Weekly Trumpet Tips 9/19/10

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! 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!

Tip #1 – What’s Your WILDEST Dream?

One of the things that I’ve had to spend a lot of time working on is not on the instrument itself!  It’s actually internal – just like many of you, I was told growing up that music was a nice hobby but a BAD career choice.  If you’ve read my articles, my book “Secrets to Efficient Brass Playing,” or have spoken with me personally, you would have heard my story – which ultimately helped me stop playing for 3 years.  When I came back to playing, I negotiated with myself that it would only be for fun.  As I got more serious about it again (I had this nagging need within myself) I negotiated with myself that I would only do it safely, so that meant teaching a lot and gigging as much as possible.

It wasn’t until just recently that I was reminded of what I day-dreamed about as a little boy.  I saw myself playing on the world stage – I had no clue who the Rolling Stones, AC/DC, etc. were, but I knew who Miles, Maynard, Doc, Tower of Power, and Earth, Wind and Fire were!  THAT’s what I wanted to do… no bargaining, no settling, just playing music because it made me happy and felt like it was a part of me!

This week’s tip #1 is that no matter what age you are, get back in touch with your wildest and craziest fantasy.  Put aside the adult responsibilities of paying bills, taking care of the family, etc. and just allow yourself to dream.  It’s amazing to allow this with no limitations and can be VERY motivating – even if for a moment or two!

Tip #2 – Schlossberg Anyone?

I am constantly reminded that the classic exercise, etude, and technical books cannot be replaced!  The biggest problem with most of the material is that it gives very little ideas on how to “properly” approach them.  The Schlossberg exercises are invaluable for flexibility and range building – BUT – if done improperly, actually sets you up for more bad habits that get reinforced and tougher to break.

The best idea on the Schlossberg exercises is to play them softly, holding your embouchure in place and allowing the aperture to be flexible without becoming the only way to play the intervalic exercises.  Your AIR needs to be in harmonic balance and at least 50% of the equation when doing intervals and range extension.

As stated from last week – let your sound (tone) be your guide… most problems start with the sound getting pinched… this is your aperture closing down!

For more on this, check out Chops Rehab!

“When you decide what you want, it has to manifest…but only at the level of your belief.”

Rich German
Author of
Monetize Your Passion

Have a GREAT week!