Weekly Trumpet Tips 6/3/14

The Shadow

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! Do you enjoy the Weekly Tips?  Please help support this site by donating here…







Check out About Face HERE!!! Check out Secrets to Efficient Brass Playing HERE!!! A NEW Week 1 & 2 for the Jazz Improv course has been added… subscribers, please visit the course page to see this new addition.  A new week 3 & 4 will soon be posted as well… These courses 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 and as a guest artist!! Please go to our “Clinics” page for details!

Keith’s new CD is available on iTunes! Click on the photo below!


(Physical CD’s Available HERE)

Tip #1 – Learn to Relax & Have Fun Playing!

One of the most counterintuitive things that has been said to me during my growth and my journey as a trumpet player was by a fellow trumpeter.  A gruff fellow at best, he was essentially angrily yelling at me “JUST HAVE FUN!”  My first initial thought was, “How am I supposed to have fun when you’re friggin’ yelling at me?”

The long and short of it is that he was right.  But the approach in which he chose to convey that message was a bit off… It’s taken probably thousands of hours for me to gain the necessary relaxation while playing to become consistent where I am currently.  And the more I understand where my anxiety comes from, the better I am getting at rooting it out and actually relaxing.

I enjoy playing, and I enjoy seeing smiling faces as a result of my playing.  Not in admiration, but because of the joy the message I’m conveying with my horn is bringing the listener.

So this week’s first tip is this:  Sometimes we need to let go of all the exercises, scales, licks, chops stuff, and worry about playing perfectly and just enjoy the reason that we’re supposed to be playing in the first place – for the enjoyment from within and for others.  You’ll find it much easier to have fun…

Tip #2 – On Horn Practicing Vs. Off Horn Practicing…

One of the things I’ve found most affective in my studies as a trumpet student is to not focus too much attention on the amount of time I spend doing “on horn” playing.  Since we use the same facial and hand muscles to play, we can’t change things up to allow them rest while we continue to play.  But what we can do is change our practice routine to where we do more mind-work and off horn practice.  This could be running scales and arpeggios by calling them out and fingering along note by note, transcribing, listening, or clapping out rhythms.

As long as your mind is totally engaged in what you’re working on, it’s still practicing.   When you listen to a recording, try to listen for recognizable scales, arpeggio usage, or for licks that make you think “cool!”

“It’s not what you do once in a while; it’s what you do day in and day out that makes the difference.”

Jenny Craig
Weight Loss Guru

Have a GREAT week!