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…

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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What is a Flugel Horn and Do I need to own one?

The flugelhorn, also spelled fluegelhorn, flugel horn or flugelhorn has a long history in European countries but is relatively new to ours. Its popularity in the states probably dates back to the fifties through the use of such well known names in jazz as Shorty Rogers, Kenny Baker, Clark Terry, Chet Baker, Miles Davis, Freddie Hubbard, Lee Morgan, Nat Adderley and Art Farmer. The purpose of the flugel was to give the player an alternative to the edgy, powerful trumpet sound. During the Bebop period (1945-1960) the trumpet was king, but when cool jazz started to gain a following in…

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Melodic Flexibility- Revisited

An easier way to better playing Download text and exercises here- Melodic Flexibility When something is accepted as new, others may point out that this revolutionary concept has been around for decades. With this in mind, I would like to say that what I am describing is new to me and I would like to share it with you. Several months ago, I became bored with traditional methods for improving lip flexibility and finger coordination. As an older and supposedly more experienced teacher of the brass, I had enough with the Clarke Technical Studies and every lip flexibility book available…

Which Comes First, Technique or Musicality?

This question is much like the chicken or the egg issue. Which should be taught first? One camp believes that without technique, nothing can be played and the other camp asks the question “what good is technique if it isn’t musical”. Both have their cases and in this post I will try to bring the two sides to a happy mid point. Most of my early teaching was geared to the technical approach but as I increase candles on my birthday cake I must admit, all technique can have its disadvantages. One student who stands out as the most gifted…

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The Perfect Lesson Plan #4- Professional Players

Some may question my wisdom on offering suggestions on practice routines to professionals and it seems like a reasonable conclusion. In spite of my lack of concern for accosting negative remarks, I will continue towards my goal for continued perfection in the trumpet world anyway. If you are a professional player with no problems, please leave this site for without problems, I can’t be of assistance. But, if you have run into some of the problems I have faced in the past and resolved, you may want to continue to read further. Problem #1. No work- I can’t help you.…

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The Perfect Lesson Plan #3- High School Player

At this level of development, the expectations and requirements are similar to the Junior High student with a few exceptions. Foremost at this level is the added amount of performing such as in jazz bands, concert bands, marching bands, all-region and all-state tryouts and as well as solo/ensemble performances. At this juncture, the player needs foremost to continue to gain playing techniques as in Junior High but needs additionally to be aware of the condition of his/her lip at all times. Too many players run into lip problems at this level which can easily be avoided. I have listed below…

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The Perfect Lesson Plan #2- Junior High School level player

At this point in your advancement as a trumpet player you should now be able to play with a good tone, know all of the fingerings used on your instrument and have a decent range (a solid A to the C just above the staff) and a reasonable amount of endurance. At this point in your advancement, you will be performing regularly in a large ensemble (usually a concert/marching band) and will be starting to think about performing solos as well as small ensemble music. Within this post I will try to cover some of the more advanced expectations you…

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