Welcome to the Bell Curve System of Practicing

Just what is the “Bell Curve System”? A Bell Curve is a representation of graduated increase and decrease of anything. It could represent income changes, temperature differences or the stock market. It is a gradual representation of change and this “gradual” change can be beneficial to your practice habits. I will illustrate this concept by using a practice habit most trumpet players use every day. The proper use of the Clarke Technical Study book. Open your book to the first series and we will begin. Start on the first exercise and continue to the last example. Visualize the bell curve…

“Required Reading” Jonathan Saraga (Part 2)

Welcome to Part 2 of our interview with Jonathan Saraga. If you missed the first segment, be sure to read it for as the title states, “This is Required Reading. Now we continue with our interview. Do you prefer big band or combo work? “I’ll probably have to go with combo work. I really enjoy both for different reasons. Similar to the topic on preferred forms of improvisation, both of these require me to undertake a different role as a player. I enjoy playing in a trumpet section, and trying to blend in with the sounds and phrasing of 16…

Share
  • spread the world
153 views

“Required Reading”- Jonathan Saraga

I try to stay up with the current trumpet scene and for that reason I ran across a phenomenal young player by the name of Jonathan Saraga. Most often when cruising the net I will hear a player who has great range and endurance but lacks ideas or technique. On other occasions I’ll run across a great improviser who unfortunately lacks chops or technique. In rare cases I stumble over a player who exhibits all of these abilities and I am in awe of their ability. This was the case when I listed to a young man from Manhattan, New…

Share
  • spread the world
256 views

A Beginner’s Guide To Transposition

Does your hair stand on end when you are faced with a part which requires transposition? Until you become familiar with playing notes that are not there, you will be uncomfortable. I will try to give you some helpful tips on how to reading transpositions at sight. Learning to transpose music (which way and how far?) Step #1 Extend your left arm to full length. Bring the palm of your hand in to face you. Think of each of your fingers as lines on a staff. Your thumb is now top line F, your first finger is now the D…

Share
  • spread the world
1832 views

Modifications To Your Mouthpiece

First warning! Modifying a mouthpiece could ruin it. With that note of assurance, let’s see what can be done to a mouthpiece to change its playing characteristics. Parts of a trumpet/cornet/flugelhorn mouthpiece- Rim- contoured section which comes in contact with the players lips Bite- Inner edge of rim Cup- Largest section of mouthpiece Second cup- First area of increased air resistance Throat- Most narrow path of the air stream Back bore- Gradual tapering outward from the mouthpiece into the instrument Shank- Area inserted into mouthpiece receiver Rim alterations- none can be done without permanent damage to the mouthpiece Shoulder- none…

Recent Loss to the Trumpet World- Mr. Don Thomas

To most trumpet players, names such as Maynard Ferguson, Clark Terry, Doc Severinsen, Miles Davis and others are easily recognized through the many records on the market today. Strangely enough, many of these great players would have been overshadowed by the talent of a quiet, soft spoken trumpet player from Fort Worth, Texas. This incredibly talented and not well known to the public trumpet master was Mr. Don Thomas. While attending North Texas State, I had the good fortune to not only have meet Mr. Thomas but also record several jingles with him in the studios in Dallas. Little did…

Introducing Jonathan Saraga- “Required Reading”

I try to stay up with the current trumpet scene and for that reason I ran across a phenomenal young player by the name of Jonathan Saraga. Most often when cruising the net I will hear a player who has great range and endurance but lacks ideas or technique. On other occasions I’ll run across a great improviser who unfortunately lacks chops or technique. In rare cases I stumble over a player who exhibits all of these abilities and I am in awe of their ability. This was the case when I listed to a young man from Manhattan, New…

Share
  • spread the world
190 views