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The Trombone ForumTeaching & LearningPractice Room(Moderators: blast, WaltTrombone) Please play the natural phrase
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GetzenBassPlayer

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« Reply #20 on: Feb 25, 2012, 06:57PM »

They can learn it, but I don't know how you could teach it to someone, other than by by providing good examples of it.

Teaching phrasing is part of the basic music curriculum in the school district where I teach. Relating phrases to the vocal text is one tool that can help determine where a phrase starts and ends. Cadences is another tool that can be used. Melodic and solo instrumentalists, such as violin, oboe and the the like have a bunch of these tools in their tool belts. Most trombonists do not because we don't deal with melody as much. Music is a language and just like language there are rules and guidelines that help use speak to others.
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« Reply #21 on: Feb 25, 2012, 07:53PM »

Of the teachers I've had, I did have one teacher that spoke not only of phrasing, but also ways to make solos sound more interesting. Beyond natural phrasing, the original topic of this thread, we speak of other techniques that can be used on trombone. I will say that many of these techniques are for jazz and popular music, and are or seem to be less appropriate for classical music.

We can agree with Gabe's original post.

Some techniques I've heard to learn phrase and musicality include finding and writing the words on a part, if they exist. Alternatively, I've heard of teachers asking students to invent words and phrases for music, and then trying to imagine singing those words as you play.

I would be interested to know if other pedagogical techniques exist.
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« Reply #22 on: Feb 25, 2012, 09:15PM »

Teaching phrasing is part of the basic music curriculum in the school district where I teach. Relating phrases to the vocal text is one tool that can help determine where a phrase starts and ends. Cadences is another tool that can be used. Melodic and solo instrumentalists, such as violin, oboe and the the like have a bunch of these tools in their tool belts. Most trombonists do not because we don't deal with melody as much. Music is a language and just like language there are rules and guidelines that help use speak to others.

Maybe the better way of putting it is "nobody taught me about phrasing."

Whatever I learned about melodic phrasing, I learned from listening to vocalists who could sing things straight, particularly big band singers like Sinatra, Fitzgerald, Dick Haymes, June Christy, and knowing the lyrics to songs helps quite a bit in hearing the underlying melodic line when the trombone section plays.

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GetzenBassPlayer

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« Reply #23 on: Feb 26, 2012, 12:24AM »

I had a lesson today and we talked about phrasing. I played Tyrell #16 and week talked about how note length and articulation choices effect the line. I also played Kopprasch #27 from 60 Etudes Op. 5. We talked about how tempo choice can effect how convincing phrases will sound. We also talked about how create to convincing phrasing when faced with a long string of eight notes that do not have a strong feel of tonic. I find this stuff very interesting.
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« Reply #24 on: Feb 26, 2012, 04:37AM »

This all boils down to talent.

Sorry, but there it is.

Now...there are certainly many different kinds of "talent" that are involved in playing a musical instrument. Different physical talents for different instruments, a talent for hard work, a talent for understanding the theoretical basis of the music, the talent of memory...both mental and physical memory...the talent of naturally fast reflexes, the talent of being able to pay attention to different things simultaneously...and the talent of idiom. Of accent. Of syntax. Of phrasing.

Like basketball players say...height can't be taught. Talent cannot be taught either. But phrasing...it's everywhere. It's in our speech, in our writing, it's in all of the music to which we listen. Bob Dylan phrases his butt off!!! So does Jessye Norman. So do Lester Young, Lee Konitz and Sonny Rollins. Also Pablo Casals, Glenn Gould and Jascha Heifetz. Ditto J.J. Johnson, Tommy Dorsey and Jack Teagarden. All you can do is show students the way and then hope that they have talent enough to listen, understand and internalize "good" phrasing.

Take the Bach Cello Suites.

"Phrasing?"

"Play the natural phrase?"

HOO boy!!!

Going on 300 years now, and nobody even agrees on tempi, let alone phrases. That's what makes horse races. Now as an ensemble player unless I am playing lead in a loose and creative ensemble I often do not get to play the "natural" phrase that I hear because there is so much else going on. I play the phrase as marked (if indeed it is marked) even if it doesn't really scan musically, and if it's not marked I kind of lay low until I feel the drift of the ensemble or the conductor/bandleader/lead player/loudest player lays something down that looks as if it will be the norm for that phrase. (A talent for compromise, I guess, although in many other areas of the world one would not suspect that of me.Evil Evil Evil :) :))

A talent for phrasing?

How do you teach such a thing?

Damned if I know.

Teach the instrument? Sure. Teach phrasing? Sometimes I just want to lock people up in a small room with a great sound system and force feed them singers like Frank Sinatra and Jessye Norman until they wake the frack up. But then I'd be arrested as a student molester.

So it goes.

Later...

