BRASS PLAYING TIPS AND STUDIO CLASS

Since my weekly studio class has gone virtual, everyone is welcome to attend! I hope you’ll join me on my YouTube Channel where I am adding new videos routinely, of both performances and also tutorials such as the ones below, found on my Studio Class Playlist. So grab your horn and join me in my studio, from wherever you are! 

To begin, my newest series, on the Basics of Brass Playing, in four parts. 

I like to think of brass playing as comprising four main elements, those of Tone, Rhythm, Clarity and Flow. With playing examples and tips, these tutorials break down each element into smaller areas of focus, providing a foundation of thought behind the way we approach our instruments.

Brass Basics No. 1: Improving Tone on Tuba and Euphonium 

Join me as we walk through the four main elements of creating tone on a brass instrument, most specifically tuba and euphonium, in this first installment of thoughts on brass playing.  In this video I am playing my 4/4 Rudolph Meinl C tuba, my Yamaha 621 F Tuba, and my Yamaha 321 Euphonium with added fifth valve. This is the first of the series of four videos. 

Brass Basics No. 2: Rhythm 
 
Join me as we walk through thoughts on rhythm, in this second installment of thoughts on brass playing. I like to think of brass playing as comprising four main elements, those of Tone, Rhythm, Clarity and Flow. Here, I bring in some helpful pieces of advice from educators and performers which showcase how our thinking on rhythm shapes our playing. I play some examples on tuba and euphonium of the types of exercises I find most valuable for developing a strong rhythmic sense. 

Studio with Dr. H: Buzzing Basics

Let’s talk about the basics of buzzing on the mouthpiece. Why do we do it? Gentle buzzing is a great way to wake up the lips and air before our practice, and in addition, allows us to check our progress with air and embouchure development. A daily warm-up and fundamental routine is key to my performance life, and I begin with brief mouthpiece buzzing at the piano. The piano helps train our ear as well, so it’s two for one.

Daily buzzing practice gives you relaxed, strong air movement, increases your flexibility, tone, register, and trains your embouchure and ear. Beginning your day with gentle buzzing will keep you strong and in shape, and forms the foundation of our brass practice routine.

After watching, you’ll be ready to buzz along with me in the Buzzing Practice Videos I and II, found below. Happy buzzing!

Studio with Dr. H: Buzzing Practice I

Studio with Dr. H: Buzzing Practice II

Now, Let’s Set Some Goals! 

Studio with Dr. H: Goal Setting

In this Goal Setting tutorial, I share how short, medium and long term goals help us clarify where to put our attention, in the practice room and in life. I discuss the importance of second opinions, and share advice on a One Week Reboot to jump start our playing. Join me as we walk through the process of setting goals for our practice and for our future selves. 

This video works together with the Practice Log Video below, where we discuss the two-part process of taking notes during our practice sessions, and then looking for patterns that can help us understand the journey.  

Staying focused on our goals, and being honest about the process, maintains positive energy and spirit through our growth as performers and educators. After you notate your goals, watch 5 Tips for Your Practice Log below, for a reminder about how to put these goals into your daily routine.

So grab a fresh sheet of paper and your cup of coffee, and join me to focus in on what fresh starts you are ready make for your future self.  I can’t wait to see what you do next!

Studio with Dr. H: 5 Tips for Your Practice Log 

Here, in my 5 Tips for Your Practice Log tutorial, I discuss how we can get these goals into our daily routine, and chart progress. Join me as we walk through the process of creating and maintaining a practice log, or a practice journal, which is one of the most important tools for moving your playing forward. 

We discuss the two-part process of taking notes of your progress and goals during your practice sessions, then going back and looking for patterns that can help you understand the journey. Taking good practice notes keeps us focused on our goals, and being honest about the process will enable us to maintain positive energy and spirit through our growth as performers and educators.

Get Started with These Free Exercises

Here are a few fundamental exercises to get you started. Click to download versions for tuba, euphonium, and Treble Clef Euphonium Exercises.

Thank you for joining me, and best of luck on your journey.
As I am fond of reminding myself…

“A goal without a plan is just a dream.”