Welcome to Weekly Trumpet Tips:
(1) Lip Tension
(2) Small Trumpet Mouthpieces
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Tip #1 – Lip Tension
Let’s face it… tension tires and creates fatigue that can be difficult to recover from. Most trumpet players suffer from setting up and playing too tight inside the cup. This causes sound, range, endurance and tuning issues (aside from the fatigue). The best way to resolve this is to consciously focus on setting more relaxed and bring your main focus to your air! This is something that Arturo, Maynard, etc. all talk about in their clinics and whenever presented with range questions. When ascending, don’t allow the chops to tighten up… focus on the air. You can check out
for more on this topic and ways that I’ve used to resolve this extremely common issue!
Tip #2 – Small Trumpet Mouthpieces
When I say “small” I’m talking about diameter, not depth. Most players initially turn to a shallower cup trying to improve range, and while it does help “zip” the air faster, it doesn’t necessarily improve your range long term. Especially if you’re on a large diameter mouthpiece.
If you’ve followed me for any length of time, I liken trumpet mouthpieces to shoes! One size CERTAINLY DOES NOT fit all! So having ALL players on a 5, 3, etc. is setting up some for success and others for failure. I personally was on a 3 equivalent and struggled with endurance and range for years! G just above high C was the best that I could do, and once I started getting tired my range exponentially decreased! It wasn’t until I got on Maynard Ferguson’s band (and near the end of my tenure with him) that he recommended that I try a small diameter. I took his advice and have never looked back!
I recently wrote a detailed report on my experience with mouthpieces and switching… you can find it HERE
“Never give up. Never ever give up. Why? Because just when you are about to give up is when things are about to turn around in a grand way. Hold on. Great things are waiting for you around the corner.”
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Have a GREAT week!