Mr Mead`s masterclass

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Mesmerist, Jun 1, 2008.

  1. Mesmerist

    Mesmerist Well-Known Member

    Mr S Mead came to our area and conducted us last Tuesday evening. One of the many tips and helpful advice on improving our individual standards and practice routines was the simple one of keeping your eyes open during difficult passages or solos. Some of us have tried it and yes it works.
    So the question is what is the most helpful (and unexpected) tip that has made a difference to your playing?:)
  2. bumper-euph

    bumper-euph Member

    :biggrin: leave out the fast bits......:clap:
  3. euph__onium

    euph__onium New Member

    Alway watch David!?
  4. MarkGillatt

    MarkGillatt Member

    I have 2 from when I first joined the Army as a musician in the Royal Engineers. The DoM was a guy called Lt Col Phil (the pig) Evans.

    He told me, that if I ever wanted to play a solo with the band, don't practise until you can play it, practise until you can't play it wrong!!


    People listen with their eyes young man, the only people moving are me wagging a stick, and you bashing things at the back, so make everything you do look good, even if it means looking like a pillock, I want Morcambe and Wise, not the 2 wooden tops at the back.

    I have always remembered those pearls of wisdom, and I still try to make everything I do "look" good, even if it is the most boring part in the world.
  5. JesTperfect!

    JesTperfect! Member

    when sight reading:

    ''concentrate on playing the rhythm right first-you'll be amazed at how many right notes will follow automatically''

    It really works, too!!
  6. Mike Saville

    Mike Saville Member

    One that will always stick with me (though I do not know who the original quote is from):

    Amateurs practice until they get it right, professionals practice until they can't get it wrong.

    This is very true and what sets apart good players and bands from the really great ones.
  7. boagy

    boagy Member

    Perhaps not as constructive or as encouraging as the above but I remember my old Bandmaster in the RAF (WO Clifton) saying to members of the Band ‘If you can’t play it, polish it!!’ or words to that effect. :oops:
  8. Mesmerist

    Mesmerist Well-Known Member

    that sounds a good tip jess is that one of Mr Renton`s?
  9. MissRepiano

    MissRepiano New Member

    This is a very "south-West" orientated thread....what pearls of wisdom we do have down here! hee hee
  10. Mesmerist

    Mesmerist Well-Known Member

    Don`t start that row again please! ( Though Mr Mead comes from Bournemouth so he is a South West man.)

    So far all the posters on here are ones that take their music making pretty seriously so you can never exclude the Northern Players who must have many ideas they could share.:)
  11. robcav

    robcav Member

    Subdivide - one of Jim Shepherd's most frequent pleas in rehearsal.
    Another was that the breath must drive the tongue.
    Take in sufficient air for the phrase
    If you've got a lofty solo, practise it up a tone.
    Practise long notes - sixteen beats per note (crotchet = 60) start on pedal C (euphs down of course) and work your way up in semitones. This was one of Geoff Whitham's - by the time I got to middle G I was done for. The principle behind it, apart from being very tiring, was, I think, that relaxation and limited pressure on the lower register would improve one's capabilities of security in the higher register.
    Don't suffer from brass band myopia. Listen to all types of music in order to be aware of the requirements of a wide variety of musical styles.
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2008
  12. Mike Saville

    Mike Saville Member

    I particularly liked this point. One of my bug bears with brass bands is that they don't play in an appropriate way for other styles of music (baroque is too heavy, jazz is too long etc). Wider listening would help this a lot.
  13. Mesmerist

    Mesmerist Well-Known Member

    One from Mr Chris Lewis from Polysteel - for improving your higher range - look down on those notes (don`t look up at a top c or whatever think about it differently and look downwards at it)

    Ps Hope you don`t mind me naming you and sharing that tip Chris but it did help me and you are a fabulous cornet player and it was really kind of you.
  14. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    When you're trying to play even semiquavers, the most important note in a group of four is the second one ;)