Weekly Trumpet Tips 8/8/10

The Shadow

Welcome to Weekly Tips!

I just want to give a great big “THANKS” to everyone who responded to our 1 minute survey.  As we all know, planet trumpeter can be a lonely place at times and make you feel like you’re the only one experiencing the problems you’re currently facing!

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.  We are currently running a “Back To School” promotion on Chops Rehab…

Here are your weekly Tips!

Intonation Ideas –

One of the aspects of playing that quite a few players said that they’d like to have improve is intonation.  Contrary to popular belief, we are responsible for intonation and tuning more than the horn itself.  Unlike a piano or a guitar, our airstream, aperture, and balance of both determines how well you’ll play in tune and how your tuning will be during moving lines.

A couple of practice ideas to help intonation as well as lip tension is:

1)  Push your slide all the way in… with a tuner handy, bend any given note you’re playing into tune.  For instance – 2nd line G – try to get it perfectly in tune with your slide in!  Move around and experiment with various notes in various ranges.  The higher you go, the tougher this can be.

2)  Pick a musical line (again with a tuner handy and turned on)… pick a random note within the line to suddenly stop on and see what your tendency is while playing.  If you’re ascending and land on an F on top of the staff, is it sharp?  Great way to really get familiar with what you tend to do to reach pitches.

Chewing Your Way To Sore Chops –

Sounds crazy doesn’t it?  But if you eat tough meat (jerky, poorly over cooked meats) or anything that requires a ton of chewing, you can wear out the exact same muscles you support your aperture with!  Once your support structure weakens and gets tired, you’re automatically going to start compensating somewhere… usually occurs in the aperture!

I have been on a workout kick for the past 3 or 4 months.  One of the tips I was given by a personal trainer friend was to really ramp up my protein intake.  I’ve ALWAYS had an affinity for jerky (primarily turkey and buffalo).  So Tuesday this past week I had 3 bags throughout the day… I got my protein intake for sure!  But by the time my 7pm rehearsal rolled around, my chops were unbelievably tired for NO apparent reason.  The day before was great… the next day or so after were so-so.  The only thing I could attribute it to was my jerky.

Just something to think about the next time you go to grab a big juicy steak before a gig…  🙂

“I realized early on that success was tied to not giving up. Most people in this business gave up and went on to other things. If you simply didn’t give up, you would outlast the people who came in on the bus with you.”

Harrison Ford

Have a GREAT week!