Weekly Trumpet Tips 11/27/12

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!


We’re doing a “Cyber-Tuesday” Special for new students!

Take a 30 minute lesson for $25 (normally $40) or an

hour lesson for $50 (normally $80).  Email us before the

close of business today to arrange your time.  

Best part is – you don’t have to do the lesson today – you

just have to reserve your time and day!  Hurry!  This

offer expires at 12AM Central Time 11/28/12…

Here are your Weekly Tips!

Tip #1 – Valuable “HIDDEN” Lessons!

As I age (and would like to think that I mature) I learn more about myself, my tendencies, as well as other people.  I often look back on lessons – not just in music, but in life.  And the more I look, the more I see how similar everything really is.

Now that I’ve gone through (and have put behind me) the mouthpiece mystery, I see how ridiculous much of the “common sense” advice on mouthpiece selection for trumpet players really is.  Most of the “advice” comes from a place of not really understanding what the differences in size does, causes, increases, decreases, etc.  Christopher Columbus faced this same kind of ridiculousness before he embarked on his journey… “the world is flat!”  No one “knew” that for sure, but someone with presumed authority on the subject deemed it so, and everyone believed it to be true.  Including Royalty.

I’ve learned that sometimes what we’re shown or taught subliminally can be very powerful as well.  For example… I learned (from an unnamed source) that when something happens unexpectedly that will cost money, to panic and automatically start preparing for the sky and moon to come crashing to earth!  When in reality, the event is small and although not “planned for” can be handled with no major catastrophe attached.  So, a great amount of energy and stress is wasted on something that really didn’t deserve much more attention than, “oh crap… well, okay.”

I see this same thing musically… largely from players who are insecure in themselves and who outwardly have to act like a jerk to keep the scared hidden little person safe inside.  This was a “learned” trait.

So long story short… my first tip for you today is to keep an open mind about everything!  We are all very different, but we are all very much the same.  When faced with someone who plays well, even better than you think you do, embrace that person… you just may learn something that will significantly change you, your playing, and your life!  When faced with concepts that don’t match what you were taught, analyze what you’re trying to fix in your playing.  If it’s range, etc. is it possible that moving to a smaller diameter could be better?

Tip #2 – 10 Minutes of Intense Focus!

A great many of us practice VERY inefficiently!  In fact, it’s probably safe to say that 95% of us practice, have practiced, or will practice, but completely waste that time and effort.  Instead of thinking about the quantity of time you should practice (something else that gets planted into our brains) start thinking about quality of practice time!  10 minutes of intense focussed practice time is FAR better than an hour of just letting your lips flap in the breeze!

If you could time travel and be a fly on the wall and watch Arturo Sandoval, Clifford Brown, Dizzy Gillespie, Maynard, and a host of other players practice, I’m positive it would be EXACTLY like this!  Specific, focussed, and goal oriented.  NOT just high notes, NOT just lesson material, and NOT just band material.

Many times, younger students come in and after being asked, “what did you work on this week?” they answer, my band music, my region music, or “nothing specific really!”  WASTED time…

Have specific goals for each practice session, and watch your playing level increase with less time.

“As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Marianne Williamson
Author and Speaker

Have a GREAT week!