Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast
Results 11 to 20 of 23

Thread: Learning Tenor Clef and finding material to practice on

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Summerfield, Florida Sturgis, SD (previously)
    Posts
    1,697
    John is right above. If you only learn new clefs by seeing the new clef notes and then thinking, okay that is a C here, but I have to play that as a Bb on my horn, then the train will have left the station before you got on. You need to learn the clefs so you can see the clef, see a note, and know immediately what note you play on your horn, no matter if you are a normal bass clef reader or treble clef reader. See a concert 'C' in tenor clef (4th line of staff) and know immediately that you play a 1st valve note that sounds like a concert 'C' (whether that is a TC 'D' or a BC 'C'). If I am playing treble clef, when I see a 'C', I play a 'C' on my horn (the right 'C'). When I am playing bass clef and see a 'C', I play a 'C' on my horn (the right 'C'). You just have to know what note to play on your horn when you see a note in another clef. I am fluent on all 4 clefs, and it makes it so much easier if you get that way (it did take a while to get there). I can pick up my trombone and play clarinet or trumpet parts without even thinking about it. And when I finally got to play some trombone in a British Brass Band, I could play the 1st and 2nd treble clef parts with no problems at all. At least I could read them fine, some were technically a little challenging.

    As a euphonium player, if you are a serious player and you have many years in front of you for playing, I feel you should know treble and bass clef both, fluently. If you add trombone, then tenor and alto should be learned.
    Last edited by John Morgan; 03-06-2017 at 04:20 PM.
    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
    Kingdom of the Sun (KOS) Concert Band, Ocala, FL (Euphonium)
    KOS Brass Quintet (Trombone, Euphonium)

  2. #12
    I think it's a bad idea to learn transpositions as clef tricks and vise versa. It'll get you in trouble when the accidentals start flying and will limit you when you need to combine them in unusual ways -- bass clef Bb for the Strauss tone poems or the banda parts on Pines of Rome, for example. Learn to read all the clefs fluently. It just takes a little practice. Bass and treble for certain. Alto and tenor, you'll need both to play trombone but when reading scores you should be facile at looking at viola lines, etc. Also baritone, mezzo soprano, and soprano clefs. At the very least you'll need them for college sight-singing classes, but I run into them fairly frequently in early music sources as well.

    It's very easy to read the movable clefs, middle C (AKA the note on the first ledger line above the bass clef) is always the note in the middle of the clef. You can figure everything out from there. As far as getting good at it, just practice it a lot. The Blazhevich school for clefs for trombone book is perfect for tenor and alto.

    As far as getting good at transposition, the Sachse trumpet book is very popular (it'd all be in treble clef), but you can take any of your etude books and play them in Bb, F, Eb, D, A -- those would be the most useful to get good at, but you can do all of the keys. The more you do it the better you'll get at it.
    --
    Barry

  3. Chuckle....;-) When I described the various transposition tricks I use, I KNEW Barry would have something to say. And of course he is right.

    But I am a LOT older than him and kind of set in my ways. I never did take any formal music theory/history/composition type courses. I just loved to play and had a good private teacher through my HS years. So I use the "tricks" that I know in order to play the kinds of music that I run into. If I was faced with an Alto clef part, I'd be totally lost. Even concert pitch treble is a slow read for me. If an orchestral part hit me that required transposition from a key like G, D, or F, I'd be dead in the water. Not being able to transpose F is really too bad since doubling horn parts is kind of fun. Some European euphonium parts are written in Bb Bass Clef, that causes me total brain fade....

    I am just far too old to learn many new tricks, so the old ones just have to do! They are these:


    1. Read Tenor Clef as a native language
    2. Read Concert pitch Bass Clef as a native language.
    3. Treat Bb Treble as if it is Tenor Clef and add 2 flats. Be careful with accidentals.
    4. Treat Eb Treble as if it is Bass Clef (concert pitch) and add 3 flats. Be REALLY careful with accidentals.
    5. "Think" everything in Concert pitch.
    Adams E3 0.60 Sterling bell - Prototype top sprung valves
    Sterling Virtuoso 1065HGS - 300mm red brass bell
    Concord Band
    Winchendon Winds
    Townsend Military Band

  4. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by daruby View Post
    But I am a LOT older than him and kind of set in my ways. I never did take any formal music theory/history/composition type courses.

    Don't you wish some Internet know-it-all had set you on the right path in your youth?
    --
    Barry

  5. Quote Originally Posted by bbocaner View Post
    Don't you wish some Internet know-it-all had set you on the right path in your youth?
    My parents were both music teachers with degrees from Univ. of Michigan. I had the know-it-alls built in to my genes. I persevered in my ignorance regardless.
    Adams E3 0.60 Sterling bell - Prototype top sprung valves
    Sterling Virtuoso 1065HGS - 300mm red brass bell
    Concord Band
    Winchendon Winds
    Townsend Military Band

  6. #16
    Time for me to confess. I also learned bass clef via transposition, and I read tenor as a treble-clef position with bass clef accidentals.

