Practice- What?

As I mentioned in our previous post, several areas need to be addressed during your daily practice sessions. Download- 60 Minute Practice Routine Warm-up Your warm-up will begin your lip development and I strongly recommend that the first portion should be done on the mouthpiece alone. I have included a short warm-up which includes buzzing on only your mouthpiece (5 minutes). Be sure to produce a full, rich sound on every note. Fill your lungs completely and begin each note with just the air. Do not tongue any of these notes. Arpeggio Exercises Begin these exercises slowly and as you…

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Practice- When?

What difference does it make when you practice? That is a very good question for little has been written on this subject. I will share some of my feelings on this in hopes that you can gain some insight into the affects of practicing at various times throughout the day. What is the best time of the day to start practicing? The best time of the day to start practicing is early in the morning. Your schedule will dictate if this is possible but if scheduling is not an issue and you could plan out your whole day around practicing,…

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Practice- Why

• Why do we practice? We practice to get better. • Why do we have to practice? We don’t but if we didn’t we would not be pleased with our performances. • Why are we concerned about our performances? We are motivated by pride, or fear of embarrassment. Some people do not practice because of their lack of pride or share an attitude that playing poorly is not all that important to them. To the rest of us, we are driven to prove our value in music and because of this pride; we are determined to spend many hours alone…

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Practice- Why, When and What?

One of the most distasteful and laborious chores I endure each day is practice. Whether you play a trumpet, trombone or the kazoo, we are all faced with this task if we want to improve or even retain what abilities we have. If you have ever been out for sports, you will remember those early morning routines on the track or the warm-ups you religiously participated in on the baseball field, football field or tennis court. When participating in sports, whether high school, recreation department teams or in a foursome on the golf course, you were motivated by the people…

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Oooops!

I just realized that I have not included any material on the great trumpet player Harry James. My apology to you all and do be amazed at what he was capable of producing.

Can I Play Cornet Solos On My Trumpet?

Of course you can. And you could hunt elephants with a 22 caliber rifle also, but I wouldn’t recommend either. How are cornet solos different from trumpet solos? Literature which has been written especially to be performed on a cornet usually follows these characteristics- • Melodies are most often very lyrical and smooth. • Traditionally more vibrato is used in cornet solos. • Cornet solos many times have drastic tempo changes with grandiose retards and sudden accelerandi. • The cornet solo gives more liberties in the musical interpretation than in the trumpet literature. • Most cornet solos draw from a…

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Trumpet Hand Playing Position

Sometimes the obvious can be overlooked as in the case of your hand position while holding your instrument. If you search on line for pictures or video of successful trumpet players, you will find a variety of hand positions ranging from the normal to several extreme positions. Each performer has settled into his/her favorite hand position because of habit or preference. Left Hand Playing Position I have included normal as well as unusual positions and will explain the advantages as well as the disadvantages of each. It is not my intent to try to influence anyone into any one position,…

Can you cope with quarter tones?

Our harmonic and melodic system is based on half steps and other systems are based on quarter tones. When we listen to the quarter step system, we are uncomfortable because of this unusual pitch relationship. Our instruments are not capable of playing quarter tones. So why am I posting information on how to perform the imposable? I think you might find the exercise interesting, or even mind altering. Our brass instruments are based on an overtone system which overlaps each fingering series, i.e. open fingering followed by 2, 1, 12, 23, 13, and 123. If you think of each series…

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Motivation- Where Does It Come From and How Can I Get Some? Part 2

I have found it interesting working with many musical groups each year and as I observe each ensemble I have mentally noted the results of motivated directors as well as less motivated directors. Each ensemble seems to reflect the influences of their director. The most proficient and musical ensembles will always have an energetic and inspired director on the podium. The bands which exhibit respect and professionalism in their performance will invariably have directors who reflect these same characteristics. The only exceptions were the bands who had recently replaced less than adequate directors with improved models. It will take a…