Euphonium Chapter Sample
From Chapter 9H. Common Euphonium Player Mistakes:
- Smeary Valve Technique
Move the valves faster and at the precise moment the articulation happens.
Keep a good curve to the fingers.
Use a definite articulation for each note.
- Slow Valve Technique
“Snap” the valves down.
Lubricate the valves and get springs replaced if the valves do not work properly.
In fast passages, make sure the fingers are not “flying” way above the valves.
Slow tempo music does not equate to slow valve movement.
- Poor Tone
Blow more air.
Use a breathing tube to open the throat.
Listen to great euphonium players so you know what you are supposed to sound like.
Bring the instrument to the face, not the other way around.
- Poor Intonation
Develop an understanding that valve slide adjustments matter a great deal.
Stop at random and sing the next note.
Work on flexibility exercises so the embouchure is flexible to lip notes up or down.
Lubricate the valve slides and get them repaired if they do not work properly.
Playing on a mouthpiece that is too small can negatively affect pitch as there is not enough room for the embouchure to be flexible and adjust.
- Poor Articulation
Blow more air.
Let the air drive the tongue; learn this by practicing flutter-tongue.
Think of the tongue denting the air flow, not stopping it.
The nature of the euphonium is to “round” everything out, so very clean and precise types of articulation require more effort than on some other instruments.
- Poor High Range
Blow faster air.
Build strength a little bit every day.
Use the range study in the euphonium technique chapter.
- Poor Low Range
Blow lots of slow air.
Allow the instrument angle to change in response to the embouchure’s changing shape.
Allow the chin to move down and out slightly for the pedal range.
- Choppy Phrasing
Blow constant, steady air.
Develop independence between the valve movement and the air flow by practicing with no tongue.
- The Tongue and Valves are Not Coordinated
Try “air euphonium”—blow air through the instrument with no sound while tonguing to hear what the tongue is doing wrong more clearly.
Move the valves at precisely the moment the note should change.
Do not confuse valve speed with tempo.