I had a lesson yesterday with Sasha Johnson – tubist for the National Ballet, and professor at the Glen Gould School, among other gigs in Montréal. And now it’s the day after and I’m reading old entries of my blog and thinking “Dan, right idea, wrong execution”. Not that it’s totally bad — I had the right idea after all, I just have a better way now.
Sasha recommended James Thompson’s ‘The Buzzing Book‘ and used much of that book’s methods in my lesson. I’m a super fan of buzzing – ever since my UofO lessons with Nick Atkinson (who just bought a new Yama-York tuba!). Sasha brought up some
interesting important points about us people who buzz (him too until recently):
- we don’t buzz in tune
- we don’t buzz in time
Damn – there were 4 points, but perhaps those were derivatives of these two. In essence, we don’t buzz the mouthpiece like we play our instruments. And I am guilty of that. I buzz long tones, random “melodies” that I make up, and real melodies (music currently on the radio, or something just playing in my head). I also do glissandi and scales and try my best to play them in tune, but I need to start recording myself and listen to see if I am.
So after my lesson, I went down to Long & McQuade on Bloor St in Toronto and bought that book. I’ve already read the first few pages, and I’m looking forward to spending the next 4 to 6 weeks on the first 4 exercises. Like the book says: It takes as long as it takes.
But back to the main subject of this entry – I like reading back on old blog posts and seeing how I’ve progressed since then. I have to resist the urge to re-write these old entries with better ways.