Here is the final installment of quotes from David Zerkel's recent master class for my students at George Mason University. His wisdom immediately permeated my teaching and practicing. Good stuff!
- "Breathing is like investing money. In order to make money, you have to invest money. You have to invest lots of air."
- "When we're presenting our interpretation, I believe that articulation is one of the most negotiable."
- "The practice room is the ideal place to try things out."
- "Can you give me a little more pitch on the double tongue stuff?"
- "I really recommend doing offline practicing when you're practicing double tonguing."
- "The lip trill fairy can visit you in a short amount of time if you do a little bit of work. If you practice the Arban's exercise (quarters->eights->16ths->etc) religiously for two weeks, the lip trill fairy will pay you a visit."
- "As you're working on your double tongue always aim for the 5th note."
- "As you play music that is less melodically oriented, rhythm becomes more important. You need to make the rhythmic aspect of this melody important."
- "What you're selling melodically here is time."
- "One of the main problems with the tuba as an instrument is clarity. Musical clarity, articulation clarity, pitch clarity."
- "You sound like a bird singing in a cage that is covered with a blanket."
- "I need you to be a more active and windy participant so you can play clearer."
- "We have to work three times as hard as any other brass instrument to play as cleanly as they play. -Dave Bragunier"
- "You can't evaluate your playing at the bell. You have to evaluate what it sounds like in the hall."
- "Your best sound is not always the right sound. You listen to Youngblood Brass Band. If you played in a lesson with the sound that Nat plays with you'd get punched in the throat and told to never come back."
- "I want you to offend me with how short you play. I want you to make me puke."
- "The place that you want to get with your playing is to where you are uncomfortable with how far you've gone."
- "You never know how much is loving someone too much until you've done it. In life, you never know where the edge is until you've stepped off of it."
- "You need to be closer to the line."
- "The beginning of Strauss 1 is Belushi jumping into a room."
"In the upper register, work on your spin being a little faster, a little more tightly wound. Move more air with a quicker spin."
"The higher you get on the tuba, the darker and less distinct it gets. I call it the Woo Register because it sounds like someone is wooing (with their hands cupped over their mouth.)"
"Make sure you can maintain a sense of rhythmic urgency without a metronome going."
"Sound is everything. If you don't sound good, nothing else matters."
"If it sounds good, it is good. -Duke Ellington"
"One of the most compelling things we can do is sell people on rhythm."