Weekly Trumpet Tips 8/9/11

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!!!

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.

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Here Are your Weekly Tips:

Tip #1: Sticky Valves?  Try This…

This tip is from Tom Lovece… I didn’t believe it until I tried it – so take my word for it, this works!

With the extreme heat in the afternoons, and the extreme humidity in the mornings, and later evenings, my valves have been causing me total grief!  I had the horn professionally cleaned, I oil a ton (I use Ultra Pure) and still just constant problems.  While conversing with Tom one morning, he said that he used Pledge Wipes on his valves, re-oiled them and they worked great.  I was VERY skeptical, so continued to struggle with them for weeks longer.  Finally – I had enough on Friday of last week… I wiped down the valves with the wipes, used a paper towel to wipe off any access, and re-oiled the valves.  I haven’t oiled them since and have had NO problems.  Give it a try if you’re experiencing problems as well…

Tip #2 – High Range Development

One of the biggest reasons that we created Trumpet Resources was because of the mystery, myths, legends, and just plain B.S. that is out in the trumpet world surrounding upper register playing!  A great many of these mis-guided suggestions seem to be perpetuated by NON-Trumpet playing people who were told by someone else in an authority position that “this” is the way things are.

Mouthpiece recommendations, improper approach to exercises, and the illusion of fixing someone’s embouchure are largely the most frustrating for players to have to fight their way through.

Over the next several weeks, we’ll address the most common issues that I see when players come to me.


No single size mouthpiece is the perfect solution for all players – just like shoes, we all require different aspects to fit our physical attributes.  For me personally, I found that when I dropped in diameter, things became easier for me.  Please note – my range did NOT immediately improve, nor did it fix all of my problems.  ONLY proper technique and changing habits have improved my range over time.  If you’re on a 3C and struggling with range, endurance, flexibility, and ease of playing, you may be on a piece that is too large!  That seems to be the most common thing for players that struggle… we’ve been mis-guided to mouthpieces that are just too large.  The more face in the mouthpiece, the more face you have to try to control – which leads to habits and problems in the aperture (NOT the embouchure).  More on that next week…

“Study as if you were going to live forever; live as if you were going to die tomorrow.”

Maria Mitchell
1818-1889, Astronomer


Have a GREAT week!