Transposition

As I spend time relearning things that have gotten out of practice, I am having to write articles here so I can have quick access to them.

Transposition on the trumpet is one of the most important skills that an orchestra musician can have in their tool belt.  It is an absolute must.  Orchestral music was written with the instruments of the time and area.  With the advent of the piston trumpet/cornet, there is very little use of older style instruments.  At times conductors will ask for them simply for the timber that they produce to help make an authentic artistic representation of the piece.  Keep in mind, my music history knowledge is very limited and is essentially limited to the Norton Anthology.

Here is some important information that you need to know when you get a piece of music and are not sure what you need to do.  I do not speak multiple languages, but I can make out most tempo markings and instrumentation on a score.

Language Instrument Keys Other
English Trumpet C,D,Eb,E,F,G,Ab,A,Bb,B major, minor, flat, sharp
Italian Tromba DO,RE,MIb,MI,FA,SOL,LAb,LA,Sib,Si maggiore, minore, bemolle, diesis
Frensh Trompette UT,RE,MIb,MI,FA,SOL,LAb,LA,Sib,SI majeur, mineur, bemol, diese
German Trompete C,D,Es,E,F,G,As,A,B,H dur, moll, is, es

I have attached a PDF from Wikipedia with a full list of these, but these are the most common ones that I have come across.

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4/13/18 Clarke Studies & Long Tones

I am getting really tired of Clarke Studies. Regardless of my long hiatus, I have been on Clarke #2 and #3 and parts of #4 for a long time. They are starting to get really old, but at the same time, I know that these are essential studies of all trumpet players along with long tones.

This is the first time that I have had the equipment to record myself and really be able to listen back to the recording. I started my break back when CDs were out but CD recorders were really expensive. Now I am able to record myself and listen back and analyze what I hear.

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4/12/18 Long Tones & Arban’s

Today I took to the horn to spend some time recording long tones.  I have never been the type of musician who played a single tone for as long as possible.  I do on the other hand like playing long tones in Allen Vizzuti Trumpet Method Book 1.  There are a variety of long tones all based on chords.  It helps to hear these chords.  I also buzz these chords using my BERP while fingering.  I will play these tones on both Bb and C trumpets in order to help distinguish between the transposition while always keeping in mind the concert pitch.

Recordings

  1. Long Tones #1
  2. Long Tones #2
  3. Arbans – The Art of Phrasing: Loving I Think Of Thee
  4. Arbans – The Art of Phrasing: Robin Adair

Attacks, a necessary study

Today I decided to spend some time working on my attacks on middle G in the staff and middle C.  This is a very difficult skill.  This along with lip flexibility.  The problem that I am running into is that I took so long off from playing that my skills have severely diminished.  While I still have some skills, I have a serious lack of endurance.  I am so impatient with my practice as I want to have the skill right now but I know that it all comes with time.

Here are two recordings of my most recent practice on attacks both buzzing and playing.

Playing

Buzzing

Any constructive feedback would be appreciated.  Telling me that it sounds horrible is something I already know.  Each day is a step in the right direction.

Practice Mutes

Today I got a LotFancy aluminum trumpet practice mute in the mail (see attached pictures).  It does a great job of stopping the sound.  I can practice when my family is now sleeping.  From what I can tell it is not great for intonation but it will give you a great option for late nights working on technical skills.

I got the mute on Amazon.com

Connecting With The Big Rocks In Your Life!

Many of us have heard the story of rocks, pebbles, and sand filling a jar.  If not I have pasted it below.  See all of us have large rocks in our lives that are extremely important to us.  The problem with the culture of the times is that the less important things (pebbles) seem to consume all of our time pushing out any room for the larger rocks, the items that we will cherish at the end.

As time goes on, sometimes larger rocks get replaced with other rocks that seem to have more meaning in your life.  At times the rocks still stand but you have not had any time due to the pebbles in your life.  I recently have had to opportunity to reconnect with a large rock in my life, music.  I have played the trumpet since I was in middle school.  A very long time…..but I digress.  I have always found some great peace in playing and practicing my horn.  While I did give it a run for a time in my life, I moved ahead to other achievements to help provide for my family.  While my time is limited, I have been able to play more over the last few months.  My son has decided to start playing so it has been another activity for us to spend time together.

This has really just rejuvenated me in my daily life to sit back and take some time to do something that I really enjoy.  Another thing that I can do with my kids and family, much like archery.  Part of the resurrection of playing has been good.  Lots have changed since I was last playing actively.  The internet is so widely ingrained in everything we have that it is so much easier now to find sheet music.  I have spent some time practicing old etudes that I just loved and some that were my complete nemesis.  Much like the Charlier No. 2 Du Style.  Love and hate this thing so much.  But with the internet, easy to find recordings of and be able to listen to how other artists play.  A great recording of this song can be heard here.

Just remember, there is more to life than the pebbles.  Don’t fill your jar with pebbles first.  You won’t have time for the rocks!

A teacher walks into a classroom and sets a glass jar on the table. He silently places 2-inch rocks in the jar until no more can fit. He asks the class if the jar is full and they agree it is. He says, “Really,” and pulls out a pile of small pebbles, adding them to the jar, shaking it slightly until they fill the spaces between the rocks. He asks again, “Is the jar full?” They agree. So next, he adds a scoop of sand to the jar, filling the space between the pebbles and asks the question again. This time, the class is divided, some feeling that the jar is obviously full, but others are wary of another trick. So he grabs a pitcher of water and fills the jar to the brim, saying, “If this jar is your life, what does this experiment show you?” A bold student replies, “No matter how busy you think you are, you can always take on more.” “That is one view,” he replies. Then he looks out at the class making eye contact with everyone, “The rocks represent the BIG things in your life – what you will value at the end of your life – your family, your partner, your health, fulfilling your hopes and dreams. The pebbles are the other things in your life that give it meaning, like your job, your house, your hobbies, your friendships. The sand and water represent the ‘small stuff’ that fills our time, like watching TV or running errands.” Looking out at the class again, he asks, “Can you see what would happen if I started with the sand or the pebbles?”