Weekly Trumpet Tips 11/25/14

The Shadow

The Shadow

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        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!

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(Physical CD’s Available HERE)

Tip #1 – Consistency Wins!

As we are getting into the Holiday season once again, I’m playing more shows that require different skill sets this year more than ever.

For instance, I’m subbing for the musical “Shrek” and if you’ve ever played musicals before, there isn’t a dull moment because cues happen on a moments notice, and things have to stay flexible because if an actor cues too early or misses, you have to be ready.  I had to sight read that book for the most part.  My jazz quintet is playing more so improvisation (and endurance) are coming into play there.  I’m also playing big band shows and cover band gigs which require range and endurance.

What does this have to do with consistency?  Well – it’s not the consistency that most would think about – consistently playing a line accurately or consistently playing a high note line.  The kind that I’m referring to is in your practicing!

One of the big mistakes musicians make is that they get bored or feel like no progress is being made when they have to play the same stuff over and over again.  What I’ve done is turn that mind set around – so, for instance… if I’m learning a particular lick for jazz improvisation to use in my soloing, I turn it into a part of my warm up and play it / learn it in all 12 keys.  Every day!  Inside of the first week, I can “get through it” in all 12 keys.  Within the first 2 weeks, I’m building speed and reliability on it.  And by the 3rd week, I am able to utilize it by forcing it into my playing.  Same goes for sight reading, range, endurance, etc.  You have to build each day.  Cramming will NOT win this race…

This same process can be used for nearly anything that you’re “having” to practice.  Remember last weeks tip… you only have to until you want to… then you have to – no more!

Tip #2 – Hydration

Even though we are approaching winter (officially) and the weather has turned colder, you still need to think about remaining hydrated!  Your lips are mostly water and will NOT want to behave if you are dehydrated.  Eating extremely salty foods, drinking soda’s or just not drinking enough water and you can get yourself into dehydration trouble.

I’ve been EXTREMELY conscious of it now for the last several months and have noticed that I tend to recover quicker from hard playing gigs than I did in the past.  What was once an “age” thing when I talked with other players about recovery, turned out to be more about hydration.

My water intake tends to be around 1/2 gallon (2 quarts) per day… and yes, I spend a lot of time running to the bathroom.  But it’s worth it when I’m also flushing “bad playing days” down the drain as well!

You must do the thing you think you cannot do.

– Eleanor Roosevelt 1884-1962 Diplomat, Activist, First Lady of the United States

Have a GREAT week and a Happy Thanksgiving (America)