Clarke, Schlossberg, and Lip flips.

The session today is based around some of my favorites, Clarke, Schlossberg and others. This is a “primary session” so it is based around the nuts and bolts of playing.

The Routine

  • Some breathing, your choice, I also threw in some constructive rest (Alexander technique) today.

  • Clarke 3 - Play each one twice, once slurred, once tongued. Aim for keeping these as soft as possible.

  • Schlossberg - No. 13 Quarter = 40 try to not telegraph which way the slur is about to go.

  • Schlossberg - No. 20 Half = 60 Legato tongue

  • Schlossberg - No. 64 Quarter = 60 mf only, Final note down two octaves (harm 2)

  • Schlossberg no.62 - First two lines, as fast as you can do them clean. All lip slurs, as written and down the octave. Once slurred, once tongued.

  • Schlossberg no.59 - As written, fast as clean. One time slurred, one time tongued.

  • Brass gym - Lip flips. Major third, Perfect fourth low, octave (on 1 side of the horn only), perfect 5th low.

  • Flutter tongue scales in the low range. (can’t flutter?)

That is it.

Comment, share, leave a like, and thanks for stopping by.

Gekker and Schlossberg for control and ease

The session today makes use of Chris Gekker’s book Endurance Drills for Performance Skills and the Schlossberg book again. If you don’t have the Gekker book you could find similar approaches in Clarke, Shuebruk, and Nagel. I just really like the Gekker book, it is also a nice way to take a step back from the Clarke book and let that refresh itself.

Once we hit our stride this becomes a back and forth of technical and flow/flex. Also pay close attention to the concepts of the Gekker book and what is being worked on, spoiler, it isn’t speed.

The Routine

  • Breathing exercises - Flow but focusing on expanding the breath (so instead of working to in for 1 out for 1, work your way up to something like in for 16 out for 16 with a metronome at 52 bpm. Great one to use a breathing tube with)

  • Schlossberg no.6 down an octave. This is just so we start on Harmonic 4 instead of 8.

  • Schlossberg no.12 (as written)

  • Schlossberg no.21 and ascending on the Bb horn.

  • Gekker no.1 going as high as can be controlled. No tension or straining in the Gekker exercises.

  • Schlossberg no.15

  • Gekker no.3

  • Schlossberg no.25 (same was as in the Schlossberg session starting on the harm 4 C)

  • Gekker no.7

  • Schlossberg no.52 (following procedures from the Sclossberg session)

  • Gekker no.10

  • Etude of choice, I’d go with Kopprasch or Kling, something focusing on articulation and moving around the horn to reinforce what we worked on.

That is it. It is a focused session and heavy work. If you start losing the ability to keep it in control, jump to the etude after a 5 minute break and call it.

The commercial drill

So there is a sporting event today. One thing I love to do when watching something full of break and commercials is what I call the “commercial drill”.

Here is how it works

Tools: Horn, metronome, random number generator.

When the commercial begins grab your horn and get to town. Set the random number generator to have a range of say 42 - 136 this is your tempo range. You will also want a way to pick note duration (quarter, eighth, triplets, sixteenths, quintuplets, etc.), and scale.

  • Hit those randomizers, when you get your results play the scale up one octave, down two, up one. Then break right into the arpeggio to cover the same range. (do various articulations)

  • Rep the scale a few times with different note duration. You can do beat division on each note, or play the scale in that pattern.

Do this until you hit all 12 major and minor scales.

Now you have done all your scales, you feel great. But now what, there are more sportings going on. Time to up the anti. Interval time. Using the same setup as before just add one more way to pick a random interval, I use thirds through tenths. Get your scale, your intervals, and for fun let’s just go max range. Start from the bottom and work all the way to the top of your range (Singer style)

Repeat the above using the outcomes until you guessed it, all 12 major and minor scales.

More sports? More fun!

Now we are going to do non-standard scales, pentatonic, Limited transpositions, whole-tone, diminished, etc. You get the idea this is all about fluency and breaking the normal habits we all have

That is it, happy sporting watching and happy scales.

A session on the road

Just not while you drive…

I am currently up in Edmonton right now, taught a masterclass yesterday and Timepoint has a show this afternoon. Which leaves the always somewhat complicated playing away from home scenario. For context this was my morning… in an AirBnb with a practice mute. I have a few “warm and fuzzy” sessions I like, this is one of them.

