Excerpts – Ride of the Valkyries (Major)

Another challenging standard excerpts is the Ride of the Valkyries by Wagner. It is in a simple, arpeggiated triple meter with a pesky sixteenth note thrown in that makes it a bit tricky and and can easily tip you into obsessive mode. But, it really isn't that hard! OK, it's in B major but you've known that key for years, right? Now it's time to get comfortable with it.

Let's put things into a context that helps us play the music successfully. Some tried and true methods of doing that are:

  • Slowing the music down so that we can sort it out at a reasonable tempo

  • Study the music so that we understand it. Sort out the notes, the slide positions, the scales, the keys, the rhythms, etc

  • Transpose the music into a more playable range - up or down, easier key...

OK, what's hardest about this excerpt? I think that it's the key. So let's start by transposing it into our favorite key, Bb major. Simple. Down a half step.

Here are a series of Band in a Box tracks in Bb to play with at different tempos. Check it out. I'll guarantee that you'll find it fun to play with and I expect, much easier to play. Once you can do this in Bb, check out another post on Slushpump.com to play it in B Major.

Ride of the Valkyries – in Bb Major!

Tempo 88

Ride of the Valkyries – in Bb Major!

Tempo 90

Ride of the Valkyries – in Bb Major!

Tempo 92

Ride of the Valkyries – in Bb Major!

Tempo 94

Ride of the Valkyries – in Bb Major!

Tempo 96

After the clicks count-off, there is a 2 measure rhythm section introduction before you start playing the excerpt.

Ride of the Valkyries – in Bb (Pop groove)

Tempo 88

Ride of the Valkyries – in Bb (Pop groove)

Tempo 90

Ride of the Valkyries – in Bb (Pop groove)

Tempo 92

Ride of the Valkyries – in Bb (Pop groove)

Tempo 94

Ride of the Valkyries – in Bb (Pop groove)

Tempo 96

You'll notice that you'll play differently depending on what the 'feel' is - i.e., the 'groove'. This is a natural tendency, to go with the flow, and it really helps when you are having trouble finding the feel. Having something to plug into is really a great solution!

So, get used to playing it comfortably with the groove, internalize the groove so that you feel it even when you are playing alone.

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