Background on The Brass Gym for Horn

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Very early in my tenure at ASU I realized that Sam Pilafian was accomplishing some very interesting things with his breathing/warm-up class and warm-up materials in the tuba/euphonium studio. I was aware of these materials before I arrived at ASU– unpublished versions of his warm-up materials had been circulating for years in bass clef. I knew that the bass clef version was interesting but still, seeing it in bass clef, it was somewhat difficult to visualize on the horn as to how it would feel or was supposed to feel on the face.

Luckily for horn players, following up on the success of The Breathing Gym, Sam along with co-author Pat Sheridan put together The Brass Gym: A Comprehensive Daily Routine for Brass Players. Initially available for only tuba and euphonium, my first look at the treble clef euphonium book almost two years ago was extremely interesting. Presented as it was in treble clef I immediately could see that there was much in this routine that would with only minor adjustments work very well on horn.

I spent nearly a year working over the materials and feel strongly that the new version of this publication (“The Horn Gym”) is a very significant new publication for the horn player. The Brass Gym includes a 108 page book and a 78 minute play-along CD featuring the two authors on tuba. Warming-up with the CD is great for developing and solidifying breathing and pitch production. I believe the authors intentions are preserved well in the horn version and that, if well practiced, this routine will help any horn player reach new, higher levels of performance, especially in the development of range, flexibility, articulations, and a consistent tone. I am honored to have been associated with them in the editing of this volume.

University of Horn Matters