Tip: Making a Bad Piece Sound Like Something

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This is an important skill to develop for any musician because, honestly, you will play a lot of bad music over the course of a career.

On my recital this weekend I played a number of very fine works. However, one was actually not a very good work at all. I don’t want to name it, as it has been used for years and years as sight-reading in auditions at ASU. But with the upcoming retirement of Gail Wilson from the trombone studio I wanted to include this work, as he had commented once that he wanted to hear the piece one time before he retired.

The work itself sounded a bit like old, 1930s movie music. The pianist and I made the most of it, really tried to sell it. And, from the feedback from the audience afterwards, actually it was an audience favorite. This just goes to show you that if you sell it and play with confidence it can make up for a lot of inadequacies in any work of music.

University of Horn Matters