Weekly Trumpet Tips 10/18/11

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 About Face HERE!!!  Check out Secrets to Efficient Brass Playing HERE!!!

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.

Keith is available for clinics!!  Please go to our “Clinics” page for details!

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Here Are your Weekly Tips:

Tip #1 – Efficient Practicing – On / Off the Horn!

I grew up thinking that in order to practice, I HAD to always have the horn in my hand and “be one with my instrument.”  As I’ve grown and gotten a lot smarter about practicing and playing, I’ve learned that some of the best work I’ve done was actually OFF the horn.

I know, I know – you’ve heard this before… BUT – major break-through’s can occur when you’re just listening, or running a rhythmic pattern verbally.

So the next time that you’re lamenting that you can’t get to your horn, remember that just by listening with an open mind to some recordings, counting with a metronome or even sight singing parts will only improve your abilities when you actually get back to the horn itself – as Doc Severinsen has been heard to say “The Trumpet is a JEALOUS mistress.”

Tip #2 – Connecting Lower Range to Middle / Upper Register During Warm Up

I am one that when I make a mistake, forget something (brain fart), or have to be reminded of the “proper” ways to approach something, I’m eager to share.  I’ll be doing a video on this next week so we’ll recap with that video… but for now, I’ll give you the background on my latest snafu!

The last couple of weeks, the weather has been pretty whacky here (Austin, TX).  Hot, cold, humid, extremely dry… and the chops have been acting up.  So naturally, I start blaming those changes on my chops not working consistently… now keep in mind – that DOES play a role in this, so I’m not totally out of it yet.

Last week – I had a GREAT day Monday… a HORRID day on Tuesday, and by Wednesday I had figured out what I was missing!  I had stopped doing flexibility exercises.  The simplest of the Schlossberg style exercises… I have added more to that (which my video post next week will cover in depth), but lacking this particular aspect of my warm up I was essentially going from playing pedal tones, to a few middle register things, and then straight to my upper register.  Leaving my chops stiff, unresponsive, and me extremely frustrated!

To Be Continued…

“Do just once what others say you can’t do, and you will never pay attention to their limitations again.”

James R. Cook
1728-1779, Naval Explorer

Have a GREAT week!