Where is your bar?

Where is YOUR bar? Not the closest watering hole as they say in Texas. Where have you set the bar for your playing? People wonder if it is fair that I say they needed to have things ready on 1 days notice. That depends. Do you want to be the player every one counts on to be perfect, or do you always want to sit in the audience and watch the player that everyone counts on? My level of meanness is based on the level of a students knowledge and skill. I treat a comeback player who stopped in High School a lot different than someone who is auditioning for Grad school and I treat them different than a good full time pro player. The better you get the higher the bar and that is how we constantly improve. But the bar isn’t what we can work up. It is […]

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Scale Trill Practice

Here is a very mental and physical drill. It is all of the scales connected and trilled.

Fast all you get to do is the written note a note above and the written note before you change to the next note of the scale.

Played slowly you get a trill workout.

When playing slowly do it 2 times so you can use both Baroque (Starting the trill above the written note) and the more modern trill Starting on the written note.

trills  Click link for music.

Making a practice routine

People ask me all the time about a practice routine. The fact is that every player is at a different point and that changes weekly. The best person to give you a routine is YOU. Look through every one of the method books that you can get your hands on and write down the types of technique that are involved. Keep track of how many times each technique is shown in all the books. (That gives an idea of how important that the authors thinks it is.) Now play some of each technique. (ie double tonguing) and rate how well you do that. Play and rate each type of technique. Now on your chart you have each technique and a rating of your skill. The 1st thing is to attack the low scores. You want things to be even. ie you feel slurs are the weak link so then you […]

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Causes of trumpet problems

In my books I list all of the possible causes. Poor Attacks on Trumpet mouthpiece too small or shallow wrong syllable for tonguing lips too tight Weak Stuffy Trumpet Tone too little air used too much pressure closed throat Bright Shrill Trumpet Tone Mouthpiece too shallow Bad concept of tone Too tight Dull Lifeless Trumpet Tone Mouthpiece too deep No tongue arch Wrong concept of tone Forced Trumpet Sound Lips too tight Too much mouthpiece pressure Bad breath support Weak Upper Register on Trumpet Chops too tight Too much pressure Wrong or no pivot Weak Low Register on Trumpet No or wrong pivot Mouthpiece too small Not using warm air Haaaaa Changing Quality of Sound Poor breath support Change in tongue arch or pivot Tonguing problem Slow Response on Trumpet Too much pressure Poor breath support Lips too tense Missed Notes Mouthpiece Too small or shallow Too much pressure Poor […]

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Multiphonics

Well, lets get you started. (1) play a middle C on your tpt., not too loud. (2) While still playing the middle C, HUM a second line G. After you “balance” the volumes and “tune it up”, you will be able to hear a complete triad! This may be a bit tricky at first, but easily done. Clyde Hunt Subject: multiphonics Clyde’s advice on how to get started with multi-phonics is excellent. A couple of additional thoughts: 1) It is always easiest to sing ABOVE the note that you are playing to get a multiphonic. 2) A large bore instrument such as a flugelhorn will amplify your singing more than a trumpet. With that in mind, you can actually get FOUR different notes by using difference and summation tones. A difference tone is a third pitch produced as the difference between two frequencies, a summation tone is produced by the […]

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Schilke note bending exercise

I first got wind of this from Renold Schilke and a little later, in greater detail, from David Hickman (Summit Brass). Since then I’ve heard variations of this routine recommended by many people. I was reminded of it again again and given some perspective by Fred Sautter (Portland Symphony) at the recent NY Brass Conference. The idea is to bend notes down from low C (Phase I), from G in staff (Phase II), from 3rd space C (Phase III), etc. In small doses this kind of thing may be a big help with your warming up. In larger doses, this exercise builds strength, brings corners forward and relaxes center pad, changes aperture shape from elliptical toward round, fattens the tone, and enhances ability to adjust pitch. Get comfortable and accurate with Phase I and II (see below) before adding Phase III–anywhere from a few days to a few weeks for […]

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