Claude Gordon Brass Camp 1992 - Dave Evans on Transposition and Auditions

Transcript Summary

This is the only extra book I was talking about.
It's for trumpet only.
It's only published for trumpet only.
It's published by Lutong and it's published by BPWM Editions.
Who knows after the revolution in the last year or so who's doing what now,
but it's like this is the book I was talking about.
You can still find these in bigger music stores.
If you want a real good source for ordering music,
and they will send it to you with a bill, unlike Robert King,
they have a whole Robert King catalog in stock,
a place called Portland Music.
Portland has an Oregon, not as a Maine.
It has every code 1-800-452-1133.
It's a free call.
Portland Music, they are awesome.
Until you don't pay your bill once, you're in big trouble.
But they literally have pretty much that entire list of stuff I gave you.
They have it in stock.
It's a very rare day.
I'll call up for a summit and not get that.
They have everything from band music, orchestra music, choral music.
A trumpet player owns Portland Music.
They've got literally the entire Bob King catalog in stock.
Okay, one more time.
And like I said, unlike Bob King, if Bob King,
if you send $4.52 to them to buy music,
and during that time period it's gone up five cents,
they'll send it back and send them a check.
They won't bill you for the seven cents or anything.
So Portland's real good.
And last time I checked, Portland had these going stock.
These blue talk books, so go for greatness.
Okay, everybody get to be organized.
Okay, today's talk is on the curse of brass players.
Or getting paid, whatever, okay?
The minute you start playing a brass instrument
and you really get serious about it,
you're going to have to deal with transposition.
I don't care if it's a church gig, orchestra gig, combo gig.
I have shown up many times to weddings,
and all they have are seed fake books,
and there you sit with your B-flat trumpet
playing Noah Cali Beatty in R-flat or something, okay?
So, you know, you're on some big fan gig,
some reunion or something like that,
and here's Suzy Schwartz from the senior class of 1912.
She wants to sing, she can only sing the key of B-flat.
She wants to sing that song you got in the folder,
and it's an A-flat.
Good luck.
All right?
So, you have to know how to transpose.
This is not just for guys who don't want to be in the orchestra.
All right?
Now, one page says note from the editor.
Okay, take a look at that thing.
This is how these things come out in editions.
Down the left side is English,
and everything else is what's equal to that.
In other words, C, C, C.
That's all C.
E-flat, E-flat, E-flat F, that's all E-flat.
So, you look across there.
I remember when I was the first time I played Pines of Rome,
it said Trumpet and Doe.
Start right up a third.
So, you just need to know these things.
And if you're going to be playing in an orchestra,
if you're going to be playing in a pit doing operas,
you have to know this stuff like this.
Because you'll literally be playing down a page,
and it will give you maybe a couple of these rests,
and you instantly have to change transpositions.
And you start thinking the guys who did it originally
had to change a crook on a natural trumpet
just to throw another crook in and change,
or make a crook out and change.
Plus, it's just been amazing.
Like, playing these guys in a circus of seals
go up hockey to those horns.
Kind of playing it with those guys on the fell legs of mine.
All right?
So now, what I want you to do
is just put that page next to the other page.
What we're going to do is we're going to take number one,
and we're going to start transposing it into various keys.
All right.
Now, horns and tubas and trombones and euphoniums.
I'm going to be talking concert pitch.
I'm going to be talking comfort pitch.
So I'll be helping kind of both ways.
All right?
For you younger players,
you guys in junior high school and high school
that have had any zero experience transposing,
when your band group gets up in front of the band
and says, let's all play a concert B flat scale,
you're transposing,
because you're going to be playing C or F,
depending on what instrument you're playing.
So you're already kind of transposing.
So for my younger friends,
the sad part about the instruments we play
was somebody didn't wake up one day,
like Adolf Satch, and invent all these instruments.
These things have gone through horrendous changes over the years.
And this is why we have such a mess.
Every little town, every little hamlet
has their own band, their own orchestra,
their own set of instruments.
