Brass Posts

How to Ease back into Playing After Summer Break

I speak from experience when I say that playing after a long break is tough! If you haven’t picked your instrument up in a few weeks, it can be really difficult to play! Everything feels alien—your chops swell up, you get exhausted after a few notes, you lose your range, and etc. I get it, I get it—hanging out at the pool with your friends is more fun than playing concert F for 30 minutes a day. Here are a few tips to ease you back into playing after summer break:

The Legacy of Carl Fontana

July 18, 2019 would have marked Carl Fontana’s 91stbirthday. Fontana remains one the most influential, prolific, and recorded trombonists of all time. His legacy lives through his countless recordings with greats such as Woody Herman, Stan Kenton, Lionel Hampton, Benny Goodman, Paul Anka, Tony Bennett, and Sammy Davis Jr. Please listen to a few selections below and read more a more detailed biography below.

2019 International Trombone Festival Review

Each year the International Trombone Association(ITA) hosts the International Trombone Festival (ITF). Held in the summer, this week long festival offers youth workshops, professional development, concerts, masterclasses, and show space for dozens of the world’s top manufacturers of instruments and accessories. This year’s ITF was held on the campus of Ball State Universityin Muncie, IN. One of the ITF’s main objectives is to unite musicians from all parts of the world, but another goal is to showcase the amazing musicians on a more local scale.

Have You Heard with Jim Pugh

In the summer of 2012 I attended the Skidmore Jazz Institute in New York where I had the privilege of working with some of my biggest musical heroes. In addition to coaching and classes with greats like Pat LaBarbera and Todd Coolman I was also able to study privately with Curtis Fuller and Jim Pugh.

Ball State University Trombone Day II

On April 6th, 2018 Ball State University hosted Trombone Day II. This event was a full day of rehearsals, masterclasses, lectures, and performances that showcased all of the fine resources the school has to offer. Chris Van Hof, Assistant Professor of Music Performance (Trombone), led the event, and trombone legend, Jim Pugh, was the featured artist of the day.

Mouthpiece Clocking: Voodoo Magic or Real Science?

As a brass player, there are naturally good days and bad days. Days where the instrument sings effortlessly, and days where you want nothing more than to touchdown spike your instrument into the pavement. What if I said that this issue could partially be within your control without changing the way you play?

Repair Shop Tales – Kids and a Kanstul Trumpet

Every once in a while, we get in repairs that we just have to share. We recently had a trumpet brought in that the customer thought was possibly “beyond repair”. But we assured them that our shop has performed many “miracles” in the past and they might be surprised what we can do. Here is their review after receiving the instrument back…

Tips On Buying A New Trombone

Finding your next instrument can be a daunting task if you don’t have a game plan. The market is filled with a plethora of options, and sometimes it can be difficult to see the forest through the trees.From my time at Paige’s Music and my experience as a player, I can provide my thought process, and hopefully it will help with your future instrument selection.

Start by playing on your instrument.

Always, always, always limit the variables. Bring your current instrument and mouthpiece as well as familiar music. Warm up on your instrument and take note of how it sounds in the space around you. You need to have a control for the experiment, and your current instrument will provide that. Take out uncertainties like unfamiliar music, unfamiliar mouthpieces, and etc.