The Ultimate Comeback Kit

The Ultimate Comeback Kit is a step-by-step, holistic guide for comeback trumpet players to creating an easy to use and systematic practice plan for re-learning the basics, improving old playing-habits, and do it all without wasting your time.

Here’s what’s inside:

If you want to stay on track with your comeback, especially in the face life’s other commitments, it’s vital to log specific, measurable metrics related to your practice. That’s why the Ultimate Comeback Kit begins by setting up the basic system for organizing your practice.

Known as your Comeback Manual, this is where where you’ll track and design your Dailies (more on this later), keep checklists to make sure your Playing Mechanics are solid, and create your Practice Plan using an organized, easy to use system.

“…now that I have mine done [Comeback Manual] I think it will be vital to my comeback. The lack of a journal may be why I’ve failed with my comebacks in the past.”

“…I went to the journal and checked off the box in daily tracker and then remembered to go to the practice log and log it…writing it down made me want to do more so I immediately added (another exercise)…it was something relatively easy I loved to do but failed to do it with consistency.  Now it’s in the journal and part of my new daily.”

“I am happy to report that I’ve been keeping on track even with recent visitors. I think the journal is key to keeping on track, I love writing in it about what I am learning and practicing.”

With your Manual setup it’s time to jump right into playing. The Ultimate Comeback Kit is unique in the sense that you will learn not only what to practice, but also how to practice.

The Ultimate Comeback Kit introduces trumpet playing by first learning the Primary Practice Space and Brainwashing Technique. These techniques, when combined, create an effective method of learning pretty much anything on the trumpet. The concepts will get you out of your head, playing more intuitively and allow the body and mind to learn more quickly on a much deeper level.

The Primary Practice Space and Brainwashing Technique are then applied to every playing exercise covered in the Ultimate Comeback Kit. By the time you finish the course you will be absolutely confident in your knowledge and ability to tackle pretty much anything you’d like to learn to play.

The Primary (Practice) Space and Brainwashing are BRILLIANT!!!  Definitely something that I needed.

Perhaps my favorite part was your focus on the positive approach to playing. I’ve even found myself saying “some of my best trumpet playing yet.” It really helps in letting mistakes go so we can move forward in an uninhibited productive way.

I really enjoyed the brainwashing / and [Primary Practice Space] section. A large bit of being a ‘comeback’ trumpet player is addressing and overcoming the issues that made me (us) give up playing the trumpet in the first place. It served as a healthy reminder that I want to play the trumpet again because it’s fun!

After setting up your Manual and learning how to practice effectively, you will be carefully guided through the process of carving out the single most essential habit for making a successful comeback – starting a Daily.

You probably don’t need to be reminded that daily practice is fundamentally essential to making a successful comeback and improving your trumpet playing. Still many fail to do it. Why? Because they either don’t understand or respect their individual lives and learning style, or they overwhelm themselves by taking on too much.

In the Ultimate Comeback Kit you’ll learn the proven psychological tactics for defining a bare minimum and sticking to a daily game plan. These tactics are absolutely critical if you have a job, family, or are living an otherwise normal, busy life. Without the habit of consistent practice, even the best trumpet routines will get you nowhere.

Your Daily concept has been a revelation as I have attempted to maintain some semblance of a routine in the wake of kid #2.  I don’t always get as much practice time in as I would like but I don’t view a busy day as a lost cause as I can get my Daily in and feel like I am progressing.

It’s been a busy week, but I have been doing my “dailies” faithfully. I’m beginning to see the sneaky rationale behind this. I have found that since the horn is in my hand anyway, I may as well blow a little more! It’s also very satisfying to see how many days (everyday!) I have actually played the past week. I get the feeling that this is only the beginning, [and] it’s a good way to start. I’m chomping at the bit for more!

I also like the concept of the Daily. Mostly the idea of keeping it simple and not stressing about what to do, just doing SOMETHING. I don’t have 2 hours to go through my lesson plan in Systematic Approach, Clarke, Irons, etc., so I am banking on my Daily to get me through this dark time.

Once you’re on track with your Daily, you’ll then move through the Five-Point Playing Mechanics Checklist. This checklist examines your embouchure, tongue, mouthpiece pressure, breathing and posture habits and sets you up in a way that guarantees your practicing actually works. No more ironing in bad habits.

The Five-Point Mechanics Checklist also covers the top two mechanical mistakes that hold back range and endurance. You’ll also find practical, easily implemented solutions for fixing those issues immediately without getting overwhelmed.

… I love it [the Mechanics Checklist]. It was exactly what I was hoping for in terms of thinking about these little things that I was taught years ago but have forgotten. And the mechanics fit perfectly into whatever I happen to be practicing.

 I’ve been using the mechanics and the more general points about improving the consistency at the heart of how I’ve been practicing and seeing great results. Key bit for me is the constant reminder of getting the simple things right.

I watched the Mechanics videos last night and they were great.  I needed to hear all of it.  I had only got bits and pieces of that info from past lessons.  Very nice to do it all together in the context of the primary practice space/brainwash.

Once your mechanics are solid, you’ll then put together a simple, and progressive Practice Rotation that covers the fundamentals of trumpet playing in a comprehensive, yet easy and manageable way. Together, your Daily and Practice Rotation make up the bulk of your Practice Plan. Once you’ve defined a personalized practice plan that you can move through at your own pace, you’re not just “winging” it anymore, and are well ahead of the game.

