Training Techniques - word pictures to music

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by midnight_euph, Dec 10, 2006.

  1. midnight_euph

    midnight_euph Member

    :cool: Hi.
    I'm sat listening to Entertainments on the CD (well, actually I'm listening to 'Spectrum, The music of Gilbert Vinter Vol 1) and I can 'hear' my old tutor, Ted Bradley from Long Eaton Silver Prize Band (LESPB) put words and sentences and meanings to every phrase. (I was 13-16 at the time)... nonetheless, singing, dancing the pieces have helped me in my perfoming life as a professional euph, tuba and trombone player, and now as a mentor for new players...

    Surely others MUST use similar techniques to describe colour, texture, emotion, story-line etc to new players???

    Even just using words or phrases to keep players in time????

    Talk to me.. we know it works.. come on.. put context for new players and share your tips/comments.

  2. Ffion Flugel

    Ffion Flugel Member

    Hi Fran. Could you explain a bit more about it? Do you just make up the words which say the right sort of thing to you?! Any help gratefully received!
  3. Crazysop

    Crazysop Member

    DO you mean stuff like 'tadpole frog' as in a pair of quavers and a crotchet? You can use allsorts for that sort of 'saturday' for triplets and 'california' for a thing like a triplet with a 5 over the top (sorry thick moment cant just think of the word I want) :hammer
    I use word rhythms a lot with my training band alongside teaching them to count and subdivide.
  4. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    The greatest exponent of words for rhythm I've ever seen is Elgar Howarth.

    If my understanding is correct, he uses phrases wth the correct rhythm to enable him to conduct in different time signatures with each hand - which isn't, er, easy ;)
  5. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    That'll be a quintuplet then ;)

    One of Derek Broadbent's favourites is "Keep the Rhy-thm" for rows of quavers / semis etc.

    I won't tell you what Andy Keegan's phrase was for the first two crotchets of Le Corsaire to make sure we didn't rush onto the second one :D
  6. FlugelD

    FlugelD Member

    I've heard 'mama-papa' to keep drummers right (playing quavers), but nothing similar for brass - please share!
  7. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    I already did ;)

    Or do you mean for other rhythms?
  8. I quite often use phrases or words to syllabalise rhythms too. If that fails, try tapping the rhythm on the persons shoulders (more suited to perc players I know). For percussionists, try using one hand on each shoulder to mimic the sticking used.
  9. flugelboy

    flugelboy Member

    ye thats the best way in my opinion cause as a brass player to have mental pictures or words to fit the notes into makes things a heck of a lot easier to play and brings out the music in pieces an awfull lot better!!!
  10. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    Creating mental pictures of what we are listening or playing to generally helps in the comprehension of music and dramatically cuts down the time of emotively learning music types and patterns. As long as the association of these images with the music is kept standardised within a group, ensemble playing can benefit as well. The more abstract the music the more creative or imaginative the director or musician must be to achieve consistency. Possibly this is why players and audiences have difficulty with dissonant or atonal music as it is more difficult to bridge the gap of association.

    Here's a general introduction to how some academics judge this method.
  11. flugelboy

    flugelboy Member

    ye thats true,if its something with a good tune it is easier to a) make up some pictures for the audiance/players to have and b)get that consistancy


    We use paracetamol for quintuplets.
  13. Ffion Flugel

    Ffion Flugel Member

    Suppose you could use ibuprofen for four, or alka seltzer?
  14. Simon_Horn

    Simon_Horn Member


    Hipp-o-pot-a-mus is one that I use for quintuplet!

    Interesting thread - yes, I try to use this technique where-ever I can to reinforce meaning (where possible), but at other times using humour in the words (even something unrelated or abstract) to give players a memorable prompt for other instruction that will be recalled at the same time when a certain passage is to be played i.e a quirky phrase that emphasises the correct length of a semiquaver in a dotted quaver/semiquaver sequence or to emphasise musical sequences.
  15. tubafran

    tubafran Active Member

    I like Yab-a-dab-a-do - is that a quintuplet too?
  16. Jasper

    Jasper Member

    Best one I heard courtesy of Nigel Seaman years ago for a quintuplet was "Loll-o-brig-id-a" and for a a group of 7 (apparently called a septimole and not a septuplet!!!) just add the "Gina" !! ... works every time...try it !!

    Younger posters will undoubtedly wonder what the hell is a "Loll-o-brig-id-a". Gina Lollobrigida was a rather attractive female Italian film actress of the 50's and 60's.

  17. fartycat

    fartycat Member

    One very well known conductor we've had in the past used the words "hepatitis b" for the quintuplets in Masquerade. Made us laugh everytime he sang it :)
  18. NiTuba

    NiTuba New Member

    New to this - so please be gentle with me!
    Jasper's comment re quints etc works MOST of the time. Quintuplets/'septimoles' and indeed 5/4 time signatures are often 2+3 or 2+2+3 - so 'Gina's trick' will work. It's not so successful if the groupings are otherwise = does this make sense or is the Xmas vino getting to me!
  19. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    Try it without emphasising syllables (so no 'accents') and it still delivers accurate metering - but you're quite right if there is grouping then you may be better lokking at something else.
  20. midnight_euph

    midnight_euph Member

    Only if it's NOT yab-a-daba-DOO!

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