Trumpet Specialist Posts

How To Keep Your Trumpet Clean

To further clean your instrument remove all valves, slides and caps from the trumpet. You may submerge the trumpet in warm water (should be noticeably warm but not scalding hot) with mild dish soap such as dawn. Let the instrument sit for five minutes and then use your valve casing brush and snake brush to remove excess dirt and debris from the trumpet. Absolutely DO NOT force the brushes into smaller spaces such as the valve ports or the ends of smaller tuning slides. The crook ends of the 1st and third valve tuning slides can be cleaned by running water through them.

Once all easily accessible areas of the trumpet have been scrubbed thoroughly rinse the trumpet in warm clean water and let air dry. Once the trumpet is dry you may then apply your necessary lubricants to moving parts and reassemble. Stay safe!

The Case Against Beginner Buzzing

To start with, this is not an anti-buzzing campaign. Over my years of working with students whether it be privately, in group settings, or even observing other teachers working with them I have come to a conclusion: I think having your beginning trumpet players mouthpiece buzz is harmful to their development. Here’s why.

What’s Your Favorite Orchestral or Concert Band “Cover”?

One thing I love about music that is performed by orchestral or concert band musicians is that we get many different interpretations and sounds from them. There are so many different recordings that are great and while people usually have a favorite recording, it’s not quite the same as popular music where Stairway to Heaven is usually best done by Led Zeppelin or wanting to hear Lizzo perform her own material. This week I wanted to share some “classical” music, and the recordings that I personally enjoy and even strive to emulate.

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.

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.