The Advancing Trumpet Player – Tonality Studies Commentary

The Advancing Trumpet PlayerThe Advancing Trumpet Player – Tonality Studies Commentary

Here’s some tips on each of the exercises in the Tonality Studies, kind of the what, why, and how to practice each.

The most important rule – it’s better to play slow and correct, than fast and bad. If you practice playing incorrectly, you will only reinforce incorrect playing.

An interesting thought on these tonality studies – all of the commentary below applies to each of the tonalities, but what you will find is in each of the tonalities, each of the exercises will present different challenges due to range, fingerings, intonation, aperture, tongue levels, etc.

#1 – Believe or not, this is an interval study. Yes, the interval you on working on is the chromatic 1/2 step. Strive to have each and every note resonate clearly. Blow through the valves and out into the room. Get your tone to match on each note. Take your time, don’t rush. Think of this as a long tone study and move the air through the whole exercise. When tonguing, connect each note to the next, leave no space between the notes. Full value notes, not staccato. It’s all one long tone, your tongue is just articulating the beginning of each pitch.

#2 – Play with a full sound, not loud, just full. Once again this is all one long tone. Be sure you are not sliding between notes to get to the next note, it’s either one note or the other. Minimize the movement of your face and jaw as much as possible, use the beginning note as the homebase for your embouchure as you move through this exercise.

#3 – When first learning the scales, it’s okay to play one measure and the downbeat of the next. Then play the 2nd measure and the downbeat of the next, and so on. Once you have that, then you can string all of the measures together as written. Keep the air moving, don’t stop the air at the valves, resonate the room with your tone. End the first half of the exercise with a full tone note, let it really sing. Practice using all articulations, never staccato. Connect each note to the next, keep the air moving, your tongue is only there to start the next note, there should be no separation. As soon as possible, commit all scales to memory, close your eyes and play the scales. Get to the point where you see the key signature, the starting and ending notes, and just play.

#4 – Practicing these slowly is good, focus on getting your fingers to work at the correct time. You may wish to repeat each two bar phrase. Make sure to keep the air moving past the values and resonate the room with each note. Match the tone quality on each note.

#5, 6, 7 – When first learning the scales, it’s okay to play one measure and the downbeat of the next. Then play the 2nd measure and the downbeat of the next, and so on. Once you have that, then you can string all of the measures together as written. Keep the air moving, don’t stop the air at the valves, resonate the room with your tone. End the first half of the exercise with a full tone note, let it really sing. Practice using all articulations, never staccato. Connect each note to the next, keep the air moving, your tongue is only there to start the next note, there should be no separation. As soon as possible, commit all scales to memory, close your eyes and play the scales. Get to the point where you see the key signature, the starting and ending notes, and just play.

#8 –  When first learning the two octave chromatic scale, you may want to play the lower octave up and back down. Then play the upper octave up and back down. Use all articulations indicated. Then once you have that, put it all together as a two octave chromatic scale. Keep the air moving, stay relaxed as you ascend, there is no need to tighten up, just let the notes come out.

#9 – Play with a full singing style sound. Make this study as musically beautiful as you possibly can. Resonate the room with a full and relaxed sound.

#10 – Each note needs to speak clearly. Don’t make them too short, each note should resonate. Be sure to play this one three times, and get it to sound great the first time through it.

#11 – Once again, think of this as one long tone, it’s one stream of air, but the pitch changes each beat. No separation between notes, no sliding between notes. Listen closely to your intonation, know ahead of time the pitch center of the note you are about to play, then play that note right in it’s most resonant center.  Use all indicated articulations so you learn to come into the notes from every which way.

#12 – When you first learn this one, practice it single tongue to develop the tongue and finger coordination. Then play with the double tongue articulation. It’s okay to slow down the double tongue to make sure your T and K tone quality matches. You must keep the air moving through the T-K that is going on, don’t back off the air flow on the K syllable. Each note should resonate and speak clearly.

#13 – Each note should flow into the next one. You may want to also practice this all slurred so that you get the feeling of it all being one long tone, then go back and add the slur-two tongue-two articulation. Make this sound effortless.

#14/15 – Play full value sixteenth notes, don’t try to play them short, they’re already short. Connect each note to the next, with the tongue only activating to define the beginning of the notes. Use all indicated articulations.

#16/17 – Practice this slowly and memorize it. Get the feel for the free air flow up and down the arpeggio. Make it sound easy and effortless. Stay relaxed as you ascend and descend. Use all indicated articulations.

#18 – When you first learn this one, practice it single tongue to develop the tongue and finger coordination. Then play with the triple tongue articulations. It’s okay to slow down the triple tongue to make sure your T and K tone quality matches. You must keep the air moving through the TTK and TKT that is going on, don’t back off the air flow on the K syllable. Each note should resonate and speak clearly.

#19 – Playing these slowly is just fine. You are after accuracy and tone quality. You can learn these by playing two beats at a time ending on the next downbeat, then start on that note and do the same, two beats and end on the next downbeat. Then go back and put it all together. Use all indicated articulations.

#20 – Just as in the two octave chromatic study, when first learning the two octave whole tone scale, you may want to play the lower octave up and back down. Then play the upper octave up and back down. Use all articulations indicated. Then once you have that, put it all together as a two octave whole tone scale. Keep the air moving, stay relaxed as you ascend, there is no need to tighten up, just let the notes come out. The whole tone scale will force you to hear the center of the next pitch so you can resonate the tone as soon as you play it.

#21 – Learn these augmented arpeggios one measure at a time, play a measure and end on the next downbeat. Start on the second measure and end on the next downbeat, and so on. Get the sound of these augmented chords in your head so you know where you are going with the pitch of each note so it resonates the room when you play each one. Once you have this, string the whole study together as one. Use all indicated articulations. Keep that air moving, it’s all one long tone. And resonate the room with every note.

#22 – Take your time, play it slowly. Rest between each section. Go for a full and beautiful singing sound, each note is clear and resonates the room. Match the tone quality of one note to the next, each note connects without break to the next. Use all indicated articulations.

If you don’t have a copy of The Advancing Trumpet Player book, get full details here:

http://mphmusic.com/trumpet

 

 

 

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