How To Pick the Best Case for Your Trumpet

Part 1

What are the different kinds of trumpet cases?

Most trumpets are purchased with accompanying cases and to the average person, this is adequate. Your instrument is expensive and deserves the best protection possible. But is the case that came with your instrument up to the task? If you search on line or at local music stores, the vast number and features of new cases can be confusing. One manufacturer advertises that theirs is the strongest and another manufacturer states that theirs is the lightest and still others say theirs is the strongest and the lightest. So what can be done to weed out the good from the bad and the ugly? To evaluate every case on the market today would be impossible and for that reason I will divide the several types of cases for you and your final decision will have to be made by careful investigation on your own.

The stock case which most of us have for our trumpet is usually made of wood panels covered with leather or other waterproof materials. These cases do a good job and in many ways do a better job of protecting your horn than most after market cases. So why would anyone want to exchange a good case for something of less quality. Some are purchased to lessen the weight, some are purchased to hold more than one horn and some are bought just because they are cool and everybody owns one. I have a storeroom of unused cases and most have been retired because they were poorly designed in the first place. One such case is a Bach double trumpet case. This is undoubtedly one of the worst cases ever to hold two trumpets. It is a very impressive looking case but does not hold two trumpets well. A much better designed double trumpet case is made by the Schilke Company. The newest trend is the soft sided cases which are much easier to carry around and in many ways protect your trumpet as well as a hard case.

I asked one of my good friends and excellent trumpet player, Ken Watson to share his experience and preferences in trumpet cases and this is what he told me.

“We all use them. Each is selected according to criteria we each lay out. Each of us has a different set of priorities in the case or cases we choose. Generally, we all use the same set of preferences, although in different orders of priority. We make our choices based on the type, function, price, appearance, and availability. Many of us have several that we use, based on the type of gig we are playing.

My choice is generally a hard case, for the basic fact that it offers better protection from external hazards. Not all cases are created equal; there are some that do a better overall job of protecting our investments. For years I carried my Bach Strad in the Bach case that came with it. It did a good job of protecting the trumpet from outside hazards, but the one time I was less than careful with it, it got knocked down a flight of stairs. Outwardly all appeared fine, until I got home and discovered that the bell had been severely twisted. Fortunately the local music store was able to straighten the bell, but I learned a valuable lesson from that experience. Now I use cases which hold the instrument snugly to keep it from bouncing around inside the case. Currently my hard case of choice is the Torpedo Classic. It holds the instrument very snug in the interior and has a very sturdy exterior; it has good looks, was affordable, and is versatile for carrying.

There are also the soft cases, which will offer less protection from exterior impacts, but offer more ease in transporting. Among these will be cases such as Wolfpak and the Marcus Bonna cases. The tops and bottoms are of a soft form, but the sides and the dividers are stiff, giving them some strength and support for the instrument inside. Also in the soft case category are the gig bags. These are really nice because they are compact, light weight and easy to carry to gigs; of course their drawback is the limited amount of protection. When choosing a gig bag, I look for one that offers a high amount of padding and securely holds the instrument in their slots.”

Now that you have some ideas as to what is available, your next step is to decide which style of case you might want to use. I have divided the available trumpet cases into six categories-

  • Conventional Single horn Hard Cases
  • Hard Double Cases (carries two trumpets)
  • Gig Bags
  • Single Soft Side Cases
  • Combined Trumpet and Flugelhorn Cases
  • Airline Proof Cases

Due to the limited space we have on each blog, I will continue on my next posting by describing and evaluating each of these six categories and share my recommendation in each area.

