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!
Keith is available for clinics and as a guest artist!! Please go to our “Clinics” page for details!
Tip #1 – What We Do is NOT Easy!
I am of the belief now that as trumpet players we tend to forget how difficult playing this instrument is and how far we’ve come just to be able to play with good consistent sound that’s centered, focussed, and pretty.
Through the years as a teacher, I’ve had adults come to me that have never played before and only want 1 or 2 lessons to “get going” on this instrument. They come in with the preconceived notion that They’ll just have to figure out how to make sound because after all, “there are only 3 buttons, how hard could it be?” Yes – I’ve had more than 1 person say this in years past. And 10 minutes into the first lesson, they are overwhelmed with how difficult it is to play well!
This first tip is more on the motivational side of things… so the next time you start feeling down about the slow forward momentum or lack of progress, consider how far you’ve come vs. how far you have to go! There is no real destination! And almost assuredly you will have new goals once old ones are reached.
Tip #2 – “Doing” Can Be The Best Practice!
Looking back on the last several years of my playing, I have honed my lead trumpet chops and skills and feel pretty confident in that position. I have learned how to lead a section with style, and dynamics. But it has been most helpful in that growth to put myself in that role as much as possible. VERY SCARY at first! A good lead player is equally as important as a solid drummer, or a soloist. That position can make a band exciting, save the band from a train wreck, or lead them into a total crash and burn.
What ever facet you’re currently working on in your playing, put it into action! Getting out and performing is one of THE fastest ways to get more skill. All the practice room time is great, but until you really test yourself with other musicians in a performance setting, you won’t really know. I’ve seen for myself what to focus on in my personal practice time from the experience of performing.
So – put away the fear, stop doubting, and start looking for a band that needs you! Growth is not easy, and a lot of times it’s not fun while you’re in the thick of it, but it certainly brings a healthier pay-off in the end!
“Pursuing your passions makes you more interesting, and interesting people are enchanting.”
Venture Capitalist, Author and Speaker
Have a GREAT week!