Weekly Tips 4/11/10

The Shadow

The Shadow

Welcome to Weekly Tips!

If you’re looking to improve your range, endurance, tone, control, and over all ease of playing the sometimes brutal instrument known as “trumpet,” check out Chops Rehab Course.

For those of you that are finally ready to dive head first into improvisation, check out Sparky Thomason’s Beginning Jazz Improv Course.  Sparky walks you through step by step on the best way to ease into improvisation and start playing freely.

Here are your weekly tips!

Tip #1Equipment Addiction!

Nope – not what you think it is… I’m not talking about buying a new horn every year, or gig bags, etc.  What I’m talking about is the inability to buzz pitches without a mouthpiece or a horn.  If you watched the video and read what was written last week about lip buzzing, you can see that it’s possible to buzz pitches at least within the staff.  I am on week 3 now (starting) of lip buzzing, and I’m noticing personal growth in a steady manner.  I am also noticing soreness in places that I don’t feel after playing for hours on end.  This is all great stuff… but as I introduce this to more students, I’m amazed that some have never even tried to buzz without the equipment.  I even had one gentleman argue that you can’t buzz pitches and put the horn up to play them… guess who owed me a beer!  If you haven’t ventured into the lip buzzing territory yet, I strongly recommend that you at least give it a try for a week… keeping in mind that it is more physically demanding and will tend to tax you.  If you are an avid practicer, be ready for a lighter day – if not, incorporate this and let me know if you notice anything after the week (good, bad or indifferent).

Tip #2Attitude Is Everything!

I posted something on my Facebook page today stating “Your attitude affects your outcome!”  One of my replies was “Talent comes in to play on that as well.”  I disagree… it doesn’t take “talent” to be great at anything.  It takes dedication, perseverance, tenacity, and great patience with ones self!  The first 3 are pretty self explanatory – you have to be dedicated to your goals and your craft.  You have to persevere through the rough spots, and you have to stay tenacious and stick with the routine.  But what many of us don’t have (at least not easily) is patience and trust in the process of practicing.

By practicing the fundamentals (slowly at first) and being absolutely careful with every practice session so that you don’t rush through the process is vital!  I am one that would get impatient with myself for not “learning faster” to try and keep up or surpass someone else and therefore cause more delays and problems in the process.  Had I instead, stayed patient and not competed with someone else (in my own mind) I would have met my goals and created better habits along the way.

Where does the attitude come in?  In the course of this the mentality of “I can’t” or “this sucks” slips in, and begins to create even more impatience… therefore affecting the first 3 – which can cause us to give up.  NEVER give up, and please be patient with yourself AND your practice!

“Nurture your mind with great thoughts. To believe in the heroic makes heroes.”

Benjamin Disraeli
1804-1881, British Prime Minister

Have a GREAT week!