Thursday, October 20, 2011

Yes, it actually works!

I just finished a performance of the David Concertino with the South Carolina Philharmonic. This was a pretty big deal for me since I don't often get to play a concerto with a professional orchestra.

So now it's time to look forward to my next main challenges (besides the usual concerts). In December I plan to spend my first shift in the recording studio laying down Clarence Barber's Impulsions for Trombone and Marimba and Karl Kroger's Tres Psalmi Davidis for Trombone and Soprano.

I'm also doing my first practicing of the Kassatti Sonatine for solo trombone and brass quintet, which I will be performing twice in April.

I'll admit that I sometimes don't practice what I preach. However, this time I'm trying to be a good boy and learn this new piece more methodically.

So, like a singer, I am actually trying to sing the tricky parts (using fixed-do solfege) before I ever play them. Trombone in left hand, right hand on the piano keyboard next to me, I work my way through it, lick by lick (the solo part is over 10 pages long).

And yes, it actually works!!

Singing, that is. Only when I get the intervals clear enough in my head to sing them accurately do I pick up my trombone to play. And, guess what, that first run through on the instrument is *much* easier and sounds a lot better, too. In fact, it doesn't sound like a first run at all (which I guess it isn't).

So thank you, Jim Ackley and all those advocates for singing that I've encountered through the years. You guys have got it right.

Here's one page from the Kassatti. Try it out. Get yourself to a piano and sing it through until you can actually sing the intervals correctly. Then pick up your horn to play it (no cheating).

I also have a pdf file of this page of you want to go that route.