Weekly Trumpet Tips 10/21/14

The Shadow

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! Do you enjoy the Weekly Tips?  Please help support this site by donating here…


        Check out About Face HERE!!! Check out Secrets to Efficient Brass Playing HERE!!! A NEW Week 1 & 2 for the Jazz Improv course has been added… subscribers, please visit the course page to see this new addition.  A new week 3 & 4 will soon be posted as well… These courses 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 and as a guest artist!! Please go to our “Clinics” page for details!

Keith’s new CD is available on iTunes! Click on the photo below!


(Physical CD’s Available HERE)

Tip #1 – Do You Trust Your Teacher?

Both as a student of the trumpet and a teacher, I have been shown a MUCH deeper understanding of both rolls.

A teacher’s obligation is to show the student the proper exercises with as much detail as possible to give a clear perception of what they are striving for through the exercises.  Handing someone the Schlossberg book and saying few words beyond, “Here – do these exercises!” will only create more problems than what they will solve.  BUT – by sharing with the student the proper technique of doing said exercises (in a mirror, using air not face muscles, etc.) they will walk away with less chance of encountering gaps in their lessons.

A students obligation is to release any and all doubt, listen to and TRUST the instructor completely.  IF something is not clear, then questions must be asked!   But by changing, omitting steps, or not practicing in the prescribed manner can cause a massive slowing in progress.  What that shows me lately is a lack of trust in the instructors knowledge which begs the question, “why continue lessons if you’re not willing to prescribe 1000% to what your instructor is telling you?”

Bottom line – as an instructor – give clear instruction leaving as little to chance or interpretation as possible.  As a student – practice exactly the way you are shown in lessons without question… practicing carefully, consciously, and consistently will yield great results!

Tip #2 – Music Is NOT A Sport!

I noticed on Facebook that the International Thelonious Monk Institute is holding its annual “competition” once again.  Now – keep in mind, I have no problem with the concept of “competition,” but what I DO have an issue with is the mindset of a great many people that anything less than “1st” place means that those players are as good or don’t deserve as much attention or good will.

As a young student, my high school jazz band was EXTREMELY competitive and won a great many awards and competitions.  And while it was great at the time, it didn’t really mean anything in the grand scheme of things.  I understand that the institute has to have a way of awarding a scholarship and other honors to those selected, but as a student, player, musician and someone who strives to get better, don’t let the words “competition” and “1st” place limit your thinking or perception.

I was listening to Clifford Brown a lot this weekend and thinking about the recording that he, Clark Terry, and Maynard Ferguson did in 1955 called “Jam Session.”  If you’ve never heard it, it’s AMAZING!  Check it out… but you have 3 VERY different players coming together to celebrate music and the bebop art form.  No one is “better” than the other – they are just different and each has a unique interpretation of the message they are trying to convey… keep this foremost in mind and you will always get greater enjoyment from listening.

Kind words can be short and easy to speak,

but their echoes are truly endless

– Mother Teresa 1910-1997, Missionary

Have a GREAT week!