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 and as a guest artist!! Please go to our “Clinics” page for details!
Tip #1 – Modify the Approach, NOT the Exercise!
In the last week, I’ve been the recipient of several “new” exercises for flexibilities, technique, tonguing, etc. 10 years ago, I would have eagerly printed them out and given them a try. But I realize now (old age I guess) that since there are only 12 notes to begin with, and about 5 octaves (if you’re an extremist) that we can work with. So it dawned on me that if Maynard, Maurice Andre, Arturo, Rafael Mendez, etc. (the list could go on for days) can achieve stellar technique using the classic studies, why try to improve on the exercise?
By tweaking your approach to the exercise, you can actually enhance your technique. Much like dieting, typically it’s not the diet that fails to work, but rather the habits of the dieter are not changed and therefore don’t allow for the results to come through of any said diet.
Small changes are best. You can analyze your progress, and tweak the approach. For instance, I’ve been setting up with my jaw pushed back more lately, and angling the horn downward a bit more. I’ve seen much better results all the way around because it keeps my mouth cavity more closed – thus putting the tongue closer to the roof of my mouth. Makes for faster, cleaner, and smoother articulations (is smoother a word? Guess it is now…).
So go back to the classic books, but look at what you’re trying to improve and see if you can’t “tweak” your approach for better results.
Tip #2 – What Do You Like About Your Playing?
Since these tips are really meant to help you to improve your trumpet playing, one of the best things you can do to enhance improvement is to identify what you really like about your playing! For instance, if you really like your sound and feel like it’s a beautiful warm tone, then this is something to focus on when things you are trying to improve aren’t necessarily heading in the right direction.
Many times, we focus so deeply on the negative that we throw it all away and forget about all of the past hard work we’ve done to fix, change, or improve something.
We want to hear from you! Name 3 things about your playing that you really like! It doesn’t have to be big or complicated. Just think of something that you really like… if you can’t think of 1, think of what keeps you coming back to the horn!
“A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.”
George Bernard Shaw
Have a GREAT week!