Last Day For Discount!

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Announcing TrumpetLessonsOnline.com has now launched!

Checkout our FREE Preview lessons here before signing up.

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50% discount through December 31st of this year!
Use code “earlybird” when registering for this discount.

_____________

For the past year, we have been compiling important information to share with our readers and students which will answer many questions they might have about playing the trumpet.

For almost six decades I have been performing and teaching trumpet and now I have made available an easy and productive series of video lessons compiled for trumpet players of all ages and all levels of performance.

Because of my continued involvement in teaching trumpet I have come across an enormous amount of questions and solutions to problems facing musicians today.

This series of video lessons encompasses more than 40 individual topics every trumpet player should know, including-

· The Importance of warming up and cooling down

· How to make easy and inexpensive alterations to your instrument to improve its performance

· Improve your high range through chromatic exercises

· The easy way to play shakes and falls

· How to improve the intonation of your instrument

· The proper way to clean your trumpet

· How to balance your practice time with difficult performances

· How to breath properly

· What are the best trumpet cases and why

· Learn how to control your nervousness when performing

· How to apply the “Play/Rest” concept to increase your endurance

· Learn exercises to improve your valve speed and control

· Learn how to improvise through several methods
· Increase your lip flexibility

· The importance of marking your music properly

· How to find the proper mouthpiece placement

· Learn the importance of playing pedal tones

· Recognize and correct excessive mouthpiece pressure

· How to properly prepare a solo

· Learn how to improve your sight reading

And these are not even half of the topics covered in this video series.

Now you can learn many of the secrets to playing trumpet which have been passed on to me from my teachers as well as new and advanced ideas such as-

· Learn an easy way to play low D and C# in tune without moving your valve slides

· How to use technology to improve your trumpet playing

· Learn how to choose the best music school to attend for learning your instrument

· What you need to know when playing in an orchestra or show

Along with videos, there are additional exercises and accompanying audio recordings which will help you learn your material faster and easier than you thought possible. Each recording is produced using my “Rest as much as you play” concept which will change the way you practice. The speed of your improvement will surprise you and you will begin to learn how to practice more efficiently and experience fewer lip problems.

If you are searching for a better way to learn your instrument which will take less time from your schedule and improve your trumpet playing at a fast rate, this is the solution to your needs.
_____________

50% discount through December 31st of this year!
Use code “earlybird” when registering for this discount.

_____________

“This could be the changing point in your trumpet playing”.

BIG NEWS!

image-1

Announcing TrumpetLessonsOnline.com has now launched!

Checkout our FREE Preview lessons here before signing up.

_____________
50% discount through December 31st of this year!
Use code “earlybird” when registering for this discount.

_____________

For the past year, we have been compiling important information to share with our readers and students which will answer many questions they might have about playing the trumpet.

For almost six decades I have been performing and teaching trumpet and now I have made available an easy and productive series of video lessons compiled for trumpet players of all ages and all levels of performance.

Because of my continued involvement in teaching trumpet I have come across an enormous amount of questions and solutions to problems facing musicians today.

This series of video lessons encompasses more than 40 individual topics every trumpet player should know, including-

· The Importance of warming up and cooling down

· How to make easy and inexpensive alterations to your instrument to improve its performance

· Improve your high range through chromatic exercises

· The easy way to play shakes and falls

· How to improve the intonation of your instrument

· The proper way to clean your trumpet

· How to balance your practice time with difficult performances

· How to breath properly

· What are the best trumpet cases and why

· Learn how to control your nervousness when performing

· How to apply the “Play/Rest” concept to increase your endurance

· Learn exercises to improve your valve speed and control

· Learn how to improvise through several methods
· Increase your lip flexibility

· The importance of marking your music properly

· How to find the proper mouthpiece placement

· Learn the importance of playing pedal tones

· Recognize and correct excessive mouthpiece pressure

· How to properly prepare a solo

· Learn how to improve your sight reading

And these are not even half of the topics covered in this video series.

