Update: The Low Horn Boot Camp is now out in a second edition as a Kindle ePublication. Purchase on Amazon. The other versions described below are out of print.
Back in 2011 I released a collection of low horn etudes, the first section being based on the famous Bordogni (“Rochut”) etudes that are so beloved by low brass players. The first half of the Bordogni etudes in particular, as published in that publication, they worked great for the initial development of horn low range, proven after use with quite a number of students. More on that in a moment.
Talking with colleagues I realized there was clearly a larger market for a new version of the Bordogni etudes, so the past several months I have gone back and developed seven (!) new publications, basing my new edition of these classic etudes on the version by Ferdinand Gumbert, gaining in the process extra musical variety compared to the commonly used Rochut (trombone) version.
The graphic visually tells the story of the range of the new publications, but to explain it more directly let’s start with the standard bass clef version. It is at the same pitch level (noting that Rochut changed a few keys) as the standard version used widely on the trombone. As to the other versions, the standard treble clef version is an octave higher, the low treble clef is down a fourth from the standard treble version, the low bass clef is down a fourth from the standard bass clef, the extra low bass clef is down an octave from the standard version, and ultra low bass clef is down an octave and a fourth from standard bass clef. Simple as that!
Each version will be of interest to different brass players – trumpet, horn, trombone, Euphonium, bass trombone, tuba — not to mention players of other instruments. Tell your friends! This publication is one that will be useful to a great number of players, and will be available inexpensively in a convenient E-book format which prints easily or may be read directly on any E-reader device (iPad, etc.).
Back to the “Low Horn Boot Camp” version, this is actually where the subsequent Bordogni editions all began for me. Some horn teachers use the standard Bordogni Rochut trombone etudes to try to teach low horn, but I found that they really are not low enough to work on the low range effectively. I then stumbled upon a version (no longer available) that had been transposed down a fourth, and that pitch level was right for low horn — but I also found it was so low that horn players initially had difficulty hearing/playing the music. So I began in my teaching to pair those low bass clef etudes with what became the low treble clef version, an octave higher, to kick start the low horn learning process. These are much more playable by most any player, but still have their own challenges, including especially playing across the break and playing in tune.
The pairs of etudes, combined with the suggestions included for low range development, make the “Boot Camp” version ideal for any player or teacher looking for effective materials for initial low horn study! And I believe that having this new variety choices of ranges for these classic studies will be of great use to teachers of all brass instruments.