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Group Warmup/Ensemble Exercises/etc

Postby Tubainsauga » Wed Jul 05, 2017 10:01 pm

Does anyone have any information or recommendations for group exercises or warmups for brass quintet or any ensemble really? I have a number of resources but I'm curious to hear what everyone has for group warmups or tuning exercises. I remember a youtube video of something I believe called Cross Training for Trombones. Something about these just piqued my interest this week.

Thanks all!
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Re: Group Warmup/Ensemble Exercises/etc

Postby bloke » Wed Jul 05, 2017 10:29 pm

The word, "warm-up" is a bit of a (what does Farah call it...?? oh yeah...) "trigger" for me, and I'm not getting into that...

...but (not being a person who discusses "warming up") I would think that these could be used to improve the ensemble/blend/balance/intonation/listening within the realm of a brass quintet...

http://www.scoreexchange.com/scores/165650.html

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Re: Group Warmup/Ensemble Exercises/etc

Postby Wes Krygsman » Sat Jul 08, 2017 11:14 am

For most chamber groups I have played with in the past, we used the Bach chorales as our firsts piece/pieces of the day and tried to begin our group communication for the day by playing them differently every time with a different member "leading" the group each pass.

There's the old trusty playing canonic scales. Pick a scale and break the ensemble into groups (3 works best because it creates triads). 1st group starts playing the scale in whole or half notes, 2nd group starts the scale on the first note while the 1st group is on the 3rd note, 3rd group starts the scale on the first note while the 2nd group is on the 3rd note and the first group is on the 5th. Keep going until all 3 groups have made it all the way up and down back to the first note.

I have also done a tuning/long tone exercise that helps groups focus on sound and intonation (duh).

Play a major chord, figure out who usually plays the root, third, and fifth and assign each person those notes, of course depending on the group size, parts will need to be doubled. This one is not metered usually because we allow time for each chord to settle into the sound we want and don't move until we get it. So the major chord goes first, then the people playing 3rds go down a half step to make the chord minor. Then the 5ths move down a half step to make it diminished. Then finally the roots move down a half step to bring it back to a major chord, but a half step down from the last one. Repeat as far down as you can go. Try to figure out normal/typical voicings for the group. Brass quintets and tuba quartets have voicing tendencies in most pieces, find them and practice those the most.

Hope this helps. let me know if you need me to clarify anything.
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Re: Group Warmup/Ensemble Exercises/etc

Postby Leland » Sat Jul 15, 2017 12:30 pm

Let this play while you have lunch. Could pilfer some ideas from these guys.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rqHuSVPf1Q

In a broader sense, literally anything can be a group warmup exercise. The Clarke book can be group warmups. You just have to play it with more than one person.
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Re: Group Warmup/Ensemble Exercises/etc

Postby bloke » Sat Jul 15, 2017 8:33 pm

Leland wrote:Let this play while you have lunch. Could pilfer some ideas from these guys.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rqHuSVPf1Q" target="_blank

In a broader sense, literally anything can be a group warmup exercise. The Clarke book can be group warmups. You just have to play it with more than one person.


The overtones are so prevalent that it sounds, sometimes, like playing in parallel fifths.
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Re: Group Warmup/Ensemble Exercises/etc

Postby hup_d_dup » Sun Jul 16, 2017 8:22 am

Every community band I have been in starts its rehearsal by tuning. Sometimes the tuning is time consuming and involves every member of the entire band individually playing concert Bb.

Every community band I have been in plays, to some degree, out of tune, and you can hear and recognize it instantaneously. They all have "community band" intonation.

One of the brass bands I play in (and I wish they were both like this) never tunes. We begin each rehearsal by playing hymns from the Salvation Army book of hymns for brass bands. The first phrase of the first hymn always has some intonation issues which are quickly self-corrected. Lingering intonation problems are dealt with by the conductor. This is the most "in tune" band I have ever played with.

Hymn books are a great way to begin a rehearsal because they address the foundational aspects of ensemble playing, such as intonation, phrasing, dynamics, blend, etc., and leave out the stuff that can make them difficult to apply, like fast technical passages, high range, or tricky rhythms.

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Re: Group Warmup/Ensemble Exercises/etc

Postby SteveP » Sun Jul 16, 2017 2:38 pm

hup_d_dup wrote:Every community band I have been in starts its rehearsal by tuning.


Wish I could say that

hup_d_dup wrote:Every community band I have been in plays, to some degree, out of tune, and you can hear and recognize it instantaneously.


Yup

hup_d_dup wrote:One of the brass bands I play in (and I wish they were both like this) never tunes. .....................This is the most "in tune" band I have ever played with.


None of the bands I've played with in the past several years tune and are still not in tune by the end of the rehearsal. I guess you're playing with people that actually listen to each other.

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Re: Group Warmup/Ensemble Exercises/etc

Postby Leland » Sun Jul 16, 2017 8:51 pm

bloke wrote:
Leland wrote:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rqHuSVPf1Q

The overtones are so prevalent that it sounds, sometimes, like playing in parallel fifths.

There's overtones, :wink: but through all the exercises, the mellophones are playing their natural series -- and they're pitched in F (everyone else ins on Bb horns). So because they're all playing their respective harmonic series, the exercise starting near 5:00 is definitely parallel fifths. You can just make out the fifth in the pedals at 6:40, too.

This makes for a more interesting effect when they go to open chords. They all open up to root-third-fifth. The trumpets/euphs/tubas split to Bb-D-F, and the mellos would split to F-A-C -- so the full ensemble chord is a major 9th. The "bow-wow-wows" at 1:45 are 9ths, and the double-tonguing exercise around 10:15+ also ends up like this.
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