Bander's Top Tips!

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by groovy, May 3, 2005.

  1. groovy

    groovy Active Member

    I've had an idea that we, the wonderful tMPers, could create a massive list of all the little tricks of the trade to do with playing, music, instrument maintenance.....well anything banding related really!
    I'll get the ball rolling :

    Groovy's Tip of the Day!
    When oiling your valves, apply the oil with a (preferably old) toothbrush! That way you don't get too much oil on the valve and it doen't go everywhere.
  2. super_sop

    super_sop Supporting Member

    what a cracking idea!

    hows about this one.

    if using glue to repair your instrument, dont lick off the bits you get on your finger. especially when using super glue;)
    sorry couldnt resist!

    see 4bars rest for full story

    always make sure your zip is done up before going on stage!it could be embarrasing if your stood up after playiong a solo!:redface:
    Last edited: May 3, 2005

    HANNAH Member

    you really don't want to be using a toothbrush on your valves, unless its really soft, otherwise it will easily scratch the valves, and thats not good!!!
  4. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    Try a mixture of warm water and soda crystals for removing grime from the insides of instruments. Rinse out with water after soaking for a period of time and the results will amaze you! :biggrin:
  5. Jan H

    Jan H Moderator Staff Member

    Yes, you will have to blow twice as hard :eek::eek::eek:

  6. groovy

    groovy Active Member

    Thats a good point - if you're doing the toothbrush thing make sure it is a soft brush and be gentle!
  7. andyp

    andyp Active Member

    Couple off the top of my head;

    When the music allows (which is most of the time), breathe in a good two beats before the first note of an entry, hold the breath, then play. Takes a while to get out of the bad habit of breathing in just before playing, but makes a big difference to the number of split entries!

    Try not to turn valves around in the bores, any dirt in there will make slight scratches across the valve which isn't good for it.

    For older instruments or ones where the valves are solid with crud that won't wipe off - add a drop of silver polish (NOT Brasso or anything else like that - it's too rough) to each valve, re-insert, move up and down a few times, then remove and clean both valves and bores with a VERY soft cloth. DON'T do this to a new instrument or one wthout problems- it's only for the worst cases. Really bad cases should be done by a specialist with valve-grinding paste (called "regulating").

    A plastic chopstick is handy for pushing a soft cloth through valve bores to clean them, as they're blunt and won't scratch (also handy as a baton if you forget yours!).
  8. lewis

    lewis Member

    This is a massive massive massive no no. Please get out of this habit it will only lead to the hold becoming longer and longer and create something similar to someone with a stutter! Air flow should be constant at all times, as soon as you've finished breathing in you should start to breath out and vice versa.

    Seriously, I've seen players at music college with this habit and it does only worse and worse and then it becomes almost impossible to get rid of. Please anyone that read this thread don't try it!

    Sorry Andy it might work for you but it can create so many troubles, and I've only ever heard teachers saying how bad it is.
  9. MajorMorgan

    MajorMorgan Member

    Wow - I wouldn't recommend that! I think holding the breath is a bad idea - it's unnatural and interrupts the airflow which is fundamental to brass playing. The mechanics of good brass playing, in terms of breath control, is identical to singing and a singer would never do that.

    Breathing two beats before an entry is a good idea, but rather than snatch a breath then hold it, I would suggest slowing down your breathing, taking a good steady lungful across the whole of the two beats and start to breathe out on the actual entry.
  10. trumpetmike

    trumpetmike Well-Known Member

    The snatched breath is not something to use every time you breathe in, just for those moments when it has to be a snatched breathing moment (such as when you just have a quaver rest).
  11. satchmo shaz

    satchmo shaz Active Member

    instead of buying an expensive plunger mute, go to Wilkos and buy a sink plunger for about £1;)
  12. davidquinlan

    davidquinlan Member

    As some of the others have said, this is a major NO NO!! You don't hold your breath before you say a sentance do you? so why before you blow a brass instrument...

    Breathing and breath control when playing brass instruments has been surrounded with so much mystery and incorrect, inaccurate biological terms (such as use of the "d" word, I can't even type it!!!!).

    Breathe in tempo if the tempo allows, otherwise, breathe over a number beats as some of the other posters have said. Do not hold your breath!

    Check out books such as "Brass playing is no harder than deep breathing" by Claude Gordon for more information on breathing. My Bander's Top Tip would be for every band to get a copy of this book!!!

  13. andyp

    andyp Active Member

    Okay, two beats (especially at a slow tempo) is far too long, what I was getting at is to prepare for your entry properly rather than breathing in at the last possible fraction of a second, when it's not neccessary (and makes you late)!
  14. lewis

    lewis Member

    You can take as long as you want to breath in, it's what you said about stopping the breath that worries me. As brass players we should be thinking about the airflow constantly moving.
  15. ian perks

    ian perks Active Member

    When in band practise STOP playing when the conductor stops conducting instead of carring on 4 another 2bars.

    It saves a lot of time;)
  16. Dave Euph

    Dave Euph Member

    Unscrew your valves after playing, this stops them from getting stuck the next time you need to oil your valves!
  17. Andy_Euph

    Andy_Euph Active Member

    I'm sure you learnt that one off me :p
  18. Okiedokie of Oz

    Okiedokie of Oz Active Member

    I agree witht he breathing for a 2 full beats before starting - Or if that's too much hassle, make sure you are ready to rock with the good one beat prep.

    HECK YES with the stop when stickman says so.

    Valve tops is now actually mentioned in the besson "care and maintenance of your x*x" guide.

    Unsure of how I feel about the toothbrush on valve. Maybe a rag or cloth or something for oil application. However, try to find something to clean out the valve casing every so often. I was using a soft toothbrush or a baby bottle brush....but now I don't know!!!

    Lemon juice works wonders when cleaning instruemnts (I am told). I always use lemon dishwashing detergent, so maybe that's why??

    Lots of Salvos prefer water (or spit in some cases) over ANY form of oil, and their instrument play as nicely now as the day they bought it. Something to consider?

    I also had a Salvo horn player tell me to fill my instrument with water before every playout..."watering to make the sound grow" he called it. Does anyone know anything about this to help others?

    But my most gospel-like advice is this:
    Take advice from anyone who offers it. Chances are someone today might say something that means jack shyte to you, but tomorrow someone else will say something and what was said today will click!
  19. Dave Euph

    Dave Euph Member

    Aye, I learnt to play a middle C from you as well. No wonder my tuning is awful! :lol:
  20. satchmo shaz

    satchmo shaz Active Member

    I always have a spare bow tie in my bag and I always have a rubber band in my cornet and trumpet case just in case a water key or trigger spring goes!

    I am also never without a bottle opener!:guiness

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