The Need to Play in an Ensemble

For most of us, the need to play in an ensemble is obvious. During our musical development, we all participated in ensembles, sometimes voluntarily and sometimes because of departmental requirements. Whether in a marching band, a jazz ensemble or a brass quintet, we all had experiences in this area. To most of us, the requirements to participate in a marching band had more to do with entertaining the wealthy alumni than it had to do with a beneficial musical experience. I have to admit, I never cared care for my marching band experience. Playing in chamber ensembles, jazz bands and orchestras on the other hand brought back fond memories and friendships. The value of such participations was of great value to our earlier musical development but after graduate, our ensemble experiences began to change. Some players continued into a playing career and continued the interaction with fellow ensemble members such as shows, dance bands, university faculty ensembles. Some entered the service and ensemble plying continued. Unfortunately for many, their careers did not include an extension of ensemble playing and for those who fell into this group, I address this posting.

Can you continue to develop as a musician without performing in ensembles?

Many musicians have adjusted to the non-ensemble way of life and are perfectly happy. Their contact with their instrument can be an every day occurrence or it might be weeks between contact with their horn. Each individual fills their musical needs in different ways. For the musician who wishes to only “play for the fun of it”, with no desire to improve, life can be very satisfying, but for the musician who wants to constantly improve in his/her art, the lack of contact with other musicians can be very frustrating.

What are the benefits of playing in an ensemble?

Individual practicing can be beneficial but there are issues which only ensemble playing can address. Beyond just “keeping your chops in shape” individual practice does not address these issues-

1.      Ensemble playing requires you to be aware of intonation issues in your own playing.

2.      Performing in ensembles will push you beyond your normal comfort zone.

3.      Ensembles will help widen your musical styles and knowledge.

4.      Ensembles will make you more conscious of your weaknesses as a musician.

5.      As a member of an ensemble, you will be required to perfect your musicianship to a higher level than if you only played at home for yourself.

6.      Members of an ensemble will be more aware of differences in musical interpretations.

7.      Ensembles will dictate rehearsal times which might not line up to your wishes for playing Payday Loan.

8.      As a member of an ensemble, you will be expected to perform even if you don’t feel like it.

9.      Members of an ensemble will be expected to play their very best at all times.

10.  Each ensemble member will be faced with additional nerve pressures which you normally would not have if you were home practicing by yourself.

How can I get started playing in an ensemble again?

Check out the following in your area-

  • City Bands- Many cities already have bands functioning and are always interested in adding qualified musicians, even if it would only be a substitute position.
  • Organizational/ Company bands- Check with the largest employer in your area. Sometimes they have employees who have like interests and forming an ensemble can be easier than you might think.
  • High School Bands- Most often these groups only function during the summer months but even that could be beneficial.
  • Local brass ensembles- If one has not been form in your area, try starting one.
  • Church Ensemble- Churches are always using brass groups for Easter and other special occasions. If you have played with other musicians on such occasions, get their names and form your group from this ensemble.
  • Park and Recreation Department- Many P&RD’s can be open to suggestions for forming a summer park band series. If you don’t feel comfortable doing all the organizational work yourself, contact your local high school director and offer to help him/her form a group. Sometimes a brass quintet would be just the right ensemble to get the program started.

No thanks, I’m happy just playing my horn at home.

If you are not interested in forming or helping to form an ensemble, I have another suggestion. Form your own ensemble of “one”. Many of the benefits I have listed above can also be fulfilled by recording yourself and playing with the recording to form a duet.


The advancements in digital recording devices have made it possible for an individual to record themselves and start playing duets with themselves. I have begun a large project very similar to this concept which I hope to have available by next month. People have asked me how to develop more endurance and increase their upper range and because of this interest I will have available a method which would be of great value to anyone practicing alone. The benefits of this system have been tremendous and I’m excited to have it out very soon. Stop back often and I will do a feature on this beneficial system in the near future.

Trumpet Falls and Doits Made Easy

Falls and Doits 001Recently, we have been seeing more and more questions about falls and doits. More specifically, how are they played?

Playing doits (ascending effect) and falls (descending effect) are very easy and I will demonstrate an easy way to get the most out of your fall and doit.

The secret to an effective fall or doit is in the correct position of your valve and here is an easy way to find that position.

