Weekly Trumpet Tips 1/19/16

Trumpet Shadow

The Shadow

Welcome to Weekly Trumpet Tips:

(1) Record Yourself!

(2) Back Bores, Throats & The Equipment Pit!

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Tip #1 – Record Yourself!

This past week I was in the studio with my quintet as we’re working on our first all original tunes album.  It struck me as interesting that when you hear yourself back, little blips and split notes that don’t really make me cringe while I’m playing send absolute shivers of pain down my spine when listening back!  Not to mention any improvisational wandering that occurred.

One of the greatest tools of the modern age is recording devices… and unlike when I was a kid, they are readily available sans “Size D” batteries, cassette tapes, etc.  With the digital recording devices that come built into our phones these days, we can record ourselves (and erase what we play) endlessly.

When I practice now, I record everything I do… good, bad, ugly and downright pitiful!

You can fast track your growth by listening back to everything you play.  Whether it be scale studies, warm up, classical etudes or jazz improvisation, recording yourself will show you what truly DOES sound good, and… what doesn’t!

Tip #2 – Back Bores, Throats & The Equipment Pit!

I like most other musicians, am an equipment junky!  Endlessly looking for that perfect case that carries horns safely, horns with the darkest / biggest sound, mouthpieces that help with tone, etc.  I have quite a bit of gear!

What a lot of players don’t necessarily realize when they make mouthpiece choices is there are many variables and combinations of traits to a mouthpiece that will make it easier or harder to play, cause your sound to be too dark, too bright and any combination of such, etc.

The throat is the little hole leading into the back bore.  That throat size is notated by drill bit sizes.  A typical throat size is #27.  Any number smaller than that and the throat opens (gets bigger) causing a more defused sound and can lead to endurance / intonation issues… especially if you’re not prepared for it.  A larger number (#30) is going to be tighter and can cause your sound to be brighter as well as playing more sharp.

So before you drop $100.00+ on a new mouthpiece, you may best spend your time researching these aspects of the new mouthpiece you’re about to plunge into.  Making sure that the throat and back bore are taken into consideration… there’s not much worse than ordering a new mouthpiece only to find out that something is off and it isn’t what you hoped it would be.  Or worse… you can’t return it and you’ve now lost some money over it.

 “The meaning of life is to find your gift.
The purpose of life is to give it away.”
– Pablo Picasso

Have a GREAT week!