Weekly Trumpet Tips 1/31/12

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.

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Here Are your Weekly Tips:

Tip #1 – Thing’s We’re Told That Are WRONG!

As trumpet players, we’re told by teachers, mentors, and band directors a great many things that seem to make sense but are really quite opposite from the truth.  Over the next couple of weeks I’ll list a couple of examples of troublesome advice that actually cause more harm than they help!

Keep Your Teeth Apart!  This is something that Maynard actually taught me was quite wrong and misleading.  Most players think that keeping your teeth apart means to “open” their mouths.  When we open our mouths in an “OH” fashion, this makes the upper register extremely difficult.  You’re creating a cavern for the air to slow down in vs. helping your range, sound, etc.

Larger Mouthpieces Are Better!  This is one that I have actually had a great amount of difficulty with in helping players.  By larger, I’m referring to the diameter – most players that start off on a 7C, are eventually moved to either a 5C, 3C, or in some rare cases down even to a 1C.  Because everyone is different, there is not a “one size fits all” answer.  Muscle structure, teeth, jaw structure, fatty tissue, etc. all come into play when dealing with mouthpiece sizes.  Case in point – I was on a 3C equivalent for many years – ALWAYS struggling with range, endurance, and control.  Once I started down-sizing, my playing improved.  Range was NOT the first to improve though… it actually started with endurance and control.

Tip #2 – Be A Listener & A Player When You Practice!

How often when you practice, do you actually “listen” to what you’re putting out?  Hearing yourself and actually listening is one of the most important aspects of learning and growing but is often over looked by students.  Record yourself – but also get into the habit of actually listening to your playing AS you play.  Dynamics, articulation, control, inflection, and tone color are all aspects of playing that will set you apart.

Name a player that has an unmistakable sound!  Harry James, Maynard Ferguson, Arturo Sandoval, Clark Terry – they all have a distinctive sound and unmistakable approach to how they phrase, etc.

“Your real purpose in life is to develop yourself. To successfully do this you must always be working toward a goal.”

Bob Proctor
Author and Speaker

Have a GREAT week!