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BB Brass Masterclass: Kirsty Abbotts on shaping a slow melody with success

Saturday 30 January, 2021

When it comes to shaping a melody, few can do it better than esteemed performer and cornet soloist, Kirsty Abbotts. Kirsty, who’s principal cornet of Carlton Main Frickley Colliery Band and a Geneva artist, writes exclusively for British Bandsman readers about how to approach a melodic line in a way which will leave audiences spellbound.


Many ingredients are woven into the art of performing a slow melody successfully; all are interrelated and of equal importance. When approaching a slow melody, it’s necessary to think about what you wish to achieve then break it down into significant elements that will help you in your quest.

Ultimately, a slow melody gives you the opportunity to try your utmost to express feeling, aiming to touch people through your playing. In order to perform expressively, it’s crucial to study both the solo line and the accompaniment thoroughly. If the solo is a song in its original form, ensure complete familiarity with the words. This will give you a good understanding of the phrasing and what lies behind each line or phrase.


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