Upward Slurs Made Easier

With FeelingI would like to give the late Mr. John Beer (former trumpet Prof. at the University of Iowa) credit for this helpful hint for improving your percentage of success with upward slurs.

During one of my lesson with my good friend at the University of Iowa, John pointed out the fact that I was doing my upward slurs the hard way and proceeded to give me instructions to correct this weakness.

As I played, he said that I was playing the top note too loud. To me it seems logical to do until he played it his way. To my mind, he had just done the impossible! After his explanation and encouragement, I was playing upward slurs with the best….. or at least better than when I walked into his studio that day.

Here is what he told me.

Play strong on the low note and soften to the higher note.

Below I have included exercises for you to try as well as a recording to practice with.

If you want to give credit to someone for showing you this simple trick, please give credit to John.

If it doesn’t work you can blame me.

Upper Slurs Made Easier

Free Trumpet Sheet Music Offered At “Trumpet Ensemble Music.com”

downloadFor those who need some new music to practice and/or perform, visit our sister site at trumpetensemblemusic.com for a list of many arrangements you can download “free of charge”.

Below are listed 38 free arrangements ranging from solos to brass quartets and include several helpful trumpet etudes and exercises.

Minute Waltz- Trumpet Quartet

Two Airs in D for Solo Trumpet and Piano

Orlando- Brass Quartet (tpt.1,2, tbn.1,2)

As Torrents In Summer for Brass Quartet (Tpts.1,2/Tbns.1,2)

41 Easy Trumpet Duets

Happy Birthday (Branson style)

Beaumont Rag

Amazing Grace with Variations- Trumpet Solo

Funeral March- Brass Quartet (Tpts.1,2/ Tbns. 1,2)

Deus enim firmavit- Brass Quintet (tpts. 1, 2, 3, tbns. 1, 2)

Concert Etude w/ Piano accompaniment tracks

God Bless The Children Trumpet Duet /wOrgan

“An Malzel” (Four Voiced Canon) – Trumpet Quartet

“It Is Well With My Soul”- Trumpet Trio

“Half-Pound of Ground Round”- Trumpet Quartet

Trumpet Voluntary w/Organ

Nola (Trumpet solo with piano)

Vivaldi Fanfare

Minuet in G- Trumpet Duet

We Wish You A Merry Christmas for Brass Quartet (2Tpt./2Tbn.)

Snow Day In Branson (Trumpet Duet)

Caroling, Caroling / Brass Quartet (Tpts.1-2, Tbns. 1-2)

Arban Characteristic Study #9 (Trumpet Duet)

Rhythmic Study- Duet

Baroque Game Pieces

Decending-fanfare-erafnafgnidnecsa-trumpet trio

11 Giant Steps for Mankind (Trumpet Duet)

Amazing Grace- A Study In Alternate Fingerings

Simple Four Voice Canon

Simple “Take Me Out To The Ball Game” Duet

National Anthem of Haiti- Trumpet Quartet

Happy Birthday- Trumpet Quartet

Taps Variations for Two Trumpets

Theme from Jeopardy- Trumpet Quartet

How are the mighty fall’n- Trumpet Quartet w/Piano

Solo Flugel Horn with accompaniment track for the tune “IF”

Tonight Show vamp

Intonation Study

Fine Tuning Your Fingers

Photo Credit: striking_photography on Flickr
When the topic of tuning comes up, it usually pertains to an intonation situation but in this case, I’m talking about the coordination of your valve fingers.

Lately I have been noticing that my low D, Eb and Ab in the staff have been so sounding unclean and today I finally found the problem. For some strange reason I had relocated my right hand in a different position than normal. This is usually caused by playing and not listening to the product.

Once I found the cause, the solution was very easy. For some of you this might be a problem and you might not know what causes it so here is a test to see if a slightly different hand position will help.

Here are the steps to check out your hand position;

1. Place your valve hand in your normal playing.
2. Play the attached exercise slowly and slur all of the notes.
3. If you hear roughness when playing low D’s the attached sheet may help.

Valve Exercise

Have You Missed Me?

angioplastyAfter posting every day for six years on my two Internet sites, I finally took a week off to have two stents implanted in my heart area. It seems that a couple months ago, while performing a show, I had a mild heart attack and didn’t know it. The reason I am sharing this with you now is to give you an idea as to how a heart attack might change your lives.

