A Little Racial History

I would like to thank a fellow trumpet player (*Michael Stewart* www.stewmuse.com) for sharing this video with us. There is more truth to this computer generated video than most will realize. As a person who had witnessed the “WHITES ONLY” years, sadness fills my heart for the injustice put upon the Black race for so many years. English translation: New York, 1930: Harry, a trimmer (barber) racist will change his attitude after discovering a magical trumpet. Set in the years following the great depression of the 29’s, at which time it originates the Swing (jazz style in which stressed Fletcher…

Join HI-YR-BY-A-THIRD today! Material on page 12 only

Now that you have tried playing pedal tones for the first time or continued to play them, some may have questions as to how they can be played more easily. This post will cover the art of playing pedal tones and by our next post, you should be able to play with the best pedal players in the nation, or at least improve in this area. To make sure you are playing pedal tones correctly, we first need to check to see if your lips are in the correct position. To do this, place the mouthpiece to your lips and…

Join HI-YR-BY-A-THIRD today! Lesson 1

Now that you have your own Claude Gordon “Systematic Approach to Daily Practice” in front of you. Oh, you didn’t get yours yet? Well that’s why I posted the first lesson on my site. Some have ordered it and have not received it and some think they can take my class without getting the text. Thirty years teaching in a university has taught me that there are always those that try to cut corners and if you happen to be one, I’m going to keep an eye on you. We will begin the class by taking a look at Lesson…

Join HI-YR-BY-A-THIRD today!

What is HI-R-BY-A-THIRD? HI-R-BY-A-THIRD stands for How to Increase Your Range By A Third This is a new support group just for high note wimps like me and it begins Today! • If you are tired of having other trumpet players laugh at you when you miss the high note at the end of your solo, join our group. • If you have lost jobs because of your limited range and want to play in a higher chair in your section, join our club. • If you are envious of the other players who are able to perform a full…

When You Are Wrong, You Are Wrong

I love it when someone proves me wrong. It tends to bring me back to earth and realize that even old people (especially old people) can learn a thing or two. In an earlier post, I questioned the quality and newness of any compositions created in the past few decades and today I was proven wrong. Enjoy this beautiful composition which includes some Stravinsky as well as electric guitar. Please excuse me now as I will have to remove the egg from my face. To the younger crowd, that means I was wrong. The composer’s program notes are included below…

Inspiration or Complete Humiliation?

Each day I practice my Clarke Technical Studies and slur up and down on my Advanced Lip Flexibilities exercises. Every day I play my long tones and range exercises. Then… I view a video of the “Good Guys” and I throw up my hands in despair. Yes, in the morning, I will be doing the same practice routine as I have for many, many years; knowing that it can be done even though I will never be able to do it as these “MONSTERS” illustrate. Feel free to leave comments for some will like this, some will not. But all…

Steroids And Trumpet Playing

After being diagnosed as having a bad case of Poison Ivy, I was given a steroid shot to solve the problem. The second day after the shot, I was surprised to find that my high range had jumped from an F# above high C to double high C! The F# had been my best for many weeks and to have that much, and sudden increase made me wonder if the shot had anything to do with the range change. I decided to inquire through some of the networks I communicate with and received many suggestions. As always my words are…

Comeback Player Questions

I received this message this past week and because of the house full of family I am a little behind on my posts. I would like to thank this gentleman for his questions and due to the fact that many have indicated that they were also “comeback” players, I thought I would share with you my thoughts on this big move. As always, my comments are in BOLD type and our reader’s comments are in regular type. Went social security in 2010, and part time on my job. Within a couple months, decided it was time to get back to…

Old Horns and Former Girl Friends

When it is 4:00 AM and you can’t get back to sleep, what do you do? As I lay in bed, thoughts of the past day, political debates, and discomfort from the last piece of pizza run through my head until I had to do something a little more productive and now I’m at the computer again. When I started thinking of this post this morning, my first thought was, will my wife truly understand the significance of this post. Will she grasp the concept of the comparison of memories of old trumpets, cornets, flugel horns, trombones, slide trumpets and…

Preparing For Your First Gig

I distinctly remember my first real paying gig. It was at the Officers Club at the Rock Island Arsenal base and I was in high school. Fortunate for me I was a better player than anyone else on the job. It was a New Year’s Eve dance and the book (music) was easy although hard to read from all the spilled beer and cross outs on the one-hundred year old manuscript. But enough about my first time, let’s see if we can give you some help on what your first time might be like. Gigs or jobs are terms that…