The Baton Is Mightier Than The Sword! The Downbeat Is Near.

Sometimes we feel as if all the hours of practice is to no avail. The late rehearsals and endless scales seem to be falling on deaf ears. Then, something like this happens and we realize that we are involved with one of the most powerful movements on earth…… “music”, and it is all worth the blood, sweat and tears we have shed. I think it is time that we begin to reevaluate our place in the world as each newscast depicts killings, murders and endless atrocities around the world. We have entrusted the worlds safety to politicians of all parties,…

The Transitional A/Bb Cornets- Did They Play In Tune? Part 2

How the test was carried out I decided to prepare a test sheet which would include all of the notes from low B up to and including high C. In order to best represent each note tested, I used three preparatory notes which would give me a well centered pitch to be checked on my tuner. I have included a download of the sheet at the bottom of this post in case you would like to do the same test on your instrument. Originally I intended to test only the A/Bb cornet and my Bach cornet, but due to the…

The Transitional A/Bb Cornets- Did They Play In Tune?

Shortly after posting my article Why Did The Cornet Become a Second Rate Citizen?, I became more interested in the Cornet and one of the questions which kept me up at night was this- “did the transitional cornets (cornets manufactured as a fundamentally A pitched instrument but converted to play also in Bb), play in tune”? I tried testing a Bb with its slides extended to an A instrument but the intonation was so bad, I gave up the effort. Then a good friend of mine said that he had an A/Bb cornet and would loan it to me for…

Why did the Cornet become a second rate citizen?

First I need to apologize to the uninitiated followers of trumpet history. This will not be an entertaining document. This might be boring to the casual reader but for the rest of us who are deeply interested in how our trumpet/cornet history has been developing, I think this is worth reading. Most of us are trumpet players and the thought of playing a cornet sometimes turns us off. The reason could be that many think that we began on a cornet and when we got good, we switched over to a real instrument. How this idea ever got started is a wonder…

Perfect Pitch – Is it possible?

“What is it and how do you know when you have it”? Absolute pitch (AP), widely referred to as perfect pitch, is the ability of a person to identify or recreate a given musical note without the benefit of an external reference. Source: Wikipedia The terms “perfect pitch” or “absolute pitch” are well know to most musicians and are looked upon as great attributes possessed by only a select few. In reality, “it isn’t all that great”! As a member of this so called select few, I can speak from experience that, although at times it can be helpful, the inability to…

Personal Embouchure Training Device Review

The concept promoted by the Personal Embouchure Training Exerciser is not new for we have known of the basic concept for a long time. This exercise was first shared with me by an old circus cornet player many years ago. Years later it was shared again when I played under Merle Evans in the Ringling Barnum and Bailey Circus. Mr. Evans shared two exercises which had used for building his “chops” while on the road directing the circus. The first exercise begins with a telephone directory. Select about a half inch of pages from the center of the directory. While bending…

Select Your Practice Room Carefully

Where do you do most of your practicing? Is it in a band room? Do you slave away every day in a practice room? Is most of your time practicing spent in a small room, a big room, a room with drapes and heavy carpet? Where you practice regularly will affect your playing in many ways. I have to admit that my practicing is done most often in a wonderfully designed room. The dimensions are ideal for what I want and it was not an accident that my practice room is as wonderful as I could imagine. I was lucky…

Why Doesn’t The Air Go Out My Nose?

I have been asked through the years, “Why, when I play a note on a brass instrument, doesn’t the air come out my nose”€? Rather than explain the function of the flexible pallet, it is much easier to use an visual illustration and for that reason, please view the following videos.

Winner(s) of video question, Why Does This Happen?

Thanks to all who participated in this thought provoking exercise. At last count, we had approximately fifty entries, and over 2,000 downloads concerning this question. Some of your answers were very close and some were way off. I have listed two who will be receiving “free” arrangements of their choice as well as one contributor who submitted an interesting question which may be addressed at a later date. We had one reader “nail” the correct answer and one who was so far above me, I wasn’t sure if he was correct or not, so we are giving one arrangement of…