Fast Tempo and old farts



  • @Kehaulani said in Fast Tempo and old farts:

    You know, if you're having finger-speed problems on Liberty Bell, your conductor is taking it at way too fast a tempo.

    I thought he was and so did a few others, but most of the band was happy with the fast tempo so I doubt if it will be changed. We'll see tonight because I know for certain we will be spending a lot of time on Liberty Bell.



  • @GeorgeB said in Fast Tempo and old farts:

    Jim,
    All my trumpets have fast valves so I can't use slow valves as an excuse. I don't think as fast as I used to, and this is more noticeable with each passing year. It happens with age. I just do my best to work it out by repetition of those passages that are slowing me down. It's seems to be working for me now on Liberty Bell so I am starting to feel pretty good about it.

    George,
    Similarly, all of my horns have fast valves and are in good order. However, I learned a few things after spending an hour working with the four of them on one number. The piece I used was a march I sort of mangled last night, which was composed by the MD. This afternoon I seemed to be fastest and most accurate with the Getzen, followed by the Holton Galaxy. All of this is a little subjective, of course, but the ergonomics of the Getzen and Galaxy seemed to be advantageous. Each of the four horns requires different aspects of grip and finger angle. This afternoon I believe I got that sorted out.



  • Original performance by the composer and his band:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ov1kjVvYpWk&t=47s



  • This is not a hijack -- just an example.

    Our jazz band is rehearsing Oliver Nelson's "Hoe Down" for performance in March. Measures 20 and 21 is a bebop riff appregio up and down that is very difficult - especially at fast tempo. I have been playing it very slowly to get the notes in my head and let my fingers and embouchure coordinate. It is still difficult -- my plan is to keep practicing slowly until i do not have to think about it. The tempo is much faster than Liberty bell and the riff comes immediately after the main theme statement -- so there is no time to think or prepare -- it has to be automatic --I saw other responses above that reinforce that -- practice until you don't have to think -- because sometimes you simply do not have time.



  • Just wondering about the positioning of the fingers effect on speed. I was taught and confirmed that proper fingering technique gives your fingers a mechanical advantage that makes playing passages fast both easy and precise. Here's a great example;

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    yamaha.com


  • Global Moderator

    @Kehaulani said in Fast Tempo and old farts:

    Original performance by the composer and his band:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ov1kjVvYpWk&t=47s

    I very much doubt that this is an original Sousa recording, especially as it says "Conductor: John Wallace"...


  • Global Moderator

    HERE is an original Sousa recording, dated 1911, from a Graphophone cylinder:



  • @barliman2001 said in Fast Tempo and old farts:
    I very much doubt that this is an original Sousa recording, especially as it says "Conductor: John Wallace"...

    My bad. I don't know how I could've done that. But the performance of Sousa on Barliman's link is about the same as the Marine Band's performance by Col. John R. Bourgeois. I know him and he's pretty meticulous about these things. In any case, these recordings show without a doubt that The Liberty Bell is not a circus march.



  • @Kehaulani said in Fast Tempo and old farts:

    Original performance by the composer and his band:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ov1kjVvYpWk&t=47s

    Last night's practice went well. The MD slowed the tempo a tad ( I'd say to about the same tempo as heard in Kehaulani's link above ). I only flubbed a couple of places early in the first third of the arrangement. I'm getting there, by golly.



  • @Comeback

    Whatever works, Jim.



  • @GeorgeB For things at the limit of what I can play (recently 1st trumpet in the orchestra version of Rimsky-Korsakovs Scheherezade), my standard take is to completely memorize the difficult licks. Once I have freed up my eyes, they do not slow my fingers or tongue down any more! 😉



  • @ROWUK said in Fast Tempo and old farts:

    @GeorgeB For things at the limit of what I can play (recently 1st trumpet in the orchestra version of Rimsky-Korsakovs Scheherezade), my standard take is to completely memorize the difficult licks. Once I have freed up my eyes, they do not slow my fingers or tongue down any more! 😉

    And that makes a lot of sense.



  • @ROWUK said in Fast Tempo and old farts:

    @GeorgeB For things at the limit of what I can play (recently 1st trumpet in the orchestra version of Rimsky-Korsakovs Scheherezade), my standard take is to completely memorize the difficult licks. Once I have freed up my eyes, they do not slow my fingers or tongue down any more! 😉

    Kind of chicken or the egg, isn't it? It may be completely true that not reading the music gives one a freedom and he plays even better. OTOH, it takes an extra level of preparation to be able to play something like that from memory, and that extra hard work might be the reason for better playing, which has to do with putting the icing on the cake, and is unrelated to memorization.



  • @Kehaulani

    I could never memorize large portions of Liberty Bell but I could the shorter passages that were giving me trouble. But you'll note I said "were giving me trouble " . I actually surprised myself in how well I was doing last night.



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  • @Kehaulani Yes, it is chicken and egg BUT you can have your cake and eat it too! I have a student with a reading deficiency. They can read a single line, but to move to the second line is almost impossible. We solved the issue by memorizing the last measure or two on one line and the first on the next. Confidence soars, reading quality goes up!



  • @ROWUK said in Fast Tempo and old farts:
    Confidence soars, reading quality goes up!

    More power to him. That's great.



  • @Kehaulani

    Who the heck is Lobster Jimmy ?


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