Showing posts with label Trumpet. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Trumpet. Show all posts

Friday, May 11, 2018

Observation Of The TRUMPET

English: Wynton Marsalis at the Oskar Schindle...
Wynton Marsalis Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Trumpets are among the oldest musical back to at least 2000 BC. Notes are played by blowing into a mouthpiece known as a "fipple", which directs air towards a bladed edge, located at the big hole you'll see at the top of most whistles. Trumpet instruments come in a variety of designs.

Trumpet players are able to get an incredible variety of sounds partly due to the various mutes that are available for them. They are the most likely to play music demanding the use of a mute (often indicated by the words con sordini oravec sourdine in the score).

Players know when they've got a horn they like, know when it performs at a high level, and know especially if it has a sound and feels they like. Playing the trumpet is intimate and personal.

Trumpeters with great endurance and/or range are said to have impressive chops. Some believe that Wynton Marsalis has done things with his trumpet that Louis Armstrong couldn't even imagine in his day.

Players can be heard across nearly all genres of music, including classical, jazz, rock, pop, ska, polka, swing, blues, and funk. Trumpet players are popular for wedding ceremonies as well as receptions and they do it with 3 fingers.

Trumpets pitched in the key of low G are also called sopranos, or soprano bugles, after their adaptation from military bugles. Trumpet players are arguably the "state of the art" among brass players.

They are quite in demand even during street festivals, carnivals, marriage celebrations, school band marches and almost everywhere where there's a requirement of a loud and clear musical accompaniment.

Jazz is a symbiotic, synergistic communication medium that expresses the mind, body, and spirit in music through all instruments. Jazz trumpet players have been at the forefront of the evolution of jazz as an art form.

A reviewer wrote this description: Playing the high register playing softly "pp" playing a nice rich tone playing vibrato Double Tonguing between different notes playing Legato (ties) without changing the fingering.

Brass instruments are almost universally made from brass, but a solid gold or silver trumpet might be created for special occasions. Brass horns are properly classified by the means by which they produce sound, not by the materials used in their construction.

Bach used the trumpet for high parts in his festive church music and wrote for trumpet along with recorder, oboe, and violin in Brandenburg Concerto (no. unknown)

Bass trumpet is played with a shallower trombone mouthpiece, and music for it is written in treble clef. Piccolo trumpets in G, F, and even C are also manufactured but are rarer.

Modern trumpets also have three piston valves, each of which increases the length of tubing when engaged, thereby lowering the pitch. Modern trumpets are built in various bores and the so-called "Medium" bore.

Common bad habits include pressing the mouthpiece to the lips, uneven pressure (Double buzz), inflating cheeks when blowing (although this is debatably a bad habit considering jazz trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie was known for it), playing with poor posture, and closing the throat (tensing of the throat) muscles, resulting in partially choking the air flow.

    Jackie Spivey is the Author of this Article. He is an artist who has a very creative, eclectic collection of music that is available for your listening pleasure. You can listen to and/or download songs at JacSan Records. And learn much more about music at JacSanRecords Music Blog.

    Article Directory: Article Dashboard

Friday, April 27, 2018

The Advantage of a Custom Built SCHILKE TRUMPET

English: Schilke trumpet modell X3 in silver. ...
Schilke trumpet model X3 in silver. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Schilke trumpets have a reputation as being "open" horns, which is a quality that many professional horn players prefer. Schilke is known as the custom builder that are among the most reasonably priced on the market. Silver plated and gold plated models are available, and professional trumpet players can be very particular about the exact mouthpiece, mouth pipe, bell, and tubing design. They want to get the best possible sound for their particular likes and playing situations, whether it's a community band or a professional symphonic band or orchestra.

When trumpet enthusiasts talk about Schilke trumpets, they know that they are talking about one of the most respected brands of musical instrument in the world. Not everyone can afford a custom trumpet, but Schilke makes several non-custom models so that those who love playing trumpet, but who don't have the money for a custom built instrument can experience the great Schilke sound first hand.

There are a number of factors that go into getting a great sound from a trumpet. Of course, the particulars of the musician - embouchure, practice habits, venue for playing - definitely have an influence. But the qualities of the trumpet itself makes a difference, too. Silver plated bells are known for their richer sound, and the bore of the tubing has an influence on the sound a musician is able to get from a trumpet. Schilke maximizes the qualities that result in great trumpet sound, and for those who are extra particular and have the means, they make custom trumpets to create the best match between musician and instrument.

