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09boner
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« on: Jun 10, 2006, 08:08AM »

1. Does anyone know the positions for the notes above D (10va over tuning Bb)?
2. I'm going to band camp a little later this summer and the trombones sit next to the trumpets so how do you read their music since they are a Bb flat insturment?
3. Probably the most important question.... how do you tounge? I know that your tounge is supposed to touch the tip between your teeth and your gums and I can do that when we have to sing the pieces outloud in band but i can't ever do it when I play the insturment itself.
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Dave Tatro
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« Reply #1 on: Jun 10, 2006, 10:06AM »

I'll answer your questions in order, to the best of my ability.

First, high D is commonly played in 1st position, but on some instruments does not speak well there. I like to play it in #3d position, as it pops out best on my horn there. It can also be played in 4th. High D# or Eb sounds good in #2nd or 3d position. E is usually played in 2nd pos. (or possibly 5th or 7th), F usually locks in best in 1st or 4th. Once you get higher than that, the partials get so close together that you can pretty much play anything wherever you want. Experiment until you find the best spot for each note on your particular instrument. A good rule of thumb is to just use the same position that you would use for the same note an octave lower. Note: there are other positions that work for the notes from D-F. I just gave you the most commonly used ones. Also, every horn is a little different, so if one position doesn't work well for a particular note, don't sweat it.

Okay, how to read a trumpet part: First, learn to read tenor clef. Then, play the trumpet part as if it was written in tenor clef but take away two sharps or add two flats.

Tonguing- there are many different approaches to tonguing, but the most common is to use the tip of the tongue like saying "tah, too, or tee". The syllable that you use and where the tip touches the inside of the mouth will probably change in different ranges of the horn. Most players have the tongue close to the bottom of the upper teeth (or even slightly between the teeth) for low notes, and then get closer to the roof of the mouth for high notes.

Good luck!
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« Reply #2 on: Jun 10, 2006, 07:25PM »

on # 1 do you mean the D directly above the   ?

#2 i have no idea how to read trumpet music Grin

#3 tounging, both your comments are accurate from what i am told.  tounging for me seems to be an automatice abiltiy that is undescripable.  all i know is that i can almost tripple tounge and learned to dubble tounge with no effort because is just worked somehow. i'm not sure if i doung the same way as how you  said but i do know that i am very good at it and this lead to good articulation but i do know the main idea is to brifly stop the air stream form entering you horn.
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« Reply #3 on: Jun 11, 2006, 07:52AM »

Quote from: "Alatrombone"
but i do know the main idea is to brifly stop the air stream form entering you horn.


You NEVER want to stop the air if you can help it. Air going through your horn should be one big, long, continuous flow. I don't know if you're trying to say what you said while having the air going completely the rest of the time, but when someone says "stop the air," that usually gets the point across of closing down, many times getting more tense, and tightening up the end of the note. Lack of air means lack of good tone!
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Dave Tatro
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« Reply #4 on: Jun 11, 2006, 10:20AM »

Quote from: "Trombonedude"
Quote from: "Alatrombone"
but i do know the main idea is to brifly stop the air stream form entering you horn.


You NEVER want to stop the air if you can help it. Air going through your horn should be one big, long, continuous flow. I don't know if you're trying to say what you said while having the air going completely the rest of the time, but when someone says "stop the air," that usually gets the point across of closing down, many times getting more tense, and tightening up the end of the note. Lack of air means lack of good tone!


I think what Alatrombone probably means here is that the tongue is used to interrupt an otherwise steady flow of air. Obviously, the tongue must interrupt the air stream or there would be no articulation. So in effect, the air stream does "stop" for brief moments, but only because the tongue gets in the way, not because the air support stops from within the body.
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« Reply #5 on: Jun 11, 2006, 11:09AM »

sorry for the unclear wording.

and interruption is more the idea
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"Words, words, words" Hamlet

"how many times have i told them not to call over the intercom while the band is playing?" Dr. Logan aka Doc, president of the alabama bandmasters association and direction of the auburn high school band
09boner
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« Reply #6 on: Jun 11, 2006, 11:12AM »

Oh wow, thanks for all the help guys. But the thing with my "tounging" if you can call it that is it I guess the best way to describe it is as you guys said not to do... breath control.. I mean my band director who plays trombone himself didn't notice during the symphonic audition so i'm not sure if I should just pick up double tounging to compensate for anything I can't play using breath control and hope by learning that single tounging will come naturally.
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Dave Tatro
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« Reply #7 on: Jun 11, 2006, 04:50PM »

Quote from: "09boner"
Oh wow, thanks for all the help guys. But the thing with my "tounging" if you can call it that is it I guess the best way to describe it is as you guys said not to do... breath control.. I mean my band director who plays trombone himself didn't notice during the symphonic audition so i'm not sure if I should just pick up double tounging to compensate for anything I can't play using breath control and hope by learning that single tounging will come naturally.


I want to make sure that I haven't misunderstood you. Is what you're saying here that you really aren't using your tongue to articulate at all, that you are just starting and stopping the breath as needed? If this is the case, and you have aspirations to take your playing to a higher level someday, my advice would be to do whatever it takes right now to start correcting this problem.

