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Singing: Getchell and Beyond



 
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Mud Puddles
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Joined: 02 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2008 7:28 pm    Post subject: Singing: Getchell and Beyond Reply with quote

I understand that one of the characteristics of Jerry Hey that Bill Adam attributed his success to was his willingness to sing. I also have read or heard that Jerry has perfect pitch.

Since I have immersed myself back in my routine and incorprated singing, primarily of Getchell and Arban Pronounciation exercises, I definitely see the benefit of doing this and being able to sing/hear what you are playing. But I just started into the Bitsch and it is a b---- (bear).

In all honesty, in the Bill Adam studio how many students were actually able to sing these atonal pieces? I was very proud of my developing sight-singing abilities (and actually the extension of my singing range) by singing the Getchell, but I am stymied with these exercises. They surpass anything I had to sing in college sight-singing that's for sure. In terms of hearing what the music should sound like I consider the Charlier easier (though more difficult in terms of articulation, expression, length of lines, etc.).

Any thoughts from you Bill Adam students out there?

Chris
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Billy B
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2008 7:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One step at a time. Perhaps you should work first on Vannetelbosch, Wurm, Concone before Bitsch.
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Mud Puddles
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2008 11:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Billy, Thanks for your suggestion. You're probably on the spot in that I need to be singing those other books in order to develop my ear better so I can hear the Bitsch (though does practicing singing a whole bunch of tonal stuff really prepare you for hearing atonally?). For the record I do/have practiced all those plus Kopprasch, Arban Characteristic, and others. Probably just need to sing more in general as it never has a bad effect on my playing.

But to satisfy my curiosity have you or anyone else heard of anyone really singing the Bitsch? I can sing them note to note verrry slowly, but can't seem to get more than a measure or two without losing my "frame of reference" (getting off into some other pitch-land).
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PH
Bill Adam/Carmine Caruso Forum Moderator


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2008 11:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Try singing through the drills in Nu-Art Technical Studies by Ralph and Michael Collichio. Adam used this book with both Botti and me. I think it would be a good prep for Bitsch.
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Mud Puddles
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2008 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Pat. I'll look for that book.

Chris
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trptcolin
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2008 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't had the pleasure of studying with Mr. Adam or any Adam student, but I've worked on singing the Bitsch etudes and seen great results in my playing. I think tonal sightsinging can be helpful for aspects of these etudes, but I really think you need to be able to hear and sing the intervals perfectly as units on their own (obviously, eventually moving up to hearing complete phrases).

The book that really helped me out with this was Modus Novus, by Lars Edlund. It's not a trumpet book, it's for sightsinging/eartraining. Starts off with perfect fourths, then adds major seconds, then perfect fifths, then I believe minor seconds, etc., all in a musical language that's much more similar to Bitsch than, say, Charlier. That is to say, there's not a tonality per se; intervals are more important.

Disclaimer: I was an Aural Skills TA for 3 years, so I may overstate. Also, I haven't worked on the Bitsch in awhile---I'm working on simpler things to work past a few bad habits. BUT, I could play those etudes a lot better once I could sing them.
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uglylips
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2008 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have studied with Bill Adam and I practice and teach the Getchell and Wurm. I like many don't have perfect pitch so it's hard to be perfect when reading for the first time. The initial part of becoming aware of the sound by sight reading music has always been and remains challenging for me. I think those of us with relative pitch just have to work harder at this until we can hear the all the sounds correctly. I have found the benefits of singing and concentrating on hearing the sound to be enormous. I want to pick up copies of the other music that's mentioned on this post. What are the exact names of the Vannetelbosch, Concone, and Bitsch books? Good luck with the Bitsch.
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Mud Puddles
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 5:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Colin:
Welcome to the Bill Adam forum. So you are one of those teachers that made me learn solfegge, huh? I can't imagine how much more confusing singing Bitsch would be trying to do it in solfegge with all the di's, ri's and si's. Sorry to say, but I've abandoned my solfegge training and now only sing pitches and focus on the sound of my voice--sort of a key concept for me in my Adam routine. Thank you for your suggestion re: Edlund book. I will see if the music store has that one too and take a look. I need something that I will sing then play on trumpet.

uglylips:
Funny thing about that perfect pitch subject. If I think hard enough I can usually tell what pitch something is or can come up with a pitch on command. I attribute this to my singing of the Getchell et al and starting on tube every day. Too bad it doesn't happen clearly and fast enough to help with the atonal Bitsch stuff, but this hearing the pitches does seem to get better as time goes on.

Per your request, here's my books:

*L.J. Vannetelbosch, Vingt Etudes (20 of them), published by Alphonse Leduc

*John F. Sawyer's transcription of Giuseppe Concone, Lyrical Studies for Trumpet of Horn, published by The Brass Press. There are several other versions of the Concone out there including the original one for voice with piano accompaniment--that can be nice if you have access to a piano player. John Shoemaker also has a book I like "Legato Etudes for Trumpet" which is a collection of variations based on the Concone vocalises, published by Roger Dean Publishing Company.