Depending on the type of music and the venue in which it is played, different models of the same instrument can make a difference to the sound quality. Schilke trumpets are experts at knowing what goes into getting the right sound for an auditorium, an outdoor setting, or any other arrangement of acoustics. When professional trumpet players feel like they are ready to buy a custom horn, Schilke is the brand they often turn to first.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Sailing the Double High C's (A TRUMPETER'S Dream)

Trumpet player
Trumpet player (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
High note jazz trumpet legends nearly single-handedly changed the desire of young trumpeters all around the world decades ago. Hearing one of these giants live was an amazing and inspiring experience, and created a desire in so many trumpet players that it could be considered near cult status for trumpeters.

Maynard Ferguson, Cat Anderson, Doc Severinsen are just a few that were extremely sought after players... they each had a command of the upper register up to and beyond Double C. 

The more players tried to ascend to these upper register notes, the more the mystery built. Advice in every aspect of trumpet playing can be found. Mostly confusing, and some very much incorrect.

In 2004, I had the pleasure and distinct honor of being a part of the great Maynard Ferguson's band, and got to share a lot of time with "Boss" (as we called him). While on his band, I got to ask questions, take notes, and learn from the master.

What most players who begin this quest do incorrectly is mostly overcompensated and fail to see what actually generates higher notes on trumpet. It is not sheer brute force that produces these notes with power, it is control and a balance between air and aperture.

To begin this journey properly, a player must master "whisper" tones... extreme soft playing that helps the aperture stay the size of a pinhole without pinching or straining the facial muscles. 

Starting with a second line G and holding it as soft as possible for extended lengths of time (2 minutes to 20 minutes) and allowing ample rest will start a player on the correct path. 

As the player develops more control, scales, etudes, and melodies can be incorporated into practicing that will have the player ascend to higher notes. Once control is established, playing louder is merely pushing a bit more with the air and allowing the aperture to open SLIGHTLY.

There is no fast solution to this. For many players this is a lengthy journey. Especially if the trumpeter has been practicing the "higher / louder / faster" method for months or years. Old habits will have to be broken... but once they are, the trumpet player will be amazed at how easily they can ascend to Double High C and beyond!

Saturday, March 3, 2018

The Little Heard Cousin of the Trumpet - CORNET

The cornet is an instrument that is a member of the brass instrument family. Its appearance is close to that of the trumpet in its design. The tubing is wrapped in a clever way that will allow the musician to easily carry and play the instrument, and the tube's diameter increases in size until the end. It is a common mistake for people to believe that the cornet has originated from the medieval cornett, but in truth, there is no relation. In fact, the cornet originated from the simple horn, just as the bugle was. The cornet really developed when the improvements on piston valves were made, which was in the early 1800s.

Today, the cornet is a fairly popular instrument that is used in concert bands and brass bands more than it is used in marching bands and military, though it can sometimes be used in these too. Referring back to the valves of the cornet, they really were the largest part in bringing in the creation of the cornet. In fact, it was in adding these valves to the horn in the early 1800s that the actual cornet was first invented. While the cornet would seem similar to the trumpet, they differed greatly for a while before the trumpet also had the valves added into its design. Today, they are so similar that the coronet and the trumpet can play the same notes and fingerings.

The cornet has not changed too much since it was first invented, and it has only been around for a couple hundred years, but it is a brass instrument that has received a decent amount of interest over the years. One can see it played in a number of different musical genres and people of different ages have given it a try. In fact, a number of young jazz musicians in the 1900s began their careers by learning how to play the cornet.

The cornet has a more mellow and warm tone that is attractive to many people who decide to learn how to play the instrument. It is also an instrument that is recommended for beginners who have never played a brass instrument before. It can be a little challenging at first for someone who is new to playing any kind of wind instrument, but it can be quite rewarding in the end. Learning the sheet music and how to manipulate the keys properly can also take some time, but not as long as it can take to learn other more complex instruments. It is also another instrument that can be offered at some schools that have them.

Overall, the instrument is not too difficult to learn and so is a great instrument to offer in grade school to younger people who would like to try learning a musical instrument. The sheet music for the cornet is also easier to acquire than more expensive sheet music for other instruments. The instrument is even donated to the schools on occasion by people who have no more use for their cornet. Anyone who wishes to try the instrument outside of school can often find used cornets in used instrument stores or pawn shops.

    Victor Epand is an expert consultant for used CDs, autographed CDs, and used musical instruments.   Article Directory: Article Dashboard

Saturday, January 20, 2018

The Melodic Sounds of the TRUMPET

Trumpet player Maynard Ferguson
Trumpet player Maynard Ferguson (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The trumpet is an instrument that is a member of the brass family, though it has also been referred to as a wind or an aerophone instrument, and has the highest register among all the brass instruments. The trumpet is made out of brass tubing that is narrowest at the mouthpiece and widest at the end.

