Improving Euphonium Stamina

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Chat' started by TartenCymraeg_Natty, Sep 25, 2005.

  1. TartenCymraeg_Natty

    TartenCymraeg_Natty New Member

    Hi All

    It has been a long long time since I had any tuition on my Euphonium ( the old school days with Mr John Duckett in Wrexham, my hero).

    Anyway what this post is for is if I wanted to improve my playing generally, particularly range and tone, what should I be doing?

    Bearing in mind I don't have a lot of time to practise in week on top of twice weekly rehearsals.

    DOn't scales improve range?

    It may seem like a silly question but the only practise I've done for years is specifically breaking down pieces i'm playing in band!!!

    thanks in advance

  2. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member that Natalie?? How you doing? I didn't realise you were back playing again. Good to see you on here. So how is the "loud one"?

    EDIT: Just realised that post was no use whatsoever to your question but I'm a (alleged) flugel player not Euph - the only thing I can suggest is long note / hymn tune practice and not to try and do too much at once, otherwise you'll bash your gob up. But then I'm sure you already knew that.
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2005
  3. TartenCymraeg_Natty

    TartenCymraeg_Natty New Member


    Hi Wooden Flugel

    Yes it is I! The LOUD one who I assume to mean to be Mark and not Morgan is fine and still loud ( but with quality I hasten to add!!).

    I've been back playing Euph full time for almost 2 years now, just want to up my gain so to speak and have forgotten all the basics being so old now........,

    Morgan can play a note on both a sop and Euphonium, Mark has got sights on him being a super Euph player ( just like his mummy.....!)

    Did you enjoy the finals?

  4. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    Well I was leaving it open ended - it could have been either Mark or Morgan...

    yeah tell me about it old age does stupid things to your brain, but in my case it might be the beer that is the culprit.

    Its good to see he isn't trying to get him in to the "dark side" of sop playing then. But with the combined genes of you and Mark I'd imagine he's likely to be a pretty good player (uggh sorry for the sycophant reply there..)

    Yeah was great apart from my playing was totally shocking....;)
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2005
  5. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    *ahem* Dons modly hat....

    erm maybe this thread ought to get back on Topic :oops: has anyone got any decent advice to help Natalie?
  6. animal77

    animal77 New Member

    In my limited experience, the tone produced is a combination of the instrument and whats going into it. Assuming that the instrument is OK (and even if it's not, it's a big thing to change!) then looking at breathing, support, posture should all effect what is going in to it, and ultimately what comes out the other end.

    Try some breathing exercises to increase lung capacity. A good one is to breath in as far as possible over 4 beats, then exhale over 4 beats until you can breath out nothing more. Repeat a few times. Then alter it to in over 4, out over 8, 12, in over 2, out over 4, 8, 12 etc, in over 1 out over 4, 8, 12, 16 - you get the picture! When breathing in, try and fill your lungs from the bottom (so your tummy sticks out as opposed your chest). I find that if I breath in as far as possible when expanding tummy, I can always inhale more by expanding chest afterwards, but not the other way around (ie chest first). Don't know if this is proven anatomically, but it works for me!

    Support from the diaphragm should improve in line with the exercises above, but you can also try playing hymns without any tongue, just producing notes by forcing air with the diaphragm. You should be able to see you stomach moving in and out with each note.

    With regard to posture, if you sit all scrunched up, the column of air from the lungs has a more tortuous path so more force is needed to get it out. Try comparing playing when standing and when sitting to see what I mean. Sit upright (or stand when practicing at home) with a straigh(ish) back. I try and hold the euph up to my mouth, rather than bend back down to the mouthpiece.

    Also, when you play, try and imagine you have a ping pong ball in your mouth. This should bring the jaw down and open up the mouth cavity.

    With regard to range, having better support should help with the high notes, but i'm afraid i've never really worked on my range so can't offer any specific advice.

    Good luck
  7. Seedhouse

    Seedhouse Active Member