Today we'll discuss the most important book in your journey to become a better brass player, the Vocalise etudes (euphonium/trombone and tuba) of Marco Bordogni.
There are many reasons to use the Bordogni book; it's an excellent resource when you're learning to play expressively. Since all of the etudes are written with slurs pretty much the whole way it's also great for working on playing with smooth legato. Since smooth legato requires smooth air stream, it's also a superb study in breath control. Finally, It's a versatile wealth of music that can be adapted and adjusted to suit your needs as a player.
The one time in my career where I think I've made the most progress as a tuba player was when I was playing Bordogni etudes for roughly an hour every day. I'd work through my daily routine, then move on to Bordogni, then practice other repertoire for the rest of the day. Wow, those were the days! No responsibilities except to make myself a better player. I digress...
I wasn't just mindlessly playing though the etudes. I had a purpose to everything I did. You can do anything you want with the etudes. You're limited only by your imagination.
Below is a list of the things I would do regularly that I found most useful.
1) Sing each etude using solfege if possible
2) Buzz large portions of each etude with particular attention to large/awkward leaps
3) Play them at the written octave but change certain aspects such as:
If you're familiar with the Bordogni etudes, what do you do that I didn't discuss here? Reply to this email if you'd like to talk about it.
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