Random Thoughts on Improvisation- A Little History

Now that we have covered a few of the elements used to build a cohesive and interesting improvised solo, I felt it necessary to establish a little of the history behind jass (original spelling). I found this yesterday and believe this is the only video I have found which actually features Paul Whitman speaking on camera. Most may find the Beer commercials a little boring but even those are a very good example as to how far we have improved in cooperate advertising.

Random Thoughts on Improvisation- Octave Choice

Seldom do improvisers recognize the value in changing octaves when performing a solo. Many times your improvised solo can be repeated in a different octave and sound completely new. Changing a melodic line by inverting it to a different octave can give your solo a whole new meaning. To give you an example of how this can be done, please watch and listen to one of my favorite trumpet stylists Chet Baker. You may wonder why he is missing some of his upper, front teeth in this video. This could have been shortly after he was mugged on a street…

Random Thoughts on Improvisation- Dynamic Changes

1950 Rock and Roll was the beginning of the volume invasion. Even Folk music was limited in decibels until the day Bob Dylan went electric. Once amplification was established in pop music, nothing would be the same. Every garage band was twanging away with 10 on their dials. As time past, more musicians were evaluated and eventually praised for the number of Marshal Amps they were able to get on stage. It seemed that the higher the decibels, the better the band. At least to the children who eventually lost their hearing. “Loud is good /soft is bad”. Many musicians…

Random Thoughts on Improvisation- Playing the Rests

One might ask “What do you mean “playing the rests”? Utilizing periods of rests or pausing during an improvised solo is something many players never think of. As I listen to great improvisers, I realize that the short periods of “nothing” can be an oasis in the desert. These mini points of contemplation give the rest of the solo meaning and contrast. Often we are bombarded during a conversation with an over excited and sometimes recreationally medicated person who seems to be able to talk without stopping for air. The more the person prattles on, the less we tend to…

Random Thoughts on Improvisation- Sequential verses Diatonic

Improvisation Noun- “the art or act of improvising, or of composing, uttering, executing, or arranging anything without previous preparation: Musical improvisation involves imagination and creativity”. “Now there is an Oxymoron” Noun- “a figure of speech by which a locution produces an incongruous, seemingly self-contradictory effect, as in “cruel kindness” or “to make haste slowly.” One of my most respected friends from my early days at UNI was Dr. Dave Kennedy. To most who knew him, Dave was the epitome of an aging professor with one exception. He had a brilliant mind and an equally elevated sense of humor. When I…

The Most Important 24 Notes You May Ever Play

As most of you know, Branson is possibly the most dedicated city in the nation to honor of our service men and women. This week has been designated as Veterans Week and every store, show and business has welcomed thousands of our veterans to Branson to give recognition for their dedication to the protection of our country. This evening I have the privilege of performing Taps at the formal Marine Corps. dinner and in their honor and for that reason, I thought it would be appropriate to dedicate this post to the preparation going into this performance. The history- The…

The Mystery of Playing by Ear

Playing by ear is a term used to describe the musician’s ability to improvise a melody or a melody coordinated through a series of chords. To some it is a mystery and to others, it comes natural. What abilities do musicians have when performing music by ear? Can this ability be learned and is it important? First let’s discuss what playing by ear really means. 1. To perform by ear requires an ability to function on an instrument which is capable of reproducing the desired pitch. 2. This series of pitches need to be placed in a proper order so…

Free Trumpet Sheet Music- “La Marseillaise 11/13/15”- Brass Quartet

Free Trumpet Sheet Music- “La Marseillaise 11/13/15”- Brass Quartet La Marseillaise- Score La Marseillaise- Trombone 1 La Marseillaise- Trombone 2 La Marseillaise- Trumpet 1 La Marseillaise- Trumpet 2 In respect to the people who lost so much on 11/13/15. We will continue to offer these free arrangements and ask only that you visit our Facebook page listed below and mark “Like” if you are so inclined. http://www.facebook.com/thetrumpetblog _________________ http://www.facebook.com/thetrumpetblog http://www.trumpetensemblemusic.com/ http://www.thetrumpetblog.com/ http://www.trumpetlessonsonline.com/

Water Key Developments For Trumpet

Many changes have been made in the trumpet in the past few decades and one of the earliest was the modifications on the simple condensation extractor (water key). Few changes were made until Getzen came out with the Amado water key. This revolutionary mechanism was designed to fill the gap made by the traditional hole extension and water key. This new concept worked extremely well if maintained properly. Unfortunately, few of us read the fine print in the manual and from time to time the valve would stick open or closed depending on your luck at the time. With proper…

What’s That Thing Called?

Click image to enlarge 1 – BELL & FERRULE (SILVER-PTD) 1-1 – BELL FERRULE 2 – FRONT BELL BRACE 3 – REAR BELL BRACE 4 – VALVE CASING ASS’Y BUFFING 5 – 1ST VALVE OUTSIDE SLIDE 6 – 1ST VALVE I/S SL. & FER. 7 – 2ND VALVE O/S. SLIDE. BUFFING 8 – 3RD VALVE I/S SL. & FER. 9 – 3RD VALVE OUTSIDE SLIDE 10 – MOUTHPIPE ASS’Y BUFFING 11 – FINGER HOOK 12 – O/S.TUNING SLIDE LOWER 13 – BRACE, V.C.= BELL 14 – BRACE, V.C.= M’PIPE 15 – D BRACE (3) BELL TO 1ST O/S. SL. 16…