1. Establish the starting pitch and the final pitch for your fall or doit.

2. Place the first finger of your left hand directly in the path of your descending third valve so that when the valve is depressed, the finger will stop it decent.

3. Perform a slur from your top note to the bottom note. If you have gaps in your slur, change the amount of space from an open valve to ultimate forex trading software a depressed valve position.

4. The slightest change in the elevation of your third valve will drastically change the tone and smoothness as you descend.

5. Once you have found the correct elevation of your third valve which gets the most gnarly, edgy, completely smooth slur, make a mental note of that distance for this is where you will need to go to get the effect you are after.

6. During your fall and doit, you will need to add more air to your notes in order to compensate for the half valve effect.

How to make the most out of your fall and doit-

When performing a fall, think of staying on the top of the fall there by increasing the length of the fall.

When performing a doit, think of playing on the bottom of the fall in order to give your doit more length.

Trumpet – Brass or Silver Finish?

Should I get a silver or brass finish on my trumpet?

Brass and Silver Trumpet
Photo credit: Gregorio Parvus on Flickr

This decision is not the same as deciding on a color for your new car. Color and finish are two different issues when deciding on the surface of your new trumpet. Many people decide on the silver because it “looks” cool. Many believe that the brass finish is too similar to the student horn’s finish they are trading up from. The decision between the brass and the silver can be made easier by reviewing the following questions and my responses to those questions.

What difference is there between silver and brass finishes?

Both the silver plated trumpet and the brass trumpet are the same before the finish is applied. Both start out as bare brass and then they are polished to a bright luster. Then they go different ways. The brass finished instrument is prepared for a clear coating of lacquer or other suitable, sprayed on sealant. The purpose of this sealant is to protect the bright brass from contamination and exposure to the elements. If bare brass were to be left unprotected, the elements would slowly start to tarnish the polished brass. Just as any old brass left out would eventually tarnish, so would your trumpet. You might have seen professional players on television performing on instruments which look very tarnished. It could be that they prefer to play on instrument in that condition. Many musicians believe, and rightfully so, that the bare brass gives them the sound that they want. Without a sealant over the brass, the instrument will sound different. The reason is the thickness of the sealant will affect the tone quality or timbre of the instrument. Some musician prefers a silver finish on their instrument for the same reason. The silver finished instrument will sound different (usually more brilliant) because of the fact that the silver plating is much thinner than the spayed on sealant.

Other considerations when selecting the silver or lacquer would be the care and repair of the instrument finish. A sealant will sometimes wear through faster than the silver. Because of the high acidic content in my system I prefer the silver over the lacquer for I will wear through a lacquered horn finish within six months and a silver finish will last for years. Another consideration is repair. If your instrument Blackjack Online were to get a bad dent in its bell or lead pipe a repairman could repair it much more easily and for less expense if it were lacquered instead of plated. Refinishing an old instrument with a completely new finish is much cheaper for a lacquered instrument than a plated one. In order to re-plate a silver horn, the shop has to first strip off the old silver, then re-polishes the brass and finally re-plate.

I also need to explain the presence of the multicolored trumpets on the market today. The practice of multicolored horns is most often traced back to the Martin Company who supposedly formed a committee to design a new trumpet. As the story is told, the name Committee was selected as the name for the new instrument and members of the advisory committee included Renold Schilke, Vincent Bach, Elden Benge and Foster Reynolds. Introduced in the design was the use of different colored lacquers for effect. It is interesting to note that Mr. Schilke was never partial to lacquer on any of his horns for he told me that when applying “paint” to a trumpet it is too difficult to control its thickness and in effect it’s tone quality and response. That’s why he would only sell his horns in bare brass, silver or gold plated finishes. The Martin Committee trumpet was very popular in the late “40s to the 60s, then quickly lost its popularity. Now we see more interest in the colorful horns more at the student level and less among the professionals. Exceptions to that last statement would be the fine jazz trumpet players such as Miles Davis, Don Rader, Chet Baker, Dizzy Gillespie, Maynard Ferguson and Al Hirt who were among the elite clan of “colorful” trumpet players. To most working trumpet players, the color is there for effect not for any improvement in the instruments performance.

