Monthly Archives: March 2017

How to Practice: Arban Characteristic Study No. 1

Available for iPad and iPhone at :

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/arban-study-no.-1-advanced/id624151228?mt=8

and now on android:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=air.com.wp.piano.arban1&hl=en

Or for Desktop: http://www.etomusicpractice.co.uk/shop/

This iconic study has been practised and helped to develop the technique of many thousands of brass players since the 1860s. Its part of what many call the Bible of Cornet and Trumpet Practice; the Arban Cornet Method. It appears on many examination syllabi.

I remember, many, many years ago playing it for my first audition for the National Youth Orchestra of Wales.. I was about 16 years of age and pleased with myself that i could play it quite quickly…somewhere around 90 beats a minute.

I was soon brought down to earth by the orchestra’s conductor …a very experienced and eminent conductor Clarence Raybould. Play it slowly he said …which I did…no slower…slower. Eventually he had me playing it t about 30 beats a minute.
At this speed it was far more of a test of stamina, breathe control, certainty of pitch and tone.
I learnt a hard but invaluable lesson which I’ve  never forgotten…the way to play fast is to play slow.
Indeed it probable had a great deal of influence on my thinking all these years later whilst developing eto Music Practice.

The App allows practice of the whole study in tempo increments of 10 beats a minute starting at 30 going all the way to 100.

You should aim to be able to play it all through totally correctly at the speed you choose to start practising.

The audio will help you hit the correct pitches and you will be helped to keep in time by the visual beat counter …as well as the audio.

In fact you will find that the audio helps most if you play a wrong note/ pitch. You will hear it …and you can correct yourself .

It is sensible to divide the study into bars or sections and set Repeat.

You could start very simply with:

  1. Tempo 30
  2. Start bar 1; End Bar 2
  3. Set Repeat
  4. You will see the Count In beats
  5. Play the two bars…the audio and Beat Counter will fade in bar 3
  6. The Count In will then automatically begin again
  7. You play these two bars until you can play them perfectly.
  8. When ready you could go to Start bar 3 End bar 4…then
  9. Start Bar 1; End Bar 4…when ready
  10. Start bar 5 End Bar 6…then Start Bar 1 ; End Bar 7

You may choose to build up your speed of playing before going on to the next bars/ section OR practise the whole of the Study at one tempo.

There is nothing wrong with…… and indeed a good argument….. for being able to play it ALL the way through at the slower speed speeds.

You would find that your stamina and pitch control will really develop using this method.

The worse thing to do is to push yourself on without being in total control of the notes at a particular tempo.

Don’t worry if it takes some time to be able to do this…there are no short cuts if you want to really control your playing.

To give you a taster, and for some fun, I’ve prepared some movie demos with the first two bars paying at 30 to 90 beats per minute. In the App you can set an automatic Repeat. The App also gives you the challenge of 100 bpm!.

Just replay the movies for practice if you wish…Enjoy, improve and test yourself….:)

Arban Characteristic Study No. 1 Bars 1 and 2 at 30 bpm.

 

Arban Characteristic Study No. 1 Bars 1 and 2 at 40 bpm.

 

Arban Characteristic Study No. 1 Bars 1 and 2 at 50 bpm.

 

Arban Characteristic Study No. 1 Bars 1 and 2 at 60 bpm.

Arban Characteristic Study No.1  Bars 1 and 2 at 70 bpm.

Arban Characteristic Study No.1 Bars 1 and 2 at 80 bpm.

Arban Characteristic Study No.1 Bars 1 and 2 at 90 bpm.

 

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/arban-study-no.-1-advanced/id624151228?mt=8

And now on android https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=air.com.wp.piano.arban1&hl=en

Or desktop:

http://www.etomusicpractice.co.uk/shop/