Weekly Trumpet Tips 4/10/12

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!

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.

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Here Are your Weekly Tips:

Tip #1 – THE Most Required Trait To Be Great!

There are some days that I get past the threshold of frustration with my playing, my practicing, my (What feels like a) lack of growth, and in general – ME!  So this past week, while preparing to toss my horn into the wall I had an epiphany (which stopped me from doing it).

One of my weakest attributes is patience… I am LEAST patient with myself and my learning process.  Understanding and recognizing this for me was huge…  so looking back through my high school, college, and pro career, my lack of patience is what has cost me the growth, abilities, and efficient practicing that I would’a, could’a, and should’a had YEARS ago.

This week’s #1 tip is to BE PATIENT with YOUR process.  Be patient with your growth, and most of all – with yourself.  Human beings in general can be VERY cruel to each other… but if we look at how we view ourselves, I’m willing to bet that cruelty can be found at every turn.  This is where patience and understanding become a key role in growth and improvement.

Tip #2 – The 20 Minute “G”:

In the last several weeks, I’ve been hearing a lot of players and students talk about the “20 minute G” exercise that Cat Anderson helped popularize, and has since come back into view with the new updated edition of his methods.

While I think this is a GREAT exercise, each player has to understand that it’s VERY isometric and will tear your muscles down – requiring rest to allow them to build back up.  Ask ANY body builder, personal trainer, etc. and they will tell you that working the same muscle group everyday will actually damage things vs. make them stronger.  Check out “About Face” and the interviews – that will answer a lot of the questions that you may have about the muscles, etc.

My advice to this approach is to build yourself up to that… maybe start with 2 / 3 minutes.  Then, move up to 5 minutes, etc.  I personally start with the warm up exercise I have outlined in past tips… essentially the Schlossberg exercise found on page 2 (#5).  I play as whisper soft as I possibly can (2nd line G, F#, G)… slow and soft.  Then, I rest at least the same amount of time.

The 20 minute G and my warm up both have the same directive… helping the aperture to be as small and focussed as possible.  And because I play pretty hard each and every day, I don’t really have the luxury of time to allow my muscles to recover for 12 hours from the 20 minute G.


“With every obstacle that has happened to me in my life,
my brain immediately says, ‘Where is the hidden blessing?’
In starting a business and growing a business,
every day is learning how to manage obstacles.”

— Sara Blakely: is an entrepreneur and founder of Spanx

Have a GREAT week!