Weekly Trumpet Tips 8/7/12

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!!!

ReCheck 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.

Keith is available for clinics!! Please go to our “Clinics” page for details!

Tip #1 – Olympic Sized Effort

If you are in a household like ours, you’re probably at least passively watching the Olympics.  Many of the “introductions” they do on the athletes shows a small little glimpse into their lives and how hard they worked to get where they are.  One in particular stood out to me… Gabby Douglas – the now Gold Medal winning American Gymnast.

In short, her story is that she moved from her hometown to West Des Moines, Iowa (ironically my hometown) to study with a coach that had a proven Olympic track record!  The theme of the introduction was how she really questioned her decision to move away from home, and placed many tearful phone calls to her mother, brother, and sisters.  They kept encouraging her all along.  Last week, her hard work, hard decisions, dedication, and determination paid off BIG!  After YEARS  – she was able to finally see the pay-off!

Trumpet playing and music is NO different!  What rings true for a great many though, is that somewhere along our journey we get discouraged and stop.  Your job this week for tip #1 is to sit back for just a few minutes… look deep into your past (if you’re over 21 and are on a come back trail) and find where you got off course.  If you’re a young player, take this story to heart and realize that NO ONE but you can make your dreams come true… but – only you can stop your dreams from coming true as well.  Don’t give anyone the power to discourage your true desires. There is nothing worse than waking up in a mundane existence years later and wonder what happened!

Tip #2 – Improvisation 

Here’s a quick suggestion for you this week on improvisation.  Pick any one jazz tune out of the literally thousands that have been written over the years.  I suggest you start with a familiar tune – Take the “A” Train, Satin Doll, or the like.

Learn the melody with just a metronome… once you feel comfortable enough with just the melody, pick 2 measures in the melody and improvise over just those 2.  Add two as you get better with this concept.  Keep adding measures until you can improvise over the melody with just the metronome.

Now – put a Jamey Aebersold track on that offers the same song.  Many are available online for purchase, etc.  Once you’ve gotten through the changes playing with Aebersold, search an artist improvising over the same song and work in ideas that they play into your own soloing.  You’ll be amazed at much quicker you’ll pick up on the chord changes, rhythm, and ability to play well over this song in a relatively short time.

Do the same for additional standards…

“Just as a small fire is extinguished by the storm whereas a large fire is enhanced by it – likewise a weak faith is weakened by predicament and catastrophes whereas a strong faith is strengthened by them.”

Viktor E. Frankl
1905-1997, Holocaust Survivor and Author of Man’s Search for Meaning 

Have a GREAT week!