09/19/17

The Creative Hornist – book – Content: Parts 3 & 4

The Creative Hornist (published late September 2017)

Part 3: Inkiness Playing: The Benefits of an Aural Approach

Chapter 10: Recreating Recreating: Using Aural Tradition to Add Pizzazz to Interpretation

Ch. 11 The Ears Have It

Ch. 12 How to Have Fun on the Horn with Friends and Without Ink

Ch. 13: Technique Through Tunes: Using Familiar Tunes to Develop Technical and Aural Skills

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09/7/17

The Creative Hornist – Content – Part 2

The Creative Hornist – new book

Contents of Part 2: Adding Wow to Technical Routines

Ch. 6 – The End of Scales

I. Introduction

II. Alternate Scale Proficiency Test Preparation

III. Making Music

Ch. 7 Spicing Up Technique

I. Warm-Up Spice

II. Scale Spice

III. Arpeggio Spice

Ch. 8 – Card Deck Workout

Ch. 9 – Adding Variants to Practice Routines

 

09/6/17

The Creative Hornist – Part 1 – Content

New book: The Creative Hornist

Contents of Part 1: Getting Started: Who’s Afraid of Big Bad Creating?

Ch. 1 – Being Columbus

Ch. 2 – Do You Ever Play Your Horn?

Ch. 3 – Beware of Philip Farkas

Ch. 4 – “Often It Is the Horn Player”

Ch. 5 – The Creative Habit

09/5/17

NEW BOOK: The Creative Hornist by Jeffrey Agrell

My new book will be released on amazon.com in the next couple weeks. It is The Creative Hornist: Essays, Rants, and Odes for the Classical Hornist on Creative Music Making

I am in the last stages working with the formatter/designer and cover artist; as soon as that is wrapped up, it will be released.

The Contents are in arranged in 7 Parts (30 Chapters), plus an Appendix (extra stuff!):

Preface and Pep Talk

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04/15/16

Improvisation Games for Classical Musicians, Vol. II is out!

Improv Bk Vol. II My new book was just published by GIA! The first volume of Improvisation Games for Classical Musicians was published in 2008 with something like 566 nonjazz, non-notated (i.e. prose descriptions) games (much better word than “drill” or “exercise”), 354 p., with generous sections of explanatory material and resources for further study. This new volume is the result of about nine years of collecting and inventing new games. It contains 642 new games in 374 pages; there are fewer categories than in Vol. I (which is not labeled Vol. I, by the way), but there are mostly more games per category and there are some new categories as well (e.g. Movement Games). There is less explanatory material – just summaries; didn’t want to repeat all that in Vol. I, with perhaps just slightly less in Resources (more new material). But there are considerably more games, and many of these games come with variations (up to 18 variations on occasion); most teachers will be able to tweak these games and variations to suit their needs as well as be inspired to invent new ones, so these 642 can easily become thousands and thousands. And note that you can repeat games and never have them be the same twice.

If you are new to these improv games, you probably should start with Vol. I and absorb the explanatory material. If you have your copy of Vol. I, you will want to order Vol. II and enjoy the vast array of new ideas and offerings. And: once you have taken some games out for a spin, I always appreciate feedback on how it went. Or your ideas for new games. I will post a few of the new games here as samples, and would be delighted to post some of your new games as well if you would like to share.

In any case, have fun!

10/22/14

Classical Jam #1! (improv Video)

My book Improvisation Games for Classical Musicians (354 p,. 2008, GIA Publ.) has been out for a while and has enjoyed a certain modest success among classical musicians who would like to start creating their own music (aka improvising). But it has lacked one thing: video/audio examples of what this classical improv thing is. There is of course no one right answer – what it sounds like will depend on whose playing, and even the same players may have wildly different versions of any particular game. Nevertheless, it’s nice to have some examples of a few possibilities of some of the games.  Continue reading

08/16/13

Getting Real (Book)

RealBook_1736

(Photo credit: ray.gauss)

I like to improvise, but I am not a jazz player on the horn. Nevertheless, it is a very good idea for any improviser to learn from any/every source and jazz is certainly a source that we should steal, uh, learn from at every opportunity. One basic resource for the jazz player over the years has been the so-called Real Book, which was for a long time an illegal compendium of lead sheets – basic melody and chords of jazz standards (and some not-so-standards). They were illegal because they included the (copyrighted) tunes. Fake books (real/fake? Get it?) that just gave the chords to songs without the tunes avoided this sticky bit of legality.

Real Books were hard to find for most people for a long time – you had to know a guy who knew a guy who sold them from the back of his station wagon in parking lots on odd Thursdays. Real Books were the necessary samizdat resources of learning jazz. If you know jazz, you could get together with anybody and play all night and beyond – somebody just had to call out the page in the RB and everybody could play, whether they were familiar with the tune or not.

Although you might be able to fault the usual Real Book for choices (lots of tunes you never heard of before) and mistakes in chords and melody, you can’t quibble over quantity. Lots of stuff here! RBs are thus handy but quite bulky to schlep around, which is possibly a good reason to learn the tunes by heart as quickly as possible.

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01/5/13

Improvisation Books

Cover of "Free Play: Improvisation in Lif...

The best way to learn (nonjazz) improvisation is to do it – play and play, preferably with experienced partners who can model and advise and guide. Next to that (or along with that), it’s nice to not have to invent all the wheels yourself and have some books on the subject help you along.

The best ones to get (ahem) of course are mine (all published by GIA) Improvisation Games for Classical Musicians, Improv Games for One Player, Improv Duets, Improvised Chamber Music. But there are plenty of other books out there that you should consider looking at if you are interested in this subject. Here are some of them, not in any particular order:

Stephen Nachmanovitch, Free Play

William L. Cahn, Creative Music Making

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