Thursday, September 05, 2013

Bullets to Go

Trying to keep lesson assignments short and simple.  A daunting list of expectations is discouraging for student and teacher alike.  A few bullets to go is the goal.  The lesson should end with a doable agenda clearly in mind.  Here are some items covered today:

  • SING IT - Before playing, sing your music with all the inspiration you can muster.  Most of us sing way better than we play.  This ought not to be.  Don't let the trumpet be a music inhibitor.  Try to sing everything the music indicates, but with no horn yet.  Don't even think about it.  Just sing well, play it later.

  • BUZZ IT - Your goal is to buzz the mouthpiece with accurate intonation and pure tone.  Remember: it must be in tune and clear.  We demand too much of the trumpet when so much can be accomplished on the mouthpiece alone! Buzz it.

  • SLUR IT -  A slurred line always has better tone than an articulated line.  Suggestion: slur the whole line first while listening for your best tone on all notes.  Check with your clarinet player friends.  They always do great at this.  Slur it first, tongue it later.
  • TONE IT -  Try for a "Pictures" tone on all notes, especially the short ones.  Do you recall any stuffy or fuzzy notes in Pictures at an Exhibition? It's quality control on everything. Tone it.

  • CLICK IT - You must be a metronomic freak.  Your rhythm must be awesome.  Amaze all listeners with your unusual ability to be STEADY.  Rhythmic character wins jobs.  Click it or ticket.

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