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!
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 and as a guest artist!! Please go to our “Clinics” page for details!
Keith’s new CD is available on iTunes! Click on the photo below!
(Physical CD’s Available HERE)
Tip #1 – Warm Up / Cool Down – Keeping the Chops Healthy
Now that school is back in session, kids in high school and college are back in marching band, and probably beating themselves senseless with drills, warm ups, rehearsals, and preparing for performances. Typical “band” warm ups most likely will NOT give you the kind of easy / gentle warm up that you’re going to need.
Best thing to do is to try to get some pedal tones in before you begin playing with your group. The more space that you can put between your pedal tone exercises and actual rehearsal, the better. I find that for myself, I play arpeggio’s starting on 2nd line G, and chromatically descend down until I get to low C (going down to the pedal C). Once I’ve done this, I’ll do some soft playing – Clarke #1.
When you’re finished with rehearsal, spend a little time doing more pedal tones to help get the chops to relax. Stiff chops are a HUGE hurdle, and very common from excessive playing. I would also suggest soaking them in warm salt water as well… this really helps get the swelling down.
Tip #2 – What Are you Working On?
What is your main focus in practice lately? Improvisation? Rhythm? Style? Range? We want to hear from you…
My personal focus has been improvisation… boy, what a nightmare when you first start! But, staying with it, I’m starting to see glimpses of daylight.
How much do you practice your current challenge?
“There are no limits. There are only plateaus,
and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.”
—Bruce Lee: Chinese American martial artist and filmmaker
Have a GREAT week!