Technology in Trumpet Playing- New Section Added to List

This past week I realized that I have posted many articles dealing Technology in Trumpet Playing. Due to this enlarging area of interest, I decided to offer a new section in our index and combine these related postings into a new section called Technology in Trumpet Playing in order to make this material more readily available to our readers.

Below I have included these postings and hope this will make it easier for those interested in the technology side of trumpet playing easier to access.

See What Your Tonguing Looks Like

What is Really Happening in Your Body When You Play Trumpet?

Scientific Proof- “Tuning to a tuba can be hazardous to your band’s intonation”

Transcriptions and Record copies Made Easier

Multi-tracking- Part 1 Using Click Tracks

Using Technology to Improve Your Trumpet Playing- Playing duets by yourself

Using Technology to Improve Your Trumpet Playing- Measuring your volume

Using Technology to Improve Your Trumpet Playing- Using an oscilloscope

Using Technology to Improve Your Trumpet Playing- Using an Audio Recorder

Using Technology to Improve Your Trumpet Playing- Using a Metronome

Using Technology to Improve Your Trumpet Playing- Using a Tuner

Using Technology to Improve Your Trumpet Playing- Video Recording

Using Technology to Improve Your Trumpet Playing

How to Develop Perfect Pitch in 5 Steps

How To Become A Midi File Arranger

Getting Started At Midi Arranging

Advanced Midi Arranging – Part 1

Advanced Midi Arranging- Part 2

See What Your Tonguing Looks Like

Often we are told to listen to our sounds and evaluate our progress. As I demonstrated on an earlier post we were able to see what our tone looks like through recording software. The same is true when trying to improve other areas of our playing, and in this case we will look at single tonguing and multiple tonguing through the eyes of the recording program Audacity.

As in our other visual studies, we will be using the free software program Audacity. which can be downloaded at this site.

To understand what is happening when you tongue a note, we will follow the photos I have included at the end of this post for you to get started in your own visualizations of your tonguing style.

I have chosen one of the best examples of the older technique of single, double and triple tonguing with these recorded examples offered to us through an educational recording done by the great cornet player James Burke. I chose these examples for they contain little distortion and background noise.

Example #1

As you can see in Example #1, Mr. Burke increases his tempo and switches from single tonguing to double tonguing. When he eventually increases his speed to the point that he switches from Tah, Kah to Dah, Gah, the point of change is very obvious.

Example #2

In Example #2 you have Mr. Burks triple tonguing on four beats and then sustaining a whole note.
The lower recording was done by yours truly and indicates what my triple tonguing looks like.

When you record yourself, look for any inconsistencies in attacks and releases as well as inconsistencies in volume.

If you would like to see what your tongue is doing at the time of starting a note, you will find this post very interesting also.

What is Really Happening in Your Body When You Play Trumpet?

Flow Studies by Vincent Cichowicz

Seldom do we have the opportunity to have student’s insight shared in the teaching method of a world class trumpet teacher. When this interview was brought to my attention, I wanted to share it with you.

For those of you who did not have the privilege of visiting with Mr. Cichowicz, I have included a small amount of background about this wonderful teacher. Although I had the occasion to spend some time with this him, I did not study with him. Many of my friends did and the comments given in this interview reflect the same respect that all of his students had for him.

Although I do not at this time have a copy of the new book “Long Tone Studies” I have used his “Flow Studies Book for many years and highly recommend it to every brass player. The material within its pages is very basic with one purpose in mind; Air in, throat open, let the air out. Several of the exercises where hand written and I can only assume that it is in his own hand. Most of the material is not original but are copies of other etudes with additional notes made by the author.

Reprinted from the Chicago Tribune, December 14, 2006

Vincent Cichowicz, a member of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s trumpet section from 1952 until 1974 and professor emeritus of trumpet at Northwestern University, died Monday evening following a long illness at his home in Fontana, Wisconsin. He was 79.

