Weekly Trumpet Tips 11/22/11

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!

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Here Are your Weekly Tips:

Tip #1 – From Sharon: Go See Someone Great Play A Show!

I am copying and pasting Sharon’s exact email suggestion to me because it was perfectly put!  I think we have 3 jobs as musicians… 1) Keep honing our craft and finding ways to stay motivated!   2) Support our favorite artists!   3) Teach our children – not only the craft but the appreciation of music and the necessary skills to play well!

“I keep hearing about air through the horn, lot of your tips talk about it, and instructors say it, you hear it all the time and think, yeah, yeah, air. But a lot of times I think people hear about airflow but don’t really get it. And you can listen to recordings or videos and not even think about the air. But last weekend I went to a small venue in Boston and saw Arturo Sandoval and within 5 minutes of watching him play close up, I was thinking, “I gotta get more air through my horn!” Basically – it finally clicked. Not only the air, but I think you see things that you can work on and it gets you fired up.
When you practice at home in a small place like a bedroom or home office, it seems loud and I think maybe players stop putting as much effort into the air flow. But if every so often, if you play in the stairwell or outside or somewhere BIG, especially standing up, you automatically put more air into it.
Just my thought on air…  :)”
Thanks Sharon!
Tip #2 – Chop Maintenance With Limited Practice Time (Nate Simpson)
I get tons of great emails concerning the weekly trumpet tips.  I can’t tell you all how much I appreciate it!!!  I get most excited when someone has a suggestion for a tip!  This one was from Nate Simpson and is a true problem that should be addressed.  Here ya go!
We all run into periods in our lives where we have limited (to almost no) time to practice the way we should or would like to.  So what can we do to maintain the chops so that we’re not coming back from a deficit?
If you CAN get to the horn, but have limited time: I like going to the Arban’s book and playing a built in endurance exercise.  I’ve suggested this to some of you in the past, but here it is again.  Pages 14, 15, and 16 – Exercises 15 – 27.  Set a metronome to 60 beats per minute… once you start playing, don’t remove the horn from your lips until you just can’t play anymore.  PLEASE NOTE – this does NOT mean don’t breathe!  I’d hate to get an email from an angry spouse about how I made someone turn plaid and pass out!  What this merely means, is to not remove the mouthpiece – period.  By stringing these exercises all together and not pausing in between them, you’re playing for a long duration.  For example – by playing exercises #15 – 18 strung together, you’ve played for 5 minutes 52 seconds… get the idea?  If you can make it all the way to #27 without stopping, you’ve played for 20 minutes and 32 seconds…
If you CANNOT get to the horn (vacation, sick, work related travel, etc.): I would suggest doing either mouthpiece buzzing (with a mouthpiece) or totally “FREE” lip buzzing.  Keep in mind that when you remove resistance that the equipment offers, it requires more strength from your chops and the use of your air.  You can also do the infamous pencil exercise, etc.  This will at least stave off atrophy, and will prevent you from having to rebuild muscle again totally from the ground up.  I also recommend doing a ton of listening as well… it can inspire you that when you do reach a point of having more time, to actually “WANT” to practice.
Remember – nothing promotes growth better than practicing that which you cannot do / do well… but if you’re budgeting time, these little tidbits should help get you to the next “shed-stop.”

“Happy are those who dream dreams and are ready to pay the price to make them come true.”

Leo Jozef Suenens
1904-1996, Clergyman

Have a GREAT week & Happy Thanksgiving!!!