By the end of the Ultimate Comeback Kit you’ll have a well-structured, doable routine, as well as a solid grasp of what it takes and how to practice in a way that develops good playing habits, opens up your sound, range, endurance and keeps making trumpet playing easier as you go.

I like the holistic approach to managing a comeback.  As someone who is in the midst of their 3rd comeback in fewer than 10 years, your consistent reinforcement of the framework (not method) is really valuable and an important key to the comebacker’s approach, IMO.

Your systematic approach has gotten me results with range and endurance within a shorter time than the whole year I spent on my own. I think the videos serve to really help comeback players get on track without wasting time or energy.

I like your approach to learning the trumpet, seems more holistic and natural and involving all resources. It really feels like the right approach for me to continue making progress.  I also like that you offer great tips that I can implement right away and it’s not overwhelming.

Just wanted to let you know that yesterday’s rehearsal went great!  With the new focus on upright posture, unrestricted breathing, [Primary Practice Space] and the accumulation of dailies, I think I played pretty damn good and hit everything including all 6 “Missed the Saturday dance” phrases…things are happenin’!!!


As a bonus, you’ll receive my current practice routine, as well as some more of my favorite practice exercises to add into your own practice plan. These are the exercises that have been whittled down to over the past ten years of serious trial and error. They are so simple and effective that you’ll never think twice about trying another overly-fancy, overly-complicated routine again.

Since the key to making a successful comeback is not only making a plan, but doing it, you’ll also receive six e-mail check-ins throughout the first year of your comeback to make sure you are staying on track and moving past potential roadblocks.

Who Am I?

My name is James Blackwell and I’ve been playing the trumpet regularly for as long as I can remember. Learning to play and remain somewhat sane undertaking this treacherous life-path has taught me a lot about improving as a trumpet player and cultivated a passion for sharing those insights here at BTB.

For the past 17 years my practice plans have been put to the test playing jazz-lead trumpet in the bands Bill Holman, Brian Setzer, Bob Mintzer, John Daversa, Tom Kubis, Mike Barone, Clare Fischer and as a student the North Texas One O’clock Lab Band. I also stay busy as a free-lance trumpet player and went through an embouchure change about seven years ago. This taught me TONS about what it takes toget better – especially with limits on time and chops.

I’m also very analytical. Not only about what it takes to play the trumpet, but also the psychology behind creating successful, sustainable plans that lead to developing strong habits and learning new skills. And all the while being a regular person balancing a life and career.

After starting BTB in 2012 and inadvertently hitting on a few hot “SEO” keywords, trumpet players started trickling in. As I got to know some of you, what I kept hearing over and over again was, “I’m one of those comeback players…trying to do it right this time…don’t want to beat myself up for waiting so longbusy with a job…etc.”

What I began to understand from getting to know more comeback players over time is that the underlying source of pain and anxiety was coming from and inability to stick with a consistent plan and see positive results to their trumpet playing.

I feel that part of the comeback players’ struggle, and even though I have been playing regularly for most of my life, I have tried and failed so much it’s mind-boggling. I wasted a lot of time and energy because I did not understand what it took to improve, and I was making myself more and more anxious by overwhelming myself with a mountain of arbitrary practice.

What I’ve learned is that it’s not about knowing the best things or practicing the best routines, so much as it is about making a simple plan that you can and will do. I am fervently passionate about creating sustainable plans and systems (nerd alert) and want to help you do the same.

The Ultimate Comeback Kit is Born!

The first “BETA” draft of the Ultimate Comeback Kit was a series of about 12 rough video lessons. These lessons were viewed by real-life comeback trumpet players and then edited to better address their needs. The parts of the lessons that were the most popular were pumped up, and those sections that didn’t resonate with comeback players were cut.

The final version of this course includes not only updated video lessons, but also clear, concise text components to every lesson to make absolutely certain the lessons are easy to follow. Each lesson is rudimentary, and includes the exact steps needed to put the ideas into practice immediately.

Speaking of putting the lessons into practice, along with The Ultimate Comeback Kit you also receive e-mail check-ins at the 1-week, 4-week, 3 month, 6 month, 8 month, and one year mark. These reminders are not only meant to help keep you on track, they are also designed to anticipate common roadblocks you may hit at critical times in your development.

If you are serious about getting back into trumpet playing, and doing it right, I’m confident you’ll love The Ultimate Comeback Kit. Even if trumpet playing is your side-hustle, especially it’s your side hustle, you just need to move through the lessons as outlined, at your own pace, and you will love the sweet progress you make with your playing.

While you will notice definite improvement within three weeks of practicing, to make permanent, lasting changes to your playing it will take time. That’s why you have one full year to try The Ultimate Comeback Kit RISK-FREE. If at any time during one year of purchasing The Ultimate Comeback Kit you want your money back, it’s yours, no questions asked.

My belief is that you do not need to be a prodigy, have formal training or be a musical genius to make steady progress as a player. You just need a plan. The Ultimate Comeback Kit gives you the tools to create your plan.

The Ultimate Comeback Kit is currently closed. If you’d like to be notified when it opens again, sign-up here.