A lifetime figure on the music scene in Chicago, Cichowicz had served on the faculty at Northwestern since 1959 and as professor of trumpet from 1974 until his retirement in 1998. He began his musical career at the age of seventeen as a member of the Houston Symphony Orchestra and, after military service in the Fifth Army Band, returned to Chicago to attend Roosevelt University. He was a member of the Civic Orchestra from 1947 until 1950 and in 1952 became a member of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, where he remained for twenty-three years under music directors Rafael Kubelík, Fritz Reiner, Jean Martinon, and Sir Georg Solti. During this period he also was a member of the Chicago Symphony Brass Quintet and was a participant in the Grammy Award-winning recording of The Antiphonal Music of Gabrieli.

He was appointed music director of the Millar Brass Ensemble in 1995; their collaboration can be heard on the Delos recording Brass Surround. In 1997 Cichowicz received a special achievement award from the European Chapter of the International Trumpet Guild and was presented with the Legends in Teaching Award by Northwestern University, and in 1999 he received the International Trumpet Guild Lifetime Achievement Award.

Cichowicz was a faculty member of the National Youth Orchestra of Canada from 1980 until 2002, and the Brass Seminar program at The Domaine Forget in Charlevoix, Quebec, from 1986 until 2004. He conducted numerous workshops and clinics throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and Japan and was regarded as one of North America’s foremost experts in brass pedagogy.

Remembering Sandy Hook Elementary School

From time to time we have experienced joyous occasions where I felt the need to write something to commemorate the occasion such as the Royal Wedding. Other times I have felt the need to write for less festive occasions such as the National Anthem of Haiti.

With mixed emotions this evening I wanted to offer this arrangement in remembrance of the victims and families at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

Some may wonder why I chose these numbers to combine and all I can say is I was led to do so.

Jesus Loves the Little Children

If you use this arrangement, all I ask is that you mention its purpose and that is “Remember the people in Newtown for they have lost more than anyone can imagine”.

You can find the free arrangement Here- Remembering Sandy Hook Elementary School

Bruce Chidester

The OcToBrass Range Builder

They Say “If you haven’t tried it, don’t knock it”.

So…..I’ve tried it, now I’ll knock it.

A friend of mine asked me to try his new OcToBrass Range Builder and let him know what I thought of it. I will first list the claims its inventor advertises and give you my view of this revolutionary instrument which will do all things and solve all problems.
Well, where do I start?

“OcToBrass Range Builder TM is a new compact buzzing and practice instrument”.

This toy has been around for a couple years and to describe it as a toy would give it way too much credit. As far as being compact, buzzing on your mouthpiece would be more beneficial and even more compact.

“for a musician who must spend time away from the horn”.

The mouthpiece alone would serve the same function and take up less room in your suitcase.
The platform for OcToBrass is a concert level ocarina (Mountain Ocarinas)
Somehow the two terms, concert level and ocarina make the corners of my mouth go up.

“which has the capability of receiving a trumpet, baritone, trombone, euphonium, French horn or tuba mouthpiece”.

It is good to know that an ocarina has such a capability. I’m sure that if it had a choice, it would not be happy with large opening forced upon it and a cold tube of brass glued into its head (or it’d butt, which is it? I’m really not up on ocarina physiology).

“A tone is created from the buzzing brass mouthpiece as well as the tone created by the fipple flute resulting in the capacity of playing unison or harmony”.

Boy did I learn something! All this time I thought the lips buzzed and the mouthpiece was there only to support and direct the buzzing. I sat my mouthpiece on the table after reading this and for two hours (or maybe less) I waited for my mouthpiece to buzz, but nothing happened. I must have used the wrong mouthpiece. I also put my ocarina on the table and waited for it to create a tone and had the same result. Maybe I had a practice ocarina, not a concert level.

I did learn what a fipple flute was just in case it ever comes up in a conversation.

“This is the perfect instrument for the musician who must maintain (an) embouchure and endurance while on-the-go”.

