Thursday, May 19, 2011

Barry Tuckwell. For the ladies.

All the female horn players were throwing panties at this cat. Dude's got skills.
Tuckwell is good. He knows it,too. Look at his face. He's better than you and it's getting him off.
                                                                                Part 2.
A minor flub near the beginning of the clip.
Notice that at several points, King Tuck says, screw you guys, I'm playing faster.
                                                                                Part 3      
Barry Tuckwell, Australian born brass assassin (tm) picked up a horn and said " I'm better than all of you." Actually I don't think I can legally attribute that quote to Mr. Tuckwell.
This guy's tone in the high range is beast. He makes long intervals look simple. Poor principle violin player takes the brunt of the assault on his face. Maybe that's why Barry shook his hand afterwards, like my bad, dude.

Still grinding on the nyan cat thing. If you guys have ideas for me to transpose and work on, send them in. Hope y'all enjoyed the post.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

There will be profanities in this post.

Note the clever use of foreshadowing in the post title. I'm a nice guy. Well, that's stretching it a bit but it's irrelevant. The point is that I loathe whoever posted this thing.
As a classically trained musician, my first instinct was to hate this, but I found myself wanting to listen to it. So, I'm going to transcribe it for the horn and TURN THIS MOTHER OUT.

It's in a god awful beast of a key. It's in B, which means it has 5 sharps. Looks a little like this:
  The "good" news is the horn is tuned to F (we'll get into the differences in later posts) so it essentially adds another (profanities) sharp. See. I told you so.
 Yeah. I know right.
So since we're really smack talking some, I guess I'll continue. I want to get really good again, and do drive by hornings on people. I'm serious. Just walk into some Bed Bath and Beyond (tm) and start blasting Wagner (pronounced with a V)

That would be pretty epic. So I have work to do. I hope you guys enjoy the music.

Monday, May 16, 2011

This microphone situation will be rectified by this Saturday.

I am sick of having to play quiet. The mic on my iPhone can't handle the awesomeness of the French Horn sound above a mezzo forte level. I want to make your faces do this
I noticed a question from a reader that I felt compelled to answer due to its pertinence.

Only In America (link is to their blog) asked this : "Any idea why its called the 'french' horn? just because it was invented by the french?"
The answer to this question is yes.
Only kidding. It is descended from the natural horn (a horn without valves and originally used for hunting calls).
Since 1971 the International Horn Society has recommended the use of the word horn alone, as the commonly played instrument is not, in fact, the French horn, but rather the wider bore German horn. 
So the answer to your question is that the reason we call it a French horn is that we are all dumb.

Here are some out takes from my latest session. Things are progressing, albeit slowly. I left several mistakes in for you to laugh at.
 This is what it will sound like when I am done.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Early afternoon delight.

No not that kind of Afternoon Delight. The song was actually a huge hit in 1977 by the group Starland Vocal Band. I'm speaking, as always, of more French Horn playing. I woke up this morning wanting to get my face melted and immediately though of 2 videos. The first is Stefan Dohr blasting Mahler.
 Wow. That's all I can really say about that. He didn't even check his back blast area before unleashing that assault. Someone back there is going to have permanent hearing damage.
The next video that came to mind was this video of Madison Scouts performing Malaguena in 1988.
I put these up to tide you over. I'm practicing again today. Recording the sessions, and I hope to have some footage up this evening. Didn't want to bog this blog down with too much original content. Anyways, until this evening....ENJOY!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Lip Crawls.

I think it is time to quit smoking and get serious about practicing again. Today's session was encouraging. Got some reps in on scales. It's funny how you don't forget how to do it. Just need to beat my face into shape with some serious lip crawls. Worked on Strauss (Franz, not the other one) Op. 2. Thinking about maybe putting together a small brass ensemble and arranging some original material. Anyway here are some out takes from the session. Sorry, still no decent mic. The iphone mic can't seem to handle the awesomeness of my inability to center a D on this student model King horn. Also transcribing a little of Jurassic Park.

Sorry again about the evening post, but I've been working late all week, so today I spent some time in the garden weeding. Had more Mr. Kitty escapades. 
Yuengling is now my official unofficial sponsor.
Sorry about the watermark on the video. Currently setting up my recording studio. Implementing a metronome and digital tuner into the system I am setting up. Hope to have higher quality video and content in the future.

Friday, May 13, 2011

It looks as if Blogger has made a liar of me.

Well, technically it wasn't my fault, just ironic that the post that implies you wont see the same thing twice ends up staying there. I hope you enjoyed that run on sentence. Anyway, I was standing out at the garden and looking straight up. It was enticing to realize that instead of standing on a flat surface, I am actually standing on a sphere at its apex, and the star directly above me may be the closest thing to me in that direction. I'm birdwalking here.

Today's Horn Lesson.
The French horn has a reputation for being a "difficult" instrument to play. This is also because of the harmonic series. Most brass instruments play in the first few octaves of the harmonic series, where the notes are farther apart and it takes a pretty big difference in the mouth and lips to get a different note.  The range of the French horn is higher in the harmonic series, where the notes are closer together. So very small differences in the mouth and lips can mean the wrong harmonic comes out.

There is one positive to this. Having the small distances between notes, coupled with the extra back pressure inherent in the physics of the horn, makes lip trilling more feasible. Wiki defines a trill as a "musical ornament consisting of a rapid alternation between two adjacent notes, usually a semitone or tone apart. A lip trill is accomplished by rapidly moving from one pitch to another without the use of finger movements, and using only the lips. Obviously, having very light pressure makes this even easier, giving the lips more space to move.
This is an example of lip trilling. Note : This still isn't me but I promise homemade material tomorrow.

Here the trill can be seen in its natural habitat (beasting face) at the 21 second mark. This solo is difficult.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

No sir. You didn't think you'd see the same post as yesterday, did you?

  My friend Phillip sent me this video :
This is probably the saddest thing I have ever heard. I know you guys have been asking for my own playing, so I am working on getting a decent microphone. Phil ( aforementioned ) challenged me to record a new vid to "turn this fellow out" in the parlance of our times (20 years ago). I'll try to have the video done this weekend. Hope you guys enjoy. I've been slacking on my playing so the first few Hornisodes (tm) may be a little shaky. Anyway I thought I better leave you guys with something pleasant to get that emo kid's hoodie out of your thoughts.

Please don't ever think in your mind that I am anywhere near this good at the moment. Give me some time to get back in shape. I played in the Marine Corps band, but have fallen off playing in the past few years. I created this blog for other reasons, but now I use it to motivate myself to finish my performance degree. Here's hoping.