Weekly Trumpet Tips 12/11/12

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!

Tip #1 – Music As A Business 

The last couple of weeks have been a new and pleasantly frustrating time for me.  In the course of the last few weeks I’ve been trying to coordinate recording my new album project that Kickstarter made happen (thanks again by the way for helping).  But the eye opening frustrations have been from trying to take care of business, make calls to musicians, studio engineers, and the folks I asked to write arrangements, etc.

My first tip for you this week is to always remember that no matter what business you go into, you’re going to have to put forth the best effort to learn the necessary material, be as punctual and professional as possible, and have integrity – if you want to STAY in business. The “Music Business” is no different!  Because ultimately, you’re in the “marketing and presentation” business.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard band leaders say, “I don’t care how great someone plays, if they’re an “A” hole I don’t want to work with them!”  There are a lot of great players out there… the ones sitting at home are the ones that forgot to handle themselves professionally – as you would in any other business.  At the end of the day, the highest note, the fastest run, or the coolest lick is only a small part of what is really important.

Tip #2 – Consistency Is THE Key to Success!

A lot of players go WAY wrong in their practicing because they lack consistency.  I’ve seen people who pick up the horn everyday not make a bit of progress because they aren’t being detailed in their work.  For instance – if you’re working to play higher, playing higher all day everyday will NOT get you good results in the end.  Because it’s a lot more than just playing high notes.  A great football player does not become great because they play a lot of football.  They become great because they analyze strategy, build the required strength, stamina, and speed through working out and spending time in the gym, etc.  High notes alone will not make you a great lead trumpet player, soloist, or an impressive trumpet player.  What will, however, is working all fundamentals with precision, and being absolutely focussed – if even for just 20 minutes while you’re practicing.  Work rhythm, tuning, articulations, dynamic contrasts, etc. with focus, and you’ll be creating more than just high notes.  If you’re not using a metronome for at least 1/2 of your practice session, then you’re missing the consistency part.  Get the picture?

Constant, consistent, conscientious practicing is what is really required.  Become a great musician…