This particular instrument, like other brass instruments, is played by blowing into the mouthpiece through closed lips to create a vibration. The instrument as three keys or piston valves that work to alter the sound produced, often creating a lower pitch. Each valve will lower the sound the trumpet makes as it is pressed down by the musician. There are also different kinds of trumpets that are tuned to different notes. The most common trumpet played is known as the B-flat trumpet. Other types of trumpets that are played but are not as common are the C, D, E, F, G, and A.

Surprisingly enough, the trumpet has been around for a very long time, even if the earlier trumpets did not look like the trumpets people are more familiar with today. The earliest proof of the existence of trumpets goes back as far as 1500 BC, though it is believed that trumpets could have easily existed before this as well.

Another interesting note about the trumpet is that it was not originally used for music. Instead, it was used for signaling purposes for religious ceremonies or military use. It really was not until medieval times that the trumpet started to be used more as a musical instrument instead of being limited to previous purposes. In fact, it was even seen as a special talent, which those who played would keep to themselves because it was regarded as a guarded craft. It was after this time that the trumpet really started to change, as improvements and adaptations were made to have the trumpet keep up with its demands. Even with these improvements, the addition of the valves on the trumpet did not occur until the early to mid-1800s.

It appears that few young people will take up the instrument instead of popular instruments like the guitar and the piano. A common misconception is that it is really simple to play, but the truth is that it can be a little complex. One has to have good control of the air that they blow into the trumpet in order to get the right sound. Some will take an interest in the trumpet because they appreciate its bold and bright sound. It is common in marching bands, in the military and is also common in schools.

It is a relatively inexpensive instrument to play in comparison to others, so school bands will sometimes be able to teach students who want to learn it. Its drawback for many people is that it does not have a wide range of sounds and many who want to learn how to play an instrument are looking for something that can create a variety of different sounds.

    Victor Epand is an expert consultant for used CDs, autographed CDs, and used musical instruments. 
     Article Directory: Article Dashboard

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

LOUIS ARMSTRONG: Transformation From Reform School to Infamous Trumpets

Head and shoulders portrait of jazz musician L...
Head and shoulders portrait of jazz musician Louis Armstrong. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Trumpets have been in existence since primitive times, but they did not really gain the recognition they deserved until the infiltration of jazz into the music world. When Buddy Bolden altered his own music style in the 1890's, it had the first inklings of what jazz music would become with its hearty spirit and spontaneity. He eventually leads the first genuine New Orleans jazz band. Continuing to invent jazz music was Freddie Keppard and Joe "King" Oliver playing the cornet as the lead instrument.

Then along came Louis Armstrong from a poor section of New Orleans where the heroes of the neighborhood were gamblers and pimps. His first musical instrument, within the family of trumpets, was a long, tin horn that he would blast while working on a coal delivery wagon to let clients know the wagon was coming. At age 10 Louis Armstrong had earned enough money to buy a battered cornet in a pawnshop. By age 11 he had left school, left his job, and organized a street corner quartet. Unfortunately, while on the street he committed some minor crimes and was sent to reform school at the age of 12. While in reform school Louis Armstrong joined the band and developed his talent. He became the leader of the band which changed his reputation. By the age of 13, he was back on the street and found small jobs to keep himself out of trouble.

As a teenager, Louis Armstrong worked with professional musicians and joined Fate Marable's band playing on a riverboat in Mississippi. By his early twenties, he could outplay any trumpets at cutting contests where soloists improvised until one was clearly outperforming the others. With the addition of 23-year-old Lois Armstrong to the Fletcher Henderson band in New York, the band began to really swing with their new featured soloist. A year later he formed his own group in Chicago called the Hot Five. He organized the band and music around the solos which became one of the key characteristics of modern jazz.

Louis Armstrong became known as the father of modern jazz trumpets and the first modern jazz soloist. He greatly extended the range of trumpets as he could hit high notes that none of his peers could reach. His main contribution to jazz was his sense of rhythm which had a natural beat that made anyone listening want to get up and dance. Louis Armstrong taught the world how to really swing. He also taught jazz musicians how to extend the melodic line with improvisations on trumpets. Louis Armstrong used trumpets to belt out loud, sharp cutting sounds that commanded his listeners to pay attention. He had made trumpets the leading instruments with cornets virtually disappearing from the jazz scene.

Trumpets were not the only driving force in Louis Armstrong's career. Not only did he extend the range of trumpets, but he also showcased the extension of his own range of talents. He had a unique compositional and vocal ability, he was comedic, he had charisma, and he had charm. All of these talents wrapped up together made for a famously popular musician and showman.

    By Dianna Joseph
    Dianna Joseph is the owner of DJ Music Store. She is a saxophonist, novice pianist, and novice guitarist. In addition, she is an occupational therapist who works with a host of disabilities utilizing sensory integration and neurodevelopmental therapy in combination with music and a variety of other techniques to assist these persons in achieving the highest level of function and quality of life possible.
    Article Source: EzineArticles

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Birth and Development of the FRENCH HORN

French horn back
French horn back (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
If you ask someone to think of a musical instrument, most likely French horns are not the first instrument that comes to mind. Yet, it is quite an interesting, beautiful, and exceptional looking music instrument. It brings with it a mysterious quality that projects a mellow and subdued sound to any orchestra, marching band, concert band, or even a brass ensemble.

It is quite intriguing actually, to look at the historical underpinnings of French horns. Looking back at their birth and development brings to light how they acquired their sound and unique features. It also explains why even today they are not the most popular musical instrument in any type of music group.

The most primitive form of french horns were megaphones. They were made from a hollow branch or cane and the player sang, spoke, or made vocal noises into them to produce a harsh sound to frighten away evil spirits. Megaphones evolved into the early trumpets which could produce only one or two notes and made a terrifying sound. These trumpets were used at circumcisions, funerals, and sunset rites.

It was not until the Renaissance period, about 1550, that a music instrument was developed which bears the most resemblance to the present day French horns. This was the close-coiled helical horn, established in Central Europe. About one hundred years later, the parent of French horns was constructed in the form of a thin conical tube with two or more circular coils.

There is no evidence that French horns were used for purely musical purposes with other music instruments prior to the eighteenth century, only for hunting in France, Germany, and Italy. Their introduction in Germany by Graf Franz Anton von Sporck in 1681 and their inclusion in a German orchestra score in 1705 helped them to gain a position in the music world. In England, however, they were used mainly in the form of an entertaining duet in the gardens or along the river versus attaining the prestigious right to be in an orchestra. France continued to restrict their use to the chase for hunting until 1735.

To play French horns during the early 1700's, musicians would point the widely flared bell upwards like a bugle horn. The length of the tubing varied according to the pitch needed, so separate horns were needed for every key change. This problem was solved by the crook system, developed in 1715, which consisted of various lengths of tube rings fitting into the end of the mouthpiece socket. It allowed the player to use any key.

An important technique came to fruition when Anton Joseph Hampel of Germany was testing out various mutes in 1750. He discovered that he could progressively lower the pitch by pushing a cotton pad or his hand into the bell further and further, called "stopping". This hand-horn technique required that the horn is held horizontally and is still used today. Hampel then redesigned it with the crooks in the center of the hoop versus near the mouthpiece. However, just like the unpleasant sound of the original horns, there was still a disparity between tone and power of the open and stopped notes.

The best innovation for french horns came when two German musicians invented the valve in 1815. Voila! Crooks no longer needed to be changed as the descending spring valves lowered the pitch. The last notable invention for french horns was in 1899 when double F/Bb French horns were first sold.

Over one hundred years later, no significant alterations or additions have been necessary. Materials may have changed somewhat, but spring valves are still used as well as the hand-horn technique to attain a perfect mellow timbre and keep the natural roughness of tone in check. French horns have continued to maintain their musical status all over the world.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

FLUGELHORN - Music-Instruments of the World

Flugelhorn - Music-Instruments of the World

Thursday, November 23, 2017

CORNETand TRUMPET Care For the Busy Musician

Cornet Patent Drawing from 1899
Photo  by Patents Wall Art 
As a performer, it is essential that you keep your instrument in pristine condition. Most players don't seem to be bothered about cleaning their instrument often enough. If you rely on your instrument to earn a living you may form a different opinion. It's a bit cut-throat out there and the difference between having a pure tone quality and a muffled uninteresting sound could mean the difference between getting the gig or not. Not to mention the hygiene problems that could develop.

Cornets were developed from basically a post horn, which over time was curled and developed into the form you see today. Valves were added which allowed more playable notes and dexterity of performance. It's the careful manufacturing and handwork that make it into a cornet that plays well. Take care of your instrument and it won't let you down.

There is nothing worse than being in the middle of a show and your valves or slides start to stick. It can ruin a perfectly good performance.

