This is where I curse the horn book Just Desserts and its creator Lowell E. Shaw. Lowell E. Shaw is Lucifer himself, come up from the bowels of hell with a trail of sulfur stench following behind him. Lowell E. Shaw laughs at pain and gnashing of teeth. Lowell E. Shaw finds joy in the suffering of mankind. Lowell E. Shaw causes me to play swing on my French horn.
Currently during my horn lessons I play two exercises in the Kopprasch book (a standard), Mozart's Horn Concerto No. 2 (which I play with precision but not with enough delicacy as demanded by Mozart, and in the first movement, not quite up to speed), Beethoven's Horn Sonata (which I have just begun working on and love dearly, Beethoven being my favorite composer), and Just Desserts (jazz style solo exercises designed to encourage jazz playing).
Horn players don't often have opportunity to play jazz. It's not in our nature. We play straight, right down the middle--soft lovely arpeggios or big Hollywood rips. But here I am trying to figure out swing, and I am stumped.
There is a scene in Mr. Holland's Opus where Mr. Holland is trying to teach a student how to feel the beat. It proves to be a difficult lesson, so he straps a football helmet on the kid and pounds the beats out on his head with base drum mallets. I am to the point where I believe my horn teacher needs to suit me up and start hitting my head in a swing-style beat. Maybe then, I'll get it.
Until then, I'll have to stomp the beat out like a horse--ONE and TWO and THREE and FOUR and..........I hate Lowell E. Shaw.