Weekly Tips 2/28/10

The Shadow

The Shadow

Welcome to Weekly Tips!

If you haven’t signed up for Chops Rehab or for the Beginning Jazz Improv course yet, now is a great time!  Don’t miss out on these simple ways of meeting your goals today!

Here are your weekly tips!

Tip #1 – While working your upper register playing, one of the biggest mistakes most people make is that they don’t correct the tension problem that inherently develops in the aperture.  Understanding the difference between “aperture” and “embouchure” is vital.  We as brass players must know the role that each plays…

Most players start to tense (out of habit – not necessity) their aperture and this is what starts to cause weakening notes, double buzz, and eventually complete air-outs.  Your lips MUST be able to vibrate in order to achieve this.

Tip #2 Improvisation anyone?  I was basically “stamped” in high school “the lead guy.”  Range has been my job, my goal, and my nemesis for well over 20 years!  I made a commitment to myself and my music this past New Years (kind of my resolution) to start working on my improvisation as it has intimidated me to no end!  I was fortunate enough to be the videographer for Sparky’s Beginning Jazz Improv video, and it inspired me to finally get off my butt and get going.

One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is this – it doesn’t have to be right, it doesn’t have to sound good – you just HAVE to get it going! I find that I’m listening to jazz, bebop, and swing with a different ear now.  I’m finding myself wanting to rewind to hear that lick once again cause I think I can copy it.  I practice my improv near daily now (considering I came from never just 2 months ago, that’s pretty good) and I have been complemented now by my fellow players on some solo’s because I’m starting to speak the language more intelligently.  I fully encourage you to dive in with both feet!!!  Stay focussed, and develop a routine of working out improv stuff… play – have fun – and it will become infectious!

I want to thank everyone for their understanding for last week’s absence in the Weekly Tips… as well as everyone’s supportive and kind emails about my Pop’s passing!

“The starting point of all achievement is desire. Keep this constantly in mind. Weak desires bring weak results, just as a small fire makes a small amount of heat.”

Napoleon Hill
1883-1970, Author of Think and Grow Rich

Have a GREAT week!


Keith Fiala