SO I've played Clarinet for about 5 years now and this year i want to try out for a drum corps because i absolutely love marching and i love music and its something im gonna work hard for.
Anyway, my dilemma is that i don't know how to play anything but clarinet and bari sax, and i need to pick a brass instrument QUICK.
The drum corps that im trying out for is in desperate need of mellophones, so im like 85% sure im gonna go ahead and learn mellophone. Also because it is in treble clef and its lighter than baritone or contra. I don't want to play trumpet because theres like 9080938102937 trumpets trying out and I'd have to be really good in order to make it.
SO, if i do choose mellophone, then i really need to learn how to play it in the next month or two. I need help on how to hold one (lol), what the embouchure is, etc. any tips and suggestions would be VERY much appreciated. Also, if you've been in a drum corps, i would love to know what i'm getting myself into. I'm extremelyyy determined and not planning on slacking off.
LOL Ok, first things first: holding it. put your left hand on the valve cassings (or aka the things that go up and down lol) with your fingers together on the side closest to the bell and your thumb curved around the back side. It should kinda look like you're squeezing it. Now your right hand, it's sooo simple. Form a backwards "C" with your hand. Put your thumb under the lead-pipe by the valves and then put your pointer, middle, and ring fingers on the valves. Your pinkie finger? It depends on the directors style to where you put your pinkie...but it's either resting on top of the ring or through the ring. Having your pinkie through the ring KINDA helps you hold it up but I prefer to have it on top LOL.
This is a pic I found on the internet of how your hands should look like on the mellophone. http://www.gulfcoastsound.org/pictures/2003/082103-017_450x337.jpg
Ok, your mouth...the corners of your mouth should be pulled back slightly, as if your kinda frowning but not MUCH cuz you'll wear your lips and cheeks out. LOL I know from experience. To actually get noise out, is kinda tricky for the 1st week or 2. The way I was taught was to say the word "Imput" You verbally say "Im" but on "put" you let your lips buzz. It's knida like doing a raspberry but more controled-ish. Your lips are gonna be so sore, so I suggest getting ChopSaver or something along the lines for a lubricant for your lips.
Fingerings and notes? The best thing to do is get a fingering chart. LOL
first of all you must be absolutely dedicated to live, breathe, and well eat drum corp...14 hours a day sleeping on a hard cold gym floor or a cramped bus with people laying all over you....What corp you looking at? I am a Blue Knight alumni...it is very stressful you gotta be very good and fast at reading drill and be able to make drastic changes to drill, music, marching style, and choreography at a moment's notice...you have to be good at your fingerings because the mello is the alto voice in the drum corp and does alot of runs and licks, also, they do alot of rips too...have great endurance...mellos play almost non stop most of the time...know all of your major scales, get used to the tuning difference, a open G on a clarinet is actually your third space C on a mello, practice buzzing and flexiblity exercises, i suggest ask your trumpet or french horn director for some help...
Ok... so I played clarinet for about... a year, before switching to horn. But I switched to french horn about two months before quitting clarinet. But if I played my clarinet, my brass embouchure SUCKED. And if I had been playing horn, for a while there, I actually couldn't get a sound out of my clarinet, because my brass embouchure had ruined my clarinet one so much.
So my advice would be to completely dismiss everything you know about your clarinet embouchure in order to play a brass instrument...
But I have a question for all you mellophone players... How similar is a mellophone to a horn? Is it as hard? Does it have the same fingerings?
And another qu.... (sorry to be dumb) but what is a drum corps? Is it like a marching band? (I don't think Aussies have... drum corps, exactly)
Mellophone is using trumpet fingerings, which are similar but not always the same, also, the horn is played with the left hand, the mello is played with the right, they are both tuned in F, and drum corps is a giant professional marching band except with one thing different, ABSOLUTELY NO WOODWINDS! Only trumpets, mellos, baritones, euphoniums, and contras, and percussions, its hardcore though, 14 hour a day practices for 3 months straight sometimes, but then in august you have world finals where hundreds of thousands go to watch your hard work, it really pays off in the end...its amazing
This is funny, it always seems to happen that clarinet players switch to the mellophone and/or French horn. I myself played the clarinet until I was 16, then finally gave in to my love for brass and switched to the mellophone and French horn. Now I'm a horn major in college!
Anyway, it takes time to switch to brass, so don't beat yourself up when you start off. Practice every day, and ask your band instructor to give you lessons in the mellophone so they can give you advice specific to your problems. Long tones are really helpful, especially when you're just starting. Also work on playing different notes with the same fingerings (C-G, Bb-D, A-C#, etc) so you can get used to what it feels like to change notes without your fingers moving. Remember, most of the work comes from your air, the lips and fingers are along for the ride. Practice hard, don't let your frustration get the best of you, and you'll get there! Good luck!
oh, you fly over to their main place, for instance, Blue Knights I flew to denver, colorado. I am from texas, oh, texas plays a huge part in the members of DCI corps, lots of people from texas are in DCI. LOL
The Mellophone has trumpet fingerings but is in a different key. I suggest learning the trumpet, and then transfering what you know.
It's pretty simple for you to think about notes on the staff,
What would be an F for you is a C ( for you if you think about it on mellostaff)
So. your Bb scale would start on the note where an F is for you.