Cleaning the cornet should only take about 10 to 15 minutes of your time and the results are more than beneficial to your playing. You would be surprised at the "gunge" that appears out of the tubes after a good clean.

So let's begin. Run a warm bath - Yes a bath, and put a small amount of dishwashing soap into it. Check with your product information or your manufacturer's website to make sure before you use it. Pull all the valves and slides out of the cornet and place everything submerged under the water - Leave to soak for about 30 mins. That was easy! Note - you may have to disconnect the "triggers" on the first and third valve slides if they are fitted.

You'll need a flexible cleaning pull-through brush, a valve casing brush, and a mouthpiece brush. You'll also need silver polish and two lint-free polishing cloths, valve oil, and slide grease. (I use a petroleum jelly)

Now it's time to put the pull-through brush to work. Gently feed it into the tubes of the cornet and pull through the brush, watch out for the "Gunge". Do this a couple of times and then rise the cornet tubes out under running water until it runs clear. Do this now to all the removable slides as well.

Now using the valve brush we need to clean the valve casing. Just push the brush in and out a couple of times and all should be well. Now turning to the valves themselves. First of all you need to clean the internal surfaces of holes. You can also use the pull through for this but be careful not to scratch them. Using a Silver polish and the lint free cloth, now clean the valves outer surface, dry off and polish with a separate clean rag.

Now the Slides. Again using the silver polish clean the slides. If your cornet is of the lacquered type (brass looking) DO DOT use silver polish on the external surfaces. This attacks the coating. Finally, clean the inside surface of the valve caps both top and bottom again with a soft rag.

After all, the internals of the cornet is clean, its time now to clean the external surfaces, again remember if it is of the lacquered type just soap and water will clean it. Otherwise, on silver-plated surfaces use your metal.

Now it's time to re-assemble the cornet, oil the valves and 1st and 3rd valve slides, and grease the slides. If you have triggers on your instrument on the first and third slides it is better to use valve oil on them as they will move faster.

    Trevor Halliwell has been a band player and director for 45 years with college diplomas in trumpet performance and music education. For more information about playing the cornet or trumpet, please visit - Author Name: Trevor Halliwell - Contact Email Address: Trevor Halliwell ( is a Cornet/Trumpet performer and teacher in the North West of England. He is a Fellow of the Trinity College of Music London. 
    Article Directory: EzineArticles

Friday, October 27, 2017

A Guide to Buying a TRUMPET

English: Trumpet bell
Trumpet bell (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Picking the best trumpet can be a difficult task. Most parents looking for a trumpet have no idea what to buy. I've been a trumpet teacher for twenty years and a band director for the last fifteen. I've played on almost every trumpet available today, and many of them are great instruments while some are far from it.

Trumpets come in different levels. There are the beginning or student trumpets, intermediate trumpets, professional trumpets, and custom trumpets. There are also some instruments that should only be made into lamps or put on walls as decoration because of their inferior quality. The price gives them away. If you buy one of these, you're most likely throwing your money away. Be very careful.

Most students start out at the beginning or student trumpets. Student trumpets are generally built with less hand-fitting and tougher materials. They are usually built to withstand normal student use, and they should last through the first few years of the band. Don't just buy a cheap trumpet. Some of them are so poorly made, they will hold a student back.

Intermediate trumpets come next. These instruments have some of the professional trumpet characteristics, and they do perform a little better than a student trumpet. They are often silver plated. They will always have a first valve slide saddle and third valve slide ring so they can be kicked out. While these trumpets don't cost as much as a professional trumpet, the price can be close. Generally, it's better to go ahead and purchase a professional trumpet when it is time to purchase a "step-up" trumpet.

Professional trumpets are truly fine instruments, and most professional trumpet players perform on them. I received my first professional trumpet when I progressed to high school band, and I believe most students that work hard should move to a professional trumpet at that time. These instruments will have slides that all work well right out of the case. They are hand fitted throughout the instrument, and they play as well as any high school student is able to play. These instruments will last through college, and for players that don't perform for a living, they will probably last the rest of their lives.

Custom trumpets come next. These are the best instruments available today. True custom trumpets are hand-made throughout. While these are truly incredible trumpets, they are not necessary for most high school students. If you want to have the best trumpet available today though, buy one of these.

Friday, October 20, 2017


Enregistrement des cuivres de l'Album des Dood
Photo  by Christophe ALARY 
Are you a brass player that has heard an album or a live performance by one of the giants of our instrument and been totally amazed at how they possess a complete command of the instrument?

