This sequence is based on #19 from the “Studies in Dotted Eighth and Sixteenth Notes” section of Jean-Baptiste Arban‘s Method for cornet. This section is comprised of etudes that help the students learn the rhythms that can be created with 16th notes. For more info about Arban and his famous method for cornet, check out my last post on Arban #11.
With so much music out there to practice, sometimes choosing what to play can be challenging. This etude sticks out to me for a few reasons.
First, as I say in the video, this etude has been copy/pasted into so many different fundamentals routines crafted by top pros. Simply put, they cant ALL be wrong.
Second, I love that this etude uses three 16th’s in succession. This short burst of quick notes is fabulous for working on our clarity. Are your 2nd and 3rd 16ths just as clear as the first? I know mine need work!
Third, the three successive 16th’s are a mixture of repeated notes, steps, and leaps. By the end of the etude you have worked this rhythm from all angles and exposed what needs more attention.
Like #11, this etude is fantastic for tone cloning, but I find it to be more helpful if I add some character. Pianissimo staccato might be a tap dancing mouse. Fortissimo staccato might be a tap dancing elephant. Work your imagination and it will do wonders for your style. Choose a dynamic, articulation, note shape, and note length before you begin so you can practice deliberately.
For a great run down on how to incorporate the Arban book into your practice, check out Gabe Langfur‘s blog post Keeping the Tools Sharp.
You can purchase your own Arban book in a number of places, and like Gabe, I recommend purchasing the newer editions edited by Alan Vizzuti (trumpet), Alessi/Bowman (trombone/euph), Young/Jacobs (tuba). These editions are worth it for the spiral binding and the advice of modern virtuosos.
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