Today we will cover :
- Soft playing – production (Sound – Air control)
- Lip Bending exercises (Sound – Range – Air Control – Intonation – Ear Training)
- Low register exercises (Range – Sound – Air Control)
1 ) Soft playing – Production
As I said in this video, the most important part of a note is the front and the end.
We can only really determine the quality of a sound by its attack and release.
In fact, studies have shown that if you could only here the middle of the note, without the start and the end, you could not differentiate a tuba from an oboe!
( Those studies are done through vibration analysis, as it is, in fact, impossible for us to hear a sound without a starting point and an ending point)
The following exercise is great for production in soft dynamics, air control, and sound quality:
Play as soft as possible. The note should be bouncy. It should have RESONANCE. Think of a double bass playing pizzicato.
Pizzicato means playing without the bow for string instruments. Not cat pizza.
If the notes don’t come out well its ok. Keep at it. Patience. Keep practicing as soft as possible.
Next up, mixing No tongue with the tongue :
Finally, play the whole exercise with tongue.
Be creative with this exercise.
Play it in all keys and in all registers. Just keep it as soft as possible
2) Lip Bending
I really believe those exercises are some of the best to increase range, flexibility, sound, intonation.
I highly recommend you integrate them into your daily routines.
Here is the first exercise :
Continue along those lines, like in the video
There are many other variants that I will write soon, but for now BE CREATIVE with this exercise and push it as far as possible.
Practice throughout the range.
Another great one that I showed you in the first bending video for range:
Practice it in all keys. Relax and focus on GOOD QUALITY AIR
3) Lower Register
Exercise 1 from this video :
Play a note in the middle register. A place where you feel comfortable.
Listen to the sound, play that note until the sound quality is really good.
Then go down.
If it’s of a lesser quality, go back up.
Continue going down in that manner if the quality of sound is good.
Its a long exercise but it is probably the most effective one.
Practice it with a tuner in front of the mirror. Keep your technique. Don’t take shortcuts.
Remember my definition of a good lower register :
A Good lower register means that you are able to play good quality low notes in a musical context.
Just changing your embouchure to hit loud pedals is not having a good register.
You need to be flexible down there, going up and down throughout the range, and play in different dynamics.
Range is part of your musical expression. So make it your priority.
Here’s the first exercise.
Play it in every key, going down as low as possible
As I said previously, a good low register needs to sound good when coming from the upper register.
Try this exercise, in front of a mirror.
Move your embouchure as little as humanly possible, no tongue:
Continue down the arpeggios.
That’s enough for this week.
I will continue to write more exercises for next week.
YES WE WILL GO LOWER haha for low register practice.
Please TRY these exercises and THEN ask yourself if they are good for you or not. I want to try and create some “out of the box” exercises, so keep an open mind, try it out, and send me your feedback 🙂
Later this month, we will work on articulation in the lower register, warm up routines, and a lot more exercises.
This is just the beginning so I hope you enjoy and that you stick around, it will only get better.
Challenge of the week:
Send me by email ( firstname.lastname@example.org) a video of yourself playing 1 of those exercises! It might get included in a future video, and I will give you individual tips!
Please don’t forget to subscribe to the YouTube channel where you will see all the exercises that we talk about here.
If you have any questions, requests, feedback, don’t hesitate to contact me!
Take care, happy practice, and I will write to you again next week!
Soft Playing :
Low register episode 1:
Low register Episode 2:
Lip Bending Episode 1:
Lip Bending episode 2:
Buzzing for better lower range:
Making sure your body is AVAILABLE to make great music:
Books / Methods :
James Stamp Warm ups:
Vizzutti Book 1:
Arban Method :
Clark Technical studies
Charles Colin Advanced Lip Flexibilities
Georg Kopprasch: Sixty selected studies
D Lassalle Trombone Olympic