    But I have found that after years of playing BC via transposing, I now just recognize it at sight. Same with tenor, although I need to do it now and then to keep that one fresh in my brain - it does not turn up often in my current life. The "downside" is that I think of the notes as the treble-clef note, no matter what clef I'm playing. So when I play a BC middle C, my fingers, chops, and brain are all agreed that I'm playing a C on the horn. To me that makes its own kind of sense, and tightens my relationship with the instrument. So the open note is a C, rather than a Bb (like the piano white-key concept). I know it's goofy but it works for me.

    I DID have a few teachers tell me to just learn BC as its own clef. I even tried, but my brain did not want to go there.

    If you want even more insight into my inner workings, I have a mild form of pitch memory. So my brain associating everything in any clef to one pitch reference (my treble-clef memory) makes it a little easier to be accurate. When I sing hymns in church I even find my pitch memory can help. So if I'm singing melody from the treble clef part, I mentally transpose it up a step as if I were reading from a piano score for my euphonium. That makes it easier for me to sing the melody, especially there there are intervals and I'm not familiar with the melody.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    Alliance Mouthpiece (DC4)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  7. So Dave, you are just opposite me. Bb Treble Clef is your "native language" and you "think" in Bb transposed pitches. I actually started on piano at age 7 before picking up baritone at age 9. I think in concert pitch in either tenor or bass clef but lost my concert pitch treble reading along the way somehow. I still visualize piano keys when doing scales. At my age, everything is visual and muscle memory and learning new stuff is REALLY, REALLY hard.
    Adams E3 0.60 Sterling bell - Prototype top sprung valves
    Sterling Virtuoso 1065HGS - 300mm red brass bell
    Concord Band
    Winchendon Winds
    Townsend Military Band

  8. #18
    Doug, your comment reminded me of the primary drawback of thinking my way. Playing piano is REALLY a challenge! No problem for my right hand, but when my left hand reaches out for the written middle C it is going to want to hit a D (because that's the mental note I associate with a BC C). That'll turn a person's brain in circles!
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    Alliance Mouthpiece (DC4)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  9. #19
    I don't really have anything intelligent to add to this discussion, but that won't stop me from putting my oar in

    I originally learned bass clef. At some point in my high school years (and I don't remember why), I learned treble clef, but there wasn't any transposition and adding flats; I just started with "middle C = low Bb" and went from there. The transfer to tenor clef wasn't bad, as long as the music wasn't that hard. However, I'm currently working on a solo (2nd and 3rd movements of Derek Bourgeois's Concerto for Trombone. He wrote it with no key signature and a LOT of accidentals, and the solo part switches back and forth between tenor and bass clef. That combination of factors makes it REALLY hard for someone like me -- I would be reading and playing, and thinking, "Dang it, pick one and stick with it." Finally I went with the treble clef part -- much easier. No key signature is concert Bb, which means a lot of the accidentals disappear, and no swapping clefs around. The only problem was that there had been a really sloppy job of editing, and there were at least a half dozen places where the accidentals were wrong. But once I got that straightened out, it's a much easier read.
    David Bjornstad

    1923 Conn New Wonder 86I, Bach 6 1/2 AL
    2018 Wessex EP100 Dolce, Denis Wick 4ABL
    2013 Jinbao JBEP-1111L, Denis Wick 4AM
    2015 Jinbao JBBR-1240, Denis Wick clone mouthpiece of unknown designation
    Cullman (AL) Community Band (Euph Section Leader)
    Brass Band of Huntsville (2nd Bari)

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Summerfield, Florida Sturgis, SD (previously)
    Posts
    1,697
    Quote Originally Posted by davewerden View Post
    Doug, your comment reminded me of the primary drawback of thinking my way. Playing piano is REALLY a challenge! No problem for my right hand, but when my left hand reaches out for the written middle C it is going to want to hit a D (because that's the mental note I associate with a BC C). That'll turn a person's brain in circles!
    I think my clef history is more closely related to Dave's. I started on trumpet and treble clef and 2 years later switched to baritone in 8th grade. When I got to high school (9th grade), I started to learn bass clef. Mainly because the two others in my section, 2 and 3 years older than me, played bass clef. I became equally proficient in both clefs. It wasn't until much later on that I learned tenor, then alto clef.

    I think like Dave with tenor. I consider it treble clef with a bass clef key signature and accidentals. Tenor clef was pretty easy after knowing the other two. Alto clef was just a matter of getting used to where middle C was on the staff and going from there. It is the clef I have the least experience with (only on trombone in orchestra music - but I mostly now play bass trombone, so no alto clef, only when I play the 1st trombone part).

    I think I share exactly the convoluted "thinking" that Dave might have when playing piano music on the piano. I can read and play the treble clef line fine, I have to really think with the bass clef line.

    Now, when playing my horn using music from a hymnal, I can directly play the bass clef part without even thinking, but I have to "transpose" the treble clef part up a whole step (since piano is in C and my horn in Bb).

    So, the conundrum is that I can play piano music on the treble clef side fine (when I am actually playing the piano), but I have to think about the bass clef part; conversely, I can play the bass clef line of piano music fine on my horn, but have to transpose and think about the treble clef line.

    Now, if someone had just made all instruments in the same key and with one clef........
    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
    Kingdom of the Sun (KOS) Concert Band, Ocala, FL (Euphonium)
    KOS Brass Quintet (Trombone, Euphonium)

Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •