Final “Stiff Chops” Post………. (for now.)

The problem with stiff embouchures is common with trumpet and horn players possibly due to the fact that such a small amount of embouchure is actually in the cup of the mouthpiece when compared to that of a trombone or tuba mouthpiece. Coping with and/or solving this condition can be done in many ways but today I will cover two of the most common- “before and after repair”. A very good friend and super trumpet player and I visited for some time sharing ideas which have proven helpful for each of us when faced with stiff chops. Mr. Doyle Miller…

How to Combat “Stiff Chops”

From time to time we all have gone through the sensation that our trumpet playing lips are too stiff and feel uncomfortably ridged. Each time you put the mouthpiece to your lip you seem to have the same reaction, “Oh no, here we go again”. When this condition develops, there are several ways to address this problem- What is wrong with my lip? How did I get this way? How can I get relief? What do I need to do to prevent this condition from coming back? What’s wrong with my lip? A stiff or inflexible embouchure is usually caused…

Today We Face One Of The Most Difficult Threats In Our History

Some say it is the beginning of “The End Times”. Some say we are in constant threat of attack by an enemy we have no experience facing. Many wonder if Christianity is in the path of this dark movement and as we view innocent people being executed before our very eyes each day, all we as citizens can do is wonder if our government is up for this monumental challenge. Some say our leaders in government are naive and ill prepared for this task placed before them and some may wonder if the last chapter in our Bible is close…

Motivation- Where Does It Come From and How Can I Get Some? Part 2

I have found it interesting working with many musical groups each year and as I observe each ensemble I have mentally noted the results of motivated directors as well as less motivated directors. Each ensemble seems to reflect the influences of their director. The most proficient and musical ensembles will always have an energetic and inspired director on the podium. The bands which exhibit respect and professionalism in their performance will invariably have directors who reflect these same characteristics. The only exceptions were the bands who had recently replaced less than adequate directors with improved models. It will take a…

Motivation- Where Does It Come From and How Can I Get Some?

Motivate-verb 1. inspire, drive, stimulate, provoke, lead, move, cause, prompt, stir, trigger, set off, induce, arouse, prod, get going, instigate, impel, actuate, give incentive to, inspirit His hard work was motivated by a need to achieve. 2. stimulate, drive, inspire, stir, arouse, get going, galvanize, incentive How do you motivate people to work hard and efficiently? Most teachers are familiar with this term and are striving daily to prompt this action in their students. Everyone’s life is effected by the amount of motivation they posses. If you are on the low side of this characteristic, you are said to be…

Update on Stand Lights

When a new product comes on the market, I usually approach it with abounding skepticism for it seems everyone has the best product and the best deal for every unsuspecting customer. But, when I was shown the Aria music stand light a few weeks ago, I knew I had to have one. My expectations for the perfect stand light are these- • An abundance of light covering the entire stand area • Convenient and secure attachment to the stand • No light distractions for the audience • Constructed to last • Long lasting bulbs • Even white light with no…

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Don Smith- One Of The Greats

Don Smith passed away February 13, 2010 after an extended battle with cancer. Don was born July 15, 1934 in Los Angeles, California. To the younger trumpet players, the name Don Smith may not register, but to the veteran musicians, the name is spoken with great reverence for this was one of the greats who played with such big bands as Les Brown and Harry James, and backed celebrities such as Ann-Margret. He also performed with the Air Force “Airmen of Note” and the N.B.C. staff to name but a few. I first met Don shortly after he moved to…

What Is The Difference Between New Orleans and Chicago Dixieland Jazz?

What Is The Difference Between New Orleans and Chicago Dixieland Jazz? The quickest answer to that question would be 930 miles. From a musical standpoint it is much more complicated and for that reason I will try to simplify it for you. Traditional New Orleans style of Dixieland usually include these characteristics • Strong marching band history • Instrumentation which is more mobile (banjo, brass instruments, woodwinds, marching percussion (bass drum player, snare player, etc.) • Strong emphasis on all four beats • Generally a more ensemble approach to performance • Use of solo performances is limited • Literature generally…