Two Essentials In Your Trumpet Bag

Now that you have your instrument and a few of the immediately required accessories, it is time to continue adding to your collection of great toys. The two pieces of equipment which I will address here would be your tuner/metronome and your audio and/or video recorder. The importance of a metronome/tuner It is essential that you own and use a metronome and tuner for these two accessories are vitally important to your success as a musician. If you play out of tune, no one will want to play with you. If you don’t know the tempo of a piece, you…

How To Form Your Own Trumpet Ensemble

The first question might be, “Why would you want to form your own trumpet ensemble”? That is a great question and some days I wonder myself. But with all the work and time spent on the ensemble, I still enjoy the group. Our quartet, the Branson Trumpet Ensemble, has been performing for over eight years and the enjoyment and excitement is still there. Fortunately I am working with three great players and the time we spend rehearsing and performing is one of the most enjoyable activities I have had while living in Branson, other than a few very big bass…

Kanstul Instruments

Kanstul Musical Instruments, Inc., located one mile east of Disneyland in Anaheim, California manufactures a complete line of brass musical instruments renowned worldwide for their quality and sound. Founded by legendary music executive and artisan Zig Kanstul and managed by his sons Jack and Mark, this family business is an inspirational “Made in America” success story, living up to their company slogan, “Nothing Resonates Like a Kanstul.” For information and factory tours visit www.Kanstul.com The Kanstul Flugel Horn owned and played by one of the members of my Branson Trumpet Ensemble is the best Flugel I have ever played! Check…

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Simplifying the Trumpet Embouchure- Part 5 What you need to practice to build strong chops.

Long Tones! Some may find this too simplistic and some may find me too arrogant. There are many benefits to being old; one is the lack of concern with criticism. The reason I have been so narrow focused in my conclusion is that focusing your embouchure muscles in an isometric condition is a fast way of developing strength in your trumpet playing embouchure. Long tones do exactly that! For decades I have used and taught a very simple (sometimes boring) warmup exercise which focused on the embouchure muscle development through isometric muscle application. This long tone warmup was used up…

Orlando

How could three horrifying tragedies befall one city within such a short period? Fifty lives were taken by a deranged gunman, an innocent child taken from his parents and a talented young girl senselessly gunned down in the same city. We may never understand why the innocent are taken as evil continues to grow in our world. “Death and sorrow stains the earth where joy and bliss once stood. These lives are gone for reasons known to only One, who could. The more we see deaths shadow form across our land each day, the more we feel the loss of…

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Simplifying the Trumpet Embouchure- Part 4 Finding the Correct Aperture Size and Shape

It matters not that your embouchure muscles are positioned and set correctly if you do not have a proper opening for the air to pass through, making the lips vibrate properly. So, how can you be sure that the opening or aperture is correct due to the fact that it is not visible to the eye? That is a more important question than most people think. How to be sure your lip aperture is correct for playing trumpet- 1. Can you start a note without tonguing it? You should be able to start any note simply by moving the air…

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Simplifying the Trumpet Embouchure- Part 3 Now That We Know Which Muscles Are Used To Play Trumpet, How Can We Better Use Them?

Not to be concerned with- Buccinator ( compress cheek against teeth connected to orbicularis oris) Don’t even worry about these unless you have bulging cheeks when you play. Zygomaticus minor (used to pull lips back and smile) An embouchure with an exaggerated “smile” effect will thin your sound and thin the meat under your mouthpiece which can be uncomfortable. Depressor labii inferioric (draws lower lip down and slightly lateral) Unless your chin is bunching up, don’t worry about these muscles. Mentalis (elevates and protrudes the lower lip) These muscles are outside the area we will be focusing on. Area to…

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Simplifying the Trumpet Embouchure- Part 2 What Facial Muscles Are Involved When Playing A Trumpet?

Buccinator ( compress cheek against teeth connected to orbicularis oris) Depressor aguli oris (depress corners of lip) Depressor labii inferioric (draws lower lip down and slightly lateral) Levator labii superiorus (raises the upper lip) Mentalis (elevates and protrudes the lower lip) Orbicularis Muscle (Kissing muscles) Risorius (laughing muscle from corners outward) Zygomaticus minor/ major muscle (used to pull lips back and smile) The following was prepared by Tim Taylor, Anatomy and Physiology Instructor “The muscles of the head and neck perform many important tasks, including movement of the head and neck, chewing and swallowing, speech, facial expressions, and movement of…

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