Getting the Basics Right

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Sharpeyman, Feb 2, 2007.

  1. Sharpeyman

    Sharpeyman New Member

    Hello Everyone,

    What repertoire should a 3rd/4th section band play throughout the year to get the basics of banding right? And, exactly what basics are more important than others?

    Cheers

    Sharpey
     
  2. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    What basics are more important to others? Difficult one to be clear with but I would think that the ones most apparent to the ear like ensemble tuning and rythmn tend to dominate. Here's an interesting link to what's expected in some American wind band competition ...

    http://www.ncbf.info/festinfo/criteria/document_view
     
  3. timbloke

    timbloke Member

    I'm not a qualified teacher or anything, but if it were me this is how I'd do it. Don't know what others think?

    1) Posture/Sound Production/Confidence

    The first thing I notice about beginners is that a lot tend to sit back in their chairs, slouching, with their instruments down (particularly cornets), and with little confidence to play anything louder than an mp. Therefore the first basic is to get the band to play a full and confident sound.

    The first step is to sit like you mean it! Feet firmly on the ground, front of the chair and back straight, arms out, cheeks in etc. etc. Then to get them to fill the instrument - tricks like long notes, dusters round mutes, standing and blowing etc. all build up the confidence in playing the instrument and making a proper sound. It is amazing how much better a band/player will sound instantly if they actually blow the instrument correctly.

    2) Tuning/Intonation/Balance

    Next is to get them to play in tune and balanced. Hymn tunes are good, particularly if you spend some time on them, perhaps playing them up/down a semitone, or with different rhythms, anything that gets the band listening to each other and to themselves. James Curnow's Tone Studies For Band may be useful, again if you spend a good half a rehearsal on them.

    3) Playing together

    Once the first two are sorted, the band should be playing together quite well, but tricks like varying the tempo, or getting the band to clap can really help with getting them playing together. Also doing something outside the band room other than playing that can build teamwork is always good. However to really play well together there is nothing better than lots of practice.

    4) Dynamic Range

    Build up the dynamic range, pushing the band to play as loud and soft as they can whilst still playing in tune and together.

    5) Musicality

    Someone will no doubt argue this is most important, but I don't think it is worth attempting to get inside the music until the above points are pretty well sorted. However the thing that stands one good band out from another is the understanding the band has of the music and the style. For this I'd suggest playing as many varying styles of music as possible, also some listening to different styles could be a good trick.

    Well thats what I think anyway.
     
  4. Sharpeyman

    Sharpeyman New Member

    Thanks a lot for these, what about repertoire?
     

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