As a young aspiring trombone player, exploring the world of Gustav Mahler, I listened to his 5th Symphony at least 20 times before I understood any of it. One night, after returning from an audition in Los Angeles, I listened to his 5th Symphony on repeat all the way back to San Francisco. At about 2am, and the 3rd repeat of the symphony I was finally able to wrap my head around it. The next hour listening to that symphony was truly one of the most enjoyable moments of my life. Here are some things that I’ve learned about Mahler that you may not have known: more “10 Facts about Mahler”…
Since its introduction into symphony orchestras in the mid-19th century, the tuba has gone largely unheralded as a vital member of the brass section. Its large collection of brass tubes creates a deep rich tone.
Although it is the anchor of the orchestra’s brass section, most people know little about the instrument. Once you get to know a few facts about the history and use of the tuba you’ll find a new appreciation for the instrument, or at least you’ll be able to recite enough rare tuba facts to amaze a captive audience.
The Tuba was invented by Willhelm Friedrich Wieprecht and Johann Gottfried Moritz in September 12, 1835.
When many people think of flutes, they think of a transverse flute, which is typically used in bands and orchestras. The flute has been a part of history for thousands of years and has evolved over that time into the instrument that is often seen today. Here are ten facts you may not have known about the flute:
A musician who plays the flute can be referred to as a flute player, a flautist, a flutist, or, less commonly, a fluter.
There are many different sizes of flutes within the flute family: piccolo, alto, tenor, bass and contrabass flute.
How many times have you seen someone sit down and play music you know they’ve never seen before and play it beautifully? Doesn’t it make you wish you could do that too? Well, the good news is that you can, but it might take a little bit of work. The truth is, most people aren’t naturally great sight-readers. They work at it and they practice it. Sight-reading is more often a learned skill than a natural talent.
That being said, method books aren’t always for everyone, especially if you aren’t starting at the very beginning of the process. Here are a few tips for anyone who wants to improve their sight-reading, regardless of playing level or experience.
1. Just do it!
As cliché as it might sound, the best thing you can do to improve your sight-reading is to practice sight-reading. Make it part of your regular practice schedule. Find some music that is a few levels below your current level, and just play through it. (Big anthologies are great for sight-reading – there’s a ton of music of varying levels in a single book.) Don’t worry about making it perfect – just concentrate on getting through it. Don’t allow yourself the luxury of working out the hard parts. Do start out a little under tempo if playing up to tempo seems too daunting. As you get more comfortable, slowly increase the level of difficulty of the music and the tempo.
Here are 10 interesting facts about trombone that you may not have known. Allow me to indulge you:
1. The trombone is derived from an instrument called a sackbut.
Yes, you read that correctly, sackbut. The name sackbut is derived from the Middle French words saquer and bouter literally means “pull, push”. This is a very fitting name for the instrument since it was the first instrument to have a movable slide. This is unique to the instrument. The sackbut was mainly used in sacred and court music settings during the 1600s. Interestingly, the trombone has changed very little since its precursor, the sackbut. Many other instruments have been improved with major revisions to their original design. Apparently, trombone was the closest to perfection!
We’re sure that everyone with children knows how challenging it is to motivate a child to practice. Every day there are activities that are vying for your child’s attention. Consistent and smart practice is essential to growing as a musician. The sooner your child can start to develop a regular practice regimen, the more apt they will be to succeed in their musical endeavors. Here are 10 tips to help motivate your child to practice:
1) Make practicing part of the routine – same time every day. Ideally, it should be before the fun stuff – TV time or computer games. Play with what time of day works best for you. My kids are morning kids, and so morning practice works well for us.
Woodwind “doubling,” or performing on multiple members of the single reed, flute or double reed family, is a fairly common practice. From an arranger’s standpoint, utilizing players who can double on multiple woodwinds vastly expands the available stylistic and timbral palette available, especially when there can only be a finite number of players in an ensemble. It may seem a bit unfair, but doubling is even expected in certain musical subcultures. For example, a member of the sax section in a jazz big band is often expected to pick up a clarinet or flute for portions of a number. In some cases they may be asked to cover a whole song on the alternate instrument. When a woodwind specialist works in a musical theater pit orchestra situation, their music will sometimes call for the use of not only clarinets, flutes and saxes but oboe, english horn or bassoon as well. If an artist is already skilled at one woodwind, it is often the case that more “Tips for Woodwind Doublers”…
It could be argued that all facts about the bassoon are little-known facts. That being said, most of them would also be pretty boring so I thought I’d focus on “facts” instead. The quotation marks mean we can have some fun while we learn!
“Fact” #1: The bassoon is not an oboe.
You’d be amazed by how many times I’ve been asked, “You play the oboe, right?” The oboe and the bassoon are both in the double reed family and we do sit near each other in the orchestra, but they are, in fact, different instruments! All musicians who are already aware of the subtle differences between more “10 Little-Known Bassoon “facts””…
There are few instruments more familiar to the public than the trumpet. Influential artists such as Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis, Maurice Andre and Phillip Smith helped bring the trumpet into the public spotlight. The trumpet is a versatile instrument that is present in a wide variety of musical genres such as classical, jazz, rock and more. As a result, there is an extensive amount of music composed for trumpet from solo repertoire to chamber music. Here are some facts about the trumpet that you may not know: more “Top 10 Facts About The Trumpet”…