Weekly Trumpet Tips 7/12/11

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 still have a few select spots for folks in california for lessons.  We will be in Long Beach, CA starting tomorrow and then headed up the coast to San Francisco.  Please contact me ASAP if you’d like one of these last remaining spots!   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:

Weekly Tip #1 – Vacation Maintenance For Your Chops!

We are half way (more for some) through the summer, and if you are planning on traveling this summer, something that weighs heavy on many players minds is how to not lose ground while you’re on your trip!

I have been making a commitment to play EVERY DAY!  Whether that be for 5 minutes or for an hour, I have to make that happen or I will be in trouble within a day or two.  I start by packing a practice mute… I personally use the Yamaha Silent Brass mute that came with my kit years ago.  But there is a great selection of practice mutes on the market today.  I copied page 14 – 16 in the Arban’s book and use those with a metronome set to 60 Beats Per Minute!  Then – I play till I just can’t play anymore…

If you’ve been following me, this is nothing new.  BUT – it truly works!  Give it a shot – let us know how it works for you!

Weekly Tip #2 – Smaller Diameter Mouthpieces 

In the last several weeks, I’ve received many questions about smaller diameter mouthpieces.  So I thought I’d post once again my viewpoint and personal experience with scaling down in diameter against many people’s advice.

When I toured with Maynard in 2004, I really had NO CLUE as to how to play efficiently and was on a Warburton 3M with a #2 back bore.  I was able to knock the crap out of a G above high C for about 20 minutes… then – I was SHOT!  Suffering from cut lips, extreme fatigue, and short bursts of great days and long drawn out weeks / months of struggle.  I was fed up with that routine, so I started looking at scaling down.  My first leap down was from a 3C equivalent to a 5C equivalent.  My next leap down would be a major one – down to a 10 1/2 C equivalent.  This was a tough learning lesson – I had to figure out that smaller diameters demand much more efficiency.  Meaning – you cannot tighten the aperture the same way that you can on a larger diameter.  This is singly what helped my endurance shoot up!  Moving down in sizes to off the charts mouthpieces, has helped me become much more efficient and I’m quite happy with my sound, flexibility, range, low register… basically everything I was told that I would lose and didn’t!

We’ll post pictures of our trip West!  Hopefully, a surprise lay in wait for next weeks tips!  Keep checking in!

“The difficulty lies, not in the new ideas, but in escaping the old ones, which ramify, for those brought up as most of us have been, into every corner of our minds.”

John Maynard Keynes
1883-1946, Economist

Have a GREAT week!