The composers were right for those instruments.
Before they had vows,
you would have to change things with crooks to change the keys.
They weren't capable of doing chromatic scales.
Hence, you have this mess.
And that is where this whole problem started.
All right?
So, take a look at line one.
The trumpet players were going to play the ink.
Horns, it's going to be in concert B flat.
Tubas, you're looking at a B flat.
See, just read that a whole step.
Trombones, switch it into bass clef.
Why not tell you?
Hang with the three treble clef or tenor clef.
All right?
Here we go.
About one, two, ready, and...
Okay, that's about what we're going to play for right now.
Okay, so now, if you're a trumpet player,
you just played the ink.
All right, now, you go to a church game,
and they want you to play along with the organist.
They want you to play along with the piano.
They say, open your hymns off to number 271.
One, two, ready, play.
Oops, crash and burn city.
Okay, for you younger folks,
the piano and organ is a concert pitch instrument.
Trumpet and French horn aren't.
So you immediately have this crop.
And now you're going to play it in C.
All right, now, here's what you've never transposed before.
You might want to start making some notes real quick.
Whenever you play in C, you add two sharps
and go up one step.
All right, so this is going to turn into this.
Okay, if you're a trumpet player.
All right?
And the rest of you guys hang in there with me, okay?
So now we're going to read this as a concert pitch.
So tubers, you're going to play a six.
Trombones, you're going to play a C, D, E.
All right?
Horns, now you're up a four.
All right, so ready?
Now, hold on, before you start,
okay, take a look at it.
Naturals remain naturals.
Flats will remain flats.
Sharps will remain sharps except for the key signature.
So B is not C.
B becomes C sharp.
E becomes F.
Right, and that's the exception.
Let's play it, ready?
Trumpet in C.
One, two, ready?
All right?
Now, let's pretend that we're no longer playing in C major.
Okay, take a look at the key signature.
And let's pretend the key signature to this piece is three flats.
It's a minor tune.
So now, let's take this formula up here.
So we're in this key.
All right, let's pretend that's the key signature.
It says trumpet in C.
What's the new key signature?
Yeah, one flat.
So now, let's add our notes over here.
Okay, here's the key signature note, right?
So that's how the rule works.
You have to watch out for keys.
So now, ready?
Look at the thing.
Three flats, transpose it into C.
Trumpet in C, ready?
One, two, ready?
Everybody got the idea?
Everybody with me so far?
Okay, now, what we just did is the most important transition you have to do.
Concert pitch.
Sure, you're at a gig.
You're doing a job.
Somebody forgot to bring the lead trumpet for you.
You walk over and got to play off the piano part.
You got to play off the score.
They pass the score back and it's a C score.
You got to be able to transpose instantly.
Church gig.
Ninety-nine percent of the church jobs you ever do in your life,
you have to be able to read concert pitch out of a hymnal,
off of a choral score.
All right?
An awful lot of orchestral music is in C for trumpets.
So concert pitch reading is the most important.
What you can do is go to your Harbin's book like we talked about yesterday.
Take those songs and just start reading them all in C.
Start reading them all in concert pitch.
All right?
Just take a couple of those each day.
Now, this is really important.
When you start wearing the trans clothes,
what will happen is you'll start learning something.
At first, it's just kind of like...
It's just like, you know, Miles Davis meets Concordia.
And what happens then is after a while, you'll start doing this.
You'll just kind of look at it and go...
Okay, I can do it.
Keep going.
I've had students say, well, you know, I'm faking it.
I'm not really reading it.
I say, are you looking at the page?
But I'm not really thinking about it.
Now you can transpose in that key.
It's like learning a language.
If you're constantly thinking of it in English and then in the French
or English and then in the Spanish or whatever,
you really don't know that language, but you still have that one step.
Once you can think in that language without plugging in your home language,
until that happens, you cannot speak that language.
Transpose in the same way.
Trumpet players, if you look at C and it's just going to be one and three,
you're not learning the trans clothes.