What affect does gold have on the instruments performance?

The change made to an instrument plated with gold has more to do with the added thickness and weight than it does to the material itself. In order for an instrument to be gold plated, it first has to be polished, then silver plated and then gold plated. The effect of the gold over the silver is debatable. There is one thing we all agree on today, “we would rather have the gold in our portfolio than on our horns”.


Valve extension tubingI have continued to test and evaluate the merits of this approach to better intonation and have some additional information for my readers.

I have been playing every day with the ring inserts and have become convinced that the rings help intonation problems and I’m still fine tuning the lengths of each ring to improve my horn even more.

Each day I make notes when recognizing undesirable pitch discrepancies and evaluate the value of making length adjustments to each ring insert. If one note is the slightest flat or sharp, I evaluate the benefits of slight adjustments to that note and the corresponding effect this change will make on the pitch of other notes using the same valve. Each day I try to refine these adjustments and I think I am about to be content with the lengths of the ring inserts.
Now for something I did not anticipate.

As I become closer to usable adjustments, I have noticed the passage between notes has become much smoother. I no longer have to lip notes in tune or make any lip adjustments to the low D and C# which is a difficult habit to break. Every note seems to be “wider” in feel. What I mean by “wider” is that each and every note seems to have a smoother, more rounded edge to its sound and response. To younger players this might sound a little strange but to a seasoned player, I think they know what I’m talking about. The transition between notes is smoother and more connected. I have no idea as to the reason for this but for the past two weeks I have recognized an improvement in my slurs as well as a more connected feel when playing scales. Octave slurs are smoother and I love the sound coming from my horn. It seems to be darker in tone quality.

I have been wondering why there have been no comments on this concept to improve intonation using this new idea so I searched the internet, trying to find any conversations on the topic. After several days, I finally found a small group of players who were actually discussing my blog page. In order to share opposing viewpoints on my posting, I have included their discussion as well as my response to their comments.

The following was posted on a discussion board and with these comments are my rebuttals.

Original comments are in bold type and my response in in plain type.

I would like to thank the person who took the time to read my article and share his/her thoughts on my suggestion for an alternate way to compensate for intonation problems on our trumpets today. I had no idea that so many people would read and try my suggestion. Oh, wait! After reading the many comments on this site I realized that no one actually mentioned that they tried my suggestion. Well we are all very busy aren’t we and it is much quicker to send a two line condemnation than it is to take the time to try it.

Well on with my rebuttals.

“I take issue with the fact that the author makes it seem like you only “ever” (the word ever is not needed) need to use your slides for those two notes”.

Actually in my post, I indicated that the two “most out of tune notes” on a three valve instrument were the low D and C#. Mentioning all of the others would have extended the article far beyond the limits of the page as well as the limits placed upon the reader’s attention span.

“I’m happy to be in a setting where my colleagues “mostly” (the word mostly is not needed in this setting) know how to use their first valve slide as well (as well as what? You need to complete this reference). ( a (,) should be added and the sentence and finished- ,it’s far less stressful that way”.

I hope you don’t mind that I edited your sentence.

“But at the same time that’s a big enough deal to modify your horn and your embouchure to make all of the rest of the notes in tune… Ya this seems awful”.

I’ll have to pass on this one for I have no idea what the person is trying to say.

“It’s so TEDIOUS to have to move the third valve slide. It’s so much easier to play everything out of tune, can’t I just do it that way”?

I love your sense of humor!

“I would think someone with the username pockettrumpet would be pretty well versed in playing out of tune… ;-)”

I’m staying out of that one.

“Let’s fuck up the tuning of the entire instrument so that two notes that you rarely use are in tune.”

Well spoken. I sense that you are a lead trumpet player and seldom venture into the world of staff playing.

“I think you’re onto something here”.

Careful, you may be venturing from the flock!

