Moving to a bigger instrument

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Ffion Flugel, Oct 12, 2007.

  1. Ffion Flugel

    Ffion Flugel Member

    I've recently moved from flugel to euph, and it's hard to explain, but I can't make it sound as clear as I'd like! Has anyone else had the same problem, and is it just a matter of more air, or is it a technique problem? It's especially noticeable in semiquaver runs and fast stuff, the slower pieces are reasonably OK.

    Thanks in advance:redface:
  2. barrytone

    barrytone Member

    Wow flugel to euph is one hell of a jump in instrument size. I moved from horn to baritone then baritone to euph and back to baritone. Moving from horn to baritone felt like a massive change so flugel to euph must feel ten times worse.

    The instrument is much bigger than you're used to so it will take alot more air. You'll probably find that you can't phrase as well as you did on flugel as your breath will run out sooner. Remember the bigger the instrument, the more air it uses and the more stamina you'll need.

    The mouthpiece is much bigger so be certain that it's positioned correctly and open your embouchure far more than you did on flugel. Play long notes in either a scalic or chromatic form and really push the air from your diaphragm through the euph. Try playing a full page of hymn tunes from the red book, two verses of each hymn. Try not to leave a massive gap between each verse or each hymn. At the end, your diaphragm will probably ache but that just means you're doing it right.

    It will take some time to get used to the euph, be patient and don't expect to be as proficient on it as you were on the flugel. They might both be brass instruments but they both need to be treated in different ways.

    As regards the semi quavers, not enough air is going through the euph for it to speak. Try pushing more air, elogating the semis and when you need to breathe, breathe. As I said before, don't expect to be able to phrase as well as the other euph/bari players or as you did on flugel.

    Moving to baritone was the best move I ever made, thanks to the foresight of my teacher, George Morgan. I hope that you find the euph to be the same.

    Good luck, pm me if you think I can be of any more assistance.
  3. Super Ph

    Super Ph Member

    You should find the euphonium easier after a short bedding-in period.
  4. euph-man

    euph-man Member

    years ago I moved from tenor horn to euphonium it took me about 6 months to get used to it. I found that on euph you use more embrochure or put it another away you use more top and bottom lip across the diameter of the mouthpiece, which you never used on flugel, so you have more lip to learn to control and strengthen that you never used before on flugel
  5. WhatSharp?

    WhatSharp? Active Member

    For various reasons, I recently moved from Sop to Bass ( only temporary, I hope! ) best advice I can give is find some very good players, ask their advice and practice like mad. You get there in the end, just be patient.
  6. Differences

    I am a cornet player, but i recently picked up a trombone and just played a really good tune on it

    I didn't even know the slide positions, so I should imagine that a full-time move shouldn't be too much of a problem...
  7. a very flat b

    a very flat b Member

    Put your Euph mouth-bit in your bag / pocket and as often as practicality allows keep having a go. You'll be amazed how this helps.

    But you do realise your on the slippery slop to BBb bass :biggrin::biggrin::clap::clap:
  8. Bass Trumpet

    Bass Trumpet Active Member

    You've answered your own question there! It takes a long time to move from one instrument to another and be totally comfortable with it. It's often the case that when we are reasonably good at an instrument, we expect to immediately be just as good on another one. Sadly, it takes time for our muscles and brain to adjust and we need to let that happen naturally, not in a forced way.

    My advice comes from experience of the very same situation a few years back when I first picked up a trombone. Take things easy, don't try and push yourself too far too soon, and let your embouchure develop in it's own time. Most importantly, stay positive! Don't be upset if you don't get what you want straight away.

    Best of luck with the move, you'll find the counter-melodies a joy to play. Stick with it and keep enjoying banding! I wish I could!
  9. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    Lots of good advice around and supporting the embouchure cannot be emphasised enough. More (facial) muscular support the easier the transition from one instrument to another. Small, focused embouchures tend to inhibit progress for larger instruments in my opinion. Air flow is another thing to consider. The lower the instrument pitch ... higher air volume and lower pressure?
  10. I might have got that one a bit wrong... I went to the band last night and couldn't even blow a note on a euph- I don't know what happened with the trombone.
  11. Jay

    Jay Member

    I moved from tenor horn to E flat bass about 5 years ago. It took me a good few months to be able to get a nice sound out of the bass. It basically just took me time and practice so I'm sure it will be fine for you if you practice! Jay xxx
  12. Ffion Flugel

    Ffion Flugel Member

    Thanks to everyone who's taken the trouble to reply. It's made me feel much better, and much more positive. I was beginning to get horribly disheartened, but you've all cheered me up, and I'm trying to practice all the right things!

    I'm sure it will be a positive move, I loved flugel - but I think once I get the hang of this then the parts are much more interesting and the instrument's absolutely lovely.

    Right, where did I put that Arban ...

    Thanks again
  13. I moved from cornet to euphonium and it really was just time and practice that made a different. The more you play it the better, whatever it is that you choose to play, but moving from a small instrument to a larger instrument, play lots of LOW notes, PEDAL notes and this will improve your tone and your range.