C is one and three.
And until that becomes automatic, then you're still not learning the trans clothes.
You get on a job, you're going to be going nuts.
So C, trumpet, is incredibly important.
Concert pituitary.
Any questions about that pituitary?
Trumpet in A.
An A part.
Now, you get this off of old cornet parts.
Berlioz, Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich.
You'll get cornet parts.
Coronets were pitched in A and B flat and in B and occasionally in C.
Even if you look in the back of the Arbens book,
you'll notice some of those solos say cornet in A.
Well, they made them.
They don't make A trumpets.
You can't call Selmer or Bach and say, send me an A trumpet, please.
But the old prints have cornet parts in A.
And you can't do this.
Sorry, it doesn't work that way, all right?
Even though we did it when we were younger.
All right.
Now, you've got to be able to read this in A.
A trumpet is as easy as playing what's written.
It has the same number of accidentals.
A lot of the frustrations you're going to have learning these outside keys
are how you look at them.
Look at that piece of paper.
How many accidentals are on line number one?
No, there's seven of them.
There are seven accidentals.
They're all natural.
They're all natural.
All right?
Okay, now we're going to have the same seven accidentals,
but not at all going to be flats.
Seven flats, seven sharps is just as easy as the key of C.
If you think of it the same way.
So trumpet in A is this.
Take a look at it.
Play what you see and change the key seven flats.
C flat, G flat, E flat, F flat, G flat, A flat, G flat.
Now stop and think.
You're not going C natural, D natural, E natural, F natural, G natural, A natural, G natural.
This is why you've got to play that Clark book every day
and not avoid those fun filled keys.
All right, so down to minor third, trombones, tubas,
horns, horn in E, right, horn in A.
You didn't have to be four B flats.
You're not going to be an A.
Okay, two horn in A.
I'm just going to use a B flat sign.
Yeah, okay.
Yeah, okay, cool.
I don't think you trumpet A to E.
All right, so here we go.
Trumpet in A.
One, two, ready?
Now let's go the other way.
The first time I saw this, I thought somebody had fallen off of the proverbial log.
I'm going to do trumpet in H.
All right.
Name the composer.
In German, this is how this looks.
Grosse Bach, not B, Bach.
They draw it like that and go this way.
A, C, H.
Okay, so what happens is you get some German editions of music
and we'll have this.
You hope to God the first note's not marked double forte, right?
Okay, this means trumpet in B flat.
You get a B flat trumpet, you play B flat.
This means up a half step, but you have a B flat trumpet in your hand.
Trumpet in H.
But the only composer you run into this with is Brahms.
Johannes Brahms, one of his best friends, was a cornet player in a bar in Vienna.
As a matter of fact, Johannes Brahms wrote a trumpet method.
Not that many people know about this, but he actually wrote a trumpet method,
and the dedication on the inside says, to my best friend, God knows you need this book.
Okay, so when you play Brahms, there's trumpet parts and there's always this thing in H.
Every one of his symphony has an H cornet part someplace in it.
I guess he hired his friend from the bar.
I don't know how that works, but apparently Brahms was quite a character.
Okay, so trumpet in H.
So now we're going to do the opposite of what we just did.
Instead of seven naturals or seven clasps, we're going to have seven sharps.
So here we go. Let's go the other way. Ready?
Looking at how to play music.
So if I pick up the top and I just play what's there.
Why did I get a C major, right?
Okay, so I just play every note on there and do not play a drop.
All right, so how do we go about approaching this?
First thing you do is go out and buy some vocal music.
Go out and buy some recordings of operas.
Go get your paparazzi recordings, okay?
Sit back and listen to what he does.
Pick up your trumpet again and try to approach this in the same way.
Right into schmaltz land, okay?
Even if you're going to overdo it.
The first basic rule of phrasing is a thing called an arch phrase.
You start at point A and you pull that up to point B.
You cause some tension.
You get louder. You do something.
And you come back and release all that tension.
