How to Play Baritone
The baritone is a wonderful instrument that many people enjoy. It is often referred to as the baby tuba, but it is actually quite different. The baritone is more like a trombone in terms of pitch, but like tuba, and trumpet it uses valves to change the pitch whereas the trombone uses a slide. In this article I will teach you how to put your horn together, play your first notes and even how to pick out an instrument.
The first step in playing baritone is acquiring an instrument. Baritones can be quite pricey. I would suggest that you go to a music dealer to buy your first instrument. If that is not possible, or you would like to go the cheaper route then search local pawn shops, or even look online.
Once you have your instrument I would recommend buying a beginner book. Essential Elements is a good brand of music books. I think that it would benefit you if you got a private tutor,, or took a class on playing baritone. You will learn much faster, and your instructor will be able to correct your mistakes.
Set your instrument case on the ground so that you can open it correctly. If you open the case upside down you could damage your horn. Open the case and carefully take your baritone out of its case. Set it on your lap so the valves are facing the sky. Carefully twist your mouthpiece into the mouthpiece hole.
You are now ready to play! Have a tuner handy so when you first produce a sound you know what pitch you are playing. This is very important because all of the fingerings have more than one note that can come out when you alter your embouchure and air flow.
Find a fingering chart for your instrument and start learning scales. The easiest would be your B flat scale, and once you have mastered that go on to your chromatic scale. The chromatic scale hits every note in a certain octave. I would recommend learning the B flat Chromatic, simply because it is easiest.
You will need to empty your water key whenever you hear a crackling sound coming from your instrument. Other care for playing baritone will involve oiling valves and greasing slides. I would recommend oiling and greasing every day before you play and washing out your mouthpiece with warm water once a week. Once a year it would be good thing if you sent your horn to a professional to have it cleaned and make any repairs that are necessary. Repairs could be dents in the brass, or your keys are sticking. Good luck!