Monthly Archives: July 2017

How to Practise: Jazz Trumpet Level 1 (2)

This is a second blog about our Jazz Trumpet Level 1 App:
Available on:
iPhone and iPad from The App Store
Android Phones and Tablets from Google Play

Forgive me experienced teachers for explaining what you already know but I hope you can see how your pupils can be helped to practise…especially in between lessons.

Playing Jazz  is about ‘feel’, about playing in an appropriate style.
The way you articulate (start) each notes should be different to the way you play, say,  an Arban  tonguing exercise.

The start the notes should sometimes be less explosive Sometimes a note should be held a little longer..
Of course you need to keep to the beat BUT you need sometimes to give  a feeling that you are slightly before or after the beat.

In other words the technique needed to play in this way is every bit needing of practise as the march like fast tonguing of other styles.

eto’s practice tools give you the opportunity of playing along with a recording of the part AND toplay along with Jazz rhythm section.
When you are ready you can switch off the recorded part and you become the soloist …the lead trumpet.

There are three separate pieces to practice; gradually getting  more ‘sophisticated’
You practise both swing and straight 8ths (quavers)  and  more syncopation…the melody is less ‘straightforward taking you ‘off’ the beat.

All in all an ideal introduction to playing in a small jazz combo (band).
Here’s a peep at  each of the three pieces. Oh, yes  each of them can be practised at three slower speeds and in sections with or without the backing band.

Here’s the opening of Bits and Pieces 1 at it’s performance tempo of 100 beats per minute:

Next is Bits and Pieces 2 …more off the beat syncopation…awkward rhythms.
The performance tempo is 110 ppm but It’s shown hear at 70 bpm to demonstrate how the Beat Counter above the notes can help you keep in time and read the notation. You can practise at 70/ 80/ 90 and 100 to build up to the final speed:

The final example is Bits and Pieces 3 at its performance tempo of 110 bpm.. it has both swing and straight 8ths (quavers). Don’t forget you can practise it much slower to help with the syncopated rhythms :

Hope you get the App and really enjoy practising with it.
iPhone and iPad from The App Store
Android Phones and Tablets from Google Play

How to Practise: Bach Two Part Invention No. 8

This blog is an introduction to our App which helps practise Bach’s Two Part Invention No. 8.
It’s available for iPad in the App Store 

As with our other instrumental apps a phrase we use is …to play fast practise slowly.

For pianists perhaps we should add another; use the correct  fingering from the start.
It is so easy to ‘get away’ with awkward fingering when you play slowly but problems will definitely occur later on….

To help put both ‘phrases’ into practise eto’s App enables you to practise in a unique way as you will see if you try practising with the demo movies below.

We hope that piano teachers will see that by using our Apps pupils will practise perhaps more efficiently and more often between lessons.

Here’s a tempo at which together used to the fingering 60 bpm:

When ready go on to 70 ppm…just a little faster makes a difference:

Don’t move on until you are really secure to 80 bpm:

Now on to 90 bpm:

100 bpm. Don’t expect to reach the faster speeds without practising them for quite a while:

Let’s jump up by 20 bpm to 120 ppm. In the App you could go via 110 bpm:

Now 140 bpm:

160 bpm:

You need to decide or take advice from a teacher whether to practise each section up to a fast speed or practise the whole piece at the slower tempi and move on from beginning to the end at the same tempo.

Here’s 180 ppm:

Now 200 ppm:

Here’s 220 the final tempo in the blog but the App helps you to 240 bpm:

There are so many more practice tools you can use in the App. You use them in the combination that suits you.

  • Choose a section to practise and repeat it
  • Isolate the notation and/ or audio of either hand…in other words you can play along with the Right Hand part whilst the Left Hand Part is Played for you. When you are ready turn the audio off….or maker it quieter.
  • All this can be done at various speeds …starting slowly at 60 beats per minute and going upon to 240 ppm in 10 bpm steps.
  • You should be absolutely secure at a tempo before moving on…even a little faster can trip you up.

Bach wrote his Two Part Inventions specifically to help and motivate his pupils to practise……we can’t improve the musical content but we can help a little more by using available technology.

How to Practise: Arban Double Tonguing Exercises Nos. 77-86

Improve your Single as well as Double Tonguing.

It’s best to start practising them at a single tongue tempo. Indeed perhaps single them and then with the sound of singles in your head practise your double tu and ku (particularly the ku).

Try single tonguing at Tempo 50bmp AND THEN Double Tonguing being careful to get the Doubles as equally crisp and even  as your singles.(excuse the Christmas Carol Pun)….Good King Wenceslas….:) If you find it difficult to go all the way to F just stop where you need to , start again….your muscles will develop the strength to reach the higher notes the more practice you do. DO NOT force the sound out by using too much pressure or altering the shape of your embouchure.!


Now try it at 60 bpm:

There is a temptation to use double tonguing too soon , at speeds, which would be better single tongued. It is therefore very useful to use use these exercises to quicken your single tonguing technique as well as your Double Tonguing.
If and when you get the App test yourself on how quickly you can single tongue…you should aim for perhaps 100/ 110 semiquavers( 16th Notes).
Here’s  110 bpm:

Available for:
iPhone and iPad from the App Store


How to Practise: Carnival of Venice

Here’s the first, an Introduction, to a series of Blogs on How to Practise: Carnival of Venice…

Few would argue that Carnival of Venice by Jean Baptiste Arban is one of the Airs and Variations they would like to play. BUT it really does take a lot of work.

This App is designed to give you the practice tools that will make your practice sessions as efficient as possible; so that you make organised , steady progress.

One off the mantras is that to play fast you practise slow. Carnival is certainly the place to put this into practice and this App gives you facilities to practise all the Variations slowly at first and build up to the speeds that are suitable for your ability and your interpretation of the piece.

To help choose the tempi we should include, I analysed recordings of Carnival by Wynton Marsalis, Maurice Andre and the American Navy Band and have included the range of tempi used by them.

For instance Wynton Marsalis takes Variation 4 at 100 bpm. You could aim to practise to……

Maurice Andre 85 bpm …a little slower…perhaps he preferred it musically that speed:

Using the App you can build up to your tempo from 30 bpm:

Why not go through the tempi…here’s 40 bpm:

Don’t move on until you are absolutely in control…here’s 50 bpm:

60bpm next:

70 bpm:

Last one 80 bpm…85 and 1§00 are above remember….oh and the App has 95… at these tempi a slight difference makes for control or uncontrollably….always be in control….and musical.