Weekly Trumpet Tips 11/29/11

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 – Be A Pro Under ALL Conditions!

It amazes me that in this day and age with SO many vast resources of recordings, videos, sheet music on websites, and the ability to contact players literally ALL OVER THE WORLD, that I am running into musicians (not just trumpet players) that do this full time but do NOT put in a full time effort.

Example – I, like a great many of you out there, perform regularly with an R&B band that does weddings, private parties, and the occasional club date.  Our band prides itself on staying as true to the original recordings as possible… all live musicians (no midi tracks) and an extremely tight rhythm section and horn section. 2/3’s of the band is full time.  When we hire subs, we expect our subs to come in knowing that they must be able to perform ALL of the material that was pre-sent – they are paid for 2 rehearsals prior to the show, and are worked in as much as possible without having to “hand hold” them.  Subs are hand-picked by the person needing them… as of late, we’ve run into a great many younger musicians who come in and “wing” it.

Just as a doctor who calls in an associate doctor to check in on his/her  patients in their absence, a certain level of professionalism and knowledge is expected by the patient / client!  Dare I walk into a patients room wearing a white lab coat and “wing” it because I don’t know how to prepare?

I see this more and more – folks that take the leap to play full time, yet they do nothing to prepare themselves for the very work that will keep them “day job free.”

Tip #2 – Support Your Hero’s!

In keeping with the discussion last week where Sharon had mentioned she went to hear Arturo Sandoval and what a motivation that was, I thought I’d expound with a bit more of my thoughts on this.

Whether your playing hero’s be local or they be International stars such as Arturo, Randy Brecker, Doc Severinsen,  or Clark Terry I believe it’s important for us as musicians in many ways to support them.  We, after all, are consumers of music as well as musicians ourselves.

I see a couple of  problems a lot with local people on the scene here – they spend all of their time and energy putting together a CD with no reception.  The biggest problem is that no one outside their circle of family and friends knows about it… the second largest problem is that the Justin Biebers, Brittany Spears, etc. of the world have HUGE marketing campaigns behind them.  Allowing them to “go viral” very quickly – radio airplay, million dollar videos, tours, etc. all backed by large corporations banking on you pulling out your wallet.

Our classical, jazz, and latin player hero’s aren’t usually granted such backing – at least not to the magnitude of a marketing campaign sure to reach everyone and their dead relatives!

As musicians, teachers, players, and supporters – we need to keep attending shows, buying these albums, and passing along this appreciation before it slips into the abyss of yesteryear… the one true American art form is truly “JAZZ.”  Yet, we have one of the weakest fan bases here in the states…

“Believe in yourself and there will come a day when others will have no choice but to believe with you.”

Oscar Wilde
1854-1900, Writer and Poet

Have a GREAT week!