No! The mouthpiece will have the same effect though it cannot be credited as “the perfect instrument”.

“OcToBrass is now equipped with a valve to regulate pressure and match the natural resistance of your horn”.

Halleluiah! You can never have enough improvements made to an ocarina with a mouthpiece shoved up its…..I’ll have to find out about that one.
Aluminum or polycarbonate? Aluminum or polycarbonate? Aluminum or polycarbonate? Aluminum or polycarbonate? Aluminum or polycarbonate? Aluminum or polycarbonate?

Why do I have to make such a difficult decision?

“You can increase your range and endurance, even if you are away from your horn”.

Wouldn’t you have the same benefits if you practiced on just your mouthpiece and you wouldn’t have to put up with that stupid noise?

“There are five different modes when playing the OcToBrass”.

Buzzing and fingering– BIG WOOP ON THAT ONE!

Quiet buzzing- Now that is an improvement.

Playing along buzzing- Now that was what I was looking for. I sometimes have a desire to sound like a kazoo. I didn’t realize that a kazoo sound was better to play along with in the car radio than the sound of a ocarina.

Tone matching- I’m sure it was only a slip but what he should have said was “PITCH MATCHING”

Sound alone- An ocarina is a beautiful sounding instrument, at least before you stick a mouthpiece in its……later on that one.

Other observations worth pointing out.

• On this site is a photo of a lovely young trumpet player by the name of Elizabeth Meeker. If ever there was a better example of a staged photo, I would like to see it. Do the words, “IN THE MIKE” mean anything?

• Although I’m sure Elizabeth is a very fine person and a gifted trumpet player, most endorsements come from well-known celebrities in the trumpet world.

• The price of the trumpet OcToBrass kit was $125 but now is listed for only $110.
But wait! Now you can get the OcToBras as well as a FREE CLIP ON TUNER! How can they possibly make any money on this product? And why would you need a free tuner? Could it be that the concert level ocarina has an intonation problem? Or possibly it is more difficult to match the ocarina pitch. So many questions and so few answers.

After reading my comments, do you think my site will be added to their trumpet links page?

You would be far ahead if you would take your $110 and take two lessons with a competent instructor or spend the money on a copy of the Arban book, Clarke Technical Studies, Colin Advanced Lip Flexibilities, and a copy of the Hayden Trumpet Concert, and you still would have enough money left over to take your best girlfriend / boyfriend to a good movie.

Of course that only MY opinion!

A Different Approach to Breathing

We have spent a great deal of time reviewing the Claude Gordan Systematic Approach to Daily practice and from your responses; many have found benefit, including myself.

Now I would like to feature another approach to playing in the upper register, and as you will see, it suggests a completely different way about getting the higher notes.

For those of you who will find this approach contrary to what The Gordan Method suggested, don’t be confused for each has its own approach to reaching the same goal.

Where the Gordan Method instructs you to breathe deep and expand as much as possible, this approach suggests deep breathing and limit the amount of extra air in your lungs.

Each method has strong legions of followers who intensely feel their way is the only way to find success and for that reason I wanted to share the different approaches; it will be for you to decide which works best for you.

Is Patriotism Growing In Our Country?

More and more trumpet players are starting to share their instrumental voice in honor of our country. Why this trend is increasing, who can say, but it is my wish that even more players begin to add their musical voices to the cause.

For more information on this phenomenon, check out these other posts on this subject.

Also, if you have additional information to share, please send me your thoughts on this great revival.

8yr old Geoff Gallante plays tribute to Herb Alpert & Tijuana Brass

When we think we have reached the top, along comes someone like this that reminds us we are not all that good.

Looks as if we have some new blood in the trumpet world and are we happy about that.

Enjoy the future of trumpet playing.

8yr old Geoff Gallante–all 50 pounds of him– plays tribute to Herb Alpert & Tijuana Brass with the acclaimed Ridgewood (NJ) Concert Band, Chris Wilhjelm conducting. The band is one of the finest of it’s kind in the nation.