Weekly Trumpet Tips 6/21/11

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.

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Here Are your Weekly Tips:

Tip #1 – Slow Warm Up Along with Flexibility Studies!

One of the only times I will tell a student to watch TV while they practice is when they’re doing the initial warm up phase… I have found that when I’m distracted I don’t gravitate to the horn too quickly – giving my chops time to breathe!  Now this may sound counter productive, but during your warm up process, you really do need to let the chops have on / off time.  I’ve found through the years that when I rush this process, I end up paying for it in the long run.

My warm up consists of me doing arpeggio’s chromatically down from middle C… going down to G below pedal C.  Resting AT LEAST the same length of time that I played between each arpeggio.

Once this is done, I then go in and do my homemade flexibilities that were inspired by the Schlossberg book.  BUT – I’m VERY careful to make sure that the chops are staying still inside the mouthpiece – assuring that I have to use my air to get around these intervals…

This truly sets the tone for my day / gig.

Tip #2 – “NEVER…

Kick yourself so hard that you break your leg… BUT, NEVER pat yourself on the back so hard that you break your arm!”  Maynard Ferguson

One night after a pretty miserable performance (on my part) while I was with Maynard’s band, he said those very words to me.  I was both disgusted and depressed with my performance.  Having ALL SORTS of chop problems due to mouthpiece confusion, etc. my playing was suffering tremendously.  I never knew if it was going to be a good day or a bad one.

But Maynard always knew how to make someone feel so much better about themselves and was the kindest person that you could ever imagine!

I think – all too often we are too hard on ourselves because we’re afraid of being judged by others – and musicians can be especially hard on themselves because we are passionate about what we do!  “Boss” (as we called him) was certainly passionate.  But he also amazed me because I saw him when his chops were hurting – missing upper register things right and left, but NEVER let frustration through!  His audience and the music (as well as the band) were the most important things to him.  I think we can all take away a lesson from those wise words above!

Please enjoy this video – LONG LIVE THE BOSS!!!


“Most people are not going after what they want. Even some of the most serious goal seekers and goal setters, they’re going after what they think they can get. Set your sights higher.”

Bob Proctor
Author and Speaker

Have a GREAT week!