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!
Keith is available for clinics!! Please go to our “Clinics” page for details!
Here Are your Weekly Tips:
Tip #1 – You Will NEVER Reach Your Goals! UNLESS…
Not to sound like a pessimist with the title, but this tip is what I believe to be VERY important in reaching any goals!
It’s absolutely VITAL to look at the smallest details… here’s my example for your tip this week. I’ve been working my tail off on rhythm and timing – with a vengeance! So instead of just plugging in a metronome and playing everything with it, I decided to get REALLY specific with things. For example… I set the metronome to 85 in 1/4 time, and imagine each click as 2 and 4. So in other words, 1 is silent, 2 is a click, 3 is silent, 4 is a click, etc. I then take Clarke Study #2 and play it in “cut-time!” I pay close attention to cleanliness and accuracy, as well as keeping my rhythm and feel.
Once I’ve done this, I’ll take various charts that I’ve got in the 2 big band lead books that I carry around and read them in 2 & 4. As I get comfortable with a certain tempo I’ll up it by 5 clicks…
The progress is not necessarily fast, but it is a steady growth!
Tip #2 – Be Your Own Rhythm Section!
Carl Fischer once told me when we were touring with Maynard that to become a GREAT improvisor you have to be everything – including the soloist. Keep your own rhythm, establish the chord changes, and create an exciting melody.
One of the best ways to start to establish this is pick a tune out of the real book… play it with nothing more than just a metronome. Follow the tip above as a great rule of thumb! Up your tempo as you get more comfortable with the rhythm. The more you play the melody, the more you’ll start to “hear” it when you step away from the melody.
As you begin to improvise, take the melody and allow yourself 1 or two bars of “improvisation” outside the melody… bringing yourself back to the melody. As you improve, increase the number of measures of improvisation so that you get a little further away from the melody each time.
Be sure to record yourself and see if you can “hear” the chord changes like you do in the original melody!
“Feeling sorry for yourself, and your present condition, is not only a waste of energy but the worst habit you could possibly have.”
1888-1955, Author and Speaker
Have a GREAT week!