Weekly Trumpet Tips 3/31/15

Trumpet Shadow

The Shadow

Welcome to Weekly Trumpet Tips:

(1) Fear of Missing 

(2) Building Power

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! Do you enjoy the Weekly Tips?  Please help support this site by donating here…


        Check out About Face HERE!!! Check out Secrets to Efficient Brass Playing HERE!!!

A NEW Week 3 for the Jazz Improv course has been added… subscribers, please visit the course page to see this new addition.  A new week 4 will soon be posted as well… These courses 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 – Fear of Missing!

This isn’t the fear of missing a bus, plane or even a phone call… no – this is the fear of missing a line with high stuff in it!  Anytime I start doubting that I’m going to hit the line or the “note” itself, I create a fear inside.  This fear starts to cause me to physically tense up and miss.  Below is a video from Saturday night with that very thing happening at the end of the first tune.  I was shooting for a Double D and missed… the fear that I had was that I had missed it in the last couple of rehearsals so that caused doubt in my mind.  Even though I had been hitting it previously, it still inspired a little (all too well known and familiar) fear…

So my first tip for you today is to relax… don’t let doubt creep in and over take your performance.  Even if you miss it, it’s okay… all in all – it was silly to put that much pressure and weight on one note out of thousands that were played that night!


Tip #2 – Building Power!

 In addition to building range, lead players need to think about building ample power so that their sound is heard and not buried alive under a big band.  This isn’t an ego thing… rather it is having a powerful voice that can lead the band.  Playing dynamically is a vital role to playing lead – softs and louds.  But, some players have a difficult time pushing volume in any register.

What I’ve found from my own experience is that the chops are being over used and tightening up which constricts the air flow into the horn.  Test what I’m saying… play a 3rd space C… start it softly and allow it to get loud.  Push it as loud as you can get it.  Feel how the chops get pushed open by the air as the volume grows creating a larger aperture for more air to pass through.  It is a delicate balance and requires the chops inside the mouthpiece cup to remain relaxed enough to vibrate and be pushed open without falling apart and losing dexterity in order to play the given line or note.

With practice, your power (and tuning) will become better… it just takes practice in all registers.


“Remember, the thoughts that you think and the statements you make regarding yourself determine your mental attitude. If you have a worthwhile objective, find the one reason why you can achieve it rather than hundreds of reasons why you can’t.”

Napoleon Hill
1883-1970, Author of Think and Grow Rich

Have a GREAT week!