All fees from subs and sales are supporting musicians suffering hardship due to COVID-19

Mordents and trills...

Chris98

Senior Member
Messages
1,095
I've just started on a new book and it's rather keen on mordents and trills, even if I'm not, don't get me wrong I love the sound, it's the execution I struggle with.

Here is a variation of a mordent, and I don't know what it means, or rather what the notes I'm to play are, and in the second bar is a G# trill, is there an easy option for this one? I'm trilling the G key whilst keeping all the others down including the G#, but it's a weak finger!



Oh and one more, to trill a C# (1st Octave) do I use the Eb palm key? The tune is in the key of Bb.

I think that's all of them, any help gratefully received.

Best wishes,

Chris
 

Nick Wyver

noisy
Subscriber
Messages
5,902
The first is an inverted (or lower) mordent. You play G# F# G#.

No, there isn't an easy way of doing this. It's ok to leave the G# key down though - it just makes the A a bit sharp. If the trill goes on for a long time I have been known to use my right hand reaching over for it.

C# trill depends on what you're trilling to. If it's a D then use the D palm key. If it's a D#/Eb then use the Eb palm key. Having said that, it rather depends on your sax. The C#-D trill may be somewhat flat if you use the the D key or way too sharp if you use the Eb key. Use your ears - which sounds better?
 

Sunray

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,723
I've just started on a new book and it's rather keen on mordents and trills, even if I'm not, don't get me wrong I love the sound, it's the execution I struggle with.

Here is a variation of a mordent, and I don't know what it means, or rather what the notes I'm to play are ...

---------- 8< ---------- Polite Snip ---------- 8< ----------

I had to Google Mordent ... [Useful link]

Wiki explains things in some detail ...

Hope that helps Chris ...
 
OP
Chris98

Chris98

Senior Member
Messages
1,095
Hi Nick & Sunray, that's brilliant and exactly what I needed. Nick, using the D palm key sounds flat so I'm using the D# instead. Now it's just a case of keeping the fingers relaxed and agile, and then hopefully, the speed and fluidity will come.

Thanks again,

Chris
 

Sunray

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,723
Help me with this one please ...

Hey all ...

I am learning Peter Gunn Theme ... [or rather trying] ;}

I don't understand how to achieve this bit "a fall"?

Which in my book "Jazztastic" [Tenor] plays as follows ...

F natural to D falling to B [chromaticly] in this example or at least that's what I am interpreting ... [I am not sure this is correct though].

See this picture ... View attachment 837

Later in the piece this slightly different fall is played View attachment 838


Here is a sound snippet ... [Link to SoundCloud]

Can you please explain the notes actually played in each case and any tips on how to play them as fast as the sound example.

Thanks ... :)
 
OP
Chris98

Chris98

Senior Member
Messages
1,095
Hi Sunray,

I'd interpret it the same as you, in the first example you drop chromatically from the D to the B but at the same time you also need to drop the volume as well so that by the time you get to the B it's nearly not there.

As to how to play it... well, I guess like everything, practice!

This is an area I need to work on myself, and I was just thinking about the best approach... 1st would be to get pretty slick with your chromatic scale. Then pick a starting note and ending note and just get used to falling from one to the other, the drop in volume will hopefully be easier once you've got the notes ingrained in your finger muscles.

To be honest I've often busked it and just hit as many of the notes as I can but not getting to hung up on the awkward ones!

Hope this is of some help, but hopefully someone with real knowledge will step in,

All the best,

Chris
 

Sunray

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,723
Thanks Chris ... :thankyou:

It helps to know I seem to be on the right track ...

I struggle with playing all the notes quickly AND dropping the volume ...
 

Sax.Man.Jack

New Member
Messages
8
It's not all about playing quickly ;) and trick is hit as many as you can and accent the first then i find just drop the airflow and loosening your mouth which can also let some air escape which just gives some character to the sound but only for drop offs no getting lazy mouth and letting air slip :L
 

MandyH

Sax-Mad fiend!
Subscriber
Messages
3,519
image.jpeg
Ok...since this thread is already here, it makes sense to carry on, if that's ok?
....what do I need to do to play these mordents? Do I just play up a note and back down (so C# to D and F to G)? Do I just go up to that note once only and back? (If it makes any different this piece is marked crotchet =186. And it's a modern piece - the composer is still alive)
Up to now, I've generally ignored them! But I think this solo will definitely sound better with the "twiddle" in place.
It's a Bari sax solo in an ATB trio piece, and I want to do it justice no matter how brief
Thanks
 

nigeld

I don't need another mouthpiece; but . . .
Subscriber
Messages
5,410
If there are mordents in the other parts, you should all do them the same way.
 

tenorviol

Full of frets in North Shropshire
Subscriber
Messages
5,619
A mordent is sometimes given the English alternative name of a shake and it is simpler than a trill. An 'upper' mordent just starts on the written note (e.g. F#) and goes up to the next diatonic note, i.e. the next note in the key, so G in this case. A lower mordent does the same thing, but goes down. Publshers vary in their use of symbols to represent these ideas, so do composers - especially JS Bach.

A trill repeatedly alternates between the two notes.

A turn starts on the written note, goes up one, back, down one, and back.

There may or may not be a turn to exit the trill - it depends on the period and on the composer to some extent.
 

aldevis

Surrealist Contributor.
Cafe Moderator
Messages
12,078
I find in big bands that most people "shake" across a minor 3rd.
Me too, but I have in mind trumpets, where the shake is some kind of lip trill, so an intervals not always related to harmony. Sometimes a major third.
 

tenorviol

Full of frets in North Shropshire
Subscriber
Messages
5,619
This is another wiki on the subject.

'Shake' is the English word that was used for ornaments such as mordents and trills during the Baroque era - say around 1600 - 1800 ish. There's probably something in Christopher Simpson's "Division Viol" if I have a look...
 

jbtsax

Well-Known Member
Subscriber
Messages
7,614
Me too, but I have in mind trumpets, where the shake is some kind of lip trill, so an intervals not always related to harmony. Sometimes a major third.
In big band music, a shake played by saxes is generally up a minor third. In the brass it is a "lip trill" to the next higher harmonic whatever the interval.
 
Saxholder Pro

Members OnlineStatistics

Help!

Sign up to the Mailing List

Latest posts

Top Bottom