Weekly Trumpet Tips 4/5/11

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!

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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:

Tip #1 – Better Get Your Mind Right Before Practicing!

For a long time I thought that meditation or any form of such was only for the swami’s, religious guru’s, and other higher spiritual people.  My wife has been telling me before practicing that I should get my mind quiet for about 5 to 10 minutes… I’ve been doing so now for several weeks and it’s amazing as to how much more gets absorbed from each practice session.  I’ve heard that the likes of Sean Jones, and other really great jazzers do the same exercise (funny what you learn when you actually “listen”).

I usually have a ton of stuff swirling around my head – not always good stuff either.  And this other “stuff” tends to make my practice sessions rather mindless and more of a physical exercise vs. an actual “learning” time.  I’ve also found that even when you’re working on the physical stuff, if your mind isn’t tuned in, you’ll do things (physically) less efficiently.

Try this for a week  – before each practice session… just sit and let your mind get quiet.  Don’t think about anything… just let thoughts pass through without any focus, and eventually your mind starts to relax and stop racing.  When you start practicing, focus your attention to your tasks… improv, reading, timing, range, tonguing, solo work, etc.

Tip #2 – The Chops & their Environment!

As we have each year, we discuss seasonal changes in the weather.  This affects your chops physically more than what one tends to realize until it’s too late – you’re on stage trying to perform, and the chops aren’t working optimally.  Remember that what you eat, drink, brush your teeth with, the weather, etc. massively affects your lips, skin, and body.  When it’s hot and humid, we tend to swell a bit, if it’s hot and dry (lower humidity) the lips tend to chap rather easily.  Staying hydrated with good ole’ H2O is the best solution, some sports drinks contain a lot of sugar, and that can tend to make some people’s mouths sticky or gummy.

I’d recommend a really good lip protection when you’re not playing.  Many players like “Chop Saver.”  I’m still sticking with what MF gave me which was “Egyptian Magic.”  They are both based off of natural products and have no chemicals or petroleum products in the ingredients.

“The one piece of advice I can give you is, do what turns
you on. Do something that if you had all the money in the world,
you’d still be doing it. You’ve got to have a reason to
jump out of bed in the morning.”

—  Warren Buffett: American investor and philanthropist

Have a GREAT week!