Such giants as Maynard Ferguson, Wayne Bergeron, Bill Watrous, Slide Hampton?  It's not that these individuals were born with great skills and never had to practice, yet more over, they were driven by the desire to play.  Along with that desire comes support.  Support from family, friends, peers, and authority figures such as band directors.

What is essential for all beginning players young and old is a strong support system.  Family, friends and teachers must all rally around the student to help them believe in themselves and in what they're doing!  Statements such as... ya, ya, that's good but can you do that somewhere else is not exactly a supportive frame of mind.

If you could go back in time and interview the greatest players, you would find that they were strongly supported by family and cohorts.  Maynard Ferguson is a prime example of this!  His parents were both school principals in Montreal Quebec Canada, and as he and his brother Percy were growing up, they were strongly supported in everything they did.  Whether it was sports or music, they were rallying to their kids support.

As Maynard grew into his early teen years and showed a knack for trumpet playing, his parents nourished this talent by not only buying him the recordings, but taking him to the performances that came through.  From Duke Ellington to Dizzy Gillespie, they were there.

The next thing a young player needs is the right tools.  Teachers who don't really know what they're teaching can be a serious detriment to a young player and his growth.  The right approach and the right books as well as specific instruction on how to perform each exercise is vital!

If you are a player who did not exactly experience either of the above, it's not too late.  Trumpet players are most likely looking for that Maynard type range and power.  The high notes that make the audience just sit back in total amazement and wonder - does that hurt?  Is that some freak trick?

High notes are nothing more than just really fast air being forced through a very small hole.  NOT large volumes of air, but rather extremely compressed air moving rapidly through a small hole between your lips.

Sounds easy, doesn't it?  It is once you gain the right concept.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

TRUMPET, Trumpeter & Warm Up Woes

Are you one of those trumpet players that pulls the horn out of the case, jams the mouthpiece in and just starts playing?  Or are you a trumpeter that carefully plots out the next hour or more for a warm-up routine that requires you to perform something of a circus act musically?

Most players who have been in private trumpet lessons have had an instructor sketch out a warm-up routine for them.  My question is - do you know why you're doing what you're doing?  What is your warm-up supposed to do for you?  It's certainly not supposed to make your lip swell up like a balloon or feel stiff as a board by the time you're done.  In fact, your warm-up routine should help you to relax, breathe deep naturally, and help to center your pitch, sound, control, and ability to play in all registers easily and comfortably.

If you're not already doing so, you should think about what your playing needs and goals are for that day.  It should also be taken into consideration as to what yesterday was like.  Was it strenuous?  Was it light?  Did you play at all?  This all can impact how long it will take you to warm up and what you should be doing for a warm up.  Something again that most players don't consider.

Below is a routine that I use during a typical warm up... most days I play for 4 or more hours and usually push pretty hard... so my warm-up starts VERY easy.

*  I start with long tones very soft... usually starting on a 2nd line G - how long depends on how my face is responding to the horn.  Usually I play this note on / off for about 3 to 4 minutes.  I focus on my breathing during this process to help get my air moving.
*  Once I have the note responding without airing out or sputtering, I will perform Clarke Studies #1... chromatic scale patterns (7 notes up / down).  Again, performing these softly to help relieve tension and not cause any swelling.  This is also performed on / off to allow ample rest during this warm up process.
*  Once I've completed exercise #1 from the Clarke book, I will either play exercise #2 or I will start running jazz patterns that don't take me any higher than a G on top of the staff.  Again, resting every now and again...
*  After resting from my last phase, I will run exercise #9 out of the Clarke book... this is extended chromatic studies.  Once again, I focus on keeping my volume down so I don't add tension to my lips, and I can use my air to reach the upper register notes.  Most players run into big trouble here because they start using lip tension vs. holding the lips close together and pushing the air speed.
Please note that I am allowing for rest in my warm up - just as much as I'm playing.  This is VITAL!  If a trumpeter does not allow for rest during their warm up process, strain and tension can start to hinder their playing.  This causes frustration, which creates a vicious circle.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017


English: Head and shoulders portrait of jazz m...
Head and shoulders portrait of jazz musician Louis Armstrong.
(Photo credit: 
For the last 15 years, I have been living in Lausanne, Switzerland, where the International Olympic Committee has its HQ, and where the writer (most famously for A Many-Splendoured Thing) and controversial "provocative" Han Suyin lived before she passed away on 2 November this year, among other things. It is also where the world-famous business school IMD is located where I have been working. I love this world, and when one is in love with the world Lausanne is not a bad place to be.

