Weekly Trumpet Tips 2/25/14

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!!!

A NEW Week 2 for the Jazz Improv course has been added… subscribers, please visit the course page to see this new addition.

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 – Break-through’s, Advancement, & Improvement

We all strive to have monumental break-through’s, notable improvement and advancement in our playing, but much of the time we are standing in our own way of improvement.

Here’s another example of how this past week was one of a great mental break-through for me, but how I was exactly standing in my own way from this break-through for a long time.

Improvisation is THE thing that scares me stiff!  I have made it my key goal to overcome this fear, and advance this skill so that I am a competent soloist and a more complete musician / trumpet player.  My break-through came with me realizing that music is another form of communication, one that really knows no borders.  And jazz has a language all its own that requires a student of the style to learn the vocabulary.  My epiphany came with me studying a couple of ii/V7/I licks.  Somewhere along the way, I got the notion that I had to continually reinvent the wheel and play something new and different each and every pass.  What I realized was that to be proficient at this, you first have to have a command over your instrument and ideas that work over chord progressions.  The more “sentences” you have under your belt, the more able you are to build your own vocabulary by total creation on the spot, or by mixing up ideas (licks) and changing patterns.

This may sound pretty obvious and simple, but here’s my point – I had it stuck in my mind, and couldn’t see beyond that curtain I had drawn over my own eyes.  Thus, I was standing in my own way of progress…

Keeping an open mind to your studies and not being closed off to any information that may come your way just may cause you to have a massive leap in improvement and understanding.

Tip #2 – Catch More Flies with Honey

Have you ever noticed who reacts positively to high loud notes that are being played on a trumpet?  Typically, other trumpet players…

Just as the old adage goes, “You catch more flies with honey rather than vinegar” so goes the same for loud high notes vs. playing musically and lyrically.

Okay – don’t get me wrong, I still think high notes are super cool, and I love playing in the upper range, but there is a time and a place to do so.  Maturity usually deems someone’s ability to know when the time is right vs. inappropriate.

Tip #2 is pretty simple… learn to play musically!  Listen to tenor sax players, vocalists, violinists, pianists, and other musicians that have a lyrical approach to their message in music.  Adding in high notes with a musical / lyrical approach will only make them more impressive because THAT’s what made Maynard a phenomenon.

“A well developed sense of humour is the pole that adds balance to your steps as you walk the tightrope of life.”

William Arthur Ward
1921-1994, Writer

Have a GREAT week!