Saying Good Bye To An Old Friends

After several decades of working with this great cup mute, it may be time to retire him (her), for newer and more improved models are now available. Your corks have been replaced at least a dozen times. Your bottom has been epoxied at least twice and you colors have faded. The number of scratches, dents and scuffs show a well-used history which includes some of the best (and the worst) bands around. You have performed on concert stages performing contemporary as well as classical compositions, and if I remember correctly you actually were used to warmup in front of Aaron…

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How To Place Your Mouthpiece In Your Horn

Have you ever heard or read something that does not make any sense to you at all and then you set out to prove it wrong only to find that it is actually true? This happened to me this past week and even though it is an embarrassment, I will swallow my pride for the betterment of the brass world. This past week I read a post on one of the brass bulletin boards which stated that this person claimed that the rotation of the mouthpiece could actually change how the instrument responded when played. Just the thought of someone…

Put A Spring In Your Playing

With all the advances in trumpet materials and design, you would think someone would do something to improve our valve springs. There is one thing that you can do yourself to possibly improve the performance of your instrument. And the answer is inside your valve casings. Valves are made to go up and down when we perform and in most situations, they work well. Sometimes they stick and in most cases a good cleaning will solve that problem. But if a nice warm bath and cleaning has not improved your valve action you might consider changing your valve springs. After…

Trumpet Case Updates- Hard Cases

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…

Make Your Own Practice Mute

The Internet has become a wonderful place to share ideas and this post will direct you to a helpful do-it-yourself instructional video you really need to view. A very big thank you to ARMYstrong419 for sharing this information with us. I have tried this and it works great. Sometimes the cheapest can be the best. And for additional information

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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…

Free Mute Holder!

After checking every mute holder on the market today, I decided I could do better than what was available on line and in the stores. If you need your mutes available in a short amount of time, you may be interested in my solution. I got the music for a new musical in town just a few days ago and after looking through the material, I realized that the number of quick mute changes was going to be a problem. No matter how close you get your mutes, it always puts pressure on these quick changes and I don’t enjoy…

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…

How and When To Use A Plunger…..”and which one”?

Obviously most people know the “When” and “How” use of the common sewer plunger but many trumpet players are not familiar with its use as a trumpet mute. Commercial plungers are available in most well equipped music stores and the offerings on line are numerous. Examples and instruction of the plungers use is available on YouTube as well. The design and cost of such plungers can be confusing and to help you decide on which one to buy or upgrade to is the purpose of this post. The common sewer plunger (small size) is the most widely used. The cost…

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…