Weekly Trumpet Tips 5/1/12

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.

Keith is available for clinics!! Please go to our “Clinics” page for details!

Here Are your Weekly Tips:

Tip #1 – Rhythm Rules – A Closer Look

Last week we talked a little bit about the “other” aspects of being a musician that tend to get away from us because we have to spend SO much time on chops, flexibility, tone, range, endurance, and all of the other things that deal with sound.

One of the techniques I use as of late is to set a metronome and read EVERYTHING in cut time.  Build your tempo’s faster and faster as you get more proficient with each setting.  Keep in mind – 100 bpm is actually 200… this will help your technique as well – IF you don’t allow yourself to settle for sloppy fingers, articulation, or a lack of dynamics or musical contrast.

Once you’ve achieved a faster tempo, cut the metronome down to where it only beats once every couple of bars… this makes you rely more on your own internal clock – building better time and rhythm!

Tip #2 – Chops M.I.A!

Face it (no pun intended)… it happens to us ALL!  From Arturo to Maynard – NO ONE is able to get around the chops just not working from time to time. The best thing to do in these instances is realize that pushing the chops even harder, will only prolong a recovery.  If time allows, take a couple of days and just do light easy playing… for me – over playing is a constant problem because this is what I do for a living.  Between teaching and playing, there are times I have the horn to my face for several hours per day 7 days a week.

And unbeknownst to many, all the air in the world will NOT make the chops want to vibrate or respond.  Time to rest… if your issues come from a lack of playing, then allow for a few days in a row where you do more endurance based practice.  By playing Arban’s page 14, 15, and 16 at 60 beats per minute and not removing the horn from your face, you can start to “activate” the muscles once again.  Remember – removal of the horn is not allowed – but breathing IS!  Don’t try to play it all in one breath.  For most of us, plaid is not a good skin color!


“People create their own success by learning what they need to learn and then by practicing it until they become proficient at it.”

— Brian Tracy: is a self-help author and motivational speaker

Have a GREAT week!