View RSS Feed

Performance Tips

  1. 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 ...
  2. 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 ...
  3. So, Playing in Church Is Too Hard, You Say?

    For many years I have been advising euphonium players to connect with a local church and volunteer to perform euphonium solos now and then (plus play in a brass ensemble if they have one). This is a great way to gain experience and it's a nice contribution to the church. Euphonium is a great fit for a worship service!

    Some of you who are not associated with a church may find it uncomfortable to approach them. Don't worry - in most cases they will be glad to hear from you! "But," I hear ...
  4. Learning from Others - Comparisons

    I was browsing some of the videos on my Euphonium Videos page, and found an interesting contrast between performances of the same music by Lyndon Baglin, Adam Frey, and Steven Mead.

    Lyndon performs in a very traditional British style. Steven also shows a British style, but sounds quite different. And Adam plays with a mostly-American style, although one can hear the British influence in his sound. Because they are all playing the same arrangement (mostly), it is a great opportunity ...
  5. False Tones in the Low Register

    We all know how brass instruments work, right? Without using any valves, our instruments are like a Boy Scout bugle - there are a bunch of relatively fixed notes available over the range of the horn (the partial series). We can bend each one a little flatter or sharper to match pitch with other players on the same note, but most of us can't bend as much as a half step dependably.

    While I was in high school I discovered an exception to that limitation. I learned that I could start on ...
  6. When Is a Breath Mark Not a Breath Mark?

    Sheet music is a symbolic language. If you're reading this I assume you are a musician, so therefore you know that when you see a solid black oval notehead with a straight line sticking up or down, that is a quarter note. You also know it is equivalent to two eight notes. That's a mathematical relationship that is fairly basic to music. Other notations are also clear. We see the # sign and know that it can change the pitch of a note (unless it is a courtesy reminder of what the note should be in ...
  7. Watch Where You Point that Thing

    At some point during my adult life I began to notice singers "working" the microphone. I may have first noticed this with Steve Lawrence, who was quite popular in my early adult life and was on television very often for a couple decades or so. He would employ a variety of microphone angles and placements, depending on the musical needs. If he wanted a deep, sullen sound, he would bring the mic in very close to his mouth. As the dynamics picked up, he would move it further away. There were also some ...
  8. Why Horn Responsiveness Is Important

    For a long time I thought that a euphonium's response was relatively down the list of important factors when choosing a horn. First was the sound. And I broke down sound into two necessities: 1) the sound had to be big and have good projection, and 2) the sound had to have a character that fit well into various styles and could be "bent" or "shaded" somewhat when necessary. And second on my overall list was clarity of sound during technical passages. No sense working hard to play some tough piece ...
Page 3 of 7 FirstFirst 12345 ... LastLast