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 Re: Rhapsody in Blue
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2018-08-24 22:42

Paul Aviles wrote:

> You kinda do a
> "YAWWW" sort of maneuver with the lips and tongue.
I think this is central to the way a lot of players do this smear. If you pull the back of your tongue downward in an exaggerated way (aggressively "open throat"), you will produce a pitch drop and a very whiney, uncontrolled sound. Think of a fire or ambulance siren. The trick to the smear is to start it with your "throat" open (tongue down) and this out-of-tune, spread quality.

One way to develop it is to practice bending a high C(6), which is the top note of the actual gliss in the Rhapsody, by lowering the back of your tongue and slightly dropping your jaw (or think of an exaggerated "ooo" with your lips). You can bend the note downward as far as these maneuvers will take you (again, think of a siren), then work on trying to increase the pitch bend so that it is as wide as possible. It isn't unreasonable **with a responsive reed** to bend C6 down a fourth or maybe even a little more.

You do need a responsive reed (not a stuffy one that normally takes an effort to make sound) and a steady air stream. Blow aggressively and steadily without holding back or changing the stream at all during the slide.

**You can't drop your jaw or slacken your embouchure muscles to the point that you can't sustain any sound at all. If the reed stops vibrating, you've gone too far.**

If you can develop a controlled bend downward like this, your gliss should start (at whatever pitch you're comfortable with) with your mouth and tongue in the position you've developed for the lowest pitch of the bent C6. Then, when you slide your fingers off, the gliss is much more reliable. Many players who start the gliss on G5 end up controlling the whole slide with only the throat/tongue and embouchure. Once you get within the range of the pitch bend you developed, as you approach C6, you can really take your fingers off and bring the pitch up using only your tongue and embouchure to return to a normal playing condition.

One other thing to keep in mind as you practice. Once you can control the gliss, try to vary the speed - the length of time from bottom to top. I've played this for three different conductors and each one wanted the speed to be different. One wanted me to "take my time." Another wanted me not to take too long (to prevent it from sounding like a stunt instead of a musical effect). The third wanted it sort of in the middle.

If you start around D5, as many players do, you do have to be a little bit careful with your fingers. If your RH fingers start to come off before the LH fingers clear their holes, chances are the tone will stop. So, IMO, although the glide from one fingering to the next is mostly controlled by the tongue/throat and embouchure, fingers generally need to slide off either sequentially or one hand together, LH then RH, so that a higher tone hole isn't opened before the ones below it are.


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 Topics Author  Date
 Rhapsody in Blue  new 2018-08-19 04:52 
 Re: Rhapsody in Blue  new
Paul Aviles 2018-08-19 05:20 
 Re: Rhapsody in Blue  new
Ed 2018-08-19 05:28 
 Re: Rhapsody in Blue  new
Bob Bernardo 2018-08-24 10:45 
 Re: Rhapsody in Blue  new
kdk 2018-08-24 22:42 
 Re: Rhapsody in Blue  new
Tom H 2018-08-26 02:32 

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