Brass Posts

Mute Madness!

Happy Thursday, everyone. Today’s topic is one of my favorite to talk about: Mutes. As stated by Philip Smith, former principal trumpet of the New York Philharmonic 1978-2014, “A trumpet player can never have enough mutes of varying types, shapes, sizes, and materials”. With that being said, as trumpet players (and other brass players who may be reading) we are often asked to use a device called a mute while playing certain music. This does not always mean making our sound softer per se, but changing our timbre. Today we’ll talk about the most common mute we are asked to use: the straight mute.

My Top Three Christmas Albums with Trombones

With the holiday season upon us, I’d like to give you some listening suggestions for some incredible Christmas music that heavily features trombones.

Duke Ellington’s Nutcracker Suite

On this timeless classic, Duke Ellington took favorites from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker ballet and adapted them for jazz orchestra. This is album is one of the all-time great jazz records that shows Ellington’s genius in transforming music that we’ve all heard time and time again into something both familiar and completely unique.

Mouthpieces and how to choose, “Unpopular Opinion Edition”

Raise your hand if you’ve had a band teacher or private instructor tell you that you needed to go from your 7C to a 5C, then to a 3C, then to a 1-1/2C and so on and so forth. Ok, now that we’ve all put our hands up, let’s get down to my unpopular opinion: There is no set progression for mouthpieces. They are not like shoes where you start with a size 5 and eventually get up to a size 12.

As discussed earlier on October 3rd, 2019; we talked about some factors that help us choose mouthpieces. Today we will briefly discuss a couple of those and other things to think about when testing mouthpieces.

What Books Should I Get For Lessons?

When I meet with a new student for the first time we always discuss what books they need to have for their lessons. Here are five method/etude books that are essential for good foundations to unlocking your full musical potential through the trumpet.

  • Complete Conservatory Method by Jean Baptist Arban

Widely considered by many to be “The Trumpet Bible”, this is usually the first book suggested by private instructors if you are serious about studying trumpet due to the amount of material that is covered. Any technical aspect of trumpet playing that you will need to succeed will be in this book including nice songs, wicked characteristic studies, and classic cornet solos such as Fantasia Brilliante, Norma Variations, and Carnival of Venice.

  • Technical Studies by Herbert L. Clarke

Mr. Clarke presents exercises that combine several fields and can be utilized for many things. The infamous second study can be played in several tonalities, or you can begin working on playing softer while going higher. The final etude from the fifth study is very challenging as well.

Interested in Studying Music? A Guide To Finding Your Path

Ball State University Jazz Combo

You’ve made the choice: you love music and want to pursue a career in the music industry! Great! So now what? At this point you need to determine which University, music program, and major are right for you. There are more music degrees than just performance or music education. Other music degrees include: Music production or recording technology, music therapy, music business, arts administration, music history, and music theory/composition. Some universities collaborate with local businesses to help offer a degree in popular music theory, analysis and composition. When researching your potential future, you have several resources at your disposal to find out information and some of the work can even be done at home with your parent/guardian.

Recital Reflections: Claiming small victories over performance anxiety

I have never liked recitals. Or auditions. Even playing my solo for Solo & Ensemble. I have always been more comfortable performing when there was at least one other person on stage with me. Some people will tell you if you get nervous it means that you aren’t prepared enough but I think that statement is not entirely accurate.

Conn-Selmer Artist Select trombones now at Paige’s Music

On September 23, 2019 Paige’s Music participated in the Conn-Selmer Artist Select program. This program allows professionals to hand select and play test each instrument from the factory to ensure that only the finest instruments are available to customers. K. Blake Schlabach and Tucker Woerner carefully play tested dozens of instruments, and we are happy to say that our top five selections are now available at Paige’s Music.

Repair Shop Tales – From Trash To Treasure

Every once in a while, we get in repairs that we just have to share.  For our latest installment, we recently had a cornet brought in that was literally found on a trash pile.  One of our highly skilled brass technicians, Sam Richards, performed his magic on this instrument and brought it back to its original beauty.  Here is the customer’s review after receiving the instrument back…

 

Look at this beauty.  It is an E. A. Couturier, made in 1918.  It is a Bb and an A cornet.  It has a turn key on the right side when rotated changes it from the Bb to the A.  It was given to me about 4 years ago by a friend that retrieved it from the trash pile.  He said he didn’t know if it was any good.  I could play it some but it needed work to play correctly.  Thank you to Mr Kevin Cottrell from the Seymour High School for suggesting sending it to Paige’s Music.  They had it only a week and I got it back today.  They did an AWESOME job bringing this old cornet back to life.  I am extremely happy with the service and thrilled to have this beautiful antique sounding as it did 101 years ago.

 

Below are a couple of pictures of the finished product the customer posted on social media.  We’re always up to a challenge here at Paige’s Music Repair, and in many circumstances are able to bring an instrument back to top playing condition, regardless of how badly it may have been damaged.  So no matter how big or how small, you can always trust the pros at Paige’s Music Repair to deliver high quality repairs at a competitive price!