on May 17, 2013 ·
The number of people complaining about stiff chops seems to be growing and for that reason, I thought it time to address the problem.
Symptoms of “stiff chops”-
1. Each morning when you begin to practice, your lips seem to be leathery or inflexible.
2. Many times your tone quality seems airy when you begin to play.
3. Flexibility exercises seem difficult.
4. More air is needed to start a note.
5. Playing [...]
on May 15, 2013 ·
Here is your challenge!
This duet was written this morning between 2:00 am and 5:20 am. When I can’t go to sleep, I enjoy creating and solving puzzles. This is one of my puzzles.
Obviously, this is a tone row piece which uses the notes of the chromatic scale in a predetermined order for the purpose of obscuring any tonality or melodic preset conditioning.
As with most of my puzzles, the more [...]
on May 14, 2013 ·
You might wonder why these three techniques are grouped together. The reason I am discussing them as a group is because they are all three related. The shake is just an extension of a vibrato and the proper use of lip trills (tongue trills) is the bridge between an applied hand vibrato and a shake.
IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOU READ EACH OF MY INSTRUCTIONS IN THE ORDER THEY HAVE BEEN POSTED.
on May 12, 2013 ·
In our never ending quest to bring to the surface brass ensembles worth watching, I thought you might enjoy this more recent offering which has its roots in a far off time and space. The time is the 1950’s and the space reference is Saturn where an important figure influenced the direction of this ensemble.
A big influence in the development of Hypnotic Brass Ensemble was the father of these brothers [...]
on May 12, 2013 ·
Recent studies have found that musicians are subjecting themselves to mold and/or bacteria which may lead to the development of hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP), a lung condition characterized by shortness of breath and cough. The mold or bacteria has been found in virtually every instrument tested by Dr. Mark Metersky (University of Connecticut Health Center). His complete story can be read at –
on May 10, 2013 ·
Many young students are faced with this decision before they graduate from a college or university and the decision can sometimes be difficult.
I have had the pleasure to play on both sides of the music stand and will try to give you the pros and cons of both areas in music as best I can.
Some advantages for teaching music in an educational setting-
• If you love working with young people, you will [...]
on May 8, 2013 ·
Some players look forward to that call and some begin to shake in their boots for your first call to substitute for another player brings up many questions such as-
Can I play well enough to make the band leader/conductor happy?
How good did the original player do and will I sound pathetic in comparison?
What kind of job requirements are expected for the gig?
Do I have enough chops?
Will I be able [...]
on May 6, 2013 ·
Whether taking a test in English or performing on a recital, we can demonstrate one of three levels of ability.
C level performers-
C level performers expect to perform adequately and nothing more. If the passing grade is a C and you are content with that level of accomplishment, chances are very good that the C will be your final grade. Usually C students are content to spend the semester doing just [...]
on May 1, 2013 ·
While searching through some of the better videos on Youtube, I can across an interesting idea. How would several trumpet ensembles compare when performing the same number and I selected Mr. Terry Everson’s composition “Idea Number Twenty-Four” for Trumpets as our test piece for it is extremely challenging and tests the ability of only the better players.
Our first recording was a studio [...]
on April 29, 2013 ·
To quote one of my favorite singers, Billy Preston, everything goes ‘round in circles
And so does the history of this cornet.
Once upon a time in the city or Waterloo, Iowa, a young seventh grade boy worked odd jobs and regularly delivered over 100 newspapers in order to save enough money to purchase his new Bach Stradivarius Cornet to play in his school band. The year was 1956 and the price of [...]