Next Level

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24 Sep 2009 22:53 #331 by Michelle Baker
Next Level was created by Michelle Baker
Question:

Good Afternoon,

I’d like a little advice on practicing and how to progress in my performance.

I played horn thru college but stopped because of a car accident. After a few jaw surgeries, I was given the ok to play again. I am back to my college level – 1st year or so but don’t remember what my practice regimen was. I would love to take lessons, but can’t until I can afford it (layoff in the family).

Other than just playing scales, long tones and the music from band, what else do you suggest – to get to the next level???

Many, many thanks!

Patty

Michelle Reed Baker's answer:

Hi Patty!

Thanks so much for your question!! This is a hard one to answer long distance!

I like that you are starting with scales and long tones!

Make sure to practice your scales slurred, legato tongued and then staccato (I call it "sharp tongue") - while doing those, focus on the physical side of playing - paying attention to detail (take a good breath, fast air speed, lower body support, placement of tongue and a really good sense of time).

While playing long tones, make sure to subdivide and coordinate all of your movements! In addition to that, some lip slurs would be great - anything really! - start slowly and gradually speed up the tempo.

Gradually add harmonics to your routine - making sure that your chops are riding on the air - not "placing" every note.

Slow arpeggios (again - slurred, legato tongued and "sharp tongued") would be very beneficial as well - start slowly and gradually speed up the tempo on those as well. Play one octave, then the other octave, and then put the two octaves together.

I would suggest that you then play some Kopprasch etudes - focus on the physical side of playing - making sure that all the work that you have done in your routine "bleeds in" to the etudes....so that hopefully you won't have to think about those things as much, and you can focus on the music!
Good luck and happy practicing!!
m

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