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Orchestral trumpet routine



 
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gg21wvtrumpet
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2021 4:44 pm    Post subject: Orchestral trumpet routine Reply with quote

Hi there, would anyone mind sharing what general structure of a routine they used in order to win a job for orchestral playing?

Thanks!
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royjohn
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2021 6:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't have one of these, but I can give you a few references. At the William Vacchiano site, there is a page for a lecture on Vacchiano and his approach to instruction which should be helpful. Chris Gekker has published a Summer Practice Routine that is rather rigorous and should give you an idea of that Gekker might expect from his Master's level students. David Hickman publishes a five volume set of "Trumpet Lessons with David Hickman" which covers all aspects of trumpet playing.

I've discussed trumpet instruction with a professional trumpet playing friend who studied with Vacchiano and he, as well as others who knew Vacchiano remarked on Vacchiano's emphasis on transposition skills. The idea of facile transposition is to be able to play any piece on the trumpet which makes it easiest to manage technically and musically. On any given piece, the various members of the section might all be playing on instruments in different keys. Or not. Fingering, timbre and intonation issues all figure into this.

In addition to the above, I would look around the internet for comments by the various famous orchestral trumpet virtuosi of today and yesteryear and look for instructional videos by these folks on Youtube. There are precious few orchestral jobs, so preparing for orchestral auditions is a labor of love that should take place over a number of years. So I'd look into various places for tips and programs. You probably have heard of the idea that mastering a difficult skill takes 10,000 hours. Even assuming you have half that under your belt, practicing six hours a day, it will take you over two years to get the second 5,000 hours. So spending some time figuring out how to map all this out would be a worthwhile endeavor.[/i]
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Dayton
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2021 5:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good response from royjon. I'll add a few things.

First, when you are checking out videos, I would prioritize those of professors like Barbara Butler and Jim Wilt who have an established track record of helping students prepare to land jobs in orchestras.

Second, as you look at routines, recognize that routines work best when tailored to meet the needs of the individual. That's what great teachers like Adam, Caruso, Schlossberg, Vacchiano...did, and Butler and Wilt do.

Finally, a lot of players talk about what the did to prepare for an audition, and the routine associated with that, and less about the routine they followed to be in a position where they were ready to take auditions (which likely changed over time). My impression is that you are interested in the latter. If so, and it is because you want a job in an orchestra rather than general curiosity, one way to approach this would be to see who has landed jobs recently and get lessons from their teachers with the specific goal of feedback that helps you put your routine together -- what to practice and how to do so -- to put you in a position where you are ready for auditions.

Good luck!
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Steve A
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2021 5:53 am    Post subject: Re: Orchestral trumpet routine Reply with quote

gg21wvtrumpet wrote:
Hi there, would anyone mind sharing what general structure of a routine they used in order to win a job for orchestral playing?

Thanks!


I think that this is not a question where you're likely to get many answers that are useful and fit exactly what you're asking for. The preparation used by someone who's in grad school and preparing for a pro audition vs the work done by someone who's already been in the field for 20 years are going to be quite different, and any of these routines are already going to be highly individual. Also, I think that the degree to which the orchestral path is made out to be more different than other types of playing is often exaggerated or misunderstood. For sure there are specific things that orchestrally oriented players work on more than most other people, but it's still basically a question of a being a great trumpet player, and a great musician, and playing a bunch of music in a way that discerning audiences enjoy. If you're already in a position where your fundamentals are strong enough that you're capable of playing at that high of a level, and just require some fine-tuning to come out on top in an audition, well, I suspect you've probably already got a good idea of what you need to break through, and would be wasting time asking the internet for ideas, rather than making the trip to play your excerpts for someone with a track record of placing students in top orchestras to hear what they think you need. Not knowing anything about you (obviously), I have no idea if you're at that level, but in the vast, vast majority of cases, people start asking these questions before they're good enough at the basics for it to be a productive use of their time. In those cases, focusing on the general pool of skills that go into being a great trumpet player is probably a better approach than detailed audition prep routines.

