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bonenick

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« on: Jun 20, 2017, 03:32AM »

Is it possible to practice slide positions and technique without putting facetime? If so, how to do it?
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« Reply #1 on: Jun 20, 2017, 05:36AM »

Is it possible to practice slide positions and technique without putting facetime? If so, how to do it?

I have done it with certain passages just before a prima vista performance. Read the sheet and move your hand to the positions accordingly but don't make any sound. I don't know if I really learned anything from this. You could try it!

/Tom
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« Reply #2 on: Jun 20, 2017, 06:08AM »

I would think that slide technique is just as much about coordinating slide, air, and tongue as it is arm motion.  Maybe more. 

So I have some doubts.

You might want to play pool or billiards or whatever your local term is.  The straight line motion required of the cue might help you figure out the different joint contributions. 
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« Reply #3 on: Jun 20, 2017, 06:10AM »

Is it possible to practice slide positions and technique without putting facetime? If so, how to do it?

I think most/all of slide technique is coordinating it with the face technique and assessing the audible result.  

So, i am doubtful. :/  

You could hold a five-pound weight in your hand and practice moving it in and out fast.  Maybe that would build up some relevant muscle?  Don't know
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« Reply #4 on: Jun 20, 2017, 06:23AM »

I am slightly optimistic.

But it is my belief that we shouldn't follow the pool cue advice nor the 5-pound weight advice as they will only re-enforce a stiff-arm movement which is to be avoided at all costs, IMO.

I would, instead, rather practice a supple finger/wrist/elbow technique that suggests a high degree of relaxation while playing. Relaxation while playing is paramount for me and it starts with a relaxed and poised slide technique. A relaxed posture is not to be confused with sloppiness.

YMMM!

...Geezer
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Matt K

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« Reply #5 on: Jun 20, 2017, 06:32AM »

Slide positions - yes.  Look at a note and recall what position it is. You won't get the benefit of tactile feeling though.  This is where aural theory training comes into play though.  When I sing, I visualize the position of the note. I actually have a much more difficult time singing if I'm not doing that, given that at this point I've played the trombone for more than 50% of my life.

So put another way, I'd say the answer to your question is "perhaps", but working on aural theory skills instead of slide technique would be a better use of time depending on the relative level of your existing skills.
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« Reply #6 on: Jun 20, 2017, 06:45AM »

Slide positions - yes.  Look at a note and recall what position it is. You won't get the benefit of tactile feeling though.  This is where aural theory training comes into play though.  When I sing, I visualize the position of the note. I actually have a much more difficult time singing if I'm not doing that, given that at this point I've played the trombone for more than 50% of my life.

So put another way, I'd say the answer to your question is "perhaps", but on aural theory skills instead of slide technique would be a better use of time depending on the relative level of your existing skills.

That approach is pretty difficult to argue solidly against.

Perhaps try both methods combined, but it might be overload and end up confusing more than helping.

...Geezer
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« Reply #7 on: Jun 20, 2017, 06:50AM »

I am slightly optimistic.

But it is my belief that we shouldn't follow the pool cue advice

A pool cue must move absolutely straight, over a distance that probably approximates most slide motions other than a 1 - 7, so it may not be that far off.  Any unnecessary tension produces movement off that straight line. 

It is an underhand motion rather than the more backhand motion of the slide. 
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« Reply #8 on: Jun 20, 2017, 06:51AM »

A pool cue must move absolutely straight, over a distance that probably approximates most slide motions other than a 1 - 7, so it may not be that far off.  Any unnecessary tension produces movement off that straight line. 

It is an underhand motion rather than the more backhand motion of the slide. 

It's still a bad example and mental concept, IMO.

...Geezer
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« Reply #9 on: Jun 20, 2017, 08:30AM »

Is it possible to practice slide positions and technique without putting facetime?

---snip---

No.

Not really.

Is it possible to practice running or shooting a basketball without running or shooting a basketball?

No.

Playing a musical instrument is a physical act. It is what the Germans call a gestalt ...a configuration, pattern, or organized field having specific properties that cannot be derived from the summation of its component parts; a unified whole.

Of course, one can visualize the act of playing a given set of phrases without holding or playing the horn. I do that all the time when learning tunes...especially in different keys that require extended positions, for instance. I often move my right arm in a semblance of the slide movements as well while doing this.

But where the rubber actually meets the road? No. Gotta do it, not think about doing it.

Later...

S.
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« Reply #10 on: Jun 20, 2017, 09:23AM »

No.

Not really.

Is it possible to practice running or shooting a basketball without running or shooting a basketball?

No.

Playing a musical instrument is a physical act. It is what the Germans call a gestalt ...a configuration, pattern, or organized field having specific properties that cannot be derived from the summation of its component parts; a unified whole.

Of course, one can visualize the act of playing a given set of phrases without holding or playing the horn. I do that all the time when learning tunes...especially in different keys that require extended positions, for instance. I often move my right arm in a semblance of the slide movements as well while doing this.

