Weekly Trumpet Tips 6/27/10

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!

If you haven’t submitted a name for the new book, we’re still accepting ideas!

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.

Here are your Tips!

Tip #1 – The Physical Connection –

One of the driving forces of writing our latest book (the one we’re trying to name) is to help others understand the absolute connection between how we would train or add strength to any other muscle in our body and how we add strength to our apertures and embouchures.  If you were to build strength in your legs, you would have to go through the exact same process as you would with your arms, back, etc.  Muscles require a tear down process (work out), food (protein), and REST!  Many of the players that I come across that are having extreme difficulties are not only suffering from a misconception with playing, but also from over playing and not getting enough rest between heavy or hard playing sessions.

Muscles will continue to weaken AFTER your playing session for up to 24 hours.  There are times you will start to feel soreness in your facial muscles… these are the tiny muscle tears necessary in building strength.  If you do not allow for enough rest, you will actually reverse the building process and burn out the muscles you’re trying to build.  Imagine having to go to work or school (or both) 10 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks per year… would you burn out with no time off?  YES – so will your muscles.

I AM NOT saying take a total day off – but what I am saying is that if your normal playing is diminished for seemingly “unknown” reasons from previous days, it is quite possible that you’ve over played / practiced and need a softer, gentler, kinder session (or several days of them in a row) to help build your muscles.

Tip #2 – Your Mouthpiece Could Be Too Large!

This is an EXTREMELY controversial topic for most teachers, band directors, professionals, and students alike.  Now, before you rush to comment and carry me off to the guillotine for even bringing this topic up – remember that many trumpet players are victims of myths and misinformation.

When I mention size, keep in mind that I am not talking about depth – but rather, cup diameter (measured from inner rim edge to inner rim edge).  One of the misconceptions is that if you switch to a smaller diameter, you will lose your full / broad tone.  Other myths are: loss of flexibility, loss of power, loss of lower register playing, loss of control, etc.

Understanding what large diameter mouthpieces can cause will help you over come complications experienced by many that try a smaller diameter and run away.

Your sound is YOUR sound.  And with time, your sound will re-emerge no matter the rim diameter.

Feel free to comment on your thoughts concerning these tips!

“Stay committed to your decisions, but stay flexible
in your approach. It’s the end you’re after.”

— Anthony Robbins: Motivational speaker and author

Have a GREAT week!


Keith Fiala