But, taking a crack at this: as far as skills that are probably common to successful orchestral preparation routines and (to a degree) different than other types of playing, IMO, orchestral playing makes initial attacks more critical and challenging than some other types of playing, since you tend to sit for so long between entrances, often don't play that many notes in the first place, and your place in the overall balance is very sensitive, and often dynamically challenging. (Read: quiet.) Working on something to improve the ability to enter confidently and consistently on any note in your range at any volume with a great sound and pop to your articulation are probably especially valuable skills to build for orchestral auditions.

Also, this is specific to orchestral auditions in a way that probably is more true than for other types of playing - in a typical first round, you'll probably play Eb (Haydn/Hummel), Bb (Carmen Prelude), and C (the rest) all in the space of 10 minutes, and where every note is potentially a real opportunity to change the course of your life to come. Getting so that you can switch between horns while still preserving your very best playing (rather than having the first three note be so-so, then getting on track after a switch) would is probably especially important for orchestral auditions.

But, you'll probably get better answers if you tell us a bit more about why you're asking this - are you in school and aspiring to become an orchestral player? Are you already working and looking for new practice ideas? Are you neither of those things, but just generally curious?
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JoseLindE4
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2021 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is advice that's stolen (and probably modified) from Tony Prisk:

When getting ready for a specific audition, figure out what skills are needed to play the excerpts well and build a portion of your fundamentals around developing those skills.

So your fundamentals fall into two boxes:

1. Normal maintenance to keep things working well and progressing.
2. The skills that need to be nailed down for a specific audition.

If you have developed the skills to play the excerpts well, you should be able to play the excerpts well.
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trumpetera
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2021 3:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The mental preparation is crucial, IMHO.

Meaning the ability to play the music at your very best under the mental pressure in an audition situation.

That is one of the things I emphasise in preparing my students for auditions.
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andybharms
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 18, 2021 4:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One take I would add in addition to some of the good advice above is that in orchestral playing, sound, musical stage setting, and very clear characters are of paramount importance. So it isn’t so much about “routine” as it is about “process.”

I’m of the opinion that the trumpet is really not all that hard, in that most of the difficulties are those that we create, so a lot of the work is cerebral/conceptual. If we can get to the bottom of our own baggage then the sound and technique work becomes very natural and the trumpet is the easy part. So I see a lot of the work centered around making sure our production is free and clear, then each day getting into the nitty of the characters off the instrument and making sure we don’t bring our junk into the music. There is also some reinforcing any specific skills we know we need to address daily. Past that, staying fresh and flexible is important, so continuing to work on etudes helps me.

Kristian Steenstrup has, in my view, a very compelling approach to this. I’m not qualified to go into great detail, but it is a lot of listening, a lot of reflective practicing, a lot of “pre-flective” practicing, singing, etc. I think it is hard for some to accept that so much of the work happens before the trumpet even gets picked up.
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abontrumpet
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 19, 2021 5:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

andybharms wrote:
I’m not qualified to go into great detail, but it is a lot of listening, a lot of reflective practicing, a lot of “pre-flective” practicing, singing, etc. I think it is hard for some to accept that so much of the work happens before the trumpet even gets picked up.


All around great advice from Andy. The quoted particular passage reminds me of one of my favorite articles from John Hagstrom: https://www.dansr.com/wick/resources/preparing-to-become-a-professional-musician-part-one

Some more resources include Barbara Butler's laundry list: extreme highs and lows, extreme loud and soft, lip slurs, lip trill, beauty of sound, power of sound, single tongue, double tongue, triple tongue, metronome, slow tempi, fast tempi, sight reading, transposition, initial attack, trills, turns, ornaments, other horns, lyrical, articulation, technical, intonation.

There are routines from Chris Martin, Michael Sachs, and tons of others out there.
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kehaulani
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 19, 2021 7:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Some more resources include Barbara Butler's laundry list: extreme highs and lows, extreme loud and soft, lip slurs, lip trill, beauty of sound, power of sound, single tongue, double tongue, triple tongue, metronome, slow tempi, fast tempi, sight reading, transposition, initial attack, trills, turns, ornaments, other horns, lyrical, articulation, technical, intonation."

Is there anything missing from this list that an orchestral player shouldn't be doing, anyway?

Seriously, not sarcastic - what's missing?
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Scooter Pirtle
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 19, 2021 8:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kehaulani wrote:
”Is there anything missing from this list that an orchestral player shouldn't be doing, anyway?

Seriously, not sarcastic - what's missing?


Musicality?
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