Today I'll introduce new materials on JeremyLewisTuba.com.
I recently took a group of students to the International Euphonium-Tuba Festival. There were lots of great activities at IET like private lessons, masterclasses, recitals, and ensembles. We had an awesome time. I was asked to present during the festival and in preparation I compiled three tiered daily routine packets. Here they are!
Routine I (tuba and euphonium)
This is the routine I give to anyone who hasn't worked through any of my routines yet.
Routine II (tuba and euphonium)
Routine II is a bridge between Routine I and III
Routine III (tuba and euphonium)
This is basically the routine I do every day.
A Few Notes on the Routines
Start with Routine I and increase difficulty incrementally each day. To increase difficulty you can extend the range of exercises (down and up), increase tempi, vary volume, change rhythms, etc. Once you've reached a plateau on any given exercise and been stuck for a few days, drop the difficulty back a few days of incremental increases and work your way past the point where you plateaued. Keep doing this until you are no longer able to break the plateau.
Once you've reached the limit of Routine I, move on to Routine II, then III. Note that you probably won't upgrade to Routine II or III all at once. That is to say, you can upgrade to Routine II Range before Flexibility, or Chromatics, or any of the other exercise categories. This is okay!
Keep a journal of everything you do in your routine. In my journal I put the date, how low and high I play during the Range exercise, and tempo in Chromatics, Flexibility, and Articulation. Refer back to the previous entry and go lower/higher, and faster.
Take your time. Be honest with yourself. There is no need to force progress to happen. Execution is of the utmost importance, not speed, volume, or high/low. If something doesn't sound like you imagine it should, slow down. If a slur isn't smooth, slow down!
The routine is the most important playing you'll do every day. And you should do it every day (unless it's your day off). This is where progress really happens. Push yourself further every day and don't settle for anything less than your best. You'll be amazed by what you can accomplish. Record yourself playing your routine every now and then. More importantly, listen to and analyze what you hear.
How're your summer goals going?
Thank you for reading!
Jeremy is Associate Professor of Tuba and Euphonium at West Texas A&M University.