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!
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Tip #1: Good is the Stumbling Block To GREAT!
I read something this past week that really stuck in my mind, and I could nearly instantly relate – not only to myself, but a great many musicians that I have worked with over the past 20 + years. The gist is pretty simple… when we reach a certain level of “good,” we can tend to get either complacent or “too busy” to continue pushing forward.
Arturo Sandoval is a prime example of someone who DID NOT stop, get complacent, or create excuses to keep pushing through “good” and into GREAT. In fact, if you were to ask him, one of his favorite things to do is practice and feel the improvement…
You always have to start with Desire… we all have the desire, if we didn’t you wouldn’t be reading this. The second thing that you need is the Decision to practice, study, and pursue the art of playing. The 3rd thing is THE most important thing that will push you beyond good and into great is DISCIPLINE! That alone will help you to create the player that you hear in your dreams!
Tip #2 : Range Building – Week 2 of 3!
Last week we talked about building aperture strength by playing for long periods of time in the middle register. You have to realize that most trumpet parts are written in 8 bar, 16 bar, and 32 bar phrases, then we’re allowed to rest. But – when you get into a playing situation such as the circus, gospel music, extended solos, etc. your 32 bars will suddenly turn into 32 minutes and more!
This week – let’s look at actually building higher notes. There will always be notes that we can “hit” and notes that we can “play.” Our goal should be to push the “hittable” notes as high up as possible. But this is where the trouble starts… most of us go for triple forte immediately!
I’ve suggested this in weeks past, and feel it’s worth mentioning again and again until it sinks in. Playing higher range notes softly will help you not only increase the strength, but you’ll get a great sense of what that note feels like. Don’t just do arpeggios, scales, etc. Play musical lines using that note… hold it, etc. But do NOT increase your volume for some time. Practice getting to them softly… this is a weeks / months long process.
More on range (cause there’s a lot) next week.
“You do not always have to know when you are going to get to your goal, or how you are going to get to your goal, but you do need to take the next step.”
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Have a GREAT week!