But where the rubber actually meets the road? No. Gotta do it, not think about doing it.

Later...

S.

Gee, I don't know Sam. I think The Music Man might have wanted to argue your point! lol

...Geezer
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« Reply #11 on: Jun 20, 2017, 11:20AM »

Here's a slide position chart that I leave around the place in a NLP manner, for economical slide shifts when the time comes..

https://www.dropbox.com/s/84wod5hnyq21pbi/Slide%20Pos%20Chart%202016.pdf?dl=0
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« Reply #12 on: Jun 20, 2017, 11:59AM »

I recall a study some years ago where they took some novice tennis players and put them in three groups.

One group practiced as usual for a half an hour a day. The second group just thought (or maybe read) about practicing tennis for a half an hour a day. And the last group, a control group, did neither.

After some stretch of this, they tested them and... the "thinking" group had improved.  Not as much as the practicing group but more than the control group who had not improved at all.

So maybe thinking about it is better than nothing, but I still suspect that if you want to practice trombone... you need the trombone.  :)
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« Reply #13 on: Jun 20, 2017, 12:32PM »

I would think that slide technique is just as much about coordinating slide, air, and tongue as it is arm motion.  Maybe more. 

So I have some doubts.

You might want to play pool or billiards or whatever your local term is.  The straight line motion required of the cue might help you figure out the different joint contributions. 

Well, the practice I did was not to take it from the top and do the whole piece with just moving an imaginary slide. I identified some awkward pattern that needed alternate positions because the tempo made it too fast for regular positions. When a pattern is difficult to read I usually learn it without notes as a kinetic pattern. I learn how to move and forget about the notes. It is at such occasions when also playing prima vista that I have tried this to increase the odds of nailing it. I do think it is better than nothing, but of course I would rather play it with a practice mute back stage ifor I had that option. Sometimes as a sub on stage when you have at best 10 seconds to prepare I do this. I do small movements with my hand as I figure out the best way to play a certain pattern and then it is countdown and I hope for luck :-)

/Tom
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« Reply #14 on: Jun 20, 2017, 01:27PM »

......
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« Reply #15 on: Jun 20, 2017, 02:15PM »

Is it possible to practice slide positions and technique without putting facetime? If so, how to do it?

Yes and no.

Some days ago I had to perform a solo piece without the sheet music in front of me. I did use lot of time memorize what I should play by thinking it and moving my arm. To think how to perform can also help technique.

No, because slide, air, tongue have to work synchronized with your performance of music. That's why music often can give the answer....

Some days ago I saw a video with James Markey giving a lesson or masterclass. He definitely give something new to bass trombone world. He told about music as the paraply and all the sections under the paraply as aspects about how to make the hole paraply. All aspects are important but the paraply it self is most important. Maybe I misunderstand some of what he told but I think it was at least close.

Leif
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« Reply #16 on: Jun 20, 2017, 02:31PM »

The question is coming from a doubler, whose main instrument happen to be the  🎺. Many of us have exercised fingerings without instrument...or some have even used sandovalves. I often see trumpeters like sandoval mimicking playing valves when scat singing. That's where I come from. I hope that my question doesn't sound stupid to you, sliders :D What Tom's saying sounds plausible to me.
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« Reply #17 on: Jun 21, 2017, 06:06AM »

Gee, I don't know Sam. I think The Music Man might have wanted to argue your point! lol

...Geezer

I know "The Music Man" is a fictional character. But maybe Sam is as well!

Sam: able to leap tall intervals in a single jump, can multiple-tongue faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, can bend notes with his bare chops. And who, disguised as a mild-manner NYC freelancer, fights a never-ending battle on The Trombone Forum for truth, justice and the Do Whatever Works way!



P.S. I think Sam actually IS a super man on the trombone. Anyone living in the NYC area who doesn't seek him out for private instruction is missing a golden opportunity!

...Geezer
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« Reply #18 on: Jun 21, 2017, 09:27AM »

I know "The Music Man" is a fictional character. But maybe Sam is as well!

Sam: able to leap tall intervals in a single jump, can multiple-tongue faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, can bend notes with his bare chops. And who, disguised as a mild-manner NYC freelancer, fights a never-ending battle on The Trombone Forum for truth, justice and the Do Whatever Works way!



P.S. I think Sam actually IS a super man on the trombone. Anyone living in the NYC area who doesn't seek him out for private instruction is missing a golden opportunity!

...Geezer

Hardly a Superman, Geezer.

Tall buildings?

Tall intervals?

Hell, I still have trouble jumping some fifths!!!

But...

I do know some things, and I do keep trying to show them to others.

Thanks...

S.
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« Reply #19 on: Jun 21, 2017, 10:03AM »

I did learn valve fingerings by building a practice keyboard and pulling the scales out of the Arban book.  I was working the night shift and had some free time. 
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« Reply #20 on: Jun 21, 2017, 01:18PM »

I am going to diagree strongly with those saying you cant improve something like slide technique away from the horn. That goes for almost any form of technique actually.... having said that, of course, if you never practice with the instrument you wont improve. Simple as that.

