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Trumpet Discussion Discuss Playing Jazz AND Classical well in the General forums; How do you guys go about keeping your classical chops up while you focus on your jazz studies.. I know ...
  1. #1
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    Playing Jazz AND Classical well

    How do you guys go about keeping your classical chops up while you focus on your jazz studies.. I know the textbook answer is "Practice both" but it's not going that well for me... I can't play classical music anymore without a VERY strong pull to just play jazz. It's like I can't hold my mind to the classical genre anymore... Therefore my performance is suffering. Anyone else had this problem?
    -J
    Bach 37
    4MC/NY BB

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    Let it be known that I really have no motivation to play classical music, besides the fact that I hate sounding like s@#t and I have to play it.
    Bach 37
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  3. #3
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    Re: Playing Jazz AND Classical well

    Quote Originally Posted by Jarrett
    How do you guys go about keeping your classical chops up while you focus on your jazz studies.. I know the textbook answer is "Practice both" but it's not going that well for me... I can't play classical music anymore without a VERY strong pull to just play jazz. It's like I can't hold my mind to the classical genre anymore... Therefore my performance is suffering. Anyone else had this problem?
    -J
    Yes, I have had this problem but not in the same sense as what you posted. After not having played in an orchestra for many years while all the time I've been "developing" jazz, I was asked to play first trumpet in the Hebrew University orchestra. It was impossible to follow the conductor. My training and experience accounted for nothing at that time for I was out of the regimentation of counting for 100 bars and playing one note and then counting another 50 bars, etc while all the time I'm listening for the beat because the conductor did not give one ... only expressive arm wavings.

    In short, playing Jazz and then Classical is not like turning the water on and off but rather one has to ease into it. Advice: give as much time as you can to practicing classical before getting into the orchestral schedule and do it with the mind set that this is your last performance of your career or that you're going to win $100,000; so, you better make it good!

    I could have said the same thing they say about Jazz players ... you're either born a classical trumpet player or you are not but this is not true IMO.

    Good luck,

    Liad Bar-EL

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    noted. I think the problem lies in my lack of joy playing the music. I guess it is simple pride that will carry me on this one.
    -J
    Bach 37
    4MC/NY BB

  5. #5
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    My first trumpet teacher taught me there are only two types of music. Good music and bad music. We then worked on all styles of good music. In college I learned to adapt to the style of the ensemble, whether it was a Quintet, Orchestra, Jazz Band, Solo playing, Bach, Ellington, whatever. We had Jazz Band rehearsal followed by the Symphony Orchestra, Wind Ensemble then Quintet. That night might be small group jazz, next morning private lesson. I remember being in the practice room working on Charlier, excerpts for Orchestra rehearsal the next day, Basie Lead parts for Friday Jazz Band. I'd have my C trumpet next to my Fluegel next to the picc next to my Lead mouthpiece and going back and forth. We all did that in those days at that school. Schlossberg and Clarke for Fundamentals, be-bop lines for Improv class....4-6 hours a day for practice time. The Brass Choir coach would jump on you if you used tongue stops at the ends of notes, the Big Band guy was all over you if you had sloppy ends. Haydn in your jury, better not loose your style even if you just got off a road tour for a week with the Jazz Band. This got me lots of work as a pro, the legit guys never knew I could play jazz, the jazz guys never new what that C trumpet was for. But all styles and good approaches compliment each other. As George Graham said, if you can't play legit you can't play. Good legit technique helps make you a better lead player with more control and ease, ask Lou Soloff. Good lead playing helps everything in Orchestral playing, projection and endurance. Ask Phil Smith. The only physical difference between legit and commercial work is how the tongue is used in phrasing. Good sound production is neccessary for all styles of playing. A high F is a high F in Duke or Stravinsky. Playing in tune, in time, in tone etc. is all needed. Sound that fits the style is needed. I listen to as much legit as jazz and always have. Yesterday I bought three Phillip Jones Brass Ensemble recordings I did not have, two Kenton re-issues of albums I lost and Sinatra's "Swingin Affair." Also Gerald Wison's New York Sound CD. (A new Borders opened up around us) I'll listen to that stuff all week.

    So, with only two types of music to listen to, I choose to listen to just one type. GOOD MUSIC!

    By the way, I love Christmas music. It sounds so good all the way to the bank.

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    Can't argue with that one. I do that "legit" exercises and such.. mostly Schlossberg and Clarke, a lot of the Vizzutti stuff, all three books and of course the Arban is a headchart. I just can't stand playing it in practical application. I agree with the assessment that Legit pays the bills though. I think it was Noel Langley that told me that Legit pays the bills and jazz keeps you sane.. or something to that effect.
    -J
    Bach 37
    4MC/NY BB

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    I keep everything seperated, I actually enjoy classical music more, but heres what works for me, Ive got a jazz horn(double as my marching horn etc..) and a classical horn, I practie jazz seperate from classical, 2 different times 2 different practice routines, 2 different horns, 2 different feels. I feel I must keep them seperate cause you dont want a classical sound mixed into your jazz and surely not a jazz in your classical, so thats what I do.

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    I was thinking about this same subject the other day when I decided to purchase music for Piano and Trumpet versions for Flight of the Bumble Bee and Haydn Concerto for Trumpet.

    Outside of Clarke, Schlossberg, Arban's studies I do not play any "legit" style music. Just jazz infused stuff. Fun, no doubt, there's a whole lot more out there! Interesting I find I always start trying to swing those eights. You know, just ride'em. Good discipline mandatory. Versatility demanded.

    Gotta keep'em separated though.

    Tim
    Selmer-Paris Concept TT
    www.jazztrumpeter.com

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    Hi,

    Like most of you guys and girls I like playing both. I also tend to have a classical practice routine based around Arbans and Clarke and work on both classical and big band charts. Mentally what helps me is singing the piece in my head first (not out loud!!) so that even before I pick up the horn I'm stylistically in the groove. Its then up to your chops to translate that 'sound' into the stuff that comes out of the bell.

    Regards

    Trevor

  10. #10
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    As a college music major I find it nessecary to play in many different styles in one day. In a given day I can play in Jazz Band (Big Band, Swing, Latin), Wind Symphony, Improv class, Trumpet Ensemble, Quintet, Orchestral excerpts, Funk Band, solo lit, even brass band from time to time. Not only being able to do this all in one day but also being forced to do this all in one day only goes further to prove that trumpet playing is 90% mental. If you have developed the chops to play the trumpet then all you have to do is have your mind in the right place for the style you are playing. The few rules that I follow to make playing all of these varying styles easier are, Play each horn every day (Bb,C,Picc,Eb,Cornet), listen to all styles of music on a regular basis, and spend time making sure each day that I have really strong fundamentals and a great concept of sound.

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