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!
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 – Road Conversations…
This past week I traveled to Memphis, TN. with the college fusion group that I perform with. 10 1/2 hours each way gave us all a lot of time to converse, etc. One conversation that I want to share with you occurred with the piano player in this group; Dr. Ben Irom.
I admire Ben’s musical ability – writing, improvising, style, etc. He is a complete package as a musician. So I had to ask him about his journey (and the journey of successful students of his) to learn improvisation. I think this topic will relate to any musical journey that you’re on – not just improvisation because I’ve found this process to be true across the board.
My question was “how long into your journey before you felt like you had some competency when soloing?” His answer was delayed by a long thoughtful journey back in time. He answered in several thoughts… He said that there are times that he still feels like he’s not soloing well. Some days are better than others. The big contributing factor is the persons interest level… when the student or player is really deep into the process, progress is sure to come. Working on any given aspect of your playing takes time for it to absorb into your psyche. When talking about ANY playing skill, we have to have the skill so reactionary that it requires no thought. Think about carrying on an intelligent conversation with a friend or a family member. We learn command of our language so that we can express our feelings, emotions, thoughts, and intelligence. Music is the same… you can’t expect a 2 year old to carry on an intelligent conversation with a scholar.
Tip #2 – Positive Thoughts = Positive Reactions / Negative Thoughts = Negative Reactions
Because we are all on a learning journey musically, we all have to understand that our state of mind MASSIVELY effects our growth, interest level, and outcomes. Not to mention that when we are positive we put out a positive vibration that other people pick up on… conversely, it’s true for negative as well.
I personally spent years feeling really negative about my playing ability because I knew how many holes were in my skills but didn’t want to face them. My reading was inferior, my improvisation was non-existent, and range was iffy at best. So anytime one of those “problems” came rearing its ugly head, I’d get insecure, mad, and absolutely fold like a bad hand of cards vs. manning up and addressing these holes. The negativity absolutely came through to my family, friends, and band mates. Therefore, I wasn’t receiving a lot of support because I wasn’t displaying anything positive about my playing.
Since addressing my issues full force with a vengeance, my positive attitude toward playing has been rubbing off.
This week’s second tip is this… surround yourself with positive thoughts, positive people, and stay away from negativity. Most folks that are jealous of you or something about you will be the most aggressive and will take the time and energy to put you down, knock you off your game, and keep you down. What a complete and total waste…
Focus forward Friends…
“Success is not a destination: It is a journey. The happiest people I know are those who are busy working toward specific objectives. The most bored and miserable people I know are those who are drifting along with no worthwhile objectives in mind.”
1926-2012, Speaker and Author
Have a GREAT week!