Weekly Trumpet Tips 7/4/10

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 – Changing Gear (Horns / Mouthpieces)

This may seem like a “common-sense” tip to most, but you’d be surprised at how many players will “experiment” or “try out” new gear on a gig.  NOT a wise decision as you should take into consideration what the change can and may do to you as you play longer into your show.  Mouthpiece changes can be the most extreme and are not recommended for performances.  Your lips have a set muscle memory, and when you change a variable that has been untested, you could be in store for some nasty surprises.  The most extreme would be rim diameter changes…

With horns, we have to think about response, bore size, valve response times, and the sound that we’re accustomed to hearing while playing.  Again, changing gear that you’re unfamiliar with during a performance is not a good idea… stay consistent so that you will play consistent!

Tip #2 – What’s Your Practice Routine?

Many of the students that I have ask  common questions, such as – What should I be practicing? & How should I practice – What ‘s a good routine?

We would love to get feedback from you, the subscribers, as to what you practice, when, and how!  What’s been working for you, and what have you changed up over the months / years?

I vary my practice regimen to prevent:

A: Boredom

B: Stalled Growth

C: Burned up Chops

What I mean by this is that I look at my time during a week.  I will focus on a couple of aspects that I need to address that will affect the over all fundamentals of my playing.  I see playing as having 4 components…





For each aspect, I have specific things that I do to work on my accuracy, speed, and musicality.  Your lips and air can be looked at as reaching for the balance necessary to play with ease.  If you’re forcing things, you will be fighting the horn as well as the lack of balance between your lips and air.  I look for how relaxed and easy I can produce sound that is clear and focussed.

Your fingers and your tongue set the rhythm and timing of your playing… they also need to be coordinated so that neither gets out of synch with each other.

Then I can get deeper into things practice wise by addressing musicality, improvisation, time / rhythm, sight-reading, endurance, etc.

Keep a practice log so that you know what has been worked on, how much, and when.  But always remember to push the aspects of playing that you CAN’T do… playing things that you have already mastered, is not practicing to improve…

“So let your deepest desires direct your aim. Set your sights far above the ‘reasonable’ target. The power of purpose is profound only if you have a desire that stirs the heart.”

Price Pritchett
Author of You2

Have a GREAT Week,