Weekly Trumpet Tips 2/7/12

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!

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Here Are your Weekly Tips:

Tip #1 – Thing’s We’re Told That Are WRONG!

As trumpet players, we’re told by teachers, mentors, and band directors a great many things that seem to make sense but are really quite opposite from the truth.  Over the next couple of weeks I’ll list a couple of examples of troublesome advice that actually cause more harm than they help!

You’re Sharp, pull out! 

Okay, so we all know that our tuning slides need to be pulled out if we are sharp – but it is NOT the cure all for incessantly out of tune players.  In fact, after spending a great deal of time with a tuner seeing a student walk in with their slide pulled out further than a quarter inch alerts me to pinching problems and lack of the use of air.  What I mean by this is quite simple.  We tend to play more on the sharp side because we close down the aperture to compensate for the lack of air being pushed through.

I was taught that by pushing my slide all the way in and playing varying notes in tune, it will help to keep a player more in tune as well as help them relax more over all.  Remember – it’s all about air!

Don’t Close your Throat!

I hear this a lot!  I once asked MF about this throat closing thing because that’s what I thought was happening with me.  He said, “if you’re closing your throat, get the rope off of it!”

In other words, what typically happens is that we pinch the aperture, causing pinched sound (and a backed up feeling)… which has NOTHING to do with your throat.


Lately I’ve been using pedal tones for hours before I “go at it” hard core.  This allows my chops to really get loosened up, and helps me to get my air moving!  So the next time your chops are feeling a bit less than great, just dedicate up to an hour or more in the beginning of your practice day… after taking a break, I’ll bet you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

“Nothing great has ever been achieved except by those who dared to believe that something inside them was superior to circumstances.”

Bruce Barton
1886-1967, Author, Advertising Executive, and Politician

Have a GREAT week!