REX MARTIN MASTERCLASS

November 29, 2004
McCracken Middle School Symphonic Band Brass Section

  • Articulation
    • There are two kinds of articulations: ? and !
    • ! comes at a price: more brain activity and more air
    • Play ! especially at softer dynamics
  • Mouthpiece Buzzing
    • Very important
    • Mouthpiece buzzing develops talent, ability and endurance
    • Have the section buzz cacophony (everyone buzzes a different tune at once. Even after buzzing nonsense you will play better
    • Buzzing trains the brain to connect with the body
    • You can’t buzz the right note without thinking
  • Balance
    • Tuba is the most important instrument in the world.
  • Breathing (exercises)
    • Hold hand out at arms length looking at your palm
    • Breathe in with hand moving towards mouth
    • Breathe out with hand moving out
    • Breathe in three times with hand motion
    • Breathe out three times with hand motion
  • Posture
    • Bring mouthpiece to you, don’t go to mouthpiece
    • Get set before you play, it makes concentrating and breathing much simpler
  • Rhythm
    • The three most important things in music are: Rhythm, Rhythm (melody), and Rhythm (harmony)
    • Rhythm is the skeleton of music
  • Musicianship
    • There is a big correlation between speaking and playing
    • Sometimes phrases end in , . ? or !
    • Italics, Bold, etc…
    • There are two kinds of music: instrumental and vocal. Related everything back to vocal music
    • The most important thing is what you’re doing musically, not what you’re doing physically to get the musical result
    • Have a good musical reason for everything you do
    • As musicians we are a product of what we play.
  • Aural Imaging
    • Hear how you want something to go
    • Listen to what you want to sound like
    • Listen to your imagination, not with your ears
    • It’s as if you have a radio station tuned in your head, playing an idealized version of what you want to sound like
    • Practice by clapping a rhythm, and hearing the clapping back in your head
  • Review
    • Posture
    • Take deep breaths
    • Practice mouthpiece buzzing to train your brain
    • Rhythm
    • Harmony (slow and listen)
    • Articulation - ! and ?
    • Sing (play first to get notes in head)