Starting Over…..again. Part 2

The problem I am currently facing is that the room I am now practicing in does not contain the noise (volume) at which I practice. As mentioned in our first post on this subject, the large windows are wonderful for viewing my front yard but fall far short for containing my practicing which became evident from a comment my new neighbor made when we first moved in. My first thought was to rummage through our still packed boxes to find my practice mutes. Nothing does more for reducing the sound in a small room than a good practice mute. And…

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New Flow Studies Material- Part II

If you have played through my material from my last post, some may find the tempi too fast. If you like the concept and would like a slower tempo, I suggest that you read an earlier post called “Using Technology to Improve Your Trumpet Playing- Using an Audio Recorder” where I describe how you can download a simple and free app. which will enable you to do your own recordings. When comparing my exercises with Mr. Cichowicz’s etude on page 9 of his booklet, you can see a strong similarity. Obviously his material stressed long flowing lines with constant slurs.…

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Using Technology to Improve Your Trumpet Playing- Using an oscilloscope

Visualizing Your Sound Many times I am asked , “Who do you think has the best trumpet sound?” Some would say Clifford Brown, some would offer the name Maurice André, Bud Herseth or “Bix” Beiderbecke. Everyone has an opinion but the real question should be, “Why do they have the sound we strive for”? Some say the secret to a good tone quality lies in the equipment used and some believe that the resonating chamber in each person is the reason. Whatever the reason and whoever you are speaking of, one thing is a known fact, through technology, we can…

Brass Players Obsession To Find And Keep “The Sound”

We will begin by replacing the word “sound” with the definitions “tone quality/color” or “timbre”. When approaching something as complex as a brass player’s concept of his/her “sound” we must first set accurate parameters for this discussion. Wikipedia “In music, timbre (/ˈtæmbər/ TAM-bər, also known as tone color or tone quality from psychoacoustics) is the quality of a musical note, sound, or tone that distinguishes different types of sound production, such as voices and musical instruments, string instruments, wind instruments, and percussion instruments”. Now; on to the topic which will occupy the next series of posts from your humble correspondent.…

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The Sound Check

Every commercial musician has gone through this ritual before a show and no one has ever portrayed this tedious practice better than this. Thanks Paul for the heads up. Enjoy!

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A More Interesting Way to Learn New Music

When setting into the task of learning new music, we usually put the sheet music on the stand and continue to bang out the notes until we learn it or start bleeding from the chops. Next time you are faced with this sometimes boring task, try this approach and see if it works for you. I have selected this exercise as our example for it is an exercise one of my beloved grandsons needs to learn for his school; but the concept can be applied to any new music you undertake. Printed sheet music- #102 – Trumpet in Bb Practice…

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Transcriptions and Record copies Made Easier

We have had a few questions about an easier way to transcribe solos and copy arrangements off recordings and I will share a few tips which will make this laborious and time consuming process a little easier. Start with our old friend Audacity or any other recording program which is able to reduce digitally the tempo of your recording without changing the pitch. Step #1. Record the solo or arrangement and save. Step #2. In the Edit draw down, select the “all” feature. Step #3. From the Effects button, click on “Change Tempo” Step #4. In the Change Tempo window,…

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As If We Dont Have Enough Valves Already!

Professor David Hickman is a very well respected trumpet teacher as well as a fine trumpet player. His newest project has been working with Clifford Blackburn to develop and make available a new five valve trumpet. In this video he demonstrates the versatility of this new horn and explains its use for simplifying fingering and improving accuracy. I find it amazing that he is able to remember which set of valve combinations needed to be used in each example. To the average trumpet player this might seem a bit over the top but you have to realize that playing in…

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