Weekly Trumpet Tips 10/8/13

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!

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

ReCheck 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 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 – Weather Changes = Chops Changes

Call me superstitious (after all, it is October), but I fully believe that as the weather and the climate rotate into cooler temps, our chops (and bodies for that matter) need to adjust.  I think modern man is so far removed from the cave dwelling days that we don’t realize that our bodies “prepare” for summer and winter – the 2 extremes.

I typically feel it in the chops because they swell up and it takes me a lot longer to get warmed up and back to “zero” as I call it so that I can play without airing out, etc.

How does the weather changes affect you?  Do you fair better in the summer months when it’s hot or in the winter months when it’s colder?  I tend to do better in the cooler temps… more consistency from my chops and warm up isn’t such a painful process…

Tip #2 – Young Musicians Take Heed!

Young musicians, if you’re new to the “professional music scene” take your cues from the older / wiser musicians.  That’s not to say that you won’t run into some jaded musicians, but if you use common sense you can weed them out.  One issue I see far too often is younger musicians hungry for a gig, coming in and are working for next to nothing.  That sets a bad precedent in the market place, because now club owners, and venues start to cut pay.  That is a short term gain for a long term failure – much like corporations are doing to the workforce.  Laying off or forcing retirement on older workers so they can reduce salaries and cut benefits and hire a younger staff.  The ONLY one that benefits from this is the person calling the shots – club owners, etc.  More work, less pay…

If you add up all the years you’ve invested already into learning your craft, you’d be astonished.  A doctor spends on average, around 10 years in school learning his craft.  By the time you’re 21 years old (roughly a sophomore / Junior in college) you’ve studied your instrument for 10 years.  Once that physician gets out and establishes a practice or joins an existing one, his rates are NON NEGOTIABLE!  So what’s the difference?  NONE!  It’s a chosen profession, and a value must be set on what you do.  If you are willing to display to the venues and clients that you are willing to take less, then you are setting a precedent for you and others in this field.  It also creates a mindset about you as a musician.  Think of it in terms of cars – why are Ferrari’s and Lamborghini’s in the $250K and up range, when other cars can be purchased for a fraction of that?  Because they’ve established themselves as the toys to the super wealthy, so they are valued at a higher rate.  Does it mean they are better?  No – not in the least… it’s all a mind set.  What you work for today, will affect what you will be able to make tomorrow.  Just some food for thought… keep live music alive by feeding live musicians!


“A little more persistence, a little more effort, and what seemed a hopeless failure may turn to a glorious success.”

Elbert Hubbard
1856-1915, Writer, Publisher, Artist, and Philosopher

Have a GREAT week!