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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Weekly tips will be moving to Tuesdays starting next week. You’ll still get your tips, but on Tuesday mornings vs. Monday’s…
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Here Are your Weekly Tips:
Tip #1 – Loose Lips May Sink Ships, But They Play Great Trumpet!
There is all sorts of meanings behind loose lips – loose embouchure, loose aperture, etc. What I’m trying to convey by loose is the lack of the increased tension that seems to want to sneak in on most players as they ascend to the upper register. When I ascend to a “safe and comfortable” note (let’s say High C), I usually don’t feel too much tension build in my aperture where the actual buzz is occurring. Now let’s move that to Double C – if I’m nervous or have missed a few previously, subconsciously I start to shut down the aperture OR worse – tighten it up… this is the direct cause to cut offs and air outs!
This tip goes hand in hand with last weeks tip about the moving aperture in the lower register – causing the “woo-woo” affect.
By not allowing the aperture to stiffen or tighten up as you ascend (but not letting it blow open either) will help start to pull out the upper register notes. In the coming weeks, I’ll post a video on this very thing – tough thing is, this all occurs inside the mouthpiece. So I’ll go to work on figuring out how to show you the differences.
Tip #2 – 95% Subconscious!
I’m sure that we can all agree that trumpet playing (be it Classical, Jazz, Latin, etc.) is extremely challenging to do well. The last several tips have been addressing issues that happen deep within our subconscious mind. Far too much has to take place all at once for us to play a passage for it all to be consciously thought out. This is where the word “HABIT” comes into play.
We all have them… good and bad! On and off the horn, we all do things out of habit. If they are not readily apparent to us, they are extremely difficult to change. But they can also be extremely difficult to change because of our approach to them as well.
Take the first tip for this week – this has been something that plagued me personally for over 30 years! What has helped me change this habit is the consistent work from the first note that I play – to the last of EVERY day! Being extremely conscious of how I played ANY given note… low register or high. If I feel that aperture start to move or stiffen up, I stop and make a CONSCIOUS effort to NOT let it occur again.
We as musicians are blessed because we have been given the opportunity to help everyone else step out of their lives if even for just a moment and enjoy what we have to offer! With that blessing comes the gift of practice… don’t waste your practice time by “going through the motions!” 5 minutes of conscious, conscientious, consistent practice is far greater than 3 hours of careless / mindless blowing.
WARNING: Be sure brain is engaged before putting mouthpiece in gear!
Wilmer Wise; Trumpeter
Have a GREAT week!