So now you can take those first six counts and do something like...
That's not easy.
Because what do you want to do on your instrument?
You want to get louder.
You want to go...
Real music, right?
So the idea of being able to taper off that upper note.
You start getting some visible ideas out of it.
Then you go over your tape machine and turn it on.
And you play to that tape machine.
And you sit there going...
No, stupid, why are you doing that?
Because once again, what you think you're putting down this to...
A lot of times it's not what's coming out of the attitude.
What you're trying to say at first isn't coming across.
Maybe you need more.
Maybe you need less.
But you have to start being outside your horn and listen to this.
And just try playing two or three of these a day.
And I'll tell you, you get towards the end of this whole Art of Bracing set.
And there's some...
Some beautiful music you're crazy about.
Ignore the titles.
Cover them up with that bottle.
This is wonderful.
The next book you can get is...
The Eastern Coney Vocalists.
And they're published by Shermer.
Now there's a gentleman who just came out with a trumpet book of these.
But there are so many clams in the book, it's not worth purchasing.
Until he gets all the bad situations straightened out.
They've got pages in the wrong order.
Lines mixed up.
It's a mess.
This is the way to go.
Coney Vocalists.
And they start off at 50.
And they go all the way down to 15.
And they're beautiful.
They're just like the artists books in the back.
And what's really nice about these is they come with piano parts.
These are literally out of vocal books.
And they're wonderful.
And you can sit and play with a piano player and really learn how to phrase with a piano part.
Coney Vocalists.
Shermer editions.
Start with the 50 and work down to smaller numbers.
The next thing you want to do is to start working on these literature lists I gave you.
And prepare some pieces to play in public.
The best place to play is in the church.
Yeah, and the worst of times.
But it's the best place to play.
Because they're going to love you no matter what happens.
They're just going to be nice to have somebody there playing.
Well, if you're in a youth group, play for the youth group.
I don't care.
You know, whatever.
All right?
Let me give you an example of what I'm talking about.
I have a young lady at Cal State Fullerton who was a drum major for a high school band.
Great kid.
Really great kid.
Came in and auditioned for our department.
And I wanted to deny her a trumpet license.
She sounded so bad.
She came in with something from her high school band.
Like a second trumpet part.
And she was playing on some little 13A, 4A made by some company.
I won't mention.
Her trumpet wasn't that.
But the poor kid comes in and auditions for our department to be a music dead major.
And sounded horrible.
Absolutely horrible.
So back in those days, we still had money in the Cal State system.
So we gave her lessons.
She came to her first lesson.
And I said, you know, go get this mouthpiece.
I got to get up and get going, right?
The first year when we did juries, I just had her play an ice rink.
Didn't have her play for our morning recitals, right?
Second year, I said, okay.
We're going to play for one of our morning recitals.
I said, we're going to play something right down the middle.
Incredibly simple.
And a matter of fact, what we did was we took a thing out of it and put it on the floor.
Transposed it out.
I said, you're going to play this in about two months for a morning recital.
She comes in to the morning recital.
And I mean, the hardest thing she had was going to get a dotted quarter and an eight.
And she was an absolute wreck.
She got through it.
She walked off, walked out the hall and just walked in.
I said, hey, what did you learn today?
And she said, I've never played with a piano player in my life.
In front of the public when I'm 19 years old.
I said, what else did you learn today?
She said, that's never going to happen to my band members.
I will have chamber music concerts every semester for my band.
And I will invite you to come and listen to the first semester of us.
Here's somebody who's a music major who had never played a solo on a piano player.
It's just like, how can they get to that point?
How can you pull that from the education at high school or junior high school or elementary school?
So play something simple and play something easy.
Play it in a safe place.
Play something.
To this day, I think the most scared I ever got was my dad would come up,
with a cup of coffee, and they're going to say, play something, kid.
All right?
Now, I was very fortunate.
When I was nine years old, my band member pulled me out of class.
We went down to the old band room basement of Smith School.