“I applaud him for trying to think outside the box. Too bad this idea isn’t a better solution to the status quo of kicking out slides”.

Thank you for your comment and my only question is “have you tried it”?

“In the time it takes to do this, one could sit down at a piano and just learn to play those notes in tune…”

Many have tried, few have succeeded.

“Terrible idea. A good horn should slot well and you should only have to kick the 3rd slide out for the D & C#. Having to drastically lip every note (according to this idiotic recommendation) will go against the natural slotting (the sweet spot without lipping up or down where the Levitra Online tone sounds the best and feels the easiest on the chops), each note’s timbre sound different (you want timbre the same whether playing high or low), and wear your chops out really fast. Kicking a slide out to make a note in tune will still keep the note sounding in the sweet spot and save your chops. Soapbox rant complete”.

1. Have you tried it?
2. Few horns are able by themselves to “slot” on the fifth harmonic. And I will not mention the problems Bach horns have on their G just above the staff.
3. I never said that you had to drastically lip any note in fact I seldom have to lip anything now that I have the inserts adjusted.
4. Wouldn’t it be nice to have every note sound the same? My reply to that is No!
5. Your points were strongly written and even though I do not hold to some of your ideas, I thought your comments were presented well.

“I just kind of generally think that is made to appeal to the lowest common denominator of trumpet player. The blog reviews anything and everything, doesn’t get terribly in depth (despite the length of some of the articles) and is written at probably a 6th grade level. I wouldn’t be shocked if I found out that it was some kooky marketing strategy put on by Woodwind/Brasswind”.

“I just kind of generally think”…….. what was your reference? “written at probably a 6th grade level”

Most of my posts, as you have implied are directed to younger players for the younger students of the instrument need direction and I feel that my posts are helpful for them. Many times the older and more experienced players as yourself have already become giants in their field of musicianship and have found everything needed to become the famous player they are today. Speaking of levels of musicianship, if you have time visit my site and share with us your achievements on your instrument. I’m sure we would all be very impressed. Oh, and to make sure you are not shocked; my only contact with Brasswind is for making purchases.

“The weird thing about the article is it makes it seem like this is some radical new solution. What he’s actually done is reverse the fix to trumpet intonation problems (adding in adjustable slides)”.

It is a radical idea, whether it is new I can’t say and it was never professed to be a “solution”, only a possible alternative.

“The triggers you find on cornets are much easier to use than trumpet finger rings in my opinion, I don’t know why they never caught on for trumpets. The Connstellation had one on the first slide and the Olds Recording had one on the third but you don’t see them on modern horns”.

I agree, triggers on valve slides are easier to use than saddles or rings.

Your comment about the Connstellation was interesting. My good friend and teacher Don Jacoby played a Conn all the time and one of the complaints he had was that the lever did not extend the first slide far enough. After playing with Don and subbing for him in clubs in Dallas, I’m sure he didn’t worry too much about intonation unless it was a recording situation. I looked down his lead pipe one night and had a hard time even seeing light through it. Moving on to your comments about the Olds Recording trumpets and cornets. I owned and played both for many years and wanted to cut the third slide lever off my horn for it had the same limitations as did the Conn. Levers seldom adjust far enough to correct intonation problems. For those of you who are symphonic players, you would have the same attitude if you were playing an orchestral number which required a low “F”. I performed with the Barnum and Bailey circus and the third cornet part was written down to an “F”. The reason manufactures dropped the triggers was for the fact that they didn’t work and would be cheaper to manufacture. Most players didn’t want them. Someone earlier mentioned the word “Radical” which reminded me of another teacher and good friend Mr. John Haynie who taught for many years at North Texas State. His solution to the intonation problem was to place a lever not on a valve slide but on the main tuning slide. His efforts to make it work were valiant but unfortunately not practical. Now THAT was radical.