My wife, who is a flutist, and a good one, actually built an embouchure blowing between her tongue and her upper lip. Nobody ever noticed until she got to college and couldn't double-tongue. Her teacher started scrutinizing what she was doing closely and finally figured it out. She had to build a new embouchure from scratch after years of playing the other way. Not easy! Now I'm not saying that you have exactly this same problem, but trust me, at some point you will run into a wall with the technique that you are using (IF I'm correct about what you are doing.) My advice is to start trying to use your tongue for all of your articulations, and if after a period of trying, you feel like you just can't figure it out, FIND A TEACHER!!!!!! That's what they're there for!!!
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« Reply #8 on: Jun 11, 2006, 10:27PM »

Quote from: "09boner"
1. Does anyone know the positions for the notes above D (10va over tuning Bb)?
2. I'm going to band camp a little later this summer and the trombones sit next to the trumpets so how do you read their music since they are a Bb flat insturment?
3. Probably the most important question.... how do you tounge? I know that your tounge is supposed to touch the tip between your teeth and your gums and I can do that when we have to sing the pieces outloud in band but i can't ever do it when I play the insturment itself.
    1.   I go along with the person who noted that you can play these notes in the same position that you play them an octave down. Except for the B natural and C up there, which for me and most others are more solidly played in 2nd and 1st position instead of 4th and 3rd positions, I can't help but wonder if you'll see anything actually written up there anytime in the next few years. I don't ever see anything above that C except in jazz books, but I know there are advanced orchestral pieces where the first bone needs to play up there. "Tuning Bb" isn't a very good name to use for the Bb below middle C. Or at least, it's not a term that I'm used to. Terminology used by many is that     flat is "high Bb" on a trombone, the one an octave up from there is "double high Bb".  If you've been playing for less than a year, it's quite possible that your "tuning Bb" is this note:     flat. If that's the case, none of us have answered your question yet, because we thought you were talking about the notes an octave higher. For the notes which are an octave higher than     , you play Eb/D# in 3rd, E in 2nd, and F in first, just like they are in the lower octave. Going up from there, Gb/F# and G can be played in 5th and 4th, but for nearly everyone they work better played in "sharp 3rd" (in between 3rd and 2nd) and "sharp 2nd" (in between 2nd and 1st).  The most knowledgeable trombonists in this Forum describe notes according to what "partial" they are played in, which is a language I've never learned to speak or comprehend. My preferred method is to describe     flat as "Bb3". This is International Pitch Notation. It describes the note in terms of its actual pitch, and has nothing to do with what instrument is playing the note.
    2.  If tenor clef is an alien beast to you at the present, but you know how to read treble clef already, then you can play one octave plus whole step down from what you see when reading a trumpet part. For example, when the note you're looking at is    then what you play is     .  If you want to actually play the note in the same octave that the trumpet is playing it, then you'd just play one whole step lower, not an octave and one whole step lower. Pianists and others who know treble clef already may find this a faster way to read the parts compared to learning tenor clef.
    3.  If by any chance you're talking about touching the tip of the mouthpiece with your tongue, you don't do that with brass instruments.  You probably weren't saying that, but I read your question that way initially. For some, the concept of "ta" or "tu" is hard to grasp, because that is not the sound that is made. Trust, though, that when you try to say "ta" with your lips vibrating inside a mouthpiece, that's tonguing and it produces the desired effect of articulation.
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Dave Bellware, amateur. Rocky Mount Concert Band and 1st Baptist Church orchestra.
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« Reply #9 on: Aug 13, 2006, 06:44AM »

I realize it is important to do all things well, coordinating everything required but right now I would like to focus on improving my speed.

I feel that I am making satisfactory progress in all areas other than speed. I hear speed will come with experience but right now I would like to concentrate on a practice that will enable me to play faster.

What drills are the best to work on in order to improve speed?
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« Reply #10 on: Aug 13, 2006, 07:08AM »

Quote from: "Jack Webb"
I realize it is important to do all things well, coordinating everything required but right now I would like to focus on improving my speed.

I feel that I am making satisfactory progress in all areas other than speed. I hear speed will come with experience but right now I would like to concentrate on a practice that will enable me to play faster.

What drills are the best to work on in order to improve speed?
There are teachers in this Forum who hopefully will provide much more detailed advice and exact exercises, but I think my limited suggestions will be useful and not in conflict with the advice of the pros:  1. Take the pace of an exercise or piece that you already know, and speed it up.  2. Use a metronome and let it be the boss! I'm amazed at how much my speed varies when I'm practicing by myself. A metronome forces me to stay on target tempo-wise.
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Dave Bellware, amateur. Rocky Mount Concert Band and 1st Baptist Church orchestra.
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« Reply #11 on: Aug 13, 2006, 09:03AM »

Quote from: "Jack Webb"
I realize it is important to do all things well, coordinating everything required but right now I would like to focus on improving my speed.

I feel that I am making satisfactory progress in all areas other than speed. I hear speed will come with experience but right now I would like to concentrate on a practice that will enable me to play faster.

What drills are the best to work on in order to improve speed?


In addition to what BigBells suggested, try the "Tongueing on a line" exercise in the Remington warmups.

Set a metronome to about q=60 and then start playing 16th notes.  Choose any single note.  Concentrate on using the tongue to articulate the note, and avoid any "belly bouncing".  Speed up the metronome a click and keep going until you can't keep up.  Then go back and do the last one you could play a few times.  Strings of 32 or so 16th notes.  Can't do 16th notes at q=60?  Try 8th notes.  8th notes at q=120 is 16th notes at q=60.
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Bruce Guttman
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