Weekly Trumpet Tips 1/28/14

The Shadow

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!

Keith’s new CD is available on iTunes! Click on the photo below!


(Physical CD’s Available HERE)

Tip #1 – There Are NO Short Cuts!

This sounds pretty logical, and I think most of us “understand” this fact.  However, that doesn’t prevent the “human factor” to kick in and look for a shorter route to an end result.  In fact, look at any aspect of modern human life, and you’ll find results of that very quest at the core of almost every advancement.  From transportation, to the way we build our homes, businesses, and live our lives.  Most of us don’t grow and hunt our own food – at least not passed going to the grocery store and searching for what we want.

With that being said, there are certain things that still require us to be patient and learn things at the pace that we learn it. I like many trumpet teachers, am often asked by young players, “how can I hit a G above High C by March?”  THAT’S a loaded question in and of itself, because it’s usually by players I’ve never met, heard, let alone been in the same room with.

I WASTED years searching for a quick and easy solution to high range… whether that be mouthpieces, methods, or horns. I wanted it by the end of the month, year, etc.  And the more I fought the common sense stuff, the further away from the real truth I got.  And what’s worse, I didn’t want to face the fact that my reading was under par, and my improvisational skills were nonexistent!  Now that I’ve finally awakened to the fact that I needed to work my tail off for the knowledge and understanding, my playing has “begun” to advance out of the shadows of mediocrity.   The only thing that helped this was dropping the search for quick and easy, and just doing the work every day without hesitation or fail.

Tip #2 – We All Learn Differently…

Your second tip this week really does couple with the first tip… there are no short cuts.  If you’re looking for a true short cut to learning something faster, take a serious deep look at your style of learning things.  Are you more visual?  Do you pick up on things by doing, reading, watching videos?  How do you best learn something as an individual?  I myself, must do something multiple times and really concentrate on developing a process that I can wrap my mind around.  IF I’m inconsistent with something, or don’t have a full grasp, just doing over and over won’t get me to the next level of deeper understanding.

Here’s a great example… a year ago, I was given the task of learning arpeggio’s in a completely different way for improvisation.  I practiced them the way I was shown (C, E, G, B / C, E F# B / C, E, G# B, etc.) but didn’t really have that “sound” in my ear or my understanding.  So it was slow, difficult, and mostly VERY frustrating.  Then one day (or so it seems) I just started to “hear” it and things became more naturalized and easy.  But GOOD GRIEF it took a long time.  What I didn’t consciously realize at the time was that I was subconsciously trying to internalize the flavor, or sound.   C, E, G, B was easy… but the others were difficult.

So I encourage you to really discover how you best learn something…

“Focus more on your desire than on your doubt, and the dream will take care of itself. You may be surprised at how easily this happens. Your doubts are not as powerful as your desires, unless you make them so.”

Marcia Wieder
Speaker and Author

Have a GREAT week!