Welcome to Blackwell’s Trumpet Basics!


After cutting through the insane and treacherous jungle of online trumpet resources you have finally stumbled upon that magical place which contains the reassuring, simple and effective advice on learning to play the trumpet that you crave!

It’s called BTB and you’re just going to love it here.

This is where you’ll discover real-life, practical information that is easy to understand, systematic, and laid-back.

It’s even super-positive!

Because learning to play the trumpet can really suck!

“After all this time playing this evil, twisted thing I wish I had never started. I’d be so good at ANYTHING ELSE by now!”

But don’t fret, dear friend!

We’re going to figure out what works, what doesn’t and have a little fun along the way.

Here’s what you’ll find:

The “Free” section of BTB contains e-mail series and video lessons that you can put into practice immediately. Some go right to your inbox and others require a free login because that’s how this home-grown, janky-ass website works.

These materials are constantly updated (constantly!), so be sure to check back from time to time (or better yet, keep reading to see how you can take that magical step toward your future life of trumpet excellence).

The “Blog” is, you guessed it, a blog! What started as somewhat academic (ie: BORING) has since devolved into a real-life account of one trumpet player’s life of trial and error. And there are A LOT of errors in there!

Here’s what the last 30-some-odd years have looked like:

Error-Error-Error-Error-HOLY SH*T I GOT LUCKY!-Error-Error….

The “Downloads and Courses” page contains BTB’s Premium materials. These are the cream of the crop trumpet educational resources available on the market today. They cost money, so if you’re not yet sure you want to spend money, that’s cool. Each premium download/course has a free, introductory preview as to what’s inside.

How’s that for reassurance!

Now before you get too excited and start clicking away at the BTB home menu, I’d like to present you with this extraordinary opportunity.

Are you ready?

It’s signing up for BTB’s e-mail list!

As if the prospects of that weren’t exciting enough, let’s take a look at what you’ll get.

Notifications of New Content!

Bet you didn’t guess that, huh?

But here’s where it gets super exiting…

BTB doesn’t even e-mail that much! So you can be rest-assured you won’t need to hit that annoying “unsubscribe” button anytime soon.

That being said…

Unsubscribe Easily!

Let’s be real. Sometimes e-mails are annoying. Even if they come at an average frequency of one per month or less and are filled to the brim with super-awesome, free trumpet shit. Because of that, rogue status is just a click away.

BTB has your back!

No BS!

That’s right. BTB has a strict “No BS” policy. That means no 3rd party BS. No sharing your information BS. No unsolicited offers BS. And definitely no BS trumpet-advice BS.

Just good old-fashioned fun, free education aaaannnd…

Sweet Subscriber-Only Deals!

Each time a new course comes out – there are discounts for you, the BTB e-mail subscriber.

Get on the inside and let everybody else pay full price.

Now before you take the next step on your journey of trumpet badassery, ask yourself, “Am I ready for the most awesome adventure of a lifetime? Do I want to have so much fun playing the trumpet I can barely stand it?” Will I stop cramming the mouthpiece into my face!? Am I tired of a life of mediocrity and shame!?!? Can I do better??? WILL I DO BETTER?!?!?!?”

Yes you will.


Who Am I?

My name is James Blackwell and I am a trumpet player.

(Hi, James).

Learning to remain somewhat sane while undertaking this radical hobby/career/life-path has taught me a lot about being a musician and BTB is where I share the results.

I graduated with degrees in Jazz Studies from The University of North Texas (while playing lead trumpet in the One O’Clock Lab Band), and the University of Southern California (while playing lead trumpet in the Thornton Jazz Orchestra under the direction of Bob Mintzer).

Since then, my cochamamie practice schemes have been put to the test playing lead or split-lead trumpet in Bill Holman’s Big Band, The Brian Setzer Orchestra, Bob Mintzer’s Big Band, John Daversa’s Progressive Big Band, Tom Kubis’ Big Band, The Mike Barone Big Band, The Clare Fischer Big Band, and one whole gig with Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band.

I love jazz.

I’m also analytical like a mutha-fucka and creating successful, sustainable plans that lead to the development of strong habits by understanding and working with personal psychology is, to me, somewhat like smoking crack-cocaine.

…In a good way.

Basically, if your range and endurance suck, you’re too busy to practice as much as you like, or you just don’t know what the hell to do in the practice room…

Welcome home.