Weekly Tips 3/7/10

The Shadow

The Shadow

Welcome to this week’s “Weekly Tips!”

If you’re looking to improve your range or build an improvisational skill, we encourage you to take a look at Chops Rehab and Beginning Jazz Improv courses…

Here are your weekly tips!

Tip #1 – One of the more frustrating things for us as trumpet players is the inconsistency we can experience with our chops… affecting range, endurance, flexibility, and tone quality.  If you have experienced a strenuous practice day, rehearsal, or performance, there is a good chance that your chops will NOT respond as well.  The best thing to do for this is to back off.  Don’t take the day off necessarily, but do more low register playing with greater intervals of time off in between each playing session.  I find that by extending my warm up (which consists of pedal tones first thing) I can recover relatively quickly from the self inflicted abuse I tend to impose upon myself!  Often we won’t feel the fatigue like you do in other muscles after a heavy work out.

Tip #2 –  Keep it simple!

When you are experiencing difficulty in any aspect of your playing, break it down to its simplest form of understanding… for instance, in the range department – upper register notes are fast air creating faster vibrations.  If things are “airing out” then the vibrations are stopping… perhaps lips are being blown apart.  If things are “stuffing out” then look at the possibility of “pinching” too much.  With respect to improvisation – by slowing down your practice, you can start to master ANY line in EVERY key!  Allow yourself time to absorb the line into your very soul.  Like Randy Brecker says, there are only 12 notes to choose from!

All too often we like to over complicate things.  Whether it be to make what we are doing sound more complex, or because we feel that it is overly complex… it’s best to just take your time.

“You gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face. You must do that which we think we cannot.”

Eleanor Roosevelt
1884-1962, Social Activist and First Lady of the United States

Have a GREAT week!


Keith Fiala