Help. Out of practice
 

Help. Out of practice

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Help. Out of practice    21:20 on Monday, July 07, 2008 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

Jedved
(6 points)

I have been playing tuba in a small brass band for four years. A good while back it was disbanded and I never continued to practice. Recently, I have been trying to restart on the tuba but I lost my touch and it is more depressing than anything else. Any advice on how to get back into shape would be great.

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Re: Help. Out of practice    06:58 on Tuesday, July 08, 2008 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

jole
(23 points)

try to play scales (c-dur, g-dur, ...) up and down, up and down and play stacatto on each note, up and down with long notes, up and down but very fast. also, after that try to play acordes of scales-acord of c dur-c-e-g-c and down c-g-e-c-g-e (after that, try play acordes with that deep and high notes). after that, try some solo and you'll be the old one.

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Re: Help. Out of practice    07:39 on Tuesday, July 08, 2008 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

tenorsax13
(534 points)

Long tones, you need to get your lips back in shape for playing tuba. Like the guy before me said, do your scales, but start off SLOW to make sure you get the notes right, and get a good method book and practice the etudes. You'll be a tubist again in no time!

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Re: Help. Out of practice    10:15 on Tuesday, July 08, 2008 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

Jedved
(6 points)

Thanks. I am going to try those. I just can't seem to keep it up. Lets see what happens

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Re: Help. Out of practice    10:53 on Tuesday, July 08, 2008 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

JOhnlovemusic
(1277 points)

Jedved,
Do you mean you tire out easily or you just can't stay focused playing the tuba regularly?

Is it just getting lips back in shape that you need?
Do you need to build stamina, range, or both?
Or do you need to learn to read music again?

John

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Re: Help. Out of practice    11:08 on Tuesday, July 08, 2008 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

Jedved
(6 points)

My range is pretty good. I play a 4 rotor BBb Yahama professional. I can play from pedal tone Bb to the C above the staff. The problem is that my lips can't endure as much as they used to. They die so easily it scares me

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Re: Help. Out of practice    11:28 on Tuesday, July 08, 2008 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

JOhnlovemusic
(1277 points)

Ahhhhhhhhhhhh,

What practice time do you have available?
Do you have 15 minutes in the morning before school or work?
Do you have 30 minutes in the evening?
Do you have nothing in the morning and 3 hours in the afternoon?

Let me know what time you have for playing and I will give you a specific exercise to increase your endurance.

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Re: Help. Out of practice    11:32 on Tuesday, July 08, 2008 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

Jedved
(6 points)

Normally I have a little time between 11 and 1 pm.

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Re: Help. Out of practice    12:01 on Tuesday, July 08, 2008 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

JOhnlovemusic
(1277 points)

Here are your exercises. I expect this should take you about an hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Exercise 1
Start on a comfortable note just below the center of your range. Perhaps it is a C. Play a chromatic scale up an octave and back down. Move up a half-step. Again, play chromatically up an octave and back down. Continue in this manner until you feel you are pinching to get the notes. At that point stop.

Put the instrument down and go get a glass of water. Relax for 5 mins.

Exercise 2 (on odd number days)
Long tones studies. Begin on your C again. Watching the second hand of a clock play your C as soft as you can while still sounding good up to 15 seconds. Rest for15 seconds. Move up a half step and repeat. Continue moving up in half step increments. 15 seconds per note and 15 seconds rest until you get the feeling you are pinching. When you do stop ascending, go back to C and go downwards in half step increments.

Exercise 2 (on even number days)
Same as odd number days except play a good forceful MF.

Exercise 2 (once a week)
Same as above except start PP and crescendo smoothly up to a good strong MF.

Do this for one week and then increase your time to play for 20 seconds and rest for 15 seconds. Next week move to 25 play 15 rest; 30 play 15 rest. In a perfect world you have a big clock with a second hand and a tuner to watch. But you should be told how to use the tuner if you have never been truly instructed on it. Yes there is a proper way.

