, especially so among the Latin genres and Jazz genre. Although just as fast, I don't expect to hear any brass in the Blue-grass genre. Still, I don't want to hear bad tone in performance.
Sorry to bring this back up, but I had another thought today. If the routine is ONLY maintenance, where does improving come in? Where is it that you challenge yourself - just in the music? I assumed that that challenge would be in the routine (working out the kinks) so that I wouldn't have to work them out in the music. Just my thought.
Also, if a routine has all the required "stuff" can you just grab any routine and use it i.e. Bill Adam, Carmine Caruso.... I don't even know who all has routines out there, but you get what I mean.
I'm not at a point where I just want to (or can) just maintain. I need to improve also.
Ir may be peculiar, but when I pick up my trumpet to practice, seemingly a mindset of a spectre is in my thoughts. At such times I just burst out of this phantasm and immediately begin to play Julius Fuscik's Entry of the Gladiators aka Grande March Chromatique, a song I first played in high school. Certainly, it is an exercise, in articulation, tone, chromatics, and finger dexterity. Then I may play one of Strauss's waltzes where often there is slurs and phrasing. Just by bouncing around the different styles and genres of music, I feel very comfortable that I cover all the routines, especially when I'm continually adding songs I've not played before. Time wise, on my best days I can account for as much as 4 hours of "lip time" in 2 sessions, and to explain this more, I play 30 minutes and alternately rest 20 minutes. I really enjoy my practice sessions as they are my relaxation from all my other concerns in life. To accomplish this, there are times when I must use my YSB when my wife is present in the house and wants to watch TV or sleep.
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