Chris Still is a renowned musician and educator, and I was delighted that he was able to find time to do this interview. He is currently a member of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the founder of ‘Honesty Pill’. Regular readers will have read Chris’ feature a couple of weeks ago - If you haven’t … Continue reading Trumpet Artist Profile : Christopher Still
Many top players have already turned to Pickett Brass and Blackburn Trumpets for mouthpieces and trumpets. At the helm is Peter Pickett who has kindly given up his time to answer some questions... Can you talk a little about the background to getting started on this trumpet craftsmanship journey? This entire journey to date in … Continue reading ‘Meet the Maker’ : Peter Pickett
Educator, clinician and coach (and also a trumpet player with the Los Angeles Philharmonic!) Chris Still has a really fascinating project that can benefit ALL musicians. I am extremely grateful for his time to chat about "Honesty Pill". Can you give a brief rundown of what Honesty Pill is all about? Sure. Honesty Pill is … Continue reading Honesty Pill : In conversation with Christopher Still
Hands up, anyone who has wasted a practice session messing around with heavy valve caps and trim in the hope that they will be the answer to all of their problems. And then gone back to what they had on originally. I guess that I am probably not alone. There are some really attractive options out there and there is no doubting their ability to give you a ‘pimped up’ horn. At first glance, these trim kits from Frate Precision are beautiful. A gold-plated refined Italian design with black onyx set into the finger buttons, and black anodised aluminium stems. They are simply stunning. Ultimately though, what will persuade us to keep them on the horn is how they help or improve the instrument’s performance.
The last few years have seen a number of great advances in the integration of technology to the music practice room, teaching studio and performance platform. Going 'paperless' as a musician is heralded as a worthy goal to aspire to, but how many musicians really believe that this is achievable? Well I decided to see if this was possible. With the help of my upgraded iPad and nkoda, I set myself the challenge of going paperless for 2 months.
"When you are passionate about something, you can always find room to consistently pursue what is important to you. So I have, for example, no scruples about a practice session in an empty airport gate before a connecting flight, or to practise in a car park if there is nothing better available."
The challenge of adding resistance to the mouthpiece buzz is one that a number of people have tackled, but always with big compromises to be made. German trumpet player, educator and designer, Markus Arnold talks to me here about his journey in designing the acclaimed 'Buzz-R'.
Randy Dunn is a trumpeter from Houston, TX with incredibly broad experience across diverse musical styles as a performer and educator. It was fascinating to interview him on a whole range of topics including his approach to playing and teaching as well as working on mouthpiece designs with Legends Brass.
The Frate Precision HM cup Mouthpiece range is an excellent solution for trumpet players
You will probably already be familiar with and have seen the 'BG France' brand around. It is huge and has a great reputation for quality. However, you may not be aware that they now do a great range of trumpet accessories to go alongside everything else. I caught up with Franck Bichon to find out more about his design processes.
At the helm of Atelier Donat is Dimitri Donat. The workshop was set up by Dimitri's grandfather in the French Alps in 1936, originally to manufacture parts for the Swiss watch industry. Now, generations of technical expertise are combined with a musical passion to create some of the most innovative mouthpiece designs today.
XO Brass brought out this Roger Ingram signature model a little while back now, but there has been a big rise in this horn's popularity over the past year or so. It has proved to be a hit with players looking for ease of blow and slotting along with a centred and bright sound. And … Continue reading Instrument Review : XO 1600l Roger Ingram Trumpet
Last year we spoke to Johnny Thirkell about his new venture “Horn Camp” – a week-long course in Southern Spain for Trumpet and Sax players. It all sounded pretty exciting, so we caught up with him again to see how it all went and if he had plans for more.
A brand new development from Donat mouthpieces, in collaboration with Ko de Rooij: Tone-Ring mouthpieces, available for cornet and flugelhorn, designed to give an unmatched combination of sound and playability. Along with a unique new design, adding a Tone-Ring to the cup, a shorter heavy blank has been developed for improved tuning. Characteristic for the … Continue reading Tone-Ring Mouthpieces from Atelier Donat
Visitors to the City of London (London's main financial district) will be accustomed to the glass-fronted homes of high finance and over-priced coffee. They may well have also come across the interestingly named 'Trump Street' and thought it to be a nod to our friends over the pond. They would however be wrong! I recently … Continue reading What’s the story behind Trump Street?
Over the past few years I have come across numerous apps for reading and performing with ‘sheet’ music. I find the developments staggering in how far we have come, integrating this technology into our performances. However, there have always been compromises to be made, whether it be in turning pages, marking up parts, editing, or just the general viewing and using experience, that I have made me wonder whether I wouldn’t just prefer to have some sheets of paper in front of me! That is until now!... I tried BlackBinder for the first time a few weeks ago on my iPad, and it is the first app that I have found that really addressed all of these niggles that I had.