Expected Range of a Baritone Player

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Jack E, Nov 23, 2018.

  1. Jack E

    Jack E Well-Known Member

    Thank you, Tom - I'll give that a go over the next week and let you know what happens.

    With best regards,

    Euphonium Lite and Tom-King like this.
  2. David Broad

    David Broad Member

    Coming to this thread rather late and after playing Baritone last week for the first time since last year (2017) I do wonder about the original thread title, "What is the expected range of a Baritone."
    The Christmas music I have been playing, various Wright and Round, Bernearts, and Richardson and Sally Army "Christmas Praise" have a range basically of C on the first ledger line to G above the top line, with precious little below E on the bottom line and a lot around E in the top space, I can't remember any top "A's" Now I don't have Jack's problems, I struggle with the F above top C on Baritone, but I do wonder if practicing low notes outside the normal range you play is causing some of the problems. I drag the old Imperial Baritone out, practice hitting a few random notes from cold and never bother with anything below C. I would suggest you practice the range you play, the note below the stave to the one above the stave. concentrating on getting a good sound from the middle of the stave upwards. Get a mouthpiece which gives a comfortable feel on those notes and if you struggle down the bottom no one will know. Very few sensible arrangers put Baritones down in the basement. I do have Jacks problems when I try to play Bass, I can't get the high notes, (and the low ones aren't great) so I don't play Bass...
  3. Jack E

    Jack E Well-Known Member

    Well, I don't struggle with notes below the stave; in fact, when I had my first lesson and was asked to play an open note, the tutor was rather surprised that I played the C below the stave. He said that most learners, when asked to do that, played the open G on the second line. I grant you that the lowest note I've been asked to play in public is the D below the stave, but as I'm only in the junior band at the moment, I wouldn't expect anything too extreme.

    Flicking through my Wright & Round book (Bb 2nd Baritone), I see that most of the notes are E upwards, but there are a number of Ds and Cs below the stave; 'God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen' has a number of Bs, and in 'We Three Kings', the first eight bars are nothing but Bs.

    In my 'Boosey Brass Method - Book 2', there are quite a few pieces which go down to G below the stave - so, although I thought the editor might have included them only to get learners really comfortable on low C and B, I thought it at least possible that I might be asked to play that low if and when I move up to the main band.

    There is another point which wouldn't necessarily apply to other people; I still have a problem with my lungs tending to clog up, and I notice that if I play some very low notes during the latter part of my warm up, that really seems to blow the crud out, and gets them nice and clear.

    Re. your point about playing low notes interfering with my reaching the high ones - I can't say I've ever noticed that it makes any difference to me. When I started playing, I only went down to the low C - it's only more recently that I've started working all the way down, and initially, it was with a view to getting used to adjusting my embouchure, tongue and air delivery fairly rapidly. Earlier on, I wasn't very good at coping with large intervals on short notes at fast tempos - and the warm-up exercises I've been doing have certainly helped with that.

    With best regards,

    Jack E.
  4. Raymond Morris

    Raymond Morris Member

    It might interest readers to hear that in the year 2000 when I played briefly in the Ottawa Community Concert Band at Ottawa, Canada there was a woman playing an old American double-bell euphonium. After passing through the valves the tubing forked into a narrow cylindrical pipe leading to a Baritone bell and a fat conical pipe leading to a euphonium bell with a 4th valve for switching between the two bells. That unusual instrument gets a mention in "76 trombones".
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