It is by the lake LĂ©man, surrounded by snow-capped mountains, with most of the time blue skies, no pollution, and riotous colors of nature in the city as well as around. My flat is about 15 minutes' walk to IMD. I am often away and travel perhaps 75% of my time. But when I am here, I invariably walk to work and in so doing pass by gardens, hear birds, see squirrels, sometimes, if it's especially early, a fox or two, all depending on the season of course, but always splendid. I get to my office and hum Louis Armstrong's What a Wonderful World!

As far as I can remember, I have always loved the world. But not just the flowers, lakes, trees and hills, nor just the birds, squirrels, and deer, but also the men and the women - or at least many of them, the tremendous variety of languages, cultures, histories, literature, painting, music, topographies, architecture, food and drink, and so on. Of course, there is a lot of evil in this world, there is misery, which needs to be combated; there are lots of jerks; but in aggregate, what a wonderful world indeed.

Danger to the wonderful world
But the world is in grave danger of losing its splendor, its identity, and its diversity. On the last, diversity, I refer not only to biodiversity, but also to cultural diversity and indeed cultural identity. The world has never been so interconnected and so open. Yet, as an educator, I am constantly struck by how little people actually know or learn about not only other countries but often even their own!
An illustration: A few days ago I took a flight from Dhaka to Istanbul. 

Just before departure an announcement came on that the audio/visual system was not functioning, hence there would be no "entertainment". The business class was full. With very, very few exceptions (I was one), the passengers, when not sleeping, spent the nine hours flight staring into emptiness. They had no books with them, nothing to read, nothing from which to learn, nothing to challenge their minds. They are traveling physically, but not intellectually.

In his brilliant book Collapse, author Jared Diamond has shown how societies can commit ecocide and indeed have committed ecocide. That is a major threat this wonderful world faces. Another major threat is the destruction of civilization due to excessive materialism and absence of curiosity.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

TRUMPET CARE - The Care and Feeding of a Trumpet

English: Trumpet in C, german model by Bernhar...
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
As a band director, I've come to realize that most trumpet players don't clean their instruments often enough. I've actually seen trumpets that were almost totally clogged with crud. That is the "technical term" for the greenish, grayish, brownish sludge that forms inside an instrument over time. If it's been awhile since you cleaned your trumpet, prepare yourself for what will come out of it, but your trumpet will play better after it's clean.

Trumpets are fairly simple things. They are basically just 4 1/2 feet of brass tubing with valves and slides. It's the careful manufacturing and hand work that make it into a trumpet that plays well. A well-cared-for trumpet of good quality will last minimally 10-20 years with a lot of playing. A trumpet cared for poorly will be trash in a short time.

Although this article makes it sound like cleaning a trumpet is a long and involved process, once you have done it a couple times, it will only take you 15-20 minutes to complete, and it will make your instrument last much longer.

Unlike woodwind instruments (flutes, clarinets, saxophones, etc.), trumpets can be given baths to clean them. In fact, it's the only good way to truly clean them. You could take them to a music repair shop for an "acid bath", but that's really not necessary if given baths once a month or so. Once you get the accumulation of minerals in the horn, it will take an acid bath to remove them, but if you give the horn a bath often, your trumpet usually won't get mineral deposits.

You'll need a flexible cleaning brush or a cleaning snake, a valve casing brush, and a mouthpiece brush. You'll also need silver polish or a silver polishing cloth if it's silver plated, valve oil, and slide grease. I have always used liquid dishwashing soap in lukewarm water to clean my trumpets, but some manufacturers don't recommend the soap. Check with your product information or your manufacturer's website to make sure before you use it.

You'll also need a high-quality valve oil and slide grease if you want to make your trumpet last. Just like a car, the valves of a trumpet need a film of oil on them to work well. I've become sort of fanatical about how my trumpet valves work. I've tried just about every available brand of oil on the market, and I've decided that synthetic oils are the only oils to use. They last longer, and they minimize wear on the valves.

You also need a heavy grease for the main tuning slide and second valve slide. If you don't grease these slides, they will wear, and you'll start to see your slide moving when you least expect it throwing you out of tune...usually at the most inopportune times. They can also stick badly enough that it requires a trip to the repair shop to pull them. If you use a heavy grease, it will last until your next cleaning.

First, fill a bathtub with enough lukewarm water to cover the instrument. Hot water can damage the finish, so it's best avoided. Disassemble all of the instrument, but don't remove the water keys (spit valves), remove any triggers if so equipped, or disassemble the valves. If you have a trigger on the first or third valve slides, you'll need to remove the screw that holds the slide on, but don't remove any of the other parts of the trigger. Trust me, you don't want to try to put a trigger or water key spring back on without the necessary tool.

