Lockdown practice

pbirch

Active Member
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 academy, it is good fun
 

PeterBale

Moderator
Staff member
Awesome player. Sadly I only met him a couple of times...the first I was only about 6 when he premiered the Gregson concerto with Besses and again when he recorded it with them a few years later.

James Gourlay has been doing some fun things over the last few months as well.

When a friend of mine switched to tuba he studied with James Gourlay, who himself was still having the occasional session with John Fletcher.
 

KMJ Recordings

Supporting Member
Sadly I didn't get too study with Fletch, at the time he died (1987 time flies) I was studying with Patrick Harrild if you haven't listened to Patrick's recording of the RVW's you really should

Jim Gourlay is also a monster player

The Chandos recording? It's excellent - thank's for the reminder :)
 

KMJ Recordings

Supporting Member
When a friend of mine switched to tuba he studied with James Gourlay, who himself was still having the occasional session with John Fletcher.

When my Dad commissioned the Horovitz concerto in the mid-ish 80s (having previously administrated the Gregson) the discussion about the premiere focussed around James...sadly Mr Horovitz was quite poorly around that time and the piece wasn't finished before my Dad died...but the premiere was indeed eventually given by Besses with James playing under the direction of Peter Bassano...strange how circles complete.
 

Vegasbound

Active Member
Having a hard time sticking to it. Spending more time in a kayak and more time fishing

Denis, you will not be the only one feeling this........ As I said in my first post is people do not already have a solid practice regime and have relied on the twice weekly band practice and contest/concerts hen they will come unstuck

The biggest issue, is that even with a practice schedule in place it is not the same as actually performing under fire so to speak, especially at loud dynamics so players will not be match fit for quite a while even when rehearsals start again

But if your lively hood doesn't depend on it, enjoy the kayaking and fishing, and I wonder how many will realise that their former banding life isn't as enjoyable as the one they have now, and not return
 

dennis78

New Member
Denis, you will not be the only one feeling this........ As I said in my first post is people do not already have a solid practice regime and have relied on the twice weekly band practice and contest/concerts hen they will come unstuck

The biggest issue, is that even with a practice schedule in place it is not the same as actually performing under fire so to speak, especially at loud dynamics so players will not be match fit for quite a while even when rehearsals start again

But if your lively hood doesn't depend on it, enjoy the kayaking and fishing, and I wonder how many will realise that their former banding life isn't as enjoyable as the one they have now, and not return
I do await a normal return. I love making music. I do put in a little time every day on my horn. I also spend some time on strings. It will be a rough trade off though practicing more for performance and not fishing
 

toptutti

Member
My biggest problem with practising in lock-down is not what to practice but when. With everyone working from home or home schooling the dulcet tones of a tuba in the day just isn't appreciated. Evening practice is cut short with a toddler in bed next door

I do use a practice mute at times but this warps turning and intonation. Back in those far distant days when we could all get together in a band hall it was always noticeable on the weeks I'd practised with the mute
 

Clyde’73

New Member
I'm a trumpet/cornet player and have same issue, feeling very conscious of the noises made whilst practising in a flat with little more than paper thick walls. I long to get back to a band room to give it some unrestricted welly. I have been recently trying to buy a SB7x Yamaha Silent Brass system on EBAY but keep getting out bid at the last minute. Last one went for £130 and new I can get one for £175- £185 so its amazing to see how they are holding their value as second hand/ pre-owned or maybe its because of the lockdown that they are becoming so popular. There are ones advertised for £135-145 but they are from Japan and will incur shipping and import Tax so will probably work out the same or dearer than the UK ones being sold at around £175. If anyone has one they wish to sell to me or know where I can get one at a reasonable price then please get in touch.
 

Vegasbound

Active Member
The new silent brass are much more user friendly than the older ones, but you should try the Shhhh mutes lightweight good through the registers almost no back pressure and reasonably priced trumpet is £41
 

GordonH

Active Member
Here is the biggest problem I have noticed: Intonation. Not playing with other people has really affected my intonation. It's not just me. I did a few recordings with a brass ensemble and over the last year and all the other players intonation has got worse. I discussed it with a friend who plays in a professional orchestra and he said we should practice in stairwells, or rooms with really wet acoustics) so we can hear ourselves and play against our own notes. I know a couple of very good bands with players who have not played for six months or more.

Practice wise I am doing what I always do: 45 minutes a day of solid playing. Mainly technical exercises plus a few challenges with repertoire, and on Sunday's I play jazz for fun. I allow myself one day off a week if I need it. This keeps everything working, but its not great for stamina. I find that quite easy to build up when I need it.
 

malcolmwood24

New Member
I am working remotely and live by myself. I have a spare bedroom which I use for practice in the evenings, about an hour and a half, a combination of:
  • Warm-up routine
  • High-note studies (an area I have always been weak on with my bass trombone)
  • Scales and arpeggios (I do two keys per practice)
  • Bach cello suite No 1
  • Defaye 'Two dances for bass trombone
  • Derek Bourgeois Bass Trombone studies.
I am making slow progress. I miss playing with others... I used to play within a trombone quartet.
 

malcolmwood24

New Member
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 academy, it is good fun
It is always fun to tease other musicians, and be teased back. I play the bass trombone and flute.
 
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