Weekly Trumpet Tips 2/19/13

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 – Practicing is Great, But What About Performing?

We all understand that practicing is a necessary evil with anything / everything that we do – if we want to improve.  Over the last few weeks, we’ve discussed ideas on how to be efficient with practicing, etc.  But what does all this practicing lead to?  What are your personal goals?  After all – all that hard work has to lead somewhere, right?

I hear a lot of adult students say, “Ah, I’ll look for a group once I can… (fill in the blank)!”  Like they were waiting on a magical skill that will put them over the top, make everyone fall to their knees in awe because they mastered this one thing.  Truth be told – performing and rehearsing with a group gives you more things to work on in your practice sessions.  Nothing ever really gets solidified without putting it to the test.

Let’s say that you build an airplane… follow the plans EXACTLY, spend YEARS crafting it and in the end – never fly it.  Either because you were too afraid to fly, or because you didn’t have enough faith in your hard work and efforts.  Yes – that’s an extreme example, but the hard work and effort is the same.  You end up with something tangible… not only an aircraft in the end, but also the skill and knowledge on how to build one.

Anyone who asks me, “should I find a group to play with?” almost always my answer is YES!

Tip #2 – Breathing… PROPERLY!

Once again, it’s no secret that I’ve had to learn a GREAT many things the hard way.  When it comes to trumpet playing, I’ve had to correct my path more than words could say.  Whether they were small corrections, or massive ones, a correction is a correction.  Breathing is one of those things that I had to work very hard on!

As I become a more efficient breather, I am appalled as to the sheer number of brass players that take conversation style breaths to play their instruments, and then are left in dismay as to why their chops are shot 20 minutes into a rehearsal or show.

Below is a video example of how I approach breathing… I hope this is helpful!


You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”

—Martin Luther King, Jr.

 Have a GREAT week!