S.
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« Reply #25 on: Feb 26, 2012, 01:17PM »

We can construct phrases, but it will not be natural. And teach it? I don't know how. But we can "inspire" (don't know the English word) to try it and focus on it? And listen good musicians. It also helps to say play this the way like a nice sunny beautiful day. Or play it for your mother so her heart melts, or girlfriend ot whatever. Or play it like a storm, or like a river. Most kids do something then.

Leif
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« Reply #26 on: Feb 27, 2012, 08:34AM »


This all boils down to talent.

Sorry, but there it is.


A slightly different view--not that I completely agree with it--is that there really is no such thing as "talent." Most folks think of "talent" as an innate quality, something people are born with, a "mystical force" that some are blessed with, and others lust after. Harold recently posted in another link http://tromboneforum.org/index.php/topic,60705.0.html about 2 recent books challenging the view of "talent" based understanding of music through an exploration of practice, or what's called "deliberative [or deliberate] practice." The theory is that some people, through early exposure, natural physical development, environment, or other factors, gravitate towards one enterprise, whether it's music, golf, swimming, math, business, or any other vocation where they excel and are clearly better than others. Yes, they have an advantage over others via this early exposure, natural physical development, environment, or some other factor, but then they practice. They work at it, day after day, hour after hour, even when it's not fun. And through practice, they learn things that others do not. They master the technical aspects of a field, and use that accumulated practice to build upon and work towards a larger and deeper understanding of the field.



Now...there are certainly many different kinds of "talent" that are involved in playing a musical instrument. Different physical talents for different instruments, a talent for hard work, a talent for understanding the theoretical basis of the music, the talent of memory...both mental and physical memory...the talent of naturally fast reflexes, the talent of being able to pay attention to different things simultaneously...and the talent of idiom. Of accent. Of syntax. Of phrasing.

Like basketball players say...height can't be taught. Talent cannot be taught either. But phrasing...it's everywhere. It's in our speech, in our writing, it's in all of the music to which we listen. Bob Dylan phrases his butt off!!! So does Jessye Norman. So do Lester Young, Lee Konitz and Sonny Rollins. Also Pablo Casals, Glenn Gould and Jascha Heifetz. Ditto J.J. Johnson, Tommy Dorsey and Jack Teagarden. All you can do is show students the way and then hope that they have talent enough to listen, understand and internalize "good" phrasing.



No, height can't be taught. But that argument doesn't account for the small--and some of the greatest--basketball players, like: http://www.toptenz.net/top-10-shortest-nba-players.php. In the world of the trombone, what about Alan Ostrander, or Byron McCullough? Small, but powerful. People like this overcome an obvious disadvantage through the only means at their disposal: desire, motivation, and practice.


A talent for phrasing?

How do you teach such a thing?

Damned if I know...

So it goes.



I don't know how to teach phrasing, either. I have a difficult enough time playing a decently developed phrase, let alone trying to show it to a student, or (worse still) explain how to do it. But, I do think it can be learned.

Just another point of view...
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« Reply #27 on: Feb 27, 2012, 08:40AM »

I'd say Joe Alessi does a good job of teaching phrasing. Even just by playing, what a sound.  Amazed  But I've been to a masterclass (and will again this friday) of his, and he really doesn't cheat any of his phrases, and implores his students not to either. I imagine studying under him would be incredible for the appropriately-minded orchestral trombonists.
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« Reply #28 on: Feb 27, 2012, 12:01PM »

About making lines/sentences/phrase in music, I'm always surprised when I listen George Roberts. Whatever he did play, melody, bass line, or just some percussive few short notes here and there, he always connected them. Don't you agree? I never quite understand how he do it?

But we play big instruments and need lot of air. If we see the line in the music and understand the connection, it will help I believe. I'm trying to learn breath more correct these days. Doug gave some tips, so if you read his post I believe you should find some about it somewhere here. It helps immediately, but need some time to get in the blood. Anyway it makes the lines more connected, and playing more even.

Anyway we need to breath, that's very sure. But we have to nearly hide it sometimes, so this bassoon player Gabe talk about don't think so much about it   Evil  :D

Leif

I think this is the book that resulted from George's "busking" in San Diego:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Hal-Leonard-Big-Band-Ballads-Trombone-/190646308136?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2c6367cd28

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GetzenBassPlayer

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« Reply #29 on: Feb 27, 2012, 05:53PM »




No, height can't be taught. But that argument doesn't account for the small--and some of the greatest--basketball players, like: http://www.toptenz.net/top-10-shortest-nba-players.php. In the world of the trombone, what about Alan Ostrander, or Byron McCullough? Small, but powerful. People like this overcome an obvious disadvantage through the only means at their disposal: desire, motivation, and practice.


Lin Sanity baby.  :D :D Good!
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Pro level? Pro level!  You make it pro, you make it good You make it loved and play nice Then its a pro level horn
Leif

I can justify my position with a trombone in my hands and that's good enough for me
Beware wise men bearing equations  C. Stearn
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