Making and Breaking Trumpet Habits (Video)

hornporn

I recently finished reading Jeremy Dean’s, “Making Habits, Breaking Habits: Why We Do Things, Why We Don’t, and How to Make Any Change Stick,” and there is so much good info in this book that can be easily applied to trumpet playing that I had to share. Here’s a comedic video review of some of the more practically applicable concepts from the book (and yes, I feel it’s necessary to divulge that this is an attempt at comedy). Enjoy! Continue reading

How to Reduce Excess Mouthpiece Pressure (Video)

Reduce_trumpet_mouthpiece_pressure_james_blackwell_trumpet

Here’s a quick video (roughly 7 min) with a few thoughts on how we can alleviate excessive mouthpiece pressure while playing the trumpet. We all occasionally find ourselves using a detrimental (but at the time perhaps necessary) amount of mouthpiece pressure. This can be caused by improper development, habitual subconscious techniques, tired chops, or just playing too damn high and loud. This video is meant to help you alleviate some of that additional mouthpiece pressure by way of adjusting your practice habits so that you can learn to play in a more comfortable manner, more often. Dig it! Continue reading

Jen’s Lindemann Interviews Chris Martin!

9/17/08 -- Portraits of Chicago Symphony Orchestra's Chris Martin for Yamaha Co. Photographed at Symphony Center in Chicago, IL. © Todd Rosenberg Photography 2008

Here is an excellent interview with the great Chris Martin, by the great Jens Lindemann. I know this site is mostly jazz/lead trumpet related, but this is too good not to share. For those of you who may not know, Chris was (is?) the principal trumpet player for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and recently accepted the position of principal trumpet for the New York Philharmonic. He’s an awesome player with lot’s of great sh*t to say. Enjoy!

READ FULL ARTICLE HERE ON JENS’ PAGE!!!

Gettin’ My Jazz On with Rogers and Hart’s “Falling in Love with Love”

btb singing

For those of you who know me, you probably know me as a lead trumpet player.

However, learning to improvise in a jazz style is something that’s becoming increasingly more important to me as a musician. Here’s a video me practicing along with Carmen Mcrea’s rendition of Rogers and Hart’s, “Falling in Love with Love.”  Nothing too fancy, just a fair take on where I’m currently at with my jazz playing. Continue reading

Arnie Chycoski Lead Trumpet “The Waltz I Blew for You” (Video and Playing Analysis)

waltz

Last night after everyone had gone to bed, I was laying on the couch listening to jazz. After checking out the normal stuff I dig these days, I got a little bored and asked myself, “what do I really want to listen to?”

Two tunes instantly popped into my head, and the second of which I was able to find online using my phone, so I went with that.

It was Rob McConnell’s recording of “The Waltz I Blew for You,” from the 1980 album “Present Perfect.” Now, if you don’t know about this record, check it out. It’s awesome. This particular chart is fantastic with great solos by Eugene Amaro on flute, Sam Noto on trumpet, and of course, our man Arnie Chykoski is playing his *ss off on lead trumpet. I had this side on LP in college, and listened to it until it melted. Continue reading

Trumpet Foundations: Video Lessons for Beginning Trumpet Players is Live!!!

Hey Everyone,

I’m excited to announce that “Trumpet Foundations,” a free video course for beginning trumpet players is up and running!

The idea behind “Trumpet Foundations” is to set beginning students on a positive path to grow as trumpet players. I know many of you have been playing for awhile, but if you’d like a refresher on the basics, or if you have any students/educator friends that you think would like to check it out, please pass it along. I hope the lessons will be very useful to lot’s and lot’s of beginning trumpet players for a long time to come.

The course requires a membership (it’s free), so after clicking the link, you will need to create a username and password to login.

Check it out here – TRUMPET FOUNDATIONS or just click the link on the menu above.

Hope all is well!

PS – Thanks for bearing with the technical difficulties the last few days. The plugin I’m using is new for me and there are some bugs to work out on my end.

Making Progress: The Easy Way

Check out BTB’s new, free lesson series – Making Progress: The Easy Way

In this five-part series you’ll learn:

  1. A method of practice that virtually guarantees your “time on the face” makes playing easier.
  2. How to make sure your practice time is best leveraged toward achieving your goals.
  3. How to find the time to improve – even when you’re busy.
  4. A simple and powerful strategy for listening that ensures you sound like the “real deal.”
  5. A discussion on better understanding the learning process, and how long it will take for you to notice results.

If you are interested in making your practice a little more interesting, and productive Continue reading

How to Play More Confidently on Gigs / Dealing with Nerves

Many of us are familiar with the feeling of getting nervous both during, and before an upcoming performance. This can start as soon as we get the call, and what would otherwise be a very good thing, becomes a source of agony.

Long before the show begins, we start getting self-conscious as to how we’ll sound. When we start playing, our hands get all sweaty, and our heart starts pumping. Maybe we crack a note right off the bat. Then another a few bars later. Soon we’re freaking out. Excess tension grips the body, and in an ill-fated attempt to compensate, we start pushing. Of course, this doesn’t work for long, and soon we’ve completely run out of gas…with half a show to go.

We’ve all been there, and it blows.

However, it doesn’t have to be this way. So let’s learn how to let some of that worrying go, better enjoy the moment, and play our butts off. Continue reading

The “Ins and Outs” of Breathing for Trumpet Playing

breathing for trumpet playing

Breathing for Trumpet Playing

Since the trumpet is a wind instrument, and controlled by the breath, learning to breathe more efficiently will make trumpet playing easier, and help you sound better.

Now while all you have to do is breath in, and then breathe out (through the horn) to produce a tone, the quality of the breath does have a direct effect on your results. Continue reading