Re: Using the Blue Book as your warm-up material
Posted by Blue Book Devotee on 11/29/2020, 4:41 pm, in reply to "Using the Blue Book as your warm-up material "
We use Foundations exercises daily as warmups. |
We start with long tone exercises 1A and 1B almost every day. Earlier in the year when we're rebuilding embouchures from summer, we include F descending, 1C, 1D. Depending on the focus at the time, we might call attention to starting exactly in time, moving together, releasing together, balancing the ensemble, matching pitch, matching tone quality from one note to the next.
I haven't every gotten into the other long tone sets, but if you buy the conductor score it goes into detail about the reasons for the different long tone sets and what to focus on.
We move on from there to the warmup sets. Each one has lip slurs of increasing complexity and difficulty for the brass. Option 2 for woodwinds is an octave or overtone exercise. Option 3 for woodwinds is a chromatic exercise. In a normal year, we would spend a week or two really learning each warmup set, and then rotate through them for the rest of the year. I find that fresh material in the daily warmup keeps the kids from just going through the motions. Lots of opportunities to work on flexibility and range for brass, woodwinds can work on chromatic fingerings, make sure they know their enharmonics. Percussion should rotate between mallets and snare.
I usually do some of the "technical exercises" in at least 2 keys each day. We have a rotation of learning major scales that teaches all 12 major keys in the course of the year, so we do whatever the "key of the week" is, then usually some work in whatever key we're about to rehearse that day. When introducing a new key I'll start with the "mini scale and tonic arpeggio" exercise, then the major scale, then pattern 1. Top band gets into Pattern 2 and 3rds. 2nd band might, usually during contest season the "key of the week" gets dropped to focus on more immediate needs. 3rd band never gets to all 12 keys, honestly if they're really solid in the 4 sight-reading keys we're in good shape. I haven't messed with the chord study things. I've been thinking about incorporating more minor scales in common keys instead of all 12 majors (or maybe a 2 year rotation that hits all 12), but we haven't gotten there yet.
After all of this drill, most days we'll do a chorale of some sort, usually in the key we're going to rehearse. That might be from the Blue Book, or a chorale section of our concert music, the Bach chorale books, or I have some other resources I've picked up over the years. I try to keep the chorales fresh to keep the kids on their toes.