Weekly Trumpet Tips 1/4/11

Welcome to Weekly Trumpet Tips,

“About Face” is out and available!!!  All the waiting, struggle, and energy was WELL worth it!  I’m very pleased with how the book turned out and know you will be too!

It’s available HERE!!! (Click on image to see full size)

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 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.  We now also have t-shirts!  Check out our new t-shirt design!  We have the “adult version and the school friendly “student version!”

Here are your weekly Tips!

Tip #1 – Habits Of Excellence!

If we’re going to set habits, we might as well make them positive and beneficial vs. something we’re going to have to go back and fix later because of repercussions from laziness or not being clear.  My favorite way to think about that is from the movie Jurassic Park when they were using frog DNA to fill in the blanks.  What kind of information is getting left out because of it?

If we approach our habits of excellence in the following categories, we can certainly improve not only our habits, but our outcomes.  We’ll look at each one in depth over the next seven weeks.  The following seven categories are from Gerald Klickstein’s book “The Musician’s Way.”

1) Ease

2 Expressiveness

3) Accuracy

4) Rhythmic Vitality

5) Beautiful Tone

6) Focussed Attention

7) Positive Attitude

“EASE” – Listening to any number of artists that we idolize (Maynard, Arturo, Wynton, Clifford Brown, etc.) we can hear in their performance a certain sense of “ease.”  This is something we need to all strive for so that our conscious minds can be focussed on other bits of information rather than trying to “force” something to sound easy.  By practicing “ease” in varying degrees of difficulty, we can, overtime, develop that similar sense of ease that we convey to our audience.  We are, after all, trying to become as fluent with our instrument voice as we are with our spoken voice.  And when’s the last time it was difficult for you to speak something?


This tip comes from my bass player – who can be, shall we say, crude at best.  For all the times that he can come off as a complete jerk, he had made an invaluable point in rehearsal last week as we were preparing for gigs over the holiday weekend.

It has been noted that the musicians and singers start to lose energy as the night wears on.  What his point was is to keep that energy level as high as possible and to always remember that we are putting on a show!  STAY FOCUSSED!

Maynard used to always tell us that THE most important people in that auditorium were the members of the audience!  NOT the members of the band or himself!  He believed (and is absolutely correct) that NO entertainer / performer is ANYTHING without people who are willing to listen.

So the tip here is – especially in light of the new year – stay focussed on your goals.  Don’t let your mind or anyone else take you away from you truly desire… just because you’re tired, or you had a rough day, or practicing hasn’t been going well lately!!!  That’s the time that you’re about to make the biggest break-through usually… stay on target!

“One day at a time – this is enough. Do not look back and grieve over the past, for it is gone: and do not be troubled about the future, for it has not yet come. Live in the present, and make it so beautiful that it will be worth remembering.”

Ida Scott Taylor
1820-1915, Author

Have a GREAT week and a Happy New Year (2011)!!!