How Can I Learn to Play My Scales?

This question was just sent to our site recently and has been an issue through the ages for most musicians. The easiest answer and unfortunately the most often suggested remedy is…. “Practice playing them”! When we began studying our instrument, one of the features of most method book was the slow and gradual introduction of increasingly more difficult scales. This has been the practice for decades and most players adhered to this routine. Many years ago I started our youngest son on trumpet and began to introduce the different keys in a less orthodox way. His first key was C…

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A Couple Helpful Suggestions On Cleaning Your Trumpet

We have already posted several entries on how to clean your trumpet (see below) and why you need to regularly clean your instrument but this post adds to these suggestions. Recently I have found a couple new suggestions for improving your health as well as improving your instrument’s performance. When flushing clean water through you valve slides during cleaning, be sure to open the water keys if they are present. Deposits collect in the water key area and as the “snake” passes through the tubing, it forces debris into the channel where the condensation exits, making the water key area…

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So… You Would Like To Double?

So… You Would Like To Double? When musician speak of doubling, they are not speaking of playing bridge. Doubling, as most of you know is the act of playing more than one instrument. For a woodwind player, this is much easier for the mouthpiece, read and fingering are much the same among the woodwinds. Obviously the flute is one exception. For trumpet players we have a similar situation in that the mouthpiece and fingering among the members of the trumpet/flugel horn/cornet family are again very similar. But what I will be addressing here is the possibility of doubling on trombone;…

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The Best $19.97 You Will Ever Spend!

With all of the advertising on the Internet and television it is hard to believe that such a small amount of money could make such a difference in your trumpet playing. For $19.97 you can send for vacuum cleaners, power drills, combat flash lights and a dozen other miraculous products which will totally change your life. So why is this $19.97 product so different? The answer to that question is defined below. TRUMPET LESSONS ON LINE “Improve Your Trumpet Playing Today” Testimonials “I am an 80 year old come back player after a long layoff. Your videos and information is…

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Patriotic Transposition Study

Transposition sometimes is required for trumpet players. It most often occurs while playing in an orchestral setting but can surface in other venues such as reading out of a Fake Book, transposing from a hymnal or working with bad singers. To a younger player this can be a shock and for that reason I have included this study which uses a melody everyone should be familiar with and in a range most players will feel comfortable. Remember to use your eyes first and if your melody goes astray, your ears will guide you. Eyes first! Ears second! Patriotic Transposition Study

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With A Little Help From My Friends Contest!

From time to time our readers submit very helpful information to our site as exemplified by this one from Jen Houck – Bath tub for washing trumpets and another more recently from Felice Sobrero – External mute.. I enjoy learning from others and for that reason, I will be hosting a contest which some of you may be interested in participating. It is called “With A Little Help From My Friends Contest”! Due to the fact that we are all in this together (trumpet playing) it would be a benefit to us all to learn some of the tricks, hints,…

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Starting Over…again part 6

One of the greatest joys I have experienced while writing this blog for the past 7 years is when readers write in with their own views and opinions. This is a very fine example of such a reader. His name is Felice Sobrero and after viewing my post he left a comment on his experience with the same issue I was covering which was being able to practice in a confined or volume conscious area adjacent to neighbors. Felice graciously agreed to share his more extended experiences with me on his solution to our common problem. I think you will…

Starting Over…..again. Part 5

“VB70G. Sound Blankets Producers Choice* did as advertised”. After a simple installation of 5 heavy duty hooks, all I had to do was hang the blanket over the window. After checking the sound level at the curb, in front of our home, we decided that the amount of transferred trumpet sound had been reduced by 90% which I feel is adequate for my taste as well as my neighbors. This sound blanket comes with one side white in color and the other black which worked for me very well. The Texas Summer sun will be warming the front of our…

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Starting Over…..again. Part 4

While still continuing to find a workable solution to my noise problem in our new house, it dawned on me to search the internet for remedies. Within seconds I had many suggestions as to how to deaden the sound transfer traveling through my large front windows. These choices ranged from foam to cotton, from fiberglass to cardboard and as I deciphered each claim, I narrowed my choices down to one constant fact; cotton seemed to be the best at deadening my sound. Before I shelled out an exorbitant amount of currency, I first had to be convinced that a cotton…

Starting Over…..again. Part 3

We succeeded with the practice mute in lowering the dbs. transferred to the outside of my house. Unfortunately, I hate playing with one stuck in my bell so we must move on to another alternative. One highly recommended piece of equipment is the sE Electronics Reflexion Filter PRO Portable Vocal Booth which isolates your sound using a wrap-around partition with acoustical foam. After studying this product, I thought that I might be able to improve on the original design and out came some of the moving boxes currently lying around my garage floor. After about an hour, I was able…