In my case the order of events went like this-

During a show, I began to get sick and attributed it to possible food poisoning. I had none of the normal effects of a heart attack such as pain in the chest, arm or change in the facial muscles.
After completing the second half of the show, I left the stage and made it to the rest room in time to throw up.
The following weeks I noticed that my vital capacity had been reduced to half as much as it used to be.
I made an appointment with my family physician and explained my situation.
I was then checked over for any respiratory issues through blood tests, X-rays and CT scans.
After several tests on respiration, digestion and blood work, I was told that my red and white blood cells were very now and I was very low in protein.
I changed my diet to what would be considered “a well-balanced diet” and eventually lost 15 lbs.
The next test was to be an echo stress test but after checking the action and condition of my heart, they decided that that was not going to happen for I was told that I had an effected chamber of my heart apparently cause by a mild heart attack.
I was then scheduled to have an angioplasty and vascular stenting done to open the arteries near the heart.
Two stents were placed at the area where 80% and 75% of the restrictions were located.
Now, after five days of rest, I noticed that my energy level was starting to improve.
At the present time, I have not seen any improvement in my respiration. I was told that with physical therapy it would eventually improve.

Some of you may have questions as to how this procedure affected me and I have to say, “It was more complicated than I had expected”. The procedure was done with the utmost professionalism and because I was awake, I found the event very interesting and had very little discomfort. I actually told the doctor that I enjoyed the experience.

I have visited with a few of my fellow musician friends who have had this procedure and each assured me that the breathing problems will eventually improve.

As far as my two Web pages, “I’m back“!

Trumpet Case Updates- Hard Cases

Winter trumpet flugelhor.
My first review of available trumpet cases was done over two years ago and since that time, some new manufactures have come on the scene and some products have been discontinued. Because of these changes, I thought it was time to update my opinions as to which features and which manufactures seem to be offing us the best products.

Be sure to check back to my earlier posts for I covered many issues at that time which will not be included in this updated review. This post will only include products which I feel are the best choice for anyone needing a new trumpet case.

My recommendation for the “best single, hard case for your trumpet.

1. None
All of the single cases available that I have seen do not offer enough extra space for accessories such as mutes, music, etc. without increasing the size of the case itself. You would be better off getting a double case which will give you better protection as well as more storage space.

My recommendation for the “best double, hard case for your trumpet.

1. Yamaha Double Trumpet Case

$245.00 Dillon Music

2. J. Winter JW 775 Deluxe Wood Double Trumpet Case

$249.99 Woodwind Brasswind

My recommendation for the “best triple, hard case for your trumpet.

1. J. Winter JW 776 Deluxe Wood Case For 3 TrumpetsStandard

$289.99 Woodwind Brasswind

My recommendation for the “best trumpet/ flugle horn, hard case.

1. J. Winter JW 777 Deluxe Wood Trumpet and Flugelhorn Case

2. You might also consider the J. Winter JW 776 Deluxe Wood Case For 3 TrumpetsStandard and remove the back divider to make room for your flugle which I do on my Schilke triple case. This option guaranties that your flugle will fit easily in the case.

$304.99 Amazon

The only difference between the Schilke, Yamaha and the Winter cases is that the outer materials on the Winter cases are a little less impressive.

2016 Branson Terry Music Award Nominee List

reel_to_reel_tape_recorderTo some this means very little and as you will see, it doesn’t mean much to me either.

Entertainers from the Branson shows are nominated for the “best of 2016” list and in most cases, the recipients are well deserving of this nomination and eventual award.

Looking down the categories you will find included the following “best”-

Fiddle player
Lead Player
Bass Player
Tribute Artist
Vocal Duo
Matinee Show
Male Vocalist
Steel player
Production Show
Morning Show
Show of the Year
Female Vocalists

That all seems to be in order, until you run across this nominee category-


Remember the promo Branson used to sell “LIVE MUSIC CAPITOL OF THE WORLD”

Not only are the number of prerecorded tracks continuing to seep into the theaters, we now have a catagory for this substitute for live music!

TRACK SHOW OF THE YEAR! Give me a break!

If, on the other hand you would like to hear real, live music, come to our show, “The ALL HANDS ON DECK! Show” where everything you hear is performed by the entertainers and musicians live.

TRACK SHOW OF THE YEAR! Give me a break!

Tell your friends who may be visiting Branson and would like to hear music as was intended, see “The ALL HANDS ON DECK! Show” at the Dutton Theater this Fall.

Shows begin September 6th and run until December 7th.

I will be sharing more information about this great show in my next few posts but for now…..

Set your callenders for September 6th and help support REAL, LIVE, NO TRACKS ALLOWED MUSIC.

TRACK SHOW OF THE YEAR! Give me a break!