Working from home? Switch to the DIGITAL edition of School Band & Orchestra. CLICK HERE to signup now!

Playing Tips

  • The Penny Game

    Sharon Paquette Lose | September 12, 2016A great practice method is the Penny Game. There are three versions of this, so it can be tailored to the student. Put ten pennies on the left lip of your music stand. The goal is to get all ten pennies to the right. Easy version: If it’s played accurately, move one to the right. […] Read More...
  • The Rule of Thumb for Saxophone

    Sharon Paquette Lose | September 12, 2016Most sax players use too little mouthpiece in the mouth. I use my “rule of thumb”: have them put their thumb in their mouth so their bottom teeth are at the bottom of their thumbnail. That’s how much mouthpiece should be in their mouth. If they match that to their mouthpiece, it will open up […] Read More...
  • Turn it up!

    Sharon Paquette Lose | September 12, 2016Play loud, and act confident until you are confident with your playing. Razan A. Badr Riverdale High School Jefferson, Louisiana Read More...
  • Play for Joy!

    Sharon Paquette Lose | September 12, 2016Never play to “impress” others! I have seen dozens of musicians tie themselves in knots at auditions, performances and even rehearsals trying to impress someone else — the conductor perhaps, the anonymous committee at auditions or even people in the audience! Play for the joy of the music, the composer and for yourself! Stephen Heyde […] Read More...
  • “Dots Good”

    Sharon Paquette Lose | September 12, 2016The dot makes a note longer by half the notes value. I first teach the dotted half note, then the dotted whole note. Learning to read the dotted quarter note becomes much easier for students to grasp the concept of augmentation dots. Michel Nadeau Burr Intermediate School Commack, New York Read More...
  • Five-Minute Flute

    Sharon Paquette Lose | September 12, 2016Before playing your flute, take the mouthpiece only and do a few slurring exercises (going from the lower octaves to the high octave) and play around with your sound a little while looking into a mirror. Listen carefully how your sound changes by either pushing more air from your stomach, or loosening/tightening your embouchure. Make […] Read More...
  • Clarinet “B for Bulls Eye and Both Pinky’s”

    Sharon Paquette Lose | May 12, 2016To accelerate learning for B above the break, I put 1/4″ round color coding labels on both pinky keys. Students learn that B is the bulls eye of the music staff and played with both pinky’s.   Michel Nadeau Burr Intermediate School East Northport, NY Read More...
  • Practice Stretching

    Sharon Paquette Lose | January 8, 2016Tip: I always start my practice with a stretch of my hand. By doing this, I can play more efficiently and easily with my hand not cramping up. To protect my hand from any strain, I also rub out my hand when I am through. Nicole Reed Bartlett High School Anchorage, Alaska Read More...
  • Playing Tip of The Month: Play it Again!

    Lloyd McDonald | December 11, 2015Play it again! Often in rehearsal, we are quick to stop playing and “fix” something. Many times, simply playing a passage again and getting some repetitions in will “fix” the problem we wanted to stop and work on. Our students can “iron out the kinks” pretty well themselves if we give them the time and […] Read More...
  • Picture This…

    Naomi Crews | November 11, 2015

    Practice articulations by using visual representations. Draw a picture of staccato.

    Read More...
  • Getting Good Air

    Naomi Crews | October 22, 2015Characteristic tone and tuning start with air. Unrestricted air requires use of the diaphragm, posture that allows for expansion in the abdomen, a relaxed and open throat, and no tension in the shoulders or neck. Good air should move a piece of paper held in front of the face from vertical to horizontal. Carolyn Ireland […] Read More...
  • A Long Tone Warming Up in Half Steps

    Charles Regier | September 15, 2015

    For a well-rounded tone quality, I am convinced you need to warm-up the band always using long tones from B flat concert and play half steps down to low F concert and back up using half steps. It results in better tone and better tuning. It’s simple, but it works over a period of time.

    Read More...
The Latest News and Gear in Your Inbox - Sign Up Today!