After it's disassembled, place all of the parts except the valves into the lukewarm water, and let them soak for a few minutes. After the soaking, run the snake through all of the tubings. Don't force it through any of the tight bends. Just go as far as you can. Then scrub the inside of the valve casings with the valve casing brush. After that, run clean water through all the tubing until the water runs clear.

Next, using a soft cloth clean between all the outer tubing to remove any dirt or tarnish. You might need to use silver polish to remove the tarnish on a silver trumpet. Never use silver or brass polish on the outside of a lacquered or "brass" looking trumpet. There is a clear lacquer protecting the finish, and polish can remove it. Next, clean the inside of the bottom valve caps with a paper towel. A lot of the crud settles in these caps.

After all, the tubing on the horn is clean, and the outer surface of the trumpet is clean, it's time to pay attention to the valves. I use one end of the cleaning snake to clean the ports of the valves and rinse them off with soap and water. Be careful inside the ports, You don't want to damage the metal with the end of the brush.

After all that, it's time to reassemble the horn, oil the valves and 1st and 3rd valve slides, and grease the main tuning slide and second valve slide. No, grease does not belong on the third valve slide. it will move too slowly. Oil is all you need. I know that seems like a long process, but it actually takes longer to type it than to do it, and your horn will last longer and play better afterward.

    By Harry Richardson
    Harry Richardson has been a band director for 14 years with college degrees in trumpet performance and music education. For more information on selecting and purchasing trumpets and accessories, please visit

    Article Source: EzineArticles

Thursday, August 3, 2017

How to Play the TRUMPET - 6 Tips For Playing Like a Pro!

The trumpet is a magnificent instrument which produces a beautiful tone. It's versatile and can be played in many different types of bands, including orchestras, pop bands, and big bands.

However, mastering how to play the trumpet is a long process requiring immense dedication and passion, but having played the trumpet for over twenty years, I think it's well worth it!

So, to help you out here are six top tips for propelling your trumpet playing and to help you learn how to play the trumpet like a pro...

Photo  by   oddsock 
1. Warm up by buzzing just with your lips and then with your mouthpiece. This really helps build strength without causing lip fatigue which can happen if you just practice on your trumpet.

Do the following just with your lips and just with your mouthpiece:

- Buzz a note for a count of four, and then continue up the scale one tone at a time. You can vary this with different exercises you know or by buzzing louder of softer.

2. Rest for as long you play. This is so simple but players rarely do it. This helps your lip muscles recuperate quicker and means you can play for longer without getting tired.

I would recommend regular mini breaks rather than playing for 10 minutes and resting for 10 minutes. Practice an exercise or a part of your music and rest for as long as you played. While resting you can practice finger patterns on the valves or just stretch out your lips.

3. Practice with a metronome. Again, this is a very simple idea that is rarely adhered to.

Most music you play will require you to play in time and doing this really helps you to regulate your internal metronome. It also helps when practicing exercises or difficult musical passages as you can gradually build up the speed you play them at by increasing the speed of the metronome.

4. Practice your pedal notes. Pedal notes, for the purpose of this exercise, are all the notes below middle C. By playing the low register you build strength and range with less pressure on your lips. This means you can play for longer.

When you play the notes below bottom G you will need to create the notes using your lips and the fingering you would use for the octave above. This is great for improving tone and intonation.

5. Play without taking the trumpet off your lips. This is a fantastic way to build strength and endurance as well as learning how to control your breathing.

To do this, find an exercise that you can play continuously without stopping. Continue playing for 5mins non-stop, then 10minutes then for as long as you can at the end of every other practice session.

When you're gigging, especially in Big Bands, you can be playing for anything up to 2 hours with few breaks so this is a fantastic way to practice for these gigs and build your chops!

6. Plan your practice session. This will make a huge difference in the effectiveness of your practice while learning how to play the trumpet.

First, make a list of every element of playing the trumpet, eg tonguing, breathing, and tone, then before each practice session, list what you will practice during your session. This will always ensure that you regularly practice all the different elements, it will keep you focused and make the most efficient use of your time while practicing.

That's it, obviously, there are many more skills to learning how to play the trumpet but these have made a huge improvement to my playing and I hope they do for you too!

It takes some discipline to integrate these ideas into your practice regime but do it for a month and it will become a great habit that will feel like you've always practiced this way!

    Ingram Sanders is an experienced trumpeter who has played for over 20 years.

     Article Directory: EzineArticles