If you're seeing this message, it means we're having trouble loading external resources on our website.

If you're behind a web filter, please make sure that the domains *.kastatic.org and *.kasandbox.org are unblocked.

Main content
Current time:0:00Total duration:5:13

Video transcript

("First Suite in E-Flat" by Gustav Holst) - The euphonium kinda has two roles in the band. The first role, I would kind of describe it as a soloist. Very early on composers and arrangers realized the solo capabilities of this instrument. So Sousa, Richard Strauss, and Gustav Holst wrote great solos for it. And the euphonium I guess has a kind of a vocal quality to it you could say. It sounds like a bass baritone vocalist. And you can use a really nice vibrato with it and it just has this lyrical, longing quality I think that composers have been attracted to on both sides of the Atlantic, in America and Europe. The second role that this has is as a utility man. It really is a busybody. The composers and arrangers that have written for the instrument over the years have really made it as a doubler for all the different sections in the concert band. Because the concert band doesn't have strings, it lacks a lot of that resonance that a cello section or a double bass section would give an ensemble. And so the euphonium has really mellow, resonant sound. It blends well with pretty much every section of the band. ("Fanfare Ritmico" by Jennifer Higdon) I tell people sometimes with the euphonium, not many people have heard of this instrument, though most have seen it. Sometimes we have a strike against us when we come out on stage because people are thinking, What is that instrument there? And I tell my students, Well, you have about two seconds where they're kind of curious about the instrument. But because it's the euphonium, not the trombone or the trumpet, they don't have any kind of store of idiomatic music that goes along with that instrument. So we have to connect on a stylistic and we have to connect on a musical line of thinking or musical line of expression for them to understand what we're trying to do. ("The Brisk Young Sailor, Lincolnshire Posy" by Grainger) In terms of warm up, I don't have a really set routine. What I do is I kind of cover bases. One of the biggest things that I talk to youth or young people about a lot is making sure that when they're practicing in the morning, and this can be obviously incorporated into a warm up, the first thing you do during the day, is to connect your diaphragm or your core muscles here with what you're doing up here, with your lips and your embouchure. A lot of times students won't connect the two. So they kind of breathe high from their chest or they're using their jaw to make the articulation. And they get a really forced sound, they pinch a lot with their face as they get that really deep ring in their mouth because they're pushing hard. Basically the body's trying to support the sound. But what I like to do in the morning when I'm warming up is again, just long tones, nothing flashy. And the important thing about the long tones, though, is I'm trying to make sure that my diaphragm or core muscles are the thing that are popping the tongue and the lips out. Not my jaw, not my throat, but right here. So I engage these first before I let the air go. All right, making sound out of the horn. And I'm very cognizant of that when I play. So I just start with you know, pedal notes, below the staff, just so it's something relaxed. Something like this. (low euphonium music) Just easy like that. (low euphonium music) You know, nothing flashy, but what I'm doing is I'm making sure that this engages first. So. (inhales loudly) (exhales forcefully) So I like hold this and then make sure that this is what's pushing the air out. A lot of times kids will use their chin and sometimes they'll even use their throat. And you get this (sings and blows raspberry) before they play. And if they use the diaphragm correctly, it takes care of so many problems right off the offset. ("Above and Beyond" by Gerard Schwarz)