How to Bridge the Gap Between Single Tonguing and Double Tonguing

We have all run into this situation- The notes are too fast to single tongue and too slow to double tongue. This situation is usually referred to as “the gap”. Normally players find that it is very difficult to effectively speed up their single tonguing when in fact they should learn to more effectively control a slower double tonguing pattern. Trying to increase single tonguing speed tends to create tension and stiffness in your tonguing technique which is detrimental for increasing speed while, on the other hand, slowing down your double tonguing technique will create more relaxation in the tongue…

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Download exercise sheet- Shake exercise sheet Download audio instructions- Shakes The similarity between the lip (tongue) trill and the shake are remarkable. Everything that we had practiced to produce a tongue trill will now be applied to the technique of playing shakes. The only difference between the two is that in a lip (tongue) trill, you are changing notes through the use of the slight arch of your tongue, and in a shake; the notes are changed through the slight movement of the hand on your instrument. I began this series explaining the effect of the hand’s movement on the instrument…

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Lip (tongue) Trill

Download exercise sheet- Lip-tongue trill Download audio instructions- Lip Trill Because of the nature of this topic, it required recorded examples in order for the reader to better understand the exercises. I have listed the most important instructions for each of the eight lines on your exercise page but most of your information will be better explained on the recording. Explanation of goals for each of the following lines- A- Center your pitch on the false fingered Ab and slowly relax your embouchure to slide into the F# with the same fingering. B- Lower the Ab and strive to play…


Download exercise sheet Trumpet Vibrato Basics I mentioned in my previous post that I feel the best vibrato for trumpet playing is the hand vibrato. Some of the reasons I feel strongly about this form of vibrato over other techniques are- 1.      It does not interfere with the basic sound of the note. 2.      It is easier to control. 3.      It can be turned on and off much easier than other methods. 4.      Even though it might not be the best technique for other brass instruments, in my opinion, it is the best technique for the trumpet. There are many…

Do I have to go to college to learn to be a good trumpet player?

Many times people ask, “Is it is necessary to go to a college or a university in order to learn to be a good trumpet player”? I will try to explore as many reasons why a college education can help you become a better player as well as point out alternative ways to accomplish the same goal. Let’s first look at some areas where we can begin to reach our objective. “I have just graduated from high school and I want to be a professional trumpet player, what do I have to do next”? 1. Military service Now that you…

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Cheap Trumpets- Are there such things?

Many people are in need of information on what trumpet would best suite their needs, whether it be for their child or for their own use. For that reason I have previously posted information on selecting a new instrument. This posting was written to help the individual who may not want to buy a new instrument and would like to know where and how to look for a used instrument. There are several areas one could search for a trumpet and I will try to list these areas as well as cover the advantages and disadvantages of each source. In…

Buying Music in a Tight Economy

When money is short and every cent must be carefully spent, we all need to shop wisely when making purchases. For that reason I have begun to search for the best deals when purchasing trumpet study material. This first suggestion was easy for me for I consider this book as one of the best written and most helpful books to be printed. My first contact with this publication was early in my trumpet playing days for this was the material used for all state tryouts and we were all expected to own a copy. While searching for great buys, I…

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Help! Emergency Trumpet Repair Tips

Disasters and near disasters seem to always happen at the worst times and for that reason, I thought I would share some quick fixes for occasions such as these. Your second valve will not go down Have you ever had this happen? The count off begins “ONE, TWO, ONE TWO THREE FOUR”. And you discover your second valve won’t go down! It has happened to me and it is not a pretty sight. After the panic has subsided, you look down the page to see when you can rest and get it working again. Panic again! You have no rests…

Trumpet Accessories for Beginners

Accessories which are designed and sold for the trumpet player can be as endless as fashion accessories available to women. Each is professed to be absolutely essential for a good performance. And in the same way some fashion accessories in women are useful and sometimes just stupid, so it is true in the trumpet world. In order to simplify the many offerings, I will divide them into two categories – “must have accessories” and “nice to have accessories”. “Must Have” Trumpet Accessories for Beginners Trumpet cleaning kit- Most manufacturers include a cleaning kit with the new instrument. This kit will contain the following items-…