Weekly Trumpet Tips 10/03/10

The Shadow

Welcome to Weekly Trumpet Tips,

Please always feel free to respond / comment on any of the tips listed in these weekly posts.  Your input may help clarify details for someone else!

Check out the Chops Rehab and Jazz Improv courses.  These are designed to be 4 weeks worth of lessons to help the student gain insights and skills in each specific area.  We are currently running a “Back To School” promotion on Chops Rehab…

A couple of updates – we’ve selected a name for the book – keep checking back to find out what it is… the book should be finished by October’s end.  A month behind what I wanted, but it was worth the extra time!!!

We now have t-shirts!  Check out our new t-shirt design!  We have the “adult version and the school friendly “student version!”

Adult T-Shirt

Here are your weekly Tips!

Tip #1 – The Human Air Compressor!

It dawned on me this week that we as trumpet players are actually turning ourselves into a “human” air compressor when we play.  One of the biggest problems that we tend to be plagued with though is that we don’t actually “pressurize or energize” our air after we’ve taken a breath.  I caught one of my College students this week taking a nice big breath – then just sitting on the air and letting it just lay there.  As we did the Schlossberg exercises, things seemed fine.  But as we moved through the lesson and started needing to use the same lip slur type interval as found in the Schlossberg, he struggled.  This thought hit me as I was airing up a tire last weekend.  A major “AH-HA” moment both as a player and as a teacher.

When you take a deep breath, pressurize the air with your abs… keeping pressure on the air – use the aperture as your regulator only.  When we don’t pressurize our air, our aperture is now responsible for that as well!  Small muscles doing too much work!

Tip #2 – How Do You Practice?

I’m asking this because I tend to “over” practice every chance I get.  Causing continual fatigue that sets me up for tough playing when I really need it.  If you’re a lot like me, and play yourself to the exhausted point, you may want to consider taking a complete day off – followed by a lighter day.  This has been helping tremendously as I have had to be in top playing condition for important gigs and recordings.

If you can’t get to the horn everyday, then I’d suggest keeping the hard day / light day routine going.  It’s equally important to have the exercise as it is the rest… and a healthy source of protein both before and after practicing so that your muscles have something to build on during rest.

“Continuous effort – not strength or intelligence – is the key to unlocking our potential.”

Sir Winston Churchill
1874-1965, Former British Prime Minister

Have a GREAT week!