About B.T.B.

“My range and endurance SUCK! Can anyone help? Please help! I’ll give you whatever you want!”

“I’ve been playing with shitty habits for years. I mean seriously, 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!”

“I want to practice more but have too much (insert additional life BS here) going on. I mean, how am I ever going to make it through this mountain of method books?!?!”

“Why can’t I stop using so much #%$&*@^ mouthpiece pressure? Why?! TELL ME WHY?!?!”

Sound familiar?

If so, welcome to Blackwell’s Trumpet Basics! A place to reassure trumpet players: Everything is going to be OK.

I’m James Blackwell and BTB is where I share practical advice about trumpet playing learned from a lot of trial-and-error.

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James Blackwell lives in Los Angeles. He plays lead trumpet in the Brian Setzer Orchestra, and split-lead in Bill Holman’s Big Band, and the Clare Fischer Big Band. He has performed as the lead trumpet player with Bob Mintzer’s Big Band, the Bernie Dresel Big Band, Tom Kubis’ Big Band, John Daversa’s Contemporary Big Band, the Mike Barone Big Band, and one whole song with Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band. He’s also done other gigs, not that you care, and only mentions the former to give himself more street cred in the big band jazz community.

James studied jazz at both the University of North Texas and the University of Southern California. While at North Texas he performed in the North Texas One O’clock Lab Band for seven consecutive semesters, the last four as the lead trumpet player. At USC James played lead trumpet in the Thornton Jazz Orchestra under the direction of Bob Mintzer.

See what I mean? Street cred.


Contact James at JamesMBlackwell@Gmail.com for information on private lessons, trumpet questions, or just to say hi. He will reply.