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Suggested Reading

1. Rehearsal Rooms

Struggling to improve the acoustics in your band room? Check out how the Medan Band did it.

2. Concerned about playing swing music properly?

Check out my guidelines

3. Ear training exercises for bands

Unlike piano players, ear training is essential for wind band performers. But how many band directors bother to give their bands suitable exercises?

4. Intonation problems

While tuning is simple act of adjusting a length of tubing on a wind instrument (often by reference to a single note), intonation is an ongoing process in which a player strives to match the pitch of others in the ensemble during performance. 

5. “Blowing” a wind instrument

A common misconception among wind players is to believe that the air moves through the instrument in order to produce the sound. This is simply not true. 

6. Conducting – suggestions for home practice

The best way for a conductor to improve is in front of a live ensemble. The unfortunate reality, however, is that this is not always possible. Aspiring conductors therefore have little choice but to find other ways of honing their skills.

 

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Playing Outdoors

Playing outdoors presents a range of problems, particularly when no suitable amphitheater is available.  Generally speaking, the band will have greater projection if it is seated on some hard surface (such as concrete) which will reflect the sound upwards and away from its source.  Avoid grassy surfaces whenever possible, since they merely absorb the sound.  In such circumstances, bands tend to blast their way through pieces in an effort to be heard and generally tire quickly.  Where possible, it is also a good idea to position the band in such a way that a large wall or building acts as a sort of sounding board to project the sound forwards.

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