How Old Should Your Child Be When Starting to Play A Brass Instrument? Part 2

What mental requirements are necessary before the child should start playing an instrument? When speaking of mental requirements, I am not referring to a mentally challenged or impaired child. I am speaking of the average child with the usual mental capacity. To succeed at any musical instrument, the student must be able to understand the importance of regular practice. Practicing regularly to some might mean “practice when you feel like it” or “when it is convenient”. This is the type of student that will most likely tire quickly of the discipline required for advancement on a brass instrument. I have…

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How Old Should Your Child Be When Starting To Play A Brass Instrument? Part 1

This seems to be a hot topic on the national trumpet bulletin boards and I’m not sure there is a definitive answer to the question. Each individual will have to make his/her own decision on this one. Some young players have been very successful while others have failed miserably at the quest. It will be my intent in this post to bring light on both advantages as well as disadvantages when considering a very young child’s first experience on a musical instrument. Important issues to consider when starting a child on a musical instrument- Does the child have any interest…

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My All-Time Favorite Brass Ensemble- The King’s Brass

My last post dealt with my favorite trumpet players and today’s post is similar, but this time I would like to introduce you to my favorite brass ensemble, the King’s Brass. This was the brass ensemble that influence me into forming my first trumpet ensemble. I have followed the King’s Brass from its very beginning and had predicted from the start that they would eventually reign supreme in the brass ensemble field. Many will disagree with my opinion, but the prediction I made many years ago has proven correct. Few ensembles are able to combine a religious message with outstanding…

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How to Identify and Deal with Excessive Mouthpiece Pressure- Part 2

Mouthpiece pressure begins with the hands. #1. The easiest solution All mouthpiece pressure begins with the hands. Holding the instrument is the only way we can play the instrument so it is logical our first step to lesson the pressure on the lip would be to  lessening the grip on the horn. Now visit another of my blogs “Left hand Playing Position”  illustrating a “lower left hand position” which will automatically lessen your mouthpiece pressure. By using this lower, left hand position, you will begin to lessen your pressure without any major changes to your playing style. The next area…

How to Identify and Deal with Excessive Mouthpiece Pressure- Part 1

Before we get into the how and why of excessive mouthpiece pressure, we need to identify what it actually is and establish how it is produced. What is mouthpiece pressure? When the rim of a brass instruments mouthpiece comes in contact with the lip, it produces mouthpiece pressure on the lip. Some pressure is required in order to seal the two from leaking air as the player begins to blow through the lips. If too little pressure is exerted you will have air leaks. If too much mouthpiece pressure is exerted, the player will limit the vibration of the lips…