Weekly Trumpet Tips 2/5/13

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 – Talent & The Lucky Few…

I know this isn’t an actual “playing” tip again, but I think this is one of those VERY important topics to hit so that when we hit that frustration level that is a built in certainty, we can keep moving forward!

I think one of the most frustrating things for me to listen to anymore is someone saying “well, they were born that way” or “He or she is naturally gifted.” I don’t believe that we were standing in any lines before we were born getting stamps on our heads, or more skill or talent than the next guy! Remember – I started out as a “naturally gifted player” as a youth, and when I discovered cars and girls, that “natural” gift seemed to lose steam. It wasn’t too long after, that I started hearing reasonings for other great players as “Oh, THEY were born with it!” BALONEY! If that’s even how you spell “baloney.” HAHAHAHA

I believe that the true root of natural ability or “giftedness” is nothing more than the desire to keep driving us forward.

So this weeks first tip is to NOT buy into that rhetoric! Believe in yourself, and if you’re willing to work hard enough and practice in the right manner, you too will eventually master the skills that we work so hard for!

Tip #2 – A Constructive Range Exercise!

I came from a school of thought that basically put a huge dividing line between “lead trumpet players” and “soloists.” There is no such line! Look at Maynard! He was NEVER a “lead” player… he was always the soloist, but could play lead when needed. He always chuckled when someone asked him about playing lead for Kenton. His come back was always – I don’t know, I played 5th! Look at Arturo Sandoval! This guy can do it all! And there is no separation for him either! Some of the greatest lead players are also incredible soloists! Wayne Bergeron, Roger Ingram – just to name a couple

This week’s practice tip is pretty simple.  Get out a copy of “Take The A Train.”  The real book version is in our D Major and works great… Start by playing the chords as arpeggio’s… 1, 3, 5, 7… As you run into multiple measures of the same chord, extend upward from the lowest part of your horn to the highest, then figure out a good way to get into the next chord change.  This will start to expand your chordal knowledge and at the same time give you a great work out with range!  As you improve and it gets easier starting on the 1, then go backwards!

Not only will this improve your chordal knowledge, help range, and build skill, you’ll also start to hear the chord changes.  And most importantly – HAVE FUN!


“Learn from the past, set vivid, detailed goals for the future, and live in the only moment of time of which you have any control: now.”

Denis Waitley
Author and Speaker

Have a GREAT week!