“I have conventional rings on my cornet and frankly, my fingers are stubby enough that I can’t use the 3rd slide ring unless I jerry-rig something onto it so I can move it outward … I’ve seen a really nice cornet in a store that has these trigger things and they look super cool and a great solution to the problem, for me. Until then, well, I’m not kicking any slides out ever; this may be bad”.

You sound like someone who could benefit from my “radical” idea.

In closing I would again like to thank all of you who read my post and to the others I pose this question….

If you are so convinced that my suggestion for a possible alternative is so “awful”, “weird”, “worst ideas”, “idiotic” and a “terrible idea”, why didn’t you leave your comments on my site so that we could discuss your thoughts in a productive manner? This is the first time I have visited this site and from what I have read, it might be the first and last. Next time you come across a new idea, be sure to try it before you condemn the originator.

“One way” to Clean Your Trumpet

In the preceding post, I featured what I considered to be one of the worst instructional videos I had viewed. This can be very risky but, as one of advanced age, I felt my duty to expose this atrocity. Some times such actions can turn around and bite you on the butt…. and it did.

Shortly after posting this video, one of direct online payday loans my current and very kind students suggested that I make a video showing “the proper way” to clean a trumpet. “Thanks Jen”. In an effort to prove my manhood as well as show my limitations, I spent yesterday putting this video together for my readers.

If only I entertain you with my allergy infested voice, I feel that I have accomplished something.

The Worst Instructional Video On The Internet

Continuing in my limited series of disturbing videos I have selected this gem. YouTube has an ever increasing library of self help videos which strive to inform our world on various subjects. Many of these are very helpful and in some cases, they can be very destructive as in the case of this video-

Please read this post completely before trying the above instructions.

This could possible be the worst instructional video on the internet! If these instructions are followed as described in the video, I can guarantee that you will have ruined your instrument and for that reason, I will list the many destructive elements described in the video.

Bad advice #1
Never place your instrument in an unprotected position as shown in this video. Notice the clanking sound as the instructor places the instrument back in the sink. Unless you enjoy counting dents in your horn, it is far better to place the instrument flat at the bottom of the sink.

Bad advice #2
Never apply MAGIC VALVE TRUMPET CLEANER to anything! As you can hear in the video, as the person rotates the valve in its casing, you can actually hear the grinding sound as it is rotated. MAGIC VALVE TRUMPET CLEANER is no more than a lapping compound which is used to wear down metal parts.

Bad advice #3
Never rotate the valve in its casing. As valves are used, they eventually will seat within its own casing which means that the position and direction of your finger as it pushes the valve down, will eventually force the valve to its own position within its casing. This is similar to the pistons in a car engine. Eventually each piston and set of piston rings will find a natural path as it moves electronic cigarette china up and down in the cylinder.

Bad advice #4
Forcing a valve up and down 50 to 60 times while coated with an abrasive as this has shown has permanently damaged the instrument. Notice that your instructor even describes his action as lapping. When metal is lapped, metal is removed. As metal is removed, the piston becomes thinner and the valve casing becomes larger. As the tolerance is increased between the two, compression is lost. As compression is lost, the playing characteristic of the instrument worsens. The valves will seem to go up and down easier at first but after additional playing the loosening of the tolerance will generate problems much worse than the original problem.

Bad advice #5
Unless the instructor has been setting fires in his horn (at this point, I’m not really sure what this person is capable of doing) there should be no possibility of soot collecting in a trumpet.

Bad advice #6
This should warrant jail time for our instructor. I am certain that every “real” trumpet player viewing this video instantly became ill and suffered from an acute desire to place their hands around the instructor’s neck. I have never seen anything as destructive, senseless and down right stupid in my whole life. The gifted trumpet designer and acoustician Renold Schilke once told me to never rotate a valve in its casing and here this moron is inserting the valve in from the bottom. Never, under any circumstance should a valve be inserted from the bottom.

Bad advice #7
The conclusion of this video encourages you to view a following video on cleaning the valves. I urge you never view any video produced by this person, even if your life depends on it.

Did I make myself perfectly clear?

