Weekly Tips 4/18/10

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 #1 – Words we use to describe others and ourselves are basically “learned.”  Our parents, siblings, teachers, and friends are amongst the top individuals that we learn words and their meanings from.  If you look at the word “TALENT,” it’s described in the dictionary as “a special natural ability or aptitude.”  But if we look deeper into what “talent” really is, we will see that it’s not a gift for a chosen few, but rather it is a result from the art and science of a highly concentrated effort.  My experience with this word  has been on both sides (talented / and not).

Looking back into my childhood and analyzing my humble beginnings, I really wanted to play… my Uncle and my cousins both played instruments, and I idolized them, therefore inspiring me at a very young age.  This only grew because I wasn’t allowed to start playing until around age 8.  So once I was given the opportunity, I excelled quickly because all I wanted to do was play… “talented!”  In my growth as a young player, I was not shown how to count rhythms, improvisation, or proper technique in playing (upper register, etc.).  So long about my freshman year of College – Not Talented… prompting me to quit for 3 years.  Simply hearing that a person is or isn’t from someone that we hold in high regard, can be demotivating enough to cause negative results… when all we’re really subjecting ourselves to is another persons opinion.  Talent is not a thing, but rather a process… practice, practice, and MORE practice!  Focussed, concise, and careful practice!

So where is all of this going?  Simple!  Understand that as a communicative being, we “label” things in order to get our thoughts across.  So this tip leaves you with one thought – REACH BEYOND AND FAIL FREQUENTLY

Tip #2 – How’s your lip buzzing coming?  If you’ve been reading the weekly tips for a short time you know that I’ve personally picked it back up (properly this time) with stunning results!  The key is to be CONSISTENT with your buzzing.  This weeks tip is to start your lip buzzing in your warm up phase.  I started incorporating it into my pedal tone exercise that I do daily to help relax my aperture.  As I got things going, I started buzzing higher and higher pitches for longer periods of time.

If you’re not lip buzzing, or your inconsistent with it, believe me – it will make a major impact if you just stick with it!

“The mark of a great player is in his ability to come back. The great champions have all come back from defeat.”

Sam Snead
1912-2002, Golfer

Have a GREAT week!