Here are some things to keep in mind as you prepare for your region and area auditions.
- Start Early
- Practice fundamentals-focused embouchure, less pressure, use tongue arch, lip slurs, flow studies, scales and arpeggios, intervals, Clarke studies.
- Practice every day-even if you only have a small amount of time.
- Start with the end in mind.
- Work small spots first, then small section. Never the whole etude at once.
- Listen to your sound
- Play musically. Think about phrases.
- Use a metronome.
- Be positive and have a plan.
- Follow your plan.
This years etudes have some challenges that can be met if you work smarter. Start early and work a little everyday. Trust me, it will be difficult to pull these etudes off by practicing one or two weeks prior to the auditions. Plan ahead, please don’t ask me or your private lesson teacher to help you with the notes and rhythms of the etudes the night before an audition or the night before you have to play a section for your band director. You need time to process the information you receive and to practice at your pace. That takes days, not minutes.
Big Idea Number 1
If you avoid practicing lip slurs, scales and arpeggios, you are not going to have the range, flexibility and endurance to reach the level of playing that you desire. So get going on this one now.
On my website there are free copies of lip slurs, flexibility drills, flow studies, scales and arpeggios. (If you are an advanced player work on the Frank Brown drills for lead players.) Play these everyday. If you do, you will have more fun playing music. And after all we play to play music.
Big Idea Number 2
Less Pressure-one of the biggest improvements to your playing is to learn to use less mouthpiece pressure in all of your playing. I know that can be difficult during marching band, but you can do it if you think about it every time that you play. You will develop more strength, range and have great endurance if you take the time to do it. Contact me or check out Greg Spence videos on Mystery to Mastery.
Big Idea Number 3
Here are 3 excellent videos to show you how to play the etudes. They are performed by Dr. Brian Shook of Lamar University. There are also additional videos from his clinic on how to prepare these etudes. Well worth your time looking them up and watching them. Repeatedly. Over and over.
Brandt No. 30 https:// www.youtube.com/watch?v=qRI7hBoSEwI
Brandt No. 7 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kRUt5fa2AHI
Brandt No. 15 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EmDPrzdGjg0
Best wishes on a successful audition.