Now you can learn many of the secrets to playing trumpet which have been passed on to me from my teachers as well as new and advanced ideas such as-

· Learn an easy way to play low D and C# in tune without moving your valve slides

· How to use technology to improve your trumpet playing

· Learn how to choose the best music school to attend for learning your instrument

· What you need to know when playing in an orchestra or show

Along with videos, there are additional exercises and accompanying audio recordings which will help you learn your material faster and easier than you thought possible. Each recording is produced using my “Rest as much as you play” concept which will change the way you practice. The speed of your improvement will surprise you and you will begin to learn how to practice more efficiently and experience fewer lip problems.

If you are searching for a better way to learn your instrument which will take less time from your schedule and improve your trumpet playing at a fast rate, this is the solution to your needs.
_____________

50% discount through December 31st of this year!
Use code “earlybird” when registering for this discount.

_____________

“This could be the changing point in your trumpet playing”.

Famous Solos for Young and Comeback Players

Many times we would like to practice famous solos which we knew at one time or would like to learn but because of our limited strength and upper range, they are beyond our current ability. If you have the desire to play some of these beautiful solos, you are in luck. I will be adding to this series as time passes and I’m sure you will find some materials which will suit your current ability. Most of these solos will be lowered a third and in some cases a fourth to place the range within everyone’s ability. If you have a favorite you would like to have included, just drop me a line and I will try to make it available to you. The first in our series will be the Hallelujah Chorus and The Trumpet Shall Sound from Handel’s Messiah. The original is in the key of D concert as was the custom. I have lowered it to the key of C for the Bb trumpet.

The Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah

Dounload here- Hallelujah Chorus

The Trumpet Shall Sound from Handel’s Messiah

Download here- The Trumpet Shall Sound

It Could Only Happen To A Musician- Jim Nabors, Horses and a Mustang

The Jim Nabors Show

Jim Nabor shows are seldom known for mishaps and to be in the middle of one can be very entertaining. I was present at one such show and I will try to set it up as accurately as possible.

Jim Nabors was in the middle of one of his slow dreamy ballads as the lights dimmed and his almost operatic voice floated through the arena. If you have not had the pleasure of hearing his real singing talents, you have missed a great experience. Once he has dropped his Gomer Pyle image and character, he is capable of melting the heart of even the most stone hearted female in the room. That was exactly the setting that night at this show. The rhythm section began his introduction and we all settled in for a beautiful ballade. Then it happened….

One of the trombone players slid his chair slightly back and the rear two legs slipped off the stage. As he tried to catch his balance, his foot shot out and sent his straight mute shooting into the back of one of the sax players which startled the  player enough to cause him to shout very loudly, “WHAT THE..? That would have been enough to disrupt the show but it didn’t stop there. As the falling trombone player tried feverously to regain his balance, the player next to him reached over and grabbed him by his extended leg. At that point, the light man decided to make the situation even worse by swinging the follow spot over to illuminate the confusion in our trombone section. Most of the audience was unaware of the confusion when suddenly out of the arena came an unmistakable sound of Gomer Pyle over the sound system, “Golly”, which was one of his signature comments every week on the Andy Griffith Show. That one word brought the house down and was one of the funniest scenes you could ever imagine. What the audience saw that evening was one musician laying back on a collapsed chair with both his feet in the air, and the man next to him holding on to one of his outstretch legs with two trombones pointing in opposite directions. Finish that off with Jim Nabors scratching the top of his head in a typical Gomer Pyle slumped position repeating “Golly”.

The Royal Canadian Air Force Mounted Police Show

We are all familiar with the wonderful entertainment of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police equestrian shows and I had the pleasure of playing one in Dallas, Texas many years ago. The band was good and their director was a wonderful gentleman. At least until our lead trumpet player arrived in a very inebriated state. The lead player had played a job many miles away and had kept himself awake during the return drive back to Dallas by indulging in alcoholic beverages to an extreme. It was obvious at once that he could not play lead that day so the other trumpet player and I agreed to split the lead part in the show. Now what do we do with happy boy?