A practice technique I use and have heard from multiple sources who really know what they are talking about, Is to visualise a "perfect" execution of what you are practicing. Your brain is a powerful tool, and if you focus, you can mentally create a lot of sensations in your body as though you are actually practicing something. When you have a clear, mental image that is a perfect rendition of what you are practicing  (in this case slide technique) you have a great foundation with which to build your "actual" practice with your instrument. You have a clear "perfect" goal in mind, so when you actually play you should notice immediately when something you do physically doesn't match your perfect mental version and be able to adjust. I believe its an efficient way to practice and gets you achieveing your goal of practice much faster than simply playing something over and over, trying to notice what you are doing wrong each time, rather than comparing to a "perfect" version you have "already played".
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« Reply #21 on: Jun 21, 2017, 03:34PM »

I learned valve fingerings by playing air baritone.

But slide technique is a different animal, I think.  Though in my 20+ years off the trombone I occasionally played air slide just to see if I remembered the positions.  There's a lot more than positions to slide technique, though.
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« Reply #22 on: Jun 21, 2017, 10:26PM »

I am going to diagree strongly with those saying you cant improve something like slide technique away from the horn. That goes for almost any form of technique actually.... having said that, of course, if you never practice with the instrument you wont improve. Simple as that.

A practice technique I use and have heard from multiple sources who really know what they are talking about, Is to visualise a "perfect" execution of what you are practicing. Your brain is a powerful tool, and if you focus, you can mentally create a lot of sensations in your body as though you are actually practicing something. When you have a clear, mental image that is a perfect rendition of what you are practicing  (in this case slide technique) you have a great foundation with which to build your "actual" practice with your instrument. You have a clear "perfect" goal in mind, so when you actually play you should notice immediately when something you do physically doesn't match your perfect mental version and be able to adjust. I believe its an efficient way to practice and gets you achieveing your goal of practice much faster than simply playing something over and over, trying to notice what you are doing wrong each time, rather than comparing to a "perfect" version you have "already played".

This makes sense to me. Good post  Good!

If the hand reacts while you are visualising performing a pattern or not may or may not help. I don't know if it adds to the result, but to me the micro-movements my hand is doing while I read the pattern (handling it as a kinetic pattern finding the best flow for regular or alternative positions) just happens.  I don't streach my arm as if I'm holding the trombone. The motion is just in the hand and I'm not holding the slide either. It is certainly more mental than physical. I have never reflected on this subject before, not until this thread came up.
I guess visualising "you can do it" is the big part, and that is what happens in the brain when you are imagening you can do it in a certain way. We know the psychological factors are there, always!

/Tom
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« Reply #23 on: Jun 22, 2017, 01:27AM »

Here's a slide position chart that I leave around the place in a NLP manner, for economical slide shifts when the time comes..

https://www.dropbox.com/s/84wod5hnyq21pbi/Slide%20Pos%20Chart%202016.pdf?dl=0

Tumbleweed..
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« Reply #24 on: Jun 22, 2017, 03:18AM »

My teacher, the late Mr. Frank Crisafulli, was arguably was of those cosmic great teacher/player combinations. He taught me to practice with the slide "off the face" as follows. Hold the horn as you normally would -- except your lips are barely touching the mouthpiece. Do the slide motions for the passage. This can be done for just a couple of notes or an entire passage. Use the precise rhythm written but at slower tempo at first especially if it is a difficult passage. Do this both with and without articulations. When doing it with articulations, use air as well. Try to improve the coordination of the articulation and slide motion. Then do it on the horn ("on your face"). Go back and forth between on and off the face until the coordination and execution improves and it becomes muscle memory.

And the corollary practice method he taught is probably more important. Practice the passage on your face but only on one note. You can pick each note in the passage (and do them all one at a time). Ensure it is as good as you can make it (sound, rhythm, articulation, absolutely no hint of change/difficulty/tension in the air and your core abs/chest). If you can't play it well on one note, there's no way you can play it well as written. Go back and forth (on one note and as written). When you play it as written: *be sure it feels the same and it is as easy as when you practiced it one note.*
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« Reply #25 on: Jul 04, 2017, 06:29AM »

Is it possible to practice slide positions and technique without putting facetime? If so, how to do it?

Not really technique per se, but that's how I learned to play alto (or at least play in E-flat).  I'm sure most of us kind of have changes going around in our head most of the day -- so shortly after I got an alto, I decided hey, if I'm going to have this air trombone in my head all day, it might as well be an alto!  After a few weeks of doing that, I could play with almost the same facility as on tenor.  Granted, the closer slide positions required (and still require) daily practice on the horn -- but just for getting my head around playing in E-flat, it was more by practicing in my head than with the horn.
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