Exercise 3
Note bends.
Play C. Bend the note down slowly about a half step and hold it for 3 or 4 seconds and slowly lip it back to proper pitch hold for 3 04 seconds and release. Go down in half step increments and then back to C and go up in half step increments (but always pitch bend down a half step and come back up, don’t pitch bend up a half step and come down – it would be not good.).


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Re: Help. Out of practice    13:46 on Tuesday, July 08, 2008 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

Fredrick
(178 points)

Just curious, what's the proper way to use a tuner?

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Re: Help. Out of practice    13:52 on Tuesday, July 08, 2008 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

tenorsax13
(534 points)

To tune, of course!

I only use a tuner to tune a really high note(on flute) that I am suspicious of or to just play a concert Bb and see if im "in tune". Personally, I don't think that there is much use in tuning that way, because just because one note is in tune, doesn't mean they all are. I find tuners to be quite useless actually. Sorry to those who like tuners!

But if the tuner doubles as a metronome, then it automatically becomes your best friend.

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Re: Help. Out of practice    16:15 on Tuesday, July 08, 2008 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

JOhnlovemusic
(1277 points)

How to use a tuner

First you need to see where you naturally fall on the tuner. Too often people try to adjust right away. Don’t! Play with the tuner and get a feel where you fall. You want to know where you are consistently falling. Are you often 20cents sharp? If so adjust your instrument or seek the advice of a professional to see if your embouchure and posture is correct.

At first you should play the note without looking at the tuner, then look at the tuner and see where you are at. Notes should feel comfortable and not pinched when they are in tune. Later you will need to make slight adjustments up and down in pitch so you want the note comfortably in the center.

When do find out where you sit naturally you want to slowly adjust your pitch to the correct frequency. Slowly allow your pitch to move to the correct pitch. Get a feel for what this feels like and give your lip muscles time to feel and experience what you want them to do. (You can’t do this in band rehearsal. This is done when you practice at home). When you know what the correct sound and feeling is you will not need a tuner at rehearsal.

Don’t rely on the tuner. Use it as a tool. You play – it tells you where you are – you learn.

Also use the tuner as drone.

Practice you scales using the tuner. Set the tuner on G. Play your G major scale. You want to get used to the feeling of the beats you hear and feel when you are playing an interval to the G.

The tuner is not gospel
Understand the tuner is set to one type of tuning and that tuning is called equal temperament. DO NOT use a tuner to tune your piano !!!!!!! (There are special tuners designed for this). The electronic tuner will get you close to where you need to be. Practicing with different groups and with people of varying skill will help you learn more. As you play more you will learn about rolling 3rds, perfect 3rds, etc. Depending on the key of piece and the part of the chord you are playing you may be asked to play that note sharper or flatter to make the music move.

The electronic tuner is set for equal temperament at all times. If you play a piece with a piano your tuning will not match. Pianos are often tuned to what is called “adjusted” or “stretched” equal temperament. And different pianos are adjusted differently. Some piano tuners ask what music you like to play, or look through your music on the piano and adjust the tuning accordingly by what keys they think you will be playing in.

If you play with strings a lot, good string players will sometimes play to what is called just, or mean, tuned. It may depend on the time the piece was written or who wrote it. Just tuning allows for no beats on the 3rd and 5th intervals, making true perfect intervals. To get this you need to retune keyboards for each key change.

A well know professor of music at a major university in the southwest once mentioned that he found his students played worse in tune in their junior year when they were doing recitals than they did in their freshman and sophomore years when they were just playing in the band and orchestra. I happened to be very familiar with his, “ALWAYS use a tuner when practicing” rule. I explained to him that his students were so set on knowing exactly where the electronic tuner wanted them they were not ready or able to adjust to the tuning of the piano. He thought I was crazy until he met with the University piano tuner and discussed it in depth.


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Re: Help. Out of practice    20:19 on Tuesday, July 08, 2008 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

Jedved
(6 points)

JOhnlovemusic,
Thanks for the exercises. I will start with them ASAP.

   

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