Orchestral Excerpts for the Tenor Trombonist: Ride of the Valkyrie

By Elliot Chasanov • April 01, 1997 • 1 min read

As simple a passage as it seems, "The Ride" is one of the most regularly asked excerpts, often used to weed out the field of auditionees.

In order to prepare this excerpt, I suggest starting with several recordings. Be sure to note tempi, style of articulation, rhythmic accuracy, and placement of accents. After listening with score in hand, start practicing the excerpt slowly, with a metronome or a Dr. Beat, setting the metronome on a subdivision of eighth notes.

Another helpful tool is a multi-speed tape recorder (even an inexpensive micro-cassette can help a great deal). Tape yourself with the metronome running, then listen back at full & half speeds to your accuracy of 16th note placement and accents (repeat taping often with and without metronome).

The most common errors made in preparing the excerpt are:

  1. Playing the pickup eighth as a duple subdivision, rather than a triple subdivision.
  2. Swallowing" the sixteenth note through poor articulation.
  3. Misplacing the accent.
  4. General placement of 16th.

To aid & stylistic rhythmic accuracy, I would suggest practicing the passage several ways:

Remember, this music is a depiction of horses galloping and needs to "ride" forward, so don't let it sound stagnant. Horses don't generally gallop in place (or backward).

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