Play everything BIG, not sound wise, tone wise, even with the mute, find that big phat sound.

The Session

  • Soft buzzing, really soft, find that spot where are and sound meet and dance around on it.

    • mostly simple tones, move slowly, soft, and phat.

  • Louis Maggio - Warm up A (Max 15 min)

    • Extend it down, LOW. Always a big phat sound, don’t move past the note until it is exactly how it should be (hense the max 15 min.)

  • Expanding intervals from the best note (15 min max)

    • I start on a G and play it several times, long tones. Then expand up a semi tone and copy the sound, Then return to the note and move down a semitone. Do things like:

      • Play the non-best note for a quarter note, slur back to the best note, slur back to the other note.


  • Slurs into scales. (Up and down)

    • I did this in a recent practice log here is how it works.

      • Start on Harmonic 2, go up the horn ala the Farkas lipslurs.

      • Reaching the top (for up version (harm 16 or 12, and bottom harm 2 for descending) Switch to the scale pattern to return to the starting note.

      • Scale Pattern all slurred (adapt it to work if you only go to harm 12):

        • Descend 1 octave, small fermata on the pitch,

        • Slur up to the Dominant (so if we are on F horn series C to C, slur up to G) then descend 1 octave. small fermata on the pitch.

        • Slup up to the Tonic (C for F horn series) descend 1 octave….

        • etc. So if you only go to harmonic 12, you start the pattern doing the scale from the

        • note: you don’t always need to do Tonic-Dominant. Work your ears.. do things like… Subtonic slurred way back up to supdominant, etc. You are working on intonation in chord resolutions, so, do that in many ways.

You are done… again this is a road session, it is quick, it works on some crucial parts of playing, but also gets some sensitivity into the chops right away.

Share, comment, like it is greatly appreciated.

Practice session - General morning

Today’s session is another mixed bag. It isn’t based around anyone book, it is “practice aid heavy” but that is alright. It is also going to be a pretty quick one, so lets go.

The Session

  • Breathing exercises (5 min)

    • Inhalation with a Triflo

      • 4 reps with each ball

    • Peak flow meter 8 reps going for target

  • Long Tones (pick 4 pitches, do them in all octaves with hairpins)

    • Do these with a tuner or pitch visualizer for stability

  • Scales numbers are scale degrees

    • 1-5-1-5-1-9-5-9-5-9-1-3-5-8-10-12-10-8-5-3-1 (in 16th notes, various articulations, pick several scales)

    • Major Pentatonic scales over 3 octaves

    • Whole tone scale from G over the entire range of the horn slurred and tongued

    • 1 octave descending scales with flutter tongue, going over the break

  • Lip slurs (recorded and reviewed.)

    • Farkas style

      • Play the quarter note version that starts on middle C (or Harm 5 of whatever valve combo you are using) complete the exercise. Take a deep breath and do the 8th note version from the bottom (harm 2)

  • Etude

    • Kopprasch no.13 with repeats

      • As written and down the ocatve.

That is it, another quick and focused one, the next post will be some insight into why I don’t have a set routine. So until then, happy horning.

Rehearsal day morning session

So, a reason there haven’t been tons of practice logs this week, I have been busy in rehearsals for a show with Timepoint next week in Edmonton, as well as preparing for giving a masterclass. This all leads to this post. I have a few short routines I like to do really early in the morning, we are talking around 6 or 7am on rehearsal days.

Leave a comment, hit like, or share, enjoy the session below.

The Session

Done best with some caffeine

  • Stretch and breath.

    • The goal here is to jump start in to the day. Focus on air.

  • Adams Simple long tones (you may notice I really like these…)

  • Teuber 7a and 7b

  • Remington slurs, starting at T0 and work down

    • Slurred and tongued

  • Scales (use dice, or another random way to pick scales) About 5 minutes worth.

    • Do lots of different patterns, throw in arpeggios, etc.

    • Lots of different scales, the random choice can be the starting note for pentatonic, limited transpositions, etc.

  • Some kind of power work/loud playing for a few minutes.

