Weekly Trumpet Tips 1/27/15

Trumpet Shadow

The Shadow

Welcome to Weekly Trumpet Tips:

(1) Sandovalves!

(2) No Excuses!

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A NEW Week 3 for the Jazz Improv course has been added… subscribers, please visit the course page to see this new addition.  A new week 4 will soon be posted as well… These courses 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!

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Tip #1 – SandoValves

This first tip this week will start with an open apology for not getting tips out last week.  Truth be told, I was with Arturo Sandoval From Friday to Monday and never had a chance to really sit down and write.  During this trip I got my set of Sandovalves, and as time passes I will put up a video of myself using them.

Let me first start by saying that I’ve seen a lot of “gimmicky” type stuff on the market through the years and I’m always skeptical to drop money on something that can be done through proper practice on the horn vs. on some other device that someone created… but I HAVE to say that the Sandovalves have TRUE merit!  Arturo is my super hero to begin with, so right there I knew that what he had come up with had to be great!  But putting it to actual use, I can see where this tool is going to benefit me in the long run BIG TIME!

I’m including the instructional video that’s on YouTube that Frank, Arturo, Wayne and Gary Grant did a few months back, because that’s the best description of how to get the most out of this tool.

What I’m finding is because the springs associated with the valves are very stiff, it’s a major work out for your fingers!  Going between my horn and the Sandovalves, I can tell that my accuracy picks up!  So I spend a little time each day going through difficult passages, licks, Clarke Studies, etc. on the Sandovalves which in turn helps my accuracy on the horn!

Now I’m not a big advocate for buzzing… I have tried it in the past and always over did it to the point that it wore me out!  So, after realizing that it was contributing to weaker chops (from my own fault) I stopped.  I think the change in resistance can add more complication than anything else if not done properly.  But with the Sandovalves, there is an adjustment that you can make to the opening on the top of the lead pipe to adjust the resistance to replicate the horn.  I believe that if you can buzz a pitch or a line, you can play it because your ear becomes activated as well!

I’ve only had my set for a little over a week, and I’m sold on it.  I am in no way an expert on it (as I stated above), but I am noticing benefits.  Just like any other tool, proper use is mandatory… over doing it with the Sandovalves would be like going to the gym and working out too hard.  You will pay for it the next day!

So my first tip for you this week is to check out the Sandovalves (if you haven’t already), and if you have, please post your comments / practice suggestions that you’ve personally discovered.


Tip #2 – No Excuses!

As I had stated in my first tip, I spent the better part of 4 days with Arturo… and it was incredible!  His musical insights are amazing and come at all times during our conversations!  Much like my time with Maynard, I find that there is SO much knowledge and wisdom housed in that one person that I have to go and take notes on what I’ve just heard in order to prepare myself for more information upon the next meeting!

One of the things that I want to pass onto you as a subscriber is one of the lessons I walked away with that was indirect.  It’s no secret that Arturo is a master of trumpet, piano and percussion… but I learned that he didn’t own his first piano until after he moved to the U.S.  Essentially, he wasn’t allowed to own a piano because he was a “trumpet player” not a pianist.  And without going into greater detail for fear of misconstruing some of the facts, I walked away with the realization that as a people with freedom of choice, we sometimes become far too complacent and tend to be a culture of pleasure seekers vs. knowledge seekers.

In particular, I think back through my own history to a time that I was “burdened” with piano class in College as well as the work load that I was given to practice on trumpet.  Back then I wasn’t fully committed to my dream of being a professional trumpet player because I had it set in my subconscious mind that it was a bad career choice.  But truth be told, I was most miserable when I was working to make money outside of music and not following my heart!

Music (and arts) DEMANDS a total 100% commitment from you – no excuses!  So the next time you sit back and think (do I really have to practice? / I don’t have time today!) just remember this little nugget of information and create the time if that’s what you really want!  You will get back out what you put in…

“Don’t let the opinions of the average man sway you. Dream, and he thinks you’re crazy. Succeed, and he thinks you’re lucky. Acquire wealth, and he thinks you’re greedy. Pay no attention. He simply doesn’t understand.”

— Robert G. Allen

Have a GREAT week!