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Additional tips for transposing from concert sheet?



 
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teacherdad
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 7:55 am    Post subject: Additional tips for transposing from concert sheet? Reply with quote

I'm interested in how Bb players read, think, and play--transpose in real time, while reading--from concert-pitch, "C-version" sheet music. I did a few different searches, and found a few concepts (for example, "the interval approach") but not much on the how-to, or what that phrase means.

I imagine it means that you get your root, and then follow the interval steps and skips as you go.

Also, any complications when transposing from a flats-key to a sharps-key? (For instance, from sheet music in F to playing in G.)

Thanks for being willing to share your thinking!
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JoseLindE4
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 8:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can think of 5 ways brass players have transposed over the years.

1. The Tuba Way: Learn a new set of fingerings for each horn and only read C parts - not really practical for trumpet players

2. The Interval Way: read every note up or down whatever the transposition is. So if you're holding a Bb trumpet and are playing a C part, you just adjust every note in your brain up a step.

3. The Clef Way: Learn to read in all of the clefs (soprano, mezzo-soprano, alto, etc.) and simply adjust the key signature. Even for players who don't do this, many use this to read up a third (bass clef, fix the key).

4. Solfege: Read everything in relation to do (whatever that may be) and adjust from there. I think that's similar to what you're describing.

5. The Other Interval Way: Figure out the starting note and look at the line as a series of intervals.

My guess is that most players use some combination of adjusting intervals on the fly and using clefs with a little solfege and the other interval way thrown in when needed and helpful.

Ultimately, the method doesn't really matter that much. You just have to practice it until you can read in the new transposition. The routes aren't that much different and they all end in the same place, but they take time to walk out.

Force yourself to read in different transpositions each day and it gets better. How you think of it is of little relevance. Sachse 100 Studies is your friend and enemy.


Last edited by JoseLindE4 on Fri Feb 17, 2017 8:09 am; edited 2 times in total
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oxleyk
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 8:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was always told to play up a whole step. If you know your whole steps the flats and sharps will take care of themselves.

Kent
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cbclead
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 8:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use the interval approach (I guess). I change the key signature and read the note up a whole step.
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falado
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 8:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, I play up a whole step and mentally add 2 sharps to the key signature. The sharps cancel flats. Key of Eb concert I play in F, the 2 #'s cancel 2 b's so you go from 3 flats to 1 flat. I also think in the key. That way when you see something like a scale I thinks the scale in the key I'm playing unless there are accidentals. Just play up a whole step and practice transposing. Take an etude, play it or a short passage as written then play it up a step. The more you do the mental calisthenics the easier it becomes. Where I get hung up is if I'm on a gig where I'm mostly transposing and then get a Bb part.

I play in a band that plays Georgia On My Mind. We have 2 singers, one sings it in C and the other sings it in Ab or G, depending on how he feels that gig. In that case, I just learned the tune in different keys, but with that group I use my ears a lot. Nothing is in a standard key. Learn tunes and different ways of transposing. I read Eb parts a lot so I've become adept at reading in bass clef and up a step. It just takes some practice. Practicing is the key to transposition.
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Proteus
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 8:43 am    Post subject: Additional tips for transposing from concert sheet? Reply with quote

I play (my new) C trumpet in the local community band, so have to transpose the usual Bb parts down a tone.

For me, sight transposition is a combination of:
1) practicing transposition;
2) integrating several years of university solfege training with hearing
where the line is going, so I know where my transposed notes should
aim to be;
3) mentally changing the key signature, of course;
4) mentally moving the note down and adjusting for accidentals.

Start slowly and work it up. It's just something else to practice.
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Brad361
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 11:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

oxleyk wrote:
I was always told to play up a whole step. If you know your whole steps the flats and sharps will take care of themselves.

Kent


Same here, and repetition (ie, doing it often) makes it become second nature, eventually. Just take any piece of music in your range and practice. Preferably before you need to do it on a gig.😉

Brad
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Don Herman rev2
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 11:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One other method used is to learn bass clef and use that as a further aide in transposing.

I used to be fairly decent, never great, but have not kept it up due to other demands (Work interfering with Life, then some other Life things reducing Trumpet). Maybe when I retire...
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zaferis
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I too use the interval approach. See one note and play another. In this case up a whole step (reading Concert pitch parts on a Bb trumpet).

Change the key mentally, up a step, then practice reading. Start with easy etudes, Hymns, etc. Rinse and repeat.
Knowing your scales/keys inside and out will help you greatly.
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cbtj51
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This has been a most helpful thread! Transposing has appeared in this incarnation of my trumpet life in a very big way since playing in the local Chamber Orchestra. I originally had the idea that simply using my C trumpet would make it much easier. However, I have found that to not always be true. Transposing has been yet another challenge to master, much like every other aspect of this instrument. Perfect practice makes for perfect performance, or as close as I can currently make it, but I'll keep working towards that goal. This is truly a very physical as well as mental instrument.
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