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  1. pbirch

    Playing a Bb Band or Solo Part on an Eb Instrument

    this is a question about transposition - if you are playing a Bb part on an Eb instrument you are transposing up a 4th or down a 5th, not too difficult in slow music, but tricky in quicker music. like all things musical it takes practice and more practice, especially as transposing is not...
  2. pbirch

    Funding for instruments

    while that is a helpful suggestion, sincerely offered, it might not be the best solution, the Eb trumpet (often with D tuning slides as well) is a different beast to the soprano cornet, just as a Bb trumpet is different to a cornet. Gear4music in York have a Coppergate Eb/D trumpet for £320...
  3. pbirch

    Tune or Tone

    And it was fantastic
  4. pbirch

    Tune or Tone

    I’m going to hear it at the Sage Gateshead tomorrow
  5. pbirch

    Music display devices

    So, more time has passed - we have a player using a MacBook for playing- pros he has access to all the cornet parts an can switch quickly as required, he can load the program in order Cons - it is great until the battery goes or until he drops it, or if the program order changes (You can get...
  6. pbirch

    Tune or Tone

    I think you have something here, but in reducing it to tune or tone you might be missing quite a lot. I think you are talking about musicianship and artistry that comes with experience and practice. One of my friends, a trombonist, can dazzle the audience with his technique and high notes, but...
  7. pbirch

    Why did the Cornet become a second rate citizen?

    Actually I have, James Watson brought a group of his students to play at my sons youth band, he used his trumpet to play a fanfare, a lyrical solo, a dirty trumpet riff and a classical concerto to demonstrate that the differences are in one’s mind and approach rather than the instrument or...
  8. pbirch

    Why did the Cornet become a second rate citizen?

    The other factor is price, in any price group (and I looked at Phil parker) a cornet is more expensive than a trumpet- in the case of a Bach Strad 184 the cornet is approx £700 more than the trumpet- so it might come down to simple economics
  9. pbirch

    Buzz or No Buzz

    Christian Lindberg did a demo about buzzing which was interesting (if not of much practical application) if you buzz a note and plug your mouthpiece into the instrument the note sounds pretty awful, but if you remove the mouthpiece while you are playing a good note there is no sound - like I say...
  10. pbirch

    Improving sight reading

    Sight reading is simply playing something for the first time- good sight reading is to be able to play it well, observing tempo, key, rhythm and dynamics. It means developing observational skills and confidence in playing, and speedy preparation. The more you do it the better you get at it and...
  11. pbirch

    Locked-up lock-down valves

    Oh gosh, he didn’t have one like that, it a jewellery cleaner (about £40) and he would do 1 valve at a time. I do have to say he was a good guy with a a great deal of honesty and integrity
  12. pbirch

    Locked-up lock-down valves

    my old repair guy had 2 solutions for this, (1) to soak the valves in warm water with washing soda crystals, and (2) to us an ultrasonic jewellery cleaner (one big enough to accommodate tuba valves), and he would charge an extra couple of £s for that
  13. pbirch

    'New Christmas Praise' vs 'Christmas Collection' - A comparison of carol books

    there are changes in the bass line of Silent Night to note as well and the retiming of Infant Holy was a shame (it changed form an interesting Mazurka to a rather banal waltz) and some of the key changes are inexplicable I, too, am slightly nostalgic for the green carol book, the carols were...
  14. pbirch

    Locked-up lock-down valves

    I am reminded of the story of an engineer who started an engine with a tap of a hammer, and charged £5 for hitting it and £5000 for knowing where to hit it! a repairer will charge for a post lockdown service, but will be less than repair costs for botched attempts to get the instruments going
  15. pbirch

    The picture which inspired Victorian Snapshots

    Do they look like rotary valve cornets?
  16. pbirch

    Lockdown practice

    Barry Green is a double bass player who has written a couple of good books on music performance- he was teasing the violinists saying that he could play the Mendelssohn concerto on his bass. It would take 3 days but he could do it. for the tuba players have a look at Øystein Baadsvik’s tuba...
  17. pbirch

    Lockdown practice

    I am not sure I agree with much of your 1st paragraph, when the basic skills are firmly in place you can work on other skills and they need not ebb away, you do need to maintain them, though and you will possibly find that they cease to be so static. I also find it hard to agree with you that...
  18. pbirch

    Lockdown practice

    One of the things that encourages me is the story of Pablo Casals, the cellist of the last century, when asked why he still practiced into his nineties, said that he believed he could still make progress
  19. pbirch

    Lockdown practice

    What is everyone practicing during lockdown? I am practicing the Bach cello suites (Ralph Sauer edition) particularly the slow sarabandes, the Kesh jig by Staffan Lunden-Welden and I’m finally making some progress with the 3rd mvt of the Vaughn Williams tuba concerto how is everyone else doing?
  20. pbirch

    Coronavirus, what might it mean to Banding

    This is what we have to look forward to when it is all over