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Thread: First Steps

  1. First Steps

    So my JP274 is wending its way all the way across the country to the West Coast. I only own music for Horn in F, so I will have to build an entirely new library from scratch.

    I would like to put together a small library of method books and repertoire that could get me off to a good start. Unknown is how much of my horn technique will transfer over to Euphonium, and how long it might take to reach (hopefully surpass) where I was on the Horn. If it helps, I think my musical mind and fingers were about grade 8, but my chops were about grade 3 or 4. This is after 10 years of on and off (mostly off) playing.

    My first intention was to read only in Bass Clef. Someone told me that everything I would ever want to play is in Bass Clef. I keep seeing YouTube videos with interesting solos and they often have the sheet music displayed as a follow along and it is usually in T.C. moreso than in B.C. it seems. Was my acquaintance wrong?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Hidden Valley, AZ
    Posts
    753
    Study to read both. You never know what will wind up on your stand.

    Dennis
    1966 Besson 181 highly modified New Standard
    1918 Hawkes & Son euph 3&1 original
    1915 York Bb tenorhorn original

  3. #3
    I agree with Dennis that you should learn both clefs. Treble is often found in music for 2 reasons: many euphonium players are converted trumpet players, and the British-style brass band world has parts only in treble for all instruments except bass trombone. In U.S. colleges I think bass clef is more often taught, perhaps partly due to many instructors' primary instruments being tuba or trombone.

    In bass clef you are playing in concert pitch - your written middle C is the same as middle C on the piano. That C is played with 1st valve. But in treble clef your part is transposed to match the instrument - the written C, with is really a concert Bb, is played open.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  4. #4
    After re-thinking your stated goals, I'm leaning toward recommending treble. There are readily-available materials in that clef and building a small but effective library should be easy.

    My personal thinking on clefs is that treble "fits" the euphonium better because the most basic scale is written as a C scale in treble (like the white keys on piano represent the key of C). But beyond that, among all the brass instruments, the one closest to euphonium in technical ability and traditional use is the cornet. The Arban book is a standard method for cornet and euphonium, but the cornet version is cheaper. It's even available online for free (most of it, anyway).

    In either clef, I suggest getting the Arban COMPLETE Conservatory Method. Here is the treble version:

    https://www.amazon.com/Fischer-Compl...dp/B017X3KDJY/

    You can also download/print (for free) a huge number of euphonium parts in either clef from the band public domain music library:

    https://bandmusicpdf.org/
    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
    Does the Arban you recommend differ from the Alessi/Bowman endorsed one sold by Encore music? I have the tuba version.....just curious if I'm missing anything. Thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by davewerden View Post
    After re-thinking your stated goals, I'm leaning toward recommending treble. There are readily-available materials in that clef and building a small but effective library should be easy.

    My personal thinking on clefs is that treble "fits" the euphonium better because the most basic scale is written as a C scale in treble (like the white keys on piano represent the key of C). But beyond that, among all the brass instruments, the one closest to euphonium in technical ability and traditional use is the cornet. The Arban book is a standard method for cornet and euphonium, but the cornet version is cheaper. It's even available online for free (most of it, anyway).

    In either clef, I suggest getting the Arban COMPLETE Conservatory Method. Here is the treble version:

    https://www.amazon.com/Fischer-Compl...dp/B017X3KDJY/

    You can also download/print (for free) a huge number of euphonium parts in either clef from the band public domain music library:

    https://bandmusicpdf.org/
    John 3:16

    Mack Brass Euphonium
    Conn Victor 5H Trombone
    Yamaha 354 Trombone
    Mack Brass 200S BBb Tuba

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Davidus1 View Post
    Does the Arban you recommend differ from the Alessi/Bowman endorsed one sold by Encore music? I have the tuba version.....just curious if I'm missing anything. Thanks.
    The version you have is very good, and you are not missing anything!
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  7. Thanks so much for this information. I imagine that the Arban method for Trumpet or Cornet will not have fingerings that include the 4th valve. Are there any methods (in either clef) that do?
    Last edited by leisesturm; 07-24-2020 at 05:55 PM.
    John Packer JP274 MKII S

  8. #8
    In the middle of the 20th Century the Navy Band's euphonium soloist, Harold Brasch, was a popular soloist and guest artist. He wrote a book specifically about the use of the 4th valve on euphonium:

    https://www.sheetmusicplus.com/searc...e&aff_id=15680

    But basically, if you have a compensating euph, which I believe is on its way to you, it's pretty simple. First, you should now avoid the 13 and 123 combinations. Your 4th valve works instead of 13 and is a little better in tune, and 24 is WAY better in tune that 123.

    Then when you get to the "real" low register, which starts at concert Eb below the bass clef or F below the treble clef staff, you need only use the fingering you use an octave, with the addition of 4. The note I just mentioned is played with 14 because it is played with 1 in the next higher octave.

    Starting on low Bb (C in treble) and going down, the fingerings are:
    0
    2
    1
    12 (or 3)
    23
    4 (instead of 13)
    24 (instead of 123)
    14
    124 (or 34)
    234
    134
    1234 (this one will be a bit sharp)

    The next note down is our "pedal" Bb (or treble C), played open, and you can keep going down with the fingering patterns above. When you get good at low range you get down to a pedal B (or C# treble). That is the bottom B on the piano.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  9. #9
    If playing in a school ensemble (e.g. high school, college, community bands, concert, marching), they'll often have parts in both T.C and B.C. Parts may be limited, but usually not an issue since 1) it's rare (at least IME) to have more than 1 or 2 euphonium players in the band (one time we had 4, it was 2 on BC, myself and another TC, of which we were well covered), 2) they can just make photo copies, or 3) the director/teacher has always offered to transpose for me.


    As davewerden called it, I myself also started on trumpet, but that was already reinforced from playing piano before that. Even though there was plenty of BC to read, it's still different since BC piano can be played "as is", while Euph BC needs to be transposed for concert pitch. I'm biased towards TC, but also like it since if I want to try out trumpet parts, and can just go ahead with that. (as a bonus, I'm thinking about buying a trumpet given circumstances). BC is nice to "broaden your horizons", but TBF, it seems a fair bit of music is in that format as well. If you'd like to play Tuba and Trombone parts, reading BC will let you do that

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