Update on the “THE PERFECT PERFORMANCE CHAIR/STOOL”!

Few people have realized the importance of my recent discovery of the perfect item of support for every musician. But don’t let that upset you for most people do not understand many of the things I do or say. Ask my wife. This is an update to my first post on the perfect stool/chair and not only do I still believe the benefits of this stool, I have also broadened its virtues to something even more of you may not try or understand. After switching to my backless chair, I have noticed several changes in my life. 1. My posture…

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Chet Baker at His Best

  Chesney Henry “Chet” Baker, Jr. (December 23, 1929 – May 13, 1988) was an American jazz trumpeter, flugelhornist and vocalist. Baker earned much attention and critical praise through the 1950s, particularly for albums featuring his vocals (Chet Baker Sings, It Could Happen to You). Jazz historian David Gelly described the promise of Baker’s early career as “James Dean, Sinatra, and Bix, rolled into one. His well-publicized drug habit also drove his notoriety and fame; Baker was in and out of jail frequently before enjoying a career resurgence in the late 1970s and ’80s. At about 3:00 am on May…

How To Arrange Music For Your Trumpet Quartet

Download exercise sheet here- Hymn for trumpet ensemble arranging assignment #1 Play musical example here-Quartet Hymn arrangement Before we start, I will assume that you do play trumpet and understand the ranges, both high and low of the instrument. Because of the limited range of the trumpet, this will be the first issue I will address when explaining a simple approach to arranging for a trumpet quartet. What would be a comfortable range of notes to use when writing for a Jr. High trumpet ensemble? Even though the trumpet is capable of playing notes below the low F# and is also…

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WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW IN ORDER TO IMPROVE YOUR TONE QUALITY (PART #4) Over Adjusting When You Play

One of the most common offense to the trumpet occurs when a player over compensates when playing notes. When I speak of overcompensating I’m directing my criticism to mainly the embouchure area. When most players attempt to reach a high note, the mindset is usually “give it your all” and when doing so, the player exerts too much energy to attain their top note. This became clear to me a few years ago when I watched one of our best trumpet players playing a show in town. I was amazed at how effortlessly he maneuvered among his notes; seemingly unconcerned…

What You Should Know In Order To Improve Your Tone Quality (Part #3)

We have been very busy responding to your comments on the subject of improving tone quality and this makes me very pleased for all musicians should be concerned with their sound. In this the third installment on the subject of a focused sound, we will be addressing two related and equally important elements in producing an impressive sound. The first will be the size of the aperture between your lips and the second will be direction of the air stream through your instrument. 1. Aperture size and shape. How often have you thought about the size and shape of the…

Christmas Is Near So Spread Some Cheer. I’ve Got Something You Need To Hear!

I just love Christmas time and you all know that in Branson, the Christmas season begins in October. Recently a good friend shared his concern of a need in our trumpet world he thought I might be able to address. His concern was the lack of quality solo tracks which could be used when performing in retirement homes and other similar establishments during the Christmas season. He mentioned that the literature for a solo performer was very limited and was especially true for a trumpet player. Even though many people will try to convince you that a solo trumpet is…

“Concentus Trumpet Ensemble”- Our New Friends From Portugal

Seldom do I run across an ensemble as well-rehearsed and uniform in concept as this outstanding trumpet sextet. Each member is a gifted individual and to have such a singularly thinking and performing ensemble is extremely unique. I have asked Mr. Costa to share with us some information about the ensembles history and I think you will be impressed with the level of musicianship these young men have achieved. Hi, we are the “Concentus Trumpet Ensemble”. We are a Portuguese trumpet sextet, and we all met at ESMAE, the University of Music and Arts of Porto, Portugal. The members of…

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WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW IN ORDER TO IMPROVING YOUR TONE QUALITY (PART #2)

I would like to thank all of you who have sent in comments about the first post on Tone Quality. It is comforting to know that I am not the only one interested in this important subject. Now I will continue with Part #2. In the previous post I discussed the difference in sound as well as the visualization of too loose, too tight and the more focused embouchure. Please note that I have intentionally omitted the issue of air in this discussion. When the issue of good tone is brought up, there is always someone wanting to shout “GOOD…