Weekly Trumpet Tips 5/24/11

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 motoring westward July 10 – 22 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!  You can check out more information on Keith’s Workshops and Clinics via Trumpet Resources Home Page.

We now have t-shirts!  Check out our new t-shirt design!  We have the “adult version and the school friendly “student version!”

Here Are your Weekly Tips:

Tip #1 – Lip Swelling From Humidity!

This past Saturday evening I had the privilege of playing 2 separate shows – unfortunately they were both outdoors.  What makes this unfortunate is not the fact that they were outside, but rather the extreme humidity that we’ve been experiencing here in Austin, TX over the last few months.  In other words – it’s HOT and muggy!  This causes my lips to swell prematurely which in turn causes playing issues in the upper register.

2 things that you can do to help curb the swelling a bit.  Taking an ibuprofen, Tylenol, or Aleve (my choice) will help keep swelling at bay.  You can also keep ice readily available to hold in your mouth between songs or on longer rests.  You may also want to plan ahead if you’re aware that the shows you’re playing are outside by avoiding foods that encourage swelling (water retention).  Very salty processed foods will cause additional swelling… I also try to avoid overly sweet things as well.  Staying “low” on the food chain is always a good idea when you have to perform under extreme circumstances.

Tip #2 – Something to Ponder!

I read something written by Earl Nightingale over the weekend… “One hour per day of study will put you at the top of your field within three years. Within five years you’ll be a national authority. In seven years, you can be one of the best people in the world at what you do.”

I’m not a big proponent for focussing on “time” per se, but I do think that if we keep things in perspective, we can motivate ourselves to “Stay the course” through the hard times – times that we’re not motivated to practice, or feeling down about our progress.  Bottom line – time is going to pass anyway… why not take advantage of just 60 minutes per day?  It doesn’t have to be all in one sitting, and certainly doesn’t have to be the same activity day in and day out.  As I’ve written before, listening is often overlooked.  Transcribing solos verbatim, supporting live music and going to listen to those that we admire (Arturo Sandoval, Wayne Bergeron, local players and big bands, etc.) can all be very motivating and improve us internally!

I often tell my young students that there are 1,440 minutes in each day.  8 hours for work / school = 480 minutes, 8 hours of sleep = 480 minutes, this still leaves 8 hours in a day to find time to practice.  MAKE time.  We ironically make time for the things that mean the most to us, and seem to run short on time for the things that don’t – or that scare us because the task is too daunting.

“One of the greatest things in life is that no one has the authority to tell you what you want to be. You’re the one who’ll decide what you want to be.”

Jaime Escalante
1930-2010, Educator


Have a GREAT week!