Tips on faster fingering.

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Jonny5Stars, Sep 4, 2006.

  1. Jonny5Stars

    Jonny5Stars New Member

    Recently starting playing cornet regularly after a hiatus for university, career and family. Fairly happy with tone and range but my fingering lets me down everytime.

    Any suggestions for techniques to develop faster fingering? What exercises work best and do people use alternative fingering or just regular?

    P.S. Do not "google" fingering technique on your work's computer!:oops:

    PP.S. The 5 stars refers to a work-related nickname not the standard of my playing.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2006
  2. brasscrest

    brasscrest Active Member

    Start with scales - major, minor, chromatic. From memory if possible. Use a metronome, and find the speed at which you can do each scale without errors (up and down). Then gradually ramp up the speed on the metronome, one or two clicks at a time - might take one day or one week, etc for each click (depends on how much time and how often you practise). Keep a notebook with your speeds so that you'll know where you are.

    Same technique can be used to increase tongue speed (don't Google that at work, either :eek: )
     
  3. BrianT

    BrianT Member

    There's a killer exercise where you alternate in semiquavers between 1+3 and 2. You can do this tongued on a 3rd line B (so the pitches stay the same) or you can move between D and B (first leger line down).

    Set the metronome tempo at something manageable and then crank it up everso gradually (over the course of weeks or months). Don't overdo it though, I'm sure RSI/tendonitis are risks if you do this exercise for hours on end.
     
  4. They are. I've been practising that exercise, and a few others. The tendon over the final joint of my middle finger has become slightly sore to the touch (although it is fine when playing). It's surprising because my 3rd finger wears out, while the 2nd finger seems to manage the exercise ok. I think it needs a bit more rest been practices; or maybe I need to hold down the 2nd valve more lightly.

    This is the method I've devised for myself - but *NB* I'm no expert! All possible 3rd-finger wiggles are (as found in cornet/trumpet music) -

    - indicates the valve is UP
    123 indicate the valve is DOWN.
    ** indicates the hardest ones for me.

    1-3 > 1--
    1-3 > ---
    1-3 > 12- **
    1-3 > -2- ** (this is the exercise mentioned above)

    -23 > -2-
    -23 > 12-
    -23 > ---
    -23 > 1--

    123 > 12- **
    123 > -2- **
    123 > 1--
    123 > ---

    And some more, played while keeping the 3rd finger down -

    --3 > 1-3
    --3 > -23
    --3 > 123
    1-3 > 123 **
    1-3 > -23 **
    -23 > 123

    Go through them. Try to get the valves going up + down perfectly in synch, so that one hits the top while the other hits the bottom, and you get a single 'clonk' rather than 2 clonks. Play as quickly as you can in synch, tonguing the notes but making no sound; or slurring them; or (for the advanced) double tonguing.

    As you practice one combination, your finger muscles will wear out and you need to slow down and really exert them, but still keeping the valves in synch.

    Find the hardest ones, and practise those the most. If you get a sore joint, give that finger a good rest and ease off.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2006
  5. davidquinlan

    davidquinlan Member

    Remember to try and keep your hand as relaxed as possible when increasing speed. Being tense will get in the way.
    Also, as you increase speed, try and focus on the notes you are playing rather than the mechanics of pressing valves fast, you are training yourself to be able to play fast music, not remember valve combinations. (if you see what I mean).
    There are quite a few exercises in Vizzutti book 2 (I think, it's 1 or 2 !!), but I would not get too bogged down on mastering "unusual" passages until "usual" passages such as scales (major, minor , cromatic) and other such exercies (e.g interval & triplet type studies) from books such as arban have been mastered first.
     
  6. James Yelland

    James Yelland Active Member

    Buy Volume 1 of the Allen Vizzutti Trumpet Method. It has an entire section on finger flexibilities.
     
  7. John Large

    John Large New Member

    Simply play The Horn Pipe in E Major that should do it! Also try playing without your little finger in the hook on the lead pipe.

    It works for me.
     
  8. I have always found, that when waggled very quickly up and down (I know not the scientific term), 3rd valve manages to hit most notes during a fastly-fingered section......
    Well, it works for every BBb Bass player!!! :biggrin: ;)


    Andy
     
  9. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    It depends on what you need to work on ... pitch/tongue/finger or pitch/slur/finger co-ordination. If it is just the case of faster movement of notes, silent rehearsal is handy ... no instrument required to visualise notes and waggle fingers. This also improves recognition memory!
     
  10. trumpetmike

    trumpetmike Active Member

    Do you have a private teacher that you trust?
    Yes - ask them what they would recommend - they know what you can do and what you need to work at.
    No - get one and ask them - they will be able to see what you can do and what you need to work at.

    It is very easy for us to come on a forum and say "Vizzutti" or "Clarke" (Herbert L. Clarke Technical Studies - a book that is always with me) but without knowing at what stage you are currently at, nor what you are looking to do, it is difficult to give better advice.
    A good teacher will not only be able to advise on your personal situation but will also be able to advise on how to approach the exercises.

    Personally, I use the Clarke book on a daily basis (which is where Vizzutti got many of the patterns and ideas for his book from) and I know some world class soloists who do the same - but they adjust the exercises to suit themselves - maybe changing a major exercise to a whole tone, modal or other pattern.

    Something to remember when working on fingering - treat slurred fingered passages as "moving long notes" - in other words, don't forget that the notes still need the air. One of the most common "mistakes" I come across when teaching (especially more advanced or adult students) is that players work at getting their fingers working fast, yet forget the air, meaning that all you actually hear is the rattle of valves, without any note behind them.

    A lesson with a good teacher can be worth more than a new book - you might find that you already have great books, you just need to know how to use them - it has been said that if you have Arban you an learn EVERYTHING, IF you know how to use it.
     
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  12. Baritonedeaf

    Baritonedeaf Member

    There was an article by Bob Childs on 4 Bars Rest where he had a copy of the said hornpipe - looks fine, but is a swine - all those G#s and D#s are a nightmare.

    I can't find it after a short search on there though....

    They were some form of masterclass... and it was called "Bob's Challenge" i have the PDF somewhere... but again can't find it at the moment - am i losing my mind....
     

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