We knew that the former lead player needed the work and we didn’t want him to be fired so we did the only thing we could do to save his reputation. First we took away his mouthpiece for there might be a slim chance he might try to play a note. Then we explained to the director that we would like to have happy boy sit in the section between us for the booking agent was in the audience and we didn’t want him to know what was happening. To our surprise, the director said he was good with it. “Very good sports those Canadians”. Just before the overture, we sat our former lead player in tight between us and told him to hold his horn up the best he could. He understood and throughout the entire show he kept his word.

We played the show. We all got paid and the booking agent never knew the difference. As far as I know the Canadian Mounted Police director is still telling the time he had a happy boy in his section that never played a note.

The Holiday on Ice Show and the First Mach 1 Mustang

The band was to play for the Holiday on Ice show given exclusively for the Ford dealers in the Dallas area. Scheduled for the intermission was the first view of the all new Mach 1 Mustang by the Ford Motor Company. The first half went flawlessly and just before the intermission, the new Mach 1 Mustang drove onto the ice in front of the band which was also on the ice in one corner of the ice rink. The announcer began to introduce the beautiful black, full race car as it idled in front of the band. As we played and the announcer described the car to the excited dealers, I looked down at the cars tail pipe and noticed that it was pointing down to the ice. As we continued to play and the announcer continued to announce, the heat from the tail pipe continued to melt the ice.

At the beginning of the second half of the Holiday on Ice show the top female skater began to circle the rink as the band played an exciting Bolero to accompany her. Faster and faster she skated and faster and faster we played. Then it happened. As she made her turn in front of the band, her skate dropped into the circle of melted ice and down she went, and here she came. The poor young lady skidded across the ice and the band was directly in her path. As she rocketed through the waste high curtain in front of the band, all I saw was two skates and a leg. When she finally stopped in the second row of musicians, a trombone player quietly stood up, waved his arms and yelled “SAFE”.

It Could Only Have Happened To A Musician- It Happened At The Circus

If you live long enough, you will have experienced everything. As a member of the senior class, I would like to share personal stories which you may find humorous. Unlike the “How many light bulbs does it take to change a trumpet player? Answer: Unfortunately nothing can change a trumpet player,” type of jokes, these stories really happened and I can vouch for every one of them for I was there.

The day the Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey Circus band stopped playing.

This fine organization has entertained audiences for decades and even under the most hazardous conditions, i.e. fires, storms, out of control animals, etc. the band played on. It was the custom for the band’s director to keep the music going no matter what the emergency. That was the unbroken tradition until they performed at the Cattle Congress Arena in Waterloo, Iowa. Little did we know that day that we would be making history.

The band was seated on the main floor with the animals and the other entertainers. As I remember the show, Keith Killenger, ( I believe from the Des Moines, Iowa area) was the director and we were at the point in the program where the elephants were brought in to finish the first half. As we played our traditional gallops and marches, the elephant’s handlers began to back the enormous pachyderms to within inches of the front row of the band. Still we continued to play. Then, from the corner of my eye, I noticed something very strange happening. First the largest animal’s tail began to rise. We kept playing. Then I noticed a change in the diameter of a certain orifice directly below the elephant’s tail. At that moment, the baritone sax player noticed the change also and with lightening speed grabbed his instrument and bolted for safety. And we still kept playing. It would be tasteless to describe the next few seconds for I’m sure you grasp the urgency of the moment. And we kept playing. With what sounded to some as a thunderous crash and to others a loud splat, the band was joined by a mountain of deification. And the band stopped playing. The scene from the seats in the audience was comical. Musicians were scattering like a fleshly flushed covey of quail, the elephant was startled to the point of panic and the debris continued to fall with more force. The baritone sax player, who was directly under the target area, was standing at least fifty yards from the scene of the accident and still holding his instrument. For a very large man to cover that much distant in such a short amount of time was amazing. The director, unable to control the situation had decided to escape the fallout area also. The front row of the band had vanished and before the remaining musicians could regain our composure, we were again attacked by the circus as the personnel responsible for clean up began to though shovels full of saw dust over everything and everyone in sight. As the sawdust (sawdust) settled, the audience behind the band  began to realize what had happened and the laughter first started in the  pianissimo range, quickly rose to a full triple forte.

