Weekly Trumpet Tips 2/4/14

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 – Mastery Requires Bravery!

For this first tip, I really spent some time thinking about what it takes to become a total master of any art form.  Not just trumpet playing, but acting, dancing, singing, playing other instruments, etc.  We all have to be willing to work on our craft.

Working on your craft and practicing is a given.  But when I mention bravery, I believe that it is the key to pushing the artist beyond what most see as boundaries.  We have to be willing to put ourselves out there and be heard by different people.  Some will be super critical, some will be supportive, others won’t care.  We have to be willing to practice the stuff that sends shivers down your spine.  And, we have to be willing to listen!  Listening to ourselves by recording our practice sessions, performances, lessons, etc.  And listening to our teachers… really “hear” the message at its core.

So your first tip this week is to muster bravery… when something really makes you feel scared and you get that “flight” feeling, you know you’re on the right path.

Tip #2 – Learn to Improvise!

When I was a kid in school, we were given a choice as trumpet players.  Soloist “OR” lead player.  In talking to many trumpet players from around the U.S. and even around the world, this seems to be a fairly common theme.  Not all – but many are separated into categories.  Category A:  Guys with “natural chops” and range  Category B:  Guys with great sound, but struggle with range a bit more.

So when I was directed more toward the lead thing, I should have stopped and gone, “Hey, I wanna solo too!”  But at that age, I was more concerned about playing the high notes.  Little did I realize that the more would have dug into improv, it would have coupled with my range and improved it too.  I’ve also found that because I’m forced to create rhythms and musical lines that complement the song while improvising, reading music has become like a relief.  They way I’m seeing it these days is that when you have it written out for you, it’s FAR easier than to create something on the spot that will sound good, be moving, and complement the song.

So tip #2?  Easy… learning a skill like improvisation can improve your playing in multiple ways.

“Plenty of people miss their share of happiness, not because they never found it, but because they didn’t stop to enjoy it.”

William Feather
1889-1981, Publisher and Author

Have a GREAT week!