Here’s What People Are Saying!
I thought I would take a minute to let you know what and how I am doing with “Chops Rehab”
First of all, let me say that I am getting my moneys worth and more from this course!! Of course,
you have to understand that for the first time in my almost 70 years of life, I have really taken to
becoming a student of the instrument and since I have no “performance commitments” with
the time pressures created by same I can really relax with my “woodshed” time.
So what I have done is make your 4 week course and 12 week course and concentrate on
the flow of the instruction until I feel ready to move on.
Now for the results category!
As you may remember from my letter to you, I am using a Bach 2C mouthpiece which I find
challenging after having played on a 10 1/2 C for most of my playing career after college.
Some of this will sound a little weird, but I find myself concentrating on my aperture focus
and using my air speed that I can mentally see the airflow in my mind and make corrections
accordingly. Also I have become quite adept at playing softly and once I began to get the
feel of small aperture and fast (and not more) air, my range really began to improve.
Now to you this probably will sound pretty boring since you have such range and dynamic
control, but to me it is quite exciting. As I mentioned before, during my active playing years,
my consistently workable range was F above high C and that was with considerable pressure
and a much smaller mouthpiece.
Just yesterday during my evening practice session I was able play (for the first time ever) A
above high C with a sustainable tone and marginal control. Damn, that felt good!!!
I will be doing a video in a few days for my High School classmates as follow up to them on how I am
doing with my “come back” endeavor and will post it on YT. I will send you the link when it is
So thanks Keith for your help and support with the weekly tips.
One of your many students and fans,
Some two years ago I picked up the trumpet after almost 10 years of “child and house building leave”. After a short period I found that I got to the exact same level that I had before I put my trumpet in the case. This situation was frustrating in the way that no matter what I did I would make no progress or even lose some of my skills pushing harder. Recognizing that I had some kind of problem not being able to surpass that level of playing I first tried to change mouth piece from 1 1/2C to a 3E. This helped a bit but not much. After another one and a half years I then looked in to the internet to try and get some idea as how to overcome these problems that I even did not know how to identify! I thought: I don’t improve, I’m unable to practice as much as I would like to because of fatigue, my range is not improving so let me see if there are any other trumpeters than me having problems… After some searching I coincidently stumbled upon TRUMPETRESOURCES.COM I very quickly decided to download Secrets To Efficient Brass Playing by Keith Fiala. I killed it in a few hours fresh out of my printer! I found that many of the difficulties that I had experienced were exact the same that Keith was talking about in his book. To me the sections about frustration, overdoing practice, wrong methods and indeed the sections about mindful practice and playing VS. abusing the chops made a lot of sense to me!!! It really made a lot of puzzles fall in to place.
Soon after this I wrote an E-mail to Keith asking for advice how to deal with my fatigue problems. Keith responded promptly suggesting how to go about it in a simple and comprehensive way. Since then I have taken advantage of Keith’s wisdom a couple of times and found that he has a good and simple way to explain his opinions not trying to impose his findings as universal truths.
The feedback I got from Keith has been a really big help to me. Since my first visit on Trumpetrecources.com I have made tremendous steps forward in my quest for better range and endurance and my everlasting fatigue problems have vanished. Seen in retrospective I made poor progress in more than 20 years of playing trumpet and massive progress in 3 months!!! No doubt about it, you have to do the practicing your selves but if you need help you will find it on www.trumpetrecources.com !!!
Personally I think of Keith in the highest regards and will recommend to anybody who wants to improve their playing or who are experiencing any kind of problems playing trumpet to get in to www.trumpetrecources.com to get advice or maybe just to get new inspiration!!!
Thank you Keith for helping me opening the gate to Efficient Brass Playing!!!
Henry here, well the Super Bowl has passed and its been about 1 week since we last spoke on the phone, just wanted to update you on our discussion.
I have and will take you advice to heart and I am glad to let you know that air, air air, is working as you said it would. Previously I could not hit a high C unless it was a good day and then for only like 2-3 seconds. Within three days after our little talk I have been able to hit the high C after only a few minutes of warm-ups. I still don’t own the damm thing for any longer then say 10 seconds, of course I’m also looking for quality of sound.
Hell I even hit an open valve note above high C for about 2 seconds not sure what it was, LOL!! but it sounded good, and surprised me a bit. I am able to hit the High C consistently everyday now, just working on holding it with clarity for about 8 counts or so now. In addition the clarity of sound I get from lower notes seems to be coming into focus and a lot easier. It is exciting to make progress in an area you have always dreamed of and for this I want to Thank You most graciously.
While I have only scratched the surface I’m looking forward to your suggestions as how to proceed, whether it be your Chops course or something else, I’m in.
I have also seen some of your performance’s on you-tube which I think are awesome.
I am presently using a Bach 5C mouth piece on a 1947 Selmer Grand Prix that I bought for $50 back in 1971. I thinking after I reach a comfortable level of high register playing I just might reward myself with a new? and or overhaul? my trumpet. I’m not rich so price will remain a big factor.
Thanks Again Keith
Yours in Trumpet
P.S. Your story inspires me
Learning from you has been a blessing in my life long musical quest. You have been a great factor in my not having put the horn back in the closet where it stayed many years. I am no longer scared of playing above the staff which 5 years of private lessons could not do.
After Christmas, I will order the Schlossber book for the practise you recommend.
I understand the feeling of frustration when comparing myself to a pro. I remember listening for the first time to Wynton Marsalis’ CD “Carnival” and the overwhelming urge to throw my trumpet into the nearest trash bin.
For many years, I’ve been so confused with so many things about the trumpet just like many others. How to play in the higher register, what type of mouthpiece, lip flexibility and especially the arching of the tongue. I’ve listened to so many trumpet players try and explain what these mean but could never fully understand it until I came across Keith Fiala.
I purchased his book “Secrets to effecient brass playing” and had a consultation through the internet. He answered a lot of my confusion with the trumpet. Every question that would bother me was finally resolved. He gave me excellent customer service. There are many trumpet players out there but not trumpet teachers.
Keith is a great trumpet player and a great trumpet teacher. After what he taught me, I am greatly inspired to learn more about the trumpet. I can tell he wants to help trumpet players reach their potential. He takes his time to teach what he knows and to give out what he knows. I’ve listened to many trumpet players teach without fully giving out what they know. Keith exposes everything that he’s learned, especially through his book.
I am looking for a trumpet teacher and will definitely plan to do lessons with him in the future. I highly recommend any trumpet player to contact Keith to get their answers solved.
Again, I would like to thank you Keith!