How I Practice- Playing Etudes

PracticeI try to allot time each day for playing new material and because of the unlimited amount of etudes available today, we will never need to be without material.
The internet is one source of quality etude material and no one can use the excuse that they can’t afford to purchase study material. An example of this great resource is this- visit “200 fabulous etudes”- AND THEY’RE FREE.

One of my favorite etude books was written by Vincent Cichowicz and is called Trumpet Flow Studies.

“The material is not as important as the habit of reading new material every day”.

Many players approach etude playing in nonproductive manner as they open their book and play continuously until their lip is exhausted. In this way very little is accomplished other than trashing your lip.

I have been a strong supporter of the “Rest As Much As You Play”
routine and because of that, I have gotten into the productive habit of recording my material in this manner. I have a great many hours of recorded material I can choose from when practicing etudes each day. Playing along with pre-recorded etudes is an easy way to pass the time practicing.

“One thing to remember when setting up your etude playing routine is the proven electronic cigarette big mountain fact that humans are only capable of concentrating on any one subject for twenty minutes at a time”. Plan your etude practice with this in mind. I remember practicing at North Texas State for four to five hours a day. This may sound like a productive and honorable routine but in fact, more progress could have been made by practicing several half hours segments throughout the day.

Practicing new etudes will help you to improve the following-

1. Sight reading
2. All areas of your playing technique
3. Concentration
4. Endurance
5. Musicality
6. Flexibility
7. Musicianship
8. Breathing
9. Range
10. Attitude toward playing.

Too often we forget the true reason we practice our instrument. We are not put on this planet to show everyone how fast we can play Exercise #31 on page 8 of the Clarke Technical Studies book. We are all given the gift to play MUSIC.

“Etudes give us the material to put our technical abilities into practice”.

For those who do not have etude material to start with, I have recorded the scale exercises from the Arban which you can use as a substitute until you acquire more melodic etudes. These exercises begin on page 59 and you need to “alternate lines with the recording”.

How I Practice- Finger Flexibility and Coordination Exercises

PracticeClean breaks between notes require fast and coordinated valve action and for that reason you should practice finger or valve exercises daily. I have included a few exercises which will help increase this area of your performance. Playing fast material will hide many fingering faults where slow material will quickly expose weaknesses. For that reason I have included two slow song “I Wonder As I Wander” and the lesser known “Humoreske”.

A musician may have the best tone in the world and still be rated poorly for sloppy valve work and for that reason it is a good idea to practice some sort of finger (valve) exercises. The best book to work from is the Herbert L. Clarke Technical Studies
for it contains everything you need to know about acceptable finger development.

Acceptable finger (valve) coordination begins with a firm and positive down stroke and an equally rapid and firm up stroke of each valve. If you find that your valves bounce as they come up, you may want to check the condition of your valve springs. Older instruments sometimes have weak springs and all the practice in the world will not help you develop a clean break between each note. If this is the case with your instrument, check with an instrument repairman for newer and more resistant springs which are very easy to Online Casino insert in your instrument.

For those who might not realize, springs are available in different resistances. The weak springs feel great but sometimes return the valve too slowly and the stiffer springs may be too much for you to push down. A short visit with your local instrument repair shop will help you to decide on valve spring strength. You can also order most trumpet valve springs on line. Additional information on valves springs can be read on this page.

I have had students who needed to strengthen their fingers for better valve control and one solution is to place additional springs in the “bottom” of each valve thereby substantially increasing the resistance. This is an extreme measure and I only mention it for those who feel they need to increase strength in each finger. It is amazing how much faster your valve speed increases after you remove the extra springs.

Clean valve action is needed for clean passages and as two well-known trumpet players told me…

“Bang the valves down” ….Doc Severinson

“Make your valves POP between notes” ….Don Jacoby

Finger Exercises

Instructions for use- Listen and repeat. By alternation with the recorded trumpet passage, you should not get tired and you will be able to pick out the fingering patterns I need to work on, I did.