Trumpet soloist, clinician, teacher, and long time colleague Vince DiMartino, from Centre College in Kentucky, went non-stop at CCM for over three hours yesterday sharing his wealth of experience with the brass studio. Still charged with his unstoppable energy and love for music making, Vince was quite at home commenting, demonstrating, and communicating. That's what he does.
Vince is one of those who not only knows what he's doing in jazz, but is quite comfortable playing and coaching the standard classic solo repertoire. "He knows what he is doing" is a vast understatement. Vince can penetrate and sizzle with his brilliant, gleaming sound, and follow that with beautiful soft lines. His high chops and improvising skills would always blow us off the stage when he would join us in the pops. Vince saved the day for us many times.
He heard students play a variety of solos. Each one improved quickly. Doc Di is good at the quick fix. Sometimes that was accomplished by suddenly picking up the horn and saying, "play it like this!" Repeat after me is often the best therapy for problems. Thorough explanations always accompanied each point made. He has the quick response of a google search engine. Enter in a trumpet topic, and you intantly get boat loads of info!
Home base, as he called it, is holding a high G without the tuning slide. Everything must return easily to that home note. He uses very little mouth movement at all. His embouchure looks like a well-anchored rock, yet with the ability to leap tall buildings in a nano second! Flexibility is fast and agile with his approach. Instead of the usual pencil sized aperture or larger, he recommended a pin hole sized high-pressured air stream. Thus the lips become much less an issue, as the air bears the brunt of the work.
Other topics: Confidence (the trumpet only does what it is told to do. Show it what you want it to do.) Performance (make the audience pay attention. If you don't, they won't. Be convincing, to them and to yourself.) Beginning a piece (set yourself for the highest, hardest part of the upcoming phrase. Be ready to nail it, don't just hope.) Lots o' scales (play very fast with DT and TT.) Play lots of etudes on flugelhorn. Improvise (play around in the style of any piece. Make it up. Just play music like your solo, but not those same notes.) Record yourself early, not at the last minute. Choose your weapons. (Each piece requires an arsenal of attack modes. Define them and use them effectively.)
The afternoon was fun and challenging. Vince's sense of humor and humility along with his enormous talent made the time fly by. As with each guest artist we've been privileged to hear recently, we were sent back to the practice room with fresh inspiration for our mission. Bravo, Vince!