The Many Faces Of Swing

Some swing, some try to swing and some cannot swing. Commercial musicians dread the thought of having a “Legit” musician in their section just as orchestral musicians shudder at the thought of having a “Jazzer” join their section. Each ensemble is capable of executing the proper articulation and emphasis with their own music but many times are incapable of applying the same elements to the other style and for that reason I have decided to explain and show the difference in this post. Let us begin with the hierarchy of the feeding trough; the orchestral play’s interpretation. Next on our…

So, You want to learn how to Circular Breath?

This video was sent to me by one of our wonderful readers and I had to share it with you because of the segment on circular breathing (4:30). There may come a time in a performance when the phrase is longer than your air supply and having the ability to circular breath will get you through this situation. I have used this technique several times when doing long, slow brass choir numbers as well as some jazz situations. Even though it is a trick, it can be very useful. The first time I saw this technique used in a live…

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Beverly Sills – 1977- “Let the Bright Seraphim” w/Doc Severinsen

I wanted to share this you you only because the possibility of having these two great musicians together is extremely rare and it also demonstrates that a “Jazzer” can sometimes step up to the occasion when called upon. As you can see, Doc realized the situation he was in and was not completely comfortable with the experience. And he did it on a Bb trumpet, not a D trumpet. To most trumpet players who have perform this number, we realize why we choose to play it on a D and not a Bb.

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The way Rejoice Greatly, O Daughter of Zion Should Have Been Written

How many times have we all enjoyed George Frideric Handel’s Oratory, The Messiah and wondered if he had written it incorrectly? I would venture a guess that I may be the only one on the planet. The reason I have even pondered this possibility stems from my preparation for a solo this week at a church. Sunday is Easter Sunday and I decided to perform the aria “Rejoice Greatly, O Daughter of Zion”. After searching the internet for a suitable copy, I finally found what I was after and began practicing my part. After three attempts to get the feel…

Problems Binding E-Books and Music

Technology has advanced at an incredible rate in the past decade and with it has followed problems which will have to be addressed. Two such developments are the issues of copy right laws and printing E-Books transmitted over the Internet. Small cottage industries have begun to blossom all over the world with offers to show you how to grow bigger roses, find hidden gold and where to locate your long lost relative. Each of these instructional booklets are distributed through the Internet and the digital signal is sent to your personal computer to be downloaded and eventually printed. Welcome to…

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At Last, A Better Plunger!

For those who occasionally pick up a plunger to entertain the masses, you may be interested in my new choice. This is available at Lowes for the modest price of $2.24 and with about two minutes to alter the original, you can have the best plunger I have ever used. Modifying your new mute- 1. Place on table and with a hack saw, cut off handle to match included picture. 2. Sand smooth if need be. 3. Pick up in left hand. 4. Place in bell. 5. Play a note as you move the mute around. ………any questions? If you…

A Little Trumpet Insanity- Pete Barbutti

This may be only entertaining to the older set but to those of us who have lived through the latter part of the Big Band years, these videos will bring back some memories, both good and bad. Pete Barbutti was the comic humorist for every musician and was able to tell the musicians side of the stories better than anyone.

“FAST”- Sustained Success w/Simple Slurs

Sometimes I am asked, “Where do you get your ideas to write about”? Today’s post comes from the fact that both my wife and I have been suffering for the past couple weeks with cases of Bronchitis and with this condition, the above mentioned participants find relief by sleeping in a chair in the upright position. You are forced to spend more time thinking than sleeping and this post is the product of last night’s rest (or lack of). Please pay close attention to what I will be offering for in my opinion, I feel very strongly about this post…


I just realized that I have not included any material on the great trumpet player Harry James. My apology to you all and do be amazed at what he was capable of producing.

Can I Play Cornet Solos On My Trumpet?

Of course you can. And you could hunt elephants with a 22 caliber rifle also, but I wouldn’t recommend either. How are cornet solos different from trumpet solos? Literature which has been written especially to be performed on a cornet usually follows these characteristics- • Melodies are most often very lyrical and smooth. • Traditionally more vibrato is used in cornet solos. • Cornet solos many times have drastic tempo changes with grandiose retards and sudden accelerandi. • The cornet solo gives more liberties in the musical interpretation than in the trumpet literature. • Most cornet solos draw from a…

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