Selecting An Instrument To Study Part 3- Late Bloomers

Whether you have played an instrument before or you are a first timer, learning or relearning an instrument can be exciting and fun. There are many advantages to being in the twilight years of your life. One advantage is that no one expects much out of you. I celebrated my sixty-ninth birthday while playing a seven day a week show in Branson. The trombone player asked me how old I was and when I told him, he stared intensely at me and said, “That’s amazing”. I’m not sure what he really meant but I took it as a compliment to…

Selecting An Instrument To Study Part 2-Traditional Students

A student is most often faced with the dilemma of instrument selection around the fourth grade and this experience is usually more of a trauma for the parents than it is for the student. Parents are faced with the pressures of guiding their child into an area that will affect their lives (both child and parent) for some time and the thought of the added expense of the instrument, the lessons and the travel to and from the lessons can be intimidating. Fortunately most of us have lived through the experience and are on hand to give the less experienced…

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Selecting An Instrument To Study

When my wife first suggested this topic, I was very excited for I realized how important this subject could be. Then, after thinking about the mass of information and the myriad of directions one could approach this post, I realized that an entire book would be needed to touch on all the important issues. After careful consideration I have decided to tackle the topic anyway. I have never been accused of shying away from the imposable so please realize that I will try to structure this topic from several views and in doing so, the number of post will be…

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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…

What You Need To Know About Hearing Loss- Part 2

If you have read my first post on reasons for hearing loss, you may be interested in some information  I have collected which could help you to select some tools to help prolong your current hearing condition. Are earplugs the solution to attacks on your hearing? The use of ear plugs have saved untold numbers of people who are faced with the constant barrage of high volume noises in their daily work. Factory workers, sheet metal shop owners as well as rock musicians are all face with the same dilemma- the need to protect ones hearing in a very inhospitable…

What You Need To Know About Hearing Loss- Part 1

Warning- The Following Information May Change Your Life! We spend a great amount of money on equipment which we feel is necessary to become fine musicians and there is little doubt that good equipment can help us reach that goal. But how much concern do we have for preserving an essential element which we already possess?  And that essential element would be our hearing. As performers, we are expected to have what they call in the recording industry, “big ears”. This term has nothing to do with the size or shape of our ears. It has to do with how…

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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The Different Parts of Your Trumpet

Many times those of us who have been behind a mouthpiece for many years forget that young players are just starting out on the trumpet and what seems obvious to us, may be new information to the younger player. For that reason I thought it would be helpful to the beginners in our audience to get a working knowledge of the parts of the trumpet. Mouthpiece- This is the removable section which you place to your lips to create a sound. Throughout your career as a trumpet player, you will collect many of these, each one being purchased in order…

Small Mouthpiece vs. Large Mouthpiece

This debate has been present since the beginning of time. Which is the better mouthpiece? Small mouthpieces have definite advantages such as easier upper range and more endurance. Large mouthpieces have the advantages of easier flexibility and a darker and a more pleasant tone. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be able to get every advantage and not fight the disadvantages? Advantages of a small mouthpiece- As I stated before, the small mouthpiece can make the upper range a little easier but to do so you will have to give up other advantages the large mouth piece has to offer. If…

Music Business Definitions‏

No explanations needed…. AGENT: a character who resents performers getting 90% of his salary. ARRANGER: a guy who writes to support a drinking habit. BALLET: an art form for people with eating disorders. BANDSTAND: the area furthest away from an electrical outlet. BIG BAND: nowadays, an aggregation consisting of two musicians. BROADWAY PIT JOB: a prison sentence disguised as a gig. CABARET: a venue where singers do songs from shows that closed out of town. CATERER: a man whose hatred for musicians is unrivaled. CHANTEUSE: a singer with an accent and no time. CLASSICAL COMPOSER: a man ahead of his…