What Causes Stage Fright and How Can it be Overcome?

The lights go down, the audience begins their applause and you walk out from behind the curtains to perform your solo. As you reach your spot next to the piano, you notice the shaking in your legs and the extreme dryness in your mouth. As you acknowledge your accompanist you realize that you can’t breath or even remember your name. AND THEN IT GETS WORSE! If you have ever performed in front of an audience, no matter how large or small, you may have gone through a similar situation. It is even worse for trumpet players for we have chosen…

Improved Long Tones Part II

So far no one has offered any comments about my last post. Surely someone will step up and defend the common and accepted practice of lone tones (either 1. I have no following, 2. everyone takes my word for it or 3. no one will stick their neck out and face me). Which is it folks? My Last post stated that for three reasons the practice of long tones should be discontinued. I gave my reasoning for this rebellious statement and in this post I will give the trumpet world an alternative concept which should prove my assertions about the…

Three Good Reasons Why You Should NOT Practice Long Tones!

Three Good Reasons Why You Should NOT Practice Long Tones! 1. They are boring. 2. They tend to build stiffness in your chops. 3. No one ever pays to hear long tones. Now that I have angered most of the trumpet players reading this post, I need to explain my thinking on the abolishment of long tones. Long Tones Are Boring- No one in their right mind would argue this statement. Playing long tones is like watching paint dry. Even the non-musician questions one’s mental capacity when they hear someone play twenty minutes on long tones. Usually their comment is,…

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What is the most important transposition to learn?

When asking a symphony player to single out the most important transposition for a trumpet, I am sure you would get many suggestions. Transposing trumpet parts in a symphony is a way of life. Some transpositions are easy and some are extremely difficult. Transposing in a show usually begins with the vocalists request to lower her/his key one half-steps because of the singer’s cold. Transposing on a combo job where you are playing from a fake book means that whatever you see, you will have to transpose it into your trumpet’s key which is up a full step. When considering…

“Hi-Yo, Silver! Away!”

To most people my age, and there still are a few left, this cry from the masked man mounted on his pure white horse named silver, brings back fond memories of earlier times. To the younger people, it means there is a new motion picture in town and many may wonder if it is worth spending money to see it. My wife and I saw the film and loved it. All reports we read indicated that it was going to be a bomb and we were pleasantly surprised when we saw it. If you are looking for a truly authentic…

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The Trumpet Warm-up Part II

Almost very trumpet player has a favorite warm-up routine that works best for his/her needs. Some believe long tones are best. Some believe short flexibility exercises are the only way for them. In my case, I feel that the same routine every day can be tiring and unproductive. For that reason I have been alternation between two warm-ups and will continue with this practice until I find something better. One of my favorite warm-ups can be found on Jay Lichtmanns’ web site. After reaching his site, click on the heading Brass Music Downloads. Next, enter the heading called Trumpet Studies.…

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The Trumpet Warm-up Part I

I will begin by saying that this information is about the practice and philosophy of warming up, not the actual material used which will be included in a later section covering music to practice. I will discuss the benefits as well as the techniques used to get the trumpet player ready for his/her daily practice period. Even though there might be a few players out there that do nothing to warm up before serious playing, they are far in the minority. It could be that the ones who practiced this life style eventually decided to quit trumpet playing. For the…

Please Welcome to Our Stage “Trombamania”

Once again I have showcased an exceptional trumpet ensemble from France. Please welcome the wonderfully talented trumpet ensemble “Trombamania”. The following information was translated from their web site…. For nearly 15 years Trombamania has created his own vision of chamber music. As confirmed by all the awards at international competitions, Trombamania cultivates a unique and dynamic style, enriched with various artistic collaborations. After two universally recognized by the public albums, all is needed both in France and on the international scene (Europe, Asia, USA) as a leading group. Trombamania parallel leads many educational activities, meeting, exchanging, sharing his experience with…

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Testing A Possible New Way To Tune A Trumpet- Part 2

After doing my own tests on this theory, I came to this conclusion- Matching the pitch of both the bell vibrations and the pitch of the air passing through the lead pipe and tuning slide did make a difference in how the instrument sounded and responded. The only problem with the thought that the instrument is more in tune with itself is that any change in the position of the tuning slide will have similar affects on your instrument. I found nothing note worthy in this experiment and would compare the basic sound and response of a Bb trumpet to…