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Performance Tips

  1. Video: Exploring Double-Bell Techniques with Gershwin's It Ain't Necessarily So

    I often wonder what the original double-bell euphonium artists did in the early 1900's. I read that they used the little bell for echo effects, and one would assume they would alternate between the bells per phrase or even per note. But I think if the instrument had gained mainstream popularity and kept it through the 20th century, new techniques would have evolved.

    I'm going to offer a couple different double-bell techniques in this video, plus two rarely-used conventional techniques. ...
  2. Listening to Recordings of Your Own Playing

    Have you ever met musicians who refuse to listen to their own recordings? I have... many times. They literally don't know what they are missing. On the other hand I have met players who are a little too enthralled with their own recordings. They also don't know what they are missing! Do you fit in either of those camps? Either one is actually understandable, but there are more useful ways to listen to your own recordings.

    Let me set some conditions before discussing this further. First, ...
  3. Developing Effective Vibrato

    Vibrato is a part of virtually every advanced euphonium performance. Among other instruments, it is used for most of the playing on strings, and much of the playing on cornet, trumpet, trombone, and tuba in the brasses, and flute, oboe, and saxophone in the woodwinds. French horn players don't use it as much in the USA, although Europeans use it more. The same is true for clarinet. Vocalists use vibrato most of the time. Clearly, any player beyond beginner level will need to learn how to produce ...
  4. Video: Very Unique Euphonium Feature on Melody Shop

    This is from a live concert by the U. S. Army Field Band. It is an example of what a little imagination can do with a march that is already impressive, and then becomes a genuine crowd pleaser! Video features Sergeant First Class Christopher Sarangoulis and Staff Sergeant Lauren Veronie on euphoniums.

    This is undoubtedly very difficult to do, either live or in practice, but they did it! What I like about this is that the march is first (apparently) played all the way through normally, ...
  5. Minnesota All-State Audition - Example and Tips - Video

    I've been asked to do a new project this year. Brian C. Wilson of iplayeuphonium.com is working to obtain recorded examples of the all-state audition pieces for all 50 U.S. states. I am doing the example for Minnesota.

    In this state a composer writes a special etude each year, which is one way to make sure there is an even playing field (i.e. the chosen piece is not one that anyone happened to have played in a lesson last year or something). Composer Timothy Mahr includes quite a lot ...
  6. Memorizing and Sight Reading

    I would like to memorize more often than I do. Playing without music, once you get to the point where you really have it memorized, frees you in several ways. But it takes time to get to that "safe" point.

    When you are looking at the music stand you are somewhat "locked" in position. That could actually be an advantage in a recording session if there is a mic on your bell, but for a live audience it limits your freedom to move along with your musical expression. You may also find that
    ...
  7. Video - I Know Why and So Do You - Euphonium and Piano

    I just uploaded a new euphonium/piano video to my YouTube channel. In this one we are playing a song that I heard in the movie "The Glenn Miller Story" called "I Know Why (and So Do You)." The series of videos I've been doing lately are partly intended to give players ideas about songs they can perform to help develop style. I've been choosing songs that don't require advanced technique or range, and as such they would be doable by anyone from high school on up. They would be a good way to help ...
  8. More on Playing in Church - New Video

    Here is a new video of me playing euphonium for a recent church service, with Sara Brunk, piano. This piece was the offertory: "You Raise Me Up" - words and music by Brendan Graham and Rolf Lovland.

    I have to confess that I came across this song accidentally. I heard the Irish Tenors (probably during PBS fund-raising) in concert, and Ronan Tynan sing a piece called "Grace." I was struck by the melody and wanted the music. The only way I could purchase it was within a book of Ronan Tynan ...
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