Weekly Trumpet Tips 4/19/11

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!!!

Check 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.

About Face Book & Clinic Tour West! We are tentatively motoring westward this summer (looks like early July) and are going to be looking to set up clinics and limited Private lessons.  If you’re interested in hosting a clinic or in a private lesson and live in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, or California, please contact us at keith@trumpetresources.com!

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Here Are your Weekly Tips:

Weekly Tip #1 – Exercise Trumpet or Practice Trumpet?

During a lesson this passed week with a student we were talking, and the idea of an exercising trumpet player vs. a “practicing” trumpet player came up.  I was explaining to him how SO many young players that I hear are not very musical, although are generally good trumpet players.  The disconnect comes from the fact that we play an EXTREMELY physical instrument, and therefore spend an extraordinarily large amount of time “exercising” – which becomes confused with “practicing.”

My suggestion this week is to monitor how much time you spend exercising, (range drills, tongue exercises, finger drills, endurance exercises, etc.) and focus a portion of your practice regiment to focussing on the musical aspects of playing… dynamics, contrasting styles, articulations, rhythm / timing, etc.

After all – trumpeters are musicians too.

Weekly Tip #2 – STOP Stopping!

Sounds a bit redundant, huh?  I was reading something this passed week that was talking about “what you focus on expands.”  Relating that to playing, it’s SO true.  Many times we focus our total attention and energy so hard on NOT making a mistake that we actually CAUSE a mistake.  By focussing on performing music with expression, emotion, and purpose, a cracked note, missed pitch, etc. will become less important in the grand scheme of things.

If you ever attended a Maynard Ferguson performance, he is a PERFECT example of NOT sacrificing the song for one note or one mistake.  Was MF flawless?  No!  Did MF miss from time to time?  YES!  Did he care if he missed one note, EVEN if it were a Double C?  NO!  Because he was focussed on performing for his audience and for the music as a message – NOT for his ego.  In fact, he was probably one of the most ego-less people I’d ever met!  His focus was his audience and the great time they had watching and listening to the performance, and the inspiration that he caused from it.

As you practice, it’s fine to take note of where mistakes occur, if you keep making the same mistake in the same place, isolate that area, but DON’T crater the entire piece of music just because you miss a note, flub a trill, etc.  Focus on the music – in most cases the audience will be none the wiser!

“When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hold on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.”

Harriet Beecher Stowe
1811-1896, Writer


Have a GREAT week!