Saturday, December 06, 2014
Think about this: The question is not about thinking but about sounding. A total focus on the beauty of the product will eliminate thousands of useless notes and extraneous noodling that nobody wants to hear.
A great performance is about great music-making. That priority should drive every practice session. Think not about how you are feeling, but what the audience will want to hear.
Thursday, November 20, 2014
Piccolo Trumpet Studies - 106 short etudes from easy to moderate difficulty, each with the purpose of gradually building control on the piccolo trumpet.
100 Trumpet Etudes - moderately difficult etudes, written to not be boring, great for sight-reading.
Trumpet 1, Studies in the Style of the Pops Orchestra Repertoire - 138 generic pops orchestra studies. Each is from moderate to challenging with an emphasis on style.
All books are $20. Sale price from now till 12/31/14: $18. each. Shipping is free in USA.
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Saturday, November 15, 2014
Instead of freaking, think of words like nonchalant, blase, laid-back, indifferent, apathetic, casual. When our instincts are on such high alert that they are ready to short-circuit, we need a good dose of "it's not that big a deal, man, relax!"
Rather than stressing about every note of every phrase, simply decide to bluster your way through with an attitude. Of course you will have practiced meticulously, so you can now afford to charge ahead proudly and fearlessly.
Barney Fife became famous for these facades whenever he found himself in a frightful predicament. Audiences saw his cocky confidence and self-assured smugness in spite of crippling fear. Often he responded to stress with a ho hum, sarcastic smile. He masked his nerves with swagger, yet with a humility that endeared him to audiences. Use nerves to your advantage.
Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Heroes are esteemed, but often at what cost? Is musical excellence achieved at the expense of personal reputation? Are great note-making skills an excuse for bad manners? Is your amazing high C more important than your character? Time and others will tell.
Proverbs says that a good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, (or great notes). Your notes evaporate quickly, but your reputation lasts. Value people as much as your notes.
Saturday, November 01, 2014
In the book of Proverbs, the wise person is not the one who hears instruction but the one who diligently puts it into practice. Doers become wise, not hearers only. The best student is not always the most talented, but the most ready to listen and to implement instructions.
This should be great news! Aptitude, work ethic, and encouragement all play a large part in success, but key is our willingness to absorb, and our passion to apply.
Thursday, October 30, 2014
Motivated students tend to focus on the other side of the gap, not the great chasm before them. It's not about the distance but the vision. The practice session becomes a game of "how fast can I get out of here, and get over there?" The best students can taste the other side, aim for it daily, and listen carefully to the best musicians. The goal is to not sound like a student!
What then compels any sane person to jump headlong into countless hours of struggling with the trumpet? Is it not that strong concept of a powerful yet beautiful sound, and the passion to pursue it? The carrot before the horse is that great trumpet sound that captivated us from day one. That's what sustains us through nerves, obstacles, discouragements, and even defeats. Many jump, but few survive.
Wednesday, October 08, 2014
Remember King Midas? Everything he touched instantly turned to pure gold! Why not have that mindset? Put on an imaginary crown and a royal robe the next time you enter your practice room. Tomorrow as you open that trumpet case and pick up your gold-plated Midas trumpet with its gleaming gold mouthpiece, think about your treasure trove, boatloads of valuable golden doubloons!
You have no notes to waste. Make it your practice to make them all count.