Weekly Trumpet Tips 11/13/12

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!


Tip #1 – Range  Building – Week 3 of 3

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve talked about the most effective and efficient ways to increase your range.  The first week I talked about playing in the middle register for extended periods of time.  Last week – playing in the upper register softly.

This week, let’s talk about gaining “usage” ability in the upper range.  The next step is to start gaining comfort in playing “music” in the upper register.  One of Maynard’s practice methods was to use the Arban’s book – page 191 – 150 Popular Melodies.  He said that by playing them where they are written as musically as possible, then playing them up, you’ll gain more than just high notes.

By following exact articulations, dynamics, and not deviating or skipping that stuff, you’ll gain a much more musical approach throughout your range.

If you’re unable to play something up a full octave, you can transpose up a full step, a 3rd, 4th, etc. until you’ve built the strength and awareness and can play up the octave.  Remember that what is important is the musical line – not the highest note in the piece.  So even if you miss something, try to continue the line as musically as possible!  And by all means – record yourself!

Tip #2 – Shameless Display of Lead Playing

I decided that this week, I’d shamelessly post a video I shot from the stand Saturday night while performing with the Temple Jazz Orchestra and singer Paul Salos.

I hope you all enjoy this… I’ve posted 2 versions – one from the front of house, and one off of my stand.  I largely record myself to hear if I’m playing the way I hear it in my head.  If I like it, then I “may” post it for others to hear and see.  If not – it’s right to the recycle bin with a lesson learned.

Don’t be afraid to record yourself.  It’s far better to sound bad in the practice room and have to listen back, then to do it in front of a lot of strangers that you can’t delete!



“To believe in the things you can see and touch is no belief at all – but to believe in the unseen is a triumph and a blessing.”

Abraham Lincoln
1809-1865, Sixteenth President of the United States

Have a GREAT week!