Piano Accompaniment Recordings for the ABRSM Practical Brass Examinations.

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by 2nd tenor, Mar 3, 2014.

  1. 2nd tenor

    2nd tenor Well-Known Member

    Piano Accompaniment Recordings for the ABRSM Practical Brass Examinations.

    I am looking towards doing some ABRSM practical brass playing examinations and was wondering whether anyone knew of piano accompaniment recordings that I might use to help with practice at home and maybe in my lessons too. I have a great practical brass teacher, but unfortunately he is not also a pianist – very occasionally his wife plays accompaniments but a better solution is needed.

    Does anybody else have experience with this practice and lesson issue or feel able to offer some suggestions?

    Does anybody have experience of hiring in a pianist just for the exam?
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  3. superwan

    superwan Member

    There's a CD from ABRSM that has some piano accompaniment for each grade. You can also download speedshifter (I think that's what it's called) and play the CD through this on your pc and it lets you slow down the music.
  4. katieeuph

    katieeuph Member

    I am a pianist and regularly accompany ABRSM and Trinity Guildhall brass exams. I usually do one rehearsal and the exam for each candidate. Not practising with a piano regularly is not a problem for those who have been taught to carefully count their bars rest and one run through is usually enough (maybe 2 for grade 6+). I'd be lying if I said all brass teachers encouraged their pupils to count.....
  5. 2nd tenor

    2nd tenor Well-Known Member

    Thanks Superwan and Katieeuph.

    I’m struggling to find the CD (maybe they have stopped doing it) but did find a download section from the ABRSM shop, unfortunately the downloads available do not yet cover brass band instruments. http://www.abrsmdownloads.org/index.asp?a=10

    Speed shifter sounds like a great idea, thanks. I’ll investigate that further.

    If all else fails then I’ll fall back on practicing with the metronome a few weeks before the exam, a rehearsal with a pianist and then the exam. I was uncertain that that route would be practical but if others have done it then it must be OK, but I’m a little nervous of it.
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2014
  6. katieeuph

    katieeuph Member

    I completely agree with you that it's not ideal, but it is commonly done (With my flute pupils, I like them to learn the piece alongside the piano accompaniment from the very start as it really helps in all respects of performance). Good luck with whatever you do :)
  7. superwan

    superwan Member

    What grade are you doing? I've got the grade 6 and 8 CD's for trumpet. They are a sample of pieces from ABRSM, I think they are supposed to help you choose which pieces to buy. Not sure if they do it for all brass instruments. You should be fine though with what you've got planned. That's all that we got when I was at school and doing them. I think we're a little more cautious as mature learners. Good luck :)
  8. Anglo Music Press

    Anglo Music Press Well-Known Member

    I hesitate to recommend this site


    as it's unclear whether or not it is operating legally (!) but you should find what you are after.
  9. katieeuph

    katieeuph Member

    I saw that and wasn't sure what to make of it- it's the fact that it's all inputted digitally that put me off (although they don't sound that bad at all, really). A friend of mine has a wonderful site called 'Your Accompanist', where all accompaniments are played beautifully (acoustically!), but it's only song accompaniment, albeit in all genres imaginable. Maybe there's a niche in the market?!
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2014
  10. 2nd tenor

    2nd tenor Well-Known Member

    Thank you all for your comments so far.

    I looked into Speedshifter and it is an ABRSM tool that appears free to download. More details here: http://gb.abrsm.org/en/exam-support/practice-tools-and-applications/speedshifter/

    I’ve had a look at http://www.youronlinepianist.com and they do do a limited selection of pieces. Currently I’m working with Grade 5, 6 and 7 pieces, my teacher seemed very pleased with my recent ‘playing’ of the Acrobat (Gr 6) and there is an accompaniment for that. How well that recording works I don’t know as the Acrobat has several pauses in it. The board do some recordings too, but nothing now for brass it seems.

    Further sources of and comments on accompaniment are welcome - the more the merrier.

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