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Thread: Need to improve on Euph, but how?

  1. Need to improve on Euph, but how?

    So I am a sophomore in high school, and I play a Wessex "Dolce" EP100SG. I want to improve, and I've made it very clear to my BD that I want to, and she is trying to help, but is just giving me information I've already found (she wasn't a brass person) and I've been considering buying a method book. I've been recommended Arban's, Clarke's, Koppasch, and others. Will this be helpful in producing what I want to do with my horn, or should I take classes (or attempt to, there's most likely no one who teaches Euph in the area) and proceed from there.

    Here's a list of what I've been told:
    Method Books
    Learn additional clefs (aside from treble and bass)
    Listen to soloists
    Look for a community band
    Scales and chromatic scales
    Do long tones and pedals

    I have a stable range from G1-C5, and I can extend that to Db1 and G5, but it's extremely unstable. I play bass clef, but say most of my things in treble (I've gotten used to it, I am the only bass clef reader in my section) and I read both. My major scales are fine, I play most of them daily, and my minor scales are not the best, I only know A and F minor.

  2. #2
    You seem to have a good grasp of some very useful ideas and materials to use for your study. The Arbans, especially the new spiral bound one with comments by Alessi and Bowman, is excellent. Learning scales and playing them in many different styles, articulations, multiple octaves, fast, slow, slurred, tongued, etc. are great. Add arpeggios as well. Learn the minors (natural, melodic and harmonic). Get it so they are second nature. Work on tonguing: single, double and triple. Find some solos that use a lot of double or triple tonguing. Work on lip trills and slurs, every day, religiously.

    If there is no euphonium or tuba teacher in the area, see if you can find a "really good" trumpet teacher. Most of what a trumpet teacher can help you with works just as good on a euphonium as a trumpet, although there are some things a really good euphonium teacher can help with that a trumpet teacher might not (your sound, work in the low range with 4th valve, alternate fingerings, intonation tendencies, repertoire, etc.).

    Do a search on-line for Brian Bowman teaching euphonium classes on line. Those lessons might be very useful. He is a world class player and teacher.

    As for soloists, Dave Werden (administrator of this site) has a section with a list or solos by many of the world's finest euphonium players. You can spend days and months listening to them for ideas, inspiration, etc.

    If you plan to major in music (education or performance) and/or play professionally some day, it would be useful to learn trombone along the way. Here is where learning tenor and alto clef would be handy, not so much so just for euphonium. It is great you already read treble and bass.

    If you plan to play all your life, adding trombone opens up more doors. Where I live, there is a symphony orchestra that I play trombone in. So, very handy being a euphonium and a trombone player.

    Good luck with your studies. Always remember, where there is a will, there is a way.
    John Morgan
    The U.S. Army Band (Pershing's Own) 1971-1976
    Adams E3 Custom Series Euphonium, Wessex EP-100 Dolce Euphonium, 1956 B&H Imperial Euphonium
    Adams TB1 Tenor Trombone, Yamaha YBL-822G Bass Trombone
    Wessex TE-360 Bombino Eb Tuba
    Rapid City New Horizons & Municipal Bands (Euphonium)
    Black Hills Symphony Orchestra (Bass Trombone), Powder River Symphony, Gillette, WY (Tenor Trombone)
    Black Hills Brass Quintet (Tuba)

  3. Arban's is a great choice for a book that covers basically everything. I'm a junior and I have it, and I love it. I also have the Brass Gym book which I use mostly for developing my tone (and dynamic range sometimes). I don't usually practice out of both books in the same session, though.

  4. #4
    I love the Arban book. I got my first one in high school and I still use it today (pretty often, actually).
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  5. #5
    When I see myself improve the most is finding good solos I like that have particular patterns like arpeggios or modal scales that requires me to learn. Then of course when I practice those parts I play them very differently (style, articulation, tempo, backwards, mouthpiece only, etc.) that way I am super familiar with the pattern and not the single written way. Of course when practicing those parts in solos it's handy to have my Arban book near by for other good examples like intervals and scale patterns. My ultimate motivater is essentially always being thrown in hard ensemble pieces or solos and being forced to learn. Like getting thrown in the pool and being told to swim.
    Music Education Major - Euphonium/Trombone

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Hidden Valley, AZ
    Rochut and Tyrrell both have method books that are very useful.

    They can be meaner than Arban on occasion.

    1966 Besson 181 highly modified New Standard
    1918 Hawkes & Son euph 3&1 original
    1917 Conn C/D/Eb mellophone original
    1915 York Bb tenorhorn original

  7. #7
    Where are you located? To some extent you can teach yourself with a method book, but it's not easy. You'll have a good leg up and a much better chance of success if you find yourself a teacher. You say there's "most likely no one that teaches Euph in the area" -- we might be able to help you find someone. If there really isn't a euphonium teacher, perhaps a tuba teacher, trombone teacher, or even a trumpet teacher can help.

  8. I agree with all the above regarding method books, solos and private lessons. I would also add the other three most important aspects of improving as a musician; listen, listen and listen... Find as many recordings, cds, YouTubes, recitals, etc. of all the euph pros and don't just casually listen to them but listen with intent. Don't be afraid to listen to musicians outside the sphere of the euphonium as well. To learn lyrical phrasing, vibrato control, etc., I listened to singers like Barbara Streisand and Andy Williams. (Back in the day) Both are masters at lyrical phrasing and "tasteful" vibrato. I would also recommend jazz trombonist Bill Watrous for the same reasons. His tone, technique etc., are second to none IMHO.
    1979 Yamaha 321S Euphonium
    1965 Conn 7G/6H Valve Trombone
    2014 Wessex BR140 Baritone

  9. I agree about Bill Watrous. I had the chance to see him perform live a few years ago and it changed my entire perspective on trombone playing.


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