    • Stamp Power exercise or Schlossberg no. 17 (in a bunch of diff. articulations) are some of my go to choices.

That’s it, short and sweet, but it gets me locked in. I vary this a bunch, but the elements remain the same.

Happy Horning

A mixed bag session

This session is another one I hit every so often, or version of it. Details below

If you haven’t seen I have started a project related to this one called “practice logs”, it is a project where I am aiming to upload one of my sessions a day. I am trying to make sure those sessions are similar to these. For days like yesterday when I was in rehearsal all day, there may end up not having an upload since no one wants to read a list of rep I worked on with measure numbers. The button below will take you there.

The Session

  • Breathing and light stretching, incorporate breathing exercises into stretching.

  • Bodet Daily Exercises no.1 - Follow instructions, go only as far as is controlled plenty of time to work on the high range.

  • Bodet Daily Exercises no.3 - Follow instructions, max 15 minutes, same thing with range, go only as far as necessary. (I recommend transposing the exercise down a fourth. Or play as written, your call.)

  • Break (5 - 10 minutes)

    • Stretch, setup practice logs for the day, goals, etc. Make the time active.

  • Clarke Setting up drills Group 1

  • Laurie Frink - An Integrated Warm-up - Part I

  • Break (5 minutes)

  • Brass Gym - Lip Flips

  • Brophy - Technical Studies for solving… - Low register exercises 1 - 4

  • Etudes

  • Lead sheet work (couple tunes)

Another short and sweet one. I usually use this one in the morning (or one similar looking) I find it nice and straight forward, and it works well for me.

Happy Horning.

First session of the day with Plog

Today I am going to share my session out of the Plog books, it was how I started my day and thought it was a good candidate for the blog today.

There is a bit more writing today, since certain aspects need to be explained (exercise no.4b as an example)

About the books, they are broken into sections. For example in Book 1 you will see more than one no.1, BUT it will in a diff grouping of warm up I, or II, etc. I tried to make it clear below, when you see a section show up stay in that section until a new one is mentioned in bold.

The Session

  • Constructive rest (Alexander Technique) (Learn about it here if you haven’t studied Alexander)

  • Breathing Exercises- I did the following ones

    • 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10

    • Inhale therapy - sips - Exhale therapy x 2

      • First time with a total seal, second time with a leak.

  • Bill Adams long tones (not the advanced set) Start on a G in the staff, one tone at a time work your way outwards (G,F#,Ab,F,A,etc..) until G.

  • Plog Bk.1 -Warm up exercises I - 1a/c/e/g

    • Variation - do cells on the B horn only, the f horn only, and normal.

    • Buzz some (On a BERP if you have one)

  • Plog Bk.1 - 2b/d

    • Extend these patterns by repeating the last two notes down the octave

  • Take a short rest, stretch something that is tight.

  • Plog Bk.1 - 4a/b

    • 4a - first 3 notes are lip slurs, start F0 go all the way down through the B horn.

    • 4b - first 5 notes are lip slurs, as are the final 7 (only 1 not isn’t) on the F horn versions. The B horn harmonics don’t work for the same patter once you hit the written F so lip slur what you can but do those all on the B horn.

  • Plog Bk.1 - Warm up exercises II - 1a/b/d

    • All normal fingerings.

  • Plog Bk.1 - Warm up exercises III - 2b/c/d

  • Plog Bk.1 - Warm up Etude no.1

  • Take another short rest, stretch something out.

  • Plog Bk.5 - No.1

    • Use your own judgment how much of this one you do., there are TONS OF PATTERNS, don’t forget about the B horn, transpose some down the octave, they still work. Some of these can get wicked high with the B horn.

      • My usuall approach is play as written startign on 123 and working up and through the B horn all the way to T0. THEN do it down the octave SLOWLY on the F horn.

  • Plog Bk.5 - no.8

    • The third line only.

  • Plog Bk.5 - no.9

    • First line only.

  • Rest

  • Plog Bk.5 - no.9

    • Third line

  • Plog Bk.5 - Flexibility Etude no.4

    • After you get through it, if you don’t need to work on parts of it, repeat the first phrase down the octave

That is it, that is all.

Happy horning.

3 horn duets inspired by Concone and Bordogni