Soprano Practising Routine

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by SopranoGod, Dec 17, 2007.

  1. SopranoGod

    SopranoGod Member

    I used to play soprano for a contesting band band a few years back but thn got moved onto cornet when we lost a couple of key players.

    Now our band is back to full strength i've been asked to go back to the soprano seat

    I've always said that i ever got moved back i would take it more seriously and practice, only i'm not sure what i should be practicing

    On cornet i woulddo the usual;
    scales, lip slurs etc.. etc...

    but soprano pieces don't generaly use all of those so tht leaves me with what do i need to practice?

    the same 'regime' or something completly different

    does that makes sence to people?

    any advise wil be greatly appreciated
  2. Vegasbound

    Vegasbound Active Member

    Surely it is the same thing!! play cornet...and soprano is just cornet in E flat

    most trumpet players play B and E flat also C and it's no different.
  3. SopranoGod

    SopranoGod Member

    Sorry i just treat Soprano and Cornet as two completly different instruments therfore i'm thinking there are different things you would need to practice for.

    From your reply i'm guessing that this is the wrong mentality and just transfer what i practice on cornet to soprano? that right
  4. sop 1

    sop 1 Member

    hi,iv been playing sop for nearly 17 years now at championship level in wales,also depping for bands such as cory and polysteel.
    this is wot works for me:,loads or long notes,both high and low! lots of chas collins exercises also scales.also practise playing quiet too,loud is easy!
    hope that helps u! :)
  5. sop 1

    sop 1 Member

    sop is completely different to Bb!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  6. SopranoGod

    SopranoGod Member

    thats what i originally thought i'd leave the topic open tho, sounds like a good debate brewing here
  7. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    Surely you should work on the basics whatever the instrument?
  8. ibrox

    ibrox Member


    I've played sop for about 20 years at a reasonable level and feel that to be a good sop player you have to get the "fundamentals" right, which means following a balanced routine that includes long notes, intervals, scales, lip flexibilities, loud, quiet, high, low etc.

    Personally I prefer to spend most of my practice time playing Bb - sop is such hard work that to cover all the areas above is extremely taxing - with time on sop during a few sessions, plus band. This is the routine that I find brings me the best results, but you might find spending more time on sop is better for you.

    I'd go along with the advice on the Chas Collins book, but don't overdo it!

    Good luck
  9. SopranoGod

    SopranoGod Member

    my only problem with practicing on Bb and not that much on Soprano is that my cornet mouthpiece (RW3) is completly differnt to my sop mouthpiece (Warburon 5MD). I'm just concerned that all the work i do on cornet won't make a differece for soprano playing

    You mentioned quitet playing, would that be advisable in all registers? it's probably a basic question but i'm self taught you see
  10. ibrox

    ibrox Member

    You could always use a Warburton on 5 rim on the Bb - I think they do a BC cup which is pretty big. As for the practice on the Bb not making a difference to your sop playing, you do need to make sure that the intensity is there or you will suffer in band, but I've found that since I've been practicing this way (last 5 years or so) I've been able to do more effective practice sessions and have felt fresher when it comes to performance. I'm largely self taught but was advised to try this approach by a pro trumpet player who said that although he had to be able to play Eb and piccolo trumpet, he would practice on Bb.

    One of the things that makes sop so difficult is the back pressure and I think there's a danger of developing a closed throat if you spend too much work on the smaller instrument, but there are so many factors in play that I really would emphasis that people need to experiment until they find a routine that works for them.

    As for quiet playing, I would say you need to focus on sound quality as much as dynamic, and therefore concentrate on developing the range through which you can play at a beautiful piano.
  11. SopranoGod

    SopranoGod Member

    Thanks for that,

    with regards to trying my sop mouthpiece on coret... that is a no go area i'm afriad. after searching and searching my RW3 is by far the best i've used... nice huge sound and an extremly good register

    I guess it's experiment stage now.

    I'd still be practicing on Bb anyway as i still play it in a couple of my other bands

    With regards to the 'intensity'. What do you mean by this?
  12. ibrox

    ibrox Member

    By intensity I mean that you need to be covering the same register - you should be able to play the same notes on Bb as you can on sop, but maybe not quite as easily/frequently - and generally feeling that you've worked hard at the end of the session, without having mashed your lips to a pulp!

    In terms of mouthpiece, I didn't mean use the sop one on the Bb. The RW3 has a slightly wider rim than the 5MD - I use a Lewington McCann that's based on the Wick 3 on Bb and a Warburton 4MD on sop and the rims are pretty much the same diameter. You could keep the same size rim and use a bigger backbore and cup to give the big, traditional sound. It's down to what feels right at the end of the day...
  13. SopranoGod

    SopranoGod Member

    i'll give that a thought

    i've tried a Bach 17C becuase peter roberts plays (played) on one but lets just say, no... never again lol
  14. sopboy

    sopboy New Member

    I have found thr best way to get on form is to keep your lip fresh all the time by only playing at band and not touching it at home to start with. As soon as your lip goes in band put the sop down and have a couple of mins otherwise it could result in a cut lip and then your back to square one!! - build it up slowley!!! also the best advice i could give anyone is (use your ears) if you try bending notes to get in tune your chops will hurt and it will take much longer to get on top form, use alt valves .
    If you strugle with the high notes dont worry... its easy!!! smile, keep your shoulders down and keep the belly hard.
  15. ibrox

    ibrox Member

    If you can get along to a Warburotn dealer and "audition" a few that's worth doing. Never tried the 17C - sounds small!
  16. SopranoGod

    SopranoGod Member

    small is an understatement
  17. Vegasbound

    Vegasbound Active Member

    Sop is different to Bflat how???

    it is made of brass has three valves and a mouthpiece.....and you play it the same way....
  18. davidquinlan

    davidquinlan Member

    Yes, the instruments are pitched differently, and their roles in the band are different, but the playing fundamentals are the same.

    Pick a routine that covers the basics and work on that.. on both instruments (if you need to continue playing both regularly), biased towards the instrument you play the most.
  19. Vegasbound

    Vegasbound Active Member

    agree with that one.....

    the main difference is betweenthe ears!!
  20. Lauradoll

    Lauradoll Active Member

    Are you suggesting that euph/ baritone/horn/ basses and also trombone and bass trombone are all the same too?? Or is it just cornet?

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