It must have taken at least five minutes to regain control of the band before the director led us in our next gallop. Years after that experience, when again playing with the same circus band, the story was still being circulated as to the time and possibly the only time the Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey Circus band stopped playing during a show.

NPS (No PressureSystem)

51The following two paragraphs have been reprinted from the original online advertisement and do not reflect my opinion of the product in any way.

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“The NPS, No Pressing System, is an application that controls the pressure of your lips on the horn. It is a tube that is hooked on and replaces the original main pump (lead pipe) on the trumpet. The use of this system helps you find a better intonation and a better sound by adjusting the way you blow into the trumpet.

The No Pressing System (NPS) is the result of many years of research by the music professor, Mr. Cesare Ficcadenti, who has more than 25 years of teaching experience. The NPS is perfectly integrated with every system or method of study. It helps you to achieve good results better and faster. Amateurs and professionals can finally use a system that will help them solve one of the main problems that occurs when you play the trumpet: the excessive pressing. Many people tend to press their lips to the mouthpiece too much (press the mouthpiece to the lips), resulting in an incorrect sound and intonation”.
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In our every continuing struggle to share new and possibly important information about new developments in our trumpet world, I share this new product and include the following disclaimer- “I have not tried this product nor do I have any firsthand information on its merit”.

A good friend sent me this information a few weeks ago and wanted my opinion on its value. I found the concept interesting for the problem of excessive mouthpiece pressure is something we all deal with every day.

After carefully reading all the information in the advertisement, I continued my search for more information and found a very short and less than helpful article in an earlier International Trumpet review. The information in that article did not help me learn any more than what I could glean from the original advertisement so my opinion is limited to what you can read on their site at NPS.

Now if you still would like to know what I think of this devise, knowing my lack of first hand contact with the NPS, here we go.

Any products which will help to limit mouthpiece pressure is good.

And……

“Any product which will help to limit mouthpiece pressure and not contribute to more problems is even better”.

And this is where I have an issue with the NPS.

The title “No Pressing System” is misleading for no one can play a trumpet without some mouthpiece pressure on their lips. Without some pressure, the player will not be able to seal the contact aria and thus control air from leaking around the rim of the mouthpiece.

When first viewing the NPS product, I was impressed at the high quality of the manufacturing as it appears to be an impressively machined product constructed from solid brass. That fact brought up an interesting thought. Just how much does this attachment weigh? After several hours of searching through various reports in at least four different languages, I found that few articles did more than just copy and paste the information which I have included at the top of this post.

In my search for “first hand evaluations” of the NoPressingSystem, I was able to find one review done by the International Trumpet Guild which did not help with my search. The reviewer was only able to point out that the mechanism did illustrate the difference in mouthpiece pressure between the reviewer and one of his students.

Other sites gave different evaluations but were only opinions for none of these contributors actually had the product on hand for evaluations.

Comment #1
“After actually listening carefully (to the advertisement video), I do not believe he played higher than a G below high C. And most everything else was below middle C. Just practice and save your money for a good horn. WHAT A GIMMICK”!

Comment #2
“Yes, I agree – this demonstration proves nothing over the standard natural horn. I really was unimpressed with the tone quality of the sound out of the horn”.

Comment #3
“NPS=BJS. Big Joke System

There are (a few?) players that function with very low pressure. This is not normal and I will state that many players have quit trumpet because of the frustration involved in attempting to do this. I know of many more in this category than have benefitted by it.

Successful playing is an evolutionary process for almost all of us. We can all reduce pressure by learning to breath better, improving our body use and developing a better daily routine. That means working on US not looking for PLACEBOS”.

Comment #4
“I have tried these things, the pitch of the horn changes, the focus of each note and the intonation and blow. My take is that a Gizmo will not help the player not getting good personal advice, and when involved with a good teacher, they can improve also without a Gizmo. If the player is really good, then they can get away with just about anything – and reap benefits from things not really suitable for weaker players”.

