Trumpets 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.

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.

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!

Mouthpieces and how to choose, “Lead Mouthpiece Edition”

lead-mouthpieces

When I was in high school and it came my turn to play lead trumpet in jazz band, I was like most high school students and began searching for a way to improve range and endurance. We all want to nail those high notes at the end of the show or the concert! How can we achieve this? Most students at that point get on the internet or go to a store and ask about mouthpieces to help them play higher. Enter the Bobby Shew Lead mouthpiece or the Schilke 14A4a. Too often have I seen students purchase these mouthpieces and after a couple weeks tell me that they aren’t working for them anymore and then ask me, “why not?” There are a number of reasons.

We’re Hiring – Trumpet Specialist at Paige’s Music

Our great friend and trumpet specialist, Ross Werner, is moving on to a new career in the music industry. Over the past year, Ross has done a great service for the central Indiana trumpet community and we wish him well in his new adventure!

In saying that, we are looking to hire someone to continue Ross’ hard work in growing our business in trumpet related activities. Check out our job listing for more info and feel free to reach out to me directly with any inquiries.

I look forward to hearing from you soon!

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?

Graduate To Yamaha 2019

Graduation typically means ordering an over-priced cap and gown, long ceremonies with longer speeches, open house celebrations, and more pictures than you may ever want to take. Thankfully musicians can enjoy a more pertinent graduation in the form of the Graduate to Yamaha promotion!