*Marcel Bitsch, Vingt Etudes pour Trompette Ut ou Si b, published by Alphonse Leduc

*C. Kopprasch, 60 Studies (in two books), International Music Company

*for basic singing work also don't forget "The Art of Phrasing" in the Arbans.

*I also enjoy the occaisional hymn playing. Great to play with choirs and on your own. Plus I've never met a church that didn't like it when a horn played along. We used to play the bach hymns in our brass quintet when we were being coached by a student of Jacobs. They are great for getting to understand the connection between the simple diction of singing and playing a horn.

*Try any jazz melodies too--I think Pat has mentioned this on a previous post. I used to sing/play Sister Cheryl along with Wynton's old album, also with his Hot House Flowers album, and sing/play along with Linda Ronstadt's album with jazz ballads on it. Chris Botti plays a lot of the great melodies with a superb relaxed tone, a lot of which would be great to use as a vocal to trumpet study. Sometimes for me the jazz ballads are more accessible and a welcome break from classical etudes/vocalises/etc..

A little more than you asked for...but I hope this helps your quest.

Chris
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trptcolin
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 6:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chris-

You could certainly play the Edlund studies as well; that's just not something I ever really worked on---they vary from 3 notes to 4-5 lines.

Regarding the syllables, I never did REAL solfege in a structured setting, though I've experimented a little. My understanding is that solfege proper, as the French and others teach, uses "Do" for ANY kind of C (like C#, Cb), "Re" for any kind of D, etc. I've used various types of movable Do for tonal music (numbers or syllables depend on the key, Do and 1 being the tonic, etc.), and various integer systems for atonal. In one atonal system, 0 always corresponds to C, 1 is C#/Db, 2 is D, etc. In the other (which is very confusing for me personally), we used 1 for an INTERVAL of a half-step, 2 for a whole-step, 3 for minor third, etc.

I think it's been established (experimentally) that movable and fixed systems can both work very well, but that people who learn fixed systems (which don't refer to a central pitch) tend to do a little better with atonal music. Anyway, I'm sure most would that the most important thing is hearing the pitches and being able to sing them, not what syllables.

I like to go REALLY SLOW when singing the Bitsch and other hard stuff---I think of this like my trumpet practice, not wanting to rush myself or practice making mistakes.

OK, going on way too long at this point---obviously this is a subject I think about a lot. Lots of the music I play on gigs ends up being harder than I feel like I could sing perfectly, but I think working on stuff like Bitsch gets me in the ballpark, to where I'm relatively close to my best sound.
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Billy B
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2008 4:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Singing has several benefits besides pitch/ear training. Using the AH vowel places the tongue and throat in a relaxed position. Keeping the sound somewhat nasal and to the front gives us the presence we are looking for. Pronouncing each articulation with DAH, DAH-GAH, DAH-DAH-GAH helps us articulate in a natural, relaxed manner. Why copy the voice? Because it is the most perfect instrument ever invented and operates completely from the subconscious right brain. It helps us make the trumpet an extension of our body.
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uglylips
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2008 9:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chris-

Thanks for listing the books!
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PH
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2008 3:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Billy B wrote:
Singing has several benefits besides pitch/ear training. Using the AH vowel places the tongue and throat in a relaxed position. Keeping the sound somewhat nasal and to the front gives us the presence we are looking for. Pronouncing each articulation with DAH, DAH-GAH, DAH-DAH-GAH helps us articulate in a natural, relaxed manner. Why copy the voice? Because it is the most perfect instrument ever invented and operates completely from the subconscious right brain. It helps us make the trumpet an extension of our body.


I think this is fundamental to our approach to pedagogy here. If solfege helps you hear the pitches that is good. However...

When we work on our singing we want to also work on the even prononucation of the syllable...consistent pronunciation of the sound in the same place with the same vowel and consonant regardless of register, interval, or dynamic. This is then transferred to the trumpet and solves many problems with tone, articulation, etc.

BTW, the syllable we use will vary from one studetn to the next and at various stages of development. However, the syllable and placement Billy describes above is a very clear statement of a basic approach used with most people. A key that I hear many people miss is the concept of keeping the sound nasal and to the front when singing. We do NOT want to sing with a big operatic sound. We want to sing with a sound that is bright, forward, and trumpetlike.
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thadjones1213
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In a lesson with Mr. Adam we were sight singing out of Arban, I had improved on this since our last lesson, so he pulled out another book.

It was much more angular and not nearly as tonal. I was all over the map and way off.

I stopped and looked at him. He smiled and said, "you are a jazz player?" I replied "yes." He said, "you know Randy Brecker was able to sing these. You should spend some more time on this."

It was the most effective and kindest way to tell me to work on developing this skill.

It was the most important lesson. What better way to "get the comb" then to hear a detailed version of it first.
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