He said, you're going to play a solo for the PTA meeting.
I went, cool.
Doesn't everybody?
And so I started playing solos when I was nine years old.
I didn't know different.
Doesn't everybody stand in front of people and play solos and piano?
I mean, nobody was doing it?
So it's like, I was fortunate.
If you haven't done that yet, start doing it.
And it's really a joy, because one, you get to pick your own music.
Two, you get to play it the way you want to.
And three, you get to express yourself, which is what this whole thing is supposed to be about,
is communicate.
Why practice in a class?
Get out and perform.
But play something safe.
So take a look at the board here, okay?
And I'll show what I'm talking about.
One of the big problems that we have when we get ready to play something is,
here's our level of ability.
Here's how high we can play, how fast we can play, how loud we can play, how soft we can play.
All the stuff that goes into playing a trumpet or a trombone or a French horn or a baritone, whatever, okay?
And what happens is, what'll happen is, a lot of times you'll pick a piece that's out here to perform in public.
You'll have a trumpet teacher, you'll have a teacher in college who goes,
we're going to play the Aratunian trumpet concerto for juries.
Next week.
Here it is.
Great experience, right?
Well, obviously, this is stupid.
You wouldn't do that.
Or worse.
Here's the piece you play for juries, for something.
You know what I'm saying?
And this ring is your best day.
And here's your bad day, right?
That's when you sweat bullets.
That's when you don't sleep at night.
This situation is worse than this.
At least here you know what the results are going to be.
Just walk out and go, what the heck, you know?
But this will keep you up nights.
All right?
I had somebody ask me before the recital, aren't you just a nervous wreck?
Aren't you just falling apart?
I went, no.
One, I'm 46 and I've been doing this since I was nine.
So, no.
Because here's why.
Here's the ability and here's the show.
Here's your bad day.
Here's your great day.
And here's the thing you're going to be playing.
When you go out and probably play something, you want it to be within your physical ability to perform.
Now, that seems so obvious.
But we're brass players.
Think that way.
I'm going to end the concert on a double C.
You screw up every other note except for that.
I will play the hardest recital ever heard on the planet.
I will start with the Brandenburg guitar number two.
I will then do the Michael Haydn.
I will then do the Haydn and the Hummel on B-flat.
I will then do every Clark Carnett solo and an octave higher than written.
And then we're going to dial 911 and take me away.
When you perform, the whole idea is to communicate.
You're not there to communicate fear.
How many of you have been to a recital or a concert when the only thing coming off that stage was total complete panic?
How many of you have played one of those?
All right.
That's what it's about.
When I know when I put together a recital, I pick out one or two pieces that I feel that I want to do.
The other night, I wanted to do the Hummel and I wanted to do the Turkish Lake.
Those were two pieces I really wanted to share.
Then from there, I thought, okay, where am I physically with those pieces?
Then I started working my way out from there.
And put together a show that I knew when I got to the end, we could have taken an intermission and walked back out and party played part of it again for you.
So in my mind, I knew physically and technically I could handle that.
So that I could communicate to you some neat stuff.
Something that's locked inside that we as musicians can't get out any other way.
That's why you play this thing.
It's a stupid piece of truth.
It's unlike any other instrument anywhere.
Because you're the instrument, it's not.
I can walk back to that piano and play a middle C just as good as any virtuoso piano player.
We don't practice this for five weeks and come back, good luck.
You are the instrument.
What's nice about this is it's more internal.
Brass instruments are more internal than any other instrument.
You bring yourself to it.
It doesn't work.
That's what's so neat about this.
I think that's why brass instruments people enjoy listening to.
Because there's more of you in a brass instrument than any other instrument.
You become the music.
All this does is amplify.
So when you perform, try to say something.
Take something off this literature list that you feel good about.
Put together a show, a concert, a recital that you're going to feel positive about from the beginning to the end.
And go communicate.
Any questions about anything?
If not, we've got about a seven minute break and we're off to the next one.
Thank you very much.