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Trumpet Discussion Discuss Transposition methods in the General forums; Originally Posted by joey You are working a little harder than you need to. Try this: First, figure out your ...
  1. #11
    Forte User
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    Oct 2004
    Farnham (a place too smal

    Re: transposition

    Quote Originally Posted by joey
    You are working a little harder than you need to. Try this:

    First, figure out your interval of transposition (for example, 'D' trumpet from 'Bb' trumpet is up a major third).

    Second, change your key signature the same as your interval of transposition (if your 'Bb' part is written in the key of 'C' major, up a a major third would be 'E' major).
    This is the first way I teach transposition. BUT it is not so useful for more contemporary or chromatic pieces.

    I use various methods of transposition (clef, key change, intervalic) but the aim is to get each so that you don't actually have to think about transposing, you just do it.
    Dutiful practice will make this a fluid part of your trumpet playing.
    That's the secret. The more you do it, the better you get at it. I find this to be especially true when you are doing this in a group situation. The temptation to stop when you make a mistake is removed - you HAVE to keep going.
    First, play the melody as written, so you know what it sounds like. Now transpose, listening for the same ease and musicality.
    Great advice.
    Maurice Murphy used to practice his transposition skills with hymn tunes.
    A different transposition every day. Simple tunes, being read in different keys. You become accustomed to playing notes that are not what you are reading.

  2. #12
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    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Grand Rapids, Mi.


    I think that for the majority of the readers of this forum this thread has been "all Greek to me".
    I learned transposition very early in my playing life. My dad and grandpa played in evangelical churches primarily. I was duly inducted into a cornet trio with them. This meant that I had to learn to transpose to be able to play with piano accompanyment. It did not take long to decide that I didn't want to play anything written in multiple sharps. Adding two more of them was a nightmare. Flats were a snap. Subtracting two of them was a joy for a novice cornetist. In my 'at home' practices I still use a hymn book for my warmups, transposing on the fly. I find it actually easier than playing the score as it is written. Because I now play in a senior citizens concert band and also in a community band, I have to play the chart as written. It is getting easier.


  3. #13
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    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Northern New York
    That's all some excellent advice. Thank you all very, very much. I haven't had much opportunity to work Longinotti 2 lately, but did crack the Arban and get to those art of phrasing studies before rehearsal this am. I went to one (can't recall which now) with C trumpet in hand, played it under a step and up a step. Up a step didn't go as well, so I guess that's where my work needs to go right now.
    "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

  4. #14
    New Friend
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    When I am transposing I do something completely different from what has been posted. When practicing I first learn to sing the part as it is written in other words if it has a written G then I sing a G completely ignoring the key it is supposed to be in. Once I can consistantly sing it correctly I just transpose the sound in my head where it needs to be and then I play. No thinking about key signatures, no thinking about intervals or numbers, just sound. After I began to practice like this I found that I can just do this by sight, look at the music and hear it where it needs to be. I really don't have problems transposing into any key anymore.

  5. #15
    DRS is offline
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    Oct 2005
    Kalispell, MT
    There is a method you could try. It is "Method for Transposition," by Williams. It is published by Charles Colin Music. It should cost around $15.00 US.

    As an amateur trumpet player I occassionaly have to transpose in the local civic orchestra, which can be somewhat difficult for those of us who don't have the useful music theory background. Short of resorting to software like Sibelius, enteing the score and transposing, you pretty much have to develop your own method - for those of us who aren't pros.

    I recommend taking etudes and methods, such as Arban, and playing passages with which you are very familiar. Then start transposing up and down a half step at a time. It's a grind, but eventually you'll develop the neural pathways(rewiring your brain!) to do it.

    Just a suggestion, but what the heck!

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