My question is, what does a weak player twist out of shape to get a Gizmo to work? If support is the issue, then what does the Gizmo do to help by limiting possible pressure – nothing except frustrate the player with those weak chops”.

Comment #5
Conventional hard work where the investment is physical instead of monetary is still the best medicine for all wind players ails!

NoPressingSystem 001

My evaluation of this product is based solely on what I have seen and what others have posted and for that reason; I do not claim to have any more knowledge than anyone else on the “NoPressingSystem”. And with that said, here is my conclusion –

“The benefits of this attachment to your instrument do not justify the additional weight and obvious change to your natural playing style even though it does illustrate how much excessive pressure you are placing on your lip”.

Habits! Why are they so difficult to break?

Bad habit
“We are creatures of habit”. If you doubt this fact, try taking these simple tests.

1. The next time you brush your teeth, place your tube of tooth paste in the drawer with the cap pointing the opposite direction.

2. Cross your hands and try to place your right thumb in the opposite overlap.

3. When driving your car today, always keep your hands in a 10 & 2 position on the steering wheel.

4. When drinking from a cup today always pick it up with the opposite hand.

5. When answering your phone today always greet the person with “Good Morning”.

6. When you go to bed this evening, sleep on the opposite side of the bed.

7. Hold your phone with the opposite hand and try to work the buttons.

8. Put your wrist watch on your opposite wrist.

9. Men. Put your billfold in the other pants pocket today.

10. Women. Place your phone in a different section of your purse.

The answer to my first question is simple; we seldom think about habitual actions and for that reason, we need to be constantly reminded.

Now let’s address some of the most common bad habits trumpet players make and give some suggestions as to how you might be able to correct these habits.

How do I correct the habit of keeping my little finger in the hook?

Answer- “Cover it with tape”.

Even when we want to keep our finger out of the hook, it seems almost impossible to correct. The reason for this is that we seldom think about it and the tape is always there to remind us.

How can I learn to keep my bell up when I play?

Answer- “Raise your music stand”.

After about a week of having your music stand raised to its highest position, you will begin to keep your bell in a higher position also.

How can I learn to keep my throat more open when I play?

Answer- “Slur everything for a week”.

The more your tongue is involved with starting notes, the more restricted your throat will become. Try practicing double and triple tonguing for a solid week and notice how much brighter your tone becomes and how more closed your throat has become.

How can I learn to move my valves faster?

Answer- “Slur everything for a week”.

When you slur notes they are closer together which give you less time to move your valves.

How can I learn to improve my accuracy when hitting different notes?

Answer- “Slur everything for a week”.

When you slur notes they are closer together which give you less time to move your lips.

How can I learn to improve my endurance?

Answer- “Play softer”.

A 10% decrease in volume will give you 20% increase in endurance. Your fellow musicians will not recognize your 10% softer playing but will definitely recognize the 20% increase in your endurance.

How can I learn to use less mouthpiece pressure?

Answer- “Use sticky notes”.

When practicing alone, place a sticky note on your bell which reads “LESS PRESSURE, STUPID”.

How can I remember to extend my third slide on low Ds and C#s?

Answer- “Use sticky notes”.

When practicing alone, place a sticky note on your bell which reads “USE YOUR THIRD SLIDE, STUPID”. Or better yet READ THE POST Tube Extentions STUPID”.

How can I remember to clean my horn?

Answer- “Use sticky notes”.

Place a note in the inside of your lid which reads…..you guessed it.

How can I remember to have a pencil at every rehearsal?

Answer- “Use a magnet”.

Epoxy a small magnet to a pencil and place the pencil in your case. Each time you’re at a rehearsal, take the pencil out and place it on the stand. You better make several of these for you will forget to replace it in your case when you leave.

How can I remember to leave with my pencil after every rehearsal?

Answer- “Use sticky notes”.

Place a note in the inside of your lid which reads…..you guessed it again.

Learning to break bad habits is easy. All we need is to be reminded a few dozen times and then it becomes a good habit.

Now if I could only learn when to
lift the seat and lower the seat.