Buying Guide : Practice Mutes

Practice Mutes have become accepted as a necessary evil for brass players.  They are not an ideal way of preparing yourself, however there are times where we all accept that you just need to practice or warm-up quietly.  Listed below are a number of mutes currently available that will all do the job.  They will all have different strengths though, so I have tried to demystify them somewhat with this ‘Buying Guide’.

Trumpet Artist Profile: Marvin Stamm

Marvin Stamm is a colossus of the music world, having performed and recorded with many jazz legends throughout his illustrious career. At 79-years-young, he is still going strong and and has many interesting thoughts here on adapting to change, both musically and physiologically over the years. There is sound and compelling advice here for musicians of all instruments and of all ages!

‘Professional Development’ Part 2 : Kate Amrine

When I left music college (nearly) 20 years ago, the approach to building a healthy portfolio of freelance work as a trumpeter was rather different to now:  Face-to-face networking; Being in “the right place at the right time” with the right people; Backing up any opportunities by being a “good guy to have around” and a good player.  This was the limit to one’s self-marketing. It struck me at the time that even when things were busy, and the diary was booked up a couple of months ahead, there was never a feeling of being in control and having ‘ownership’ (this seems to be the buzz word) of your career.  This is what led me to start to explore other things that I could do alongside the trumpet-playing that could bring me more of a sense of control over my own career. Speaking to younger professionals now, I see quite a different picture.  The opportunities that the internet has brought are vast, and musicians are quickly learning how to maximise what it has to offer. Players now have limitless control over their own image and career.  This series looks at this in more detail: Next up in 'Part 2' to help me look at this in more depth is Kate Amrine.  Kate is a trumpet player and educator based in New York City.  She currently freelances in many different genres from Orchestra to Broadway, and also is an active soloist, currently working on her second album.  Music entrepreneurship has always been an interest and she recently presented her "Designing your Career in Music" masterclass at New York University where Kate has been an Adjunct Professor since 2013.

Trumpet Artist Profile: Philip Smith

At the ITG Conference 2018 I managed to meet with a number of great people to conduct interviews, none greater than Philip Smith!  Former Principal Trumpet with the New York Philharmonic, Phil shares his approach to both trumpet and cornet, and also speaks candidly about his recent experiences with Focal Dystonia.

The Carmine Caruso Legacy

I think that the concept of a saxophonist and former violinist becoming one of the most well-respected and well-known trumpet (and brass) teachers is a fascinating one. His callisthenic approach will be well-known to many readers through his publications, but in addition to this concentration on the physical synchronisation of different muscle groups, he also … Continue reading The Carmine Caruso Legacy

Trumpet Artist Profile: Mary Elizabeth Bowden

Mary Elizabeth Bowden most likely needs little introduction.  Gold Medal Global Music Award Winner, Yamaha Performing Artist and acclaimed soloist, she has received plaudits from audiences around the globe for her scintillating performances and recordings.  I am grateful to Mary for her time and for sharing some thoughts with me...

Trumpet Artist Profile: Rex Richardson

Acclaimed trumpet soloist and respected educator Rex Richardson has been described as "one of the world’s most engaging and astonishingly versatile trumpeters" (Style Weekly), and "among the very best trumpet soloists in the world today" (ITG). I was delighted to be able to catch up with him and to find out more.

Trumpet Artist Profile: John Thirkell

Johnny Thirkell is one of the most recorded trumpet players still working today. Through the 80s and 90s, as well as being a member of Level 42, Swing Out Sister and Jamiroquai, he has also worked with George Michael, Bruno Mars, Phil Collins, Pet Shop Boys, Kylie Minogue, Eric Clapton, Buddy Rich, The Who and Tina Turner. He has performed on over 6000 recordings including 23 No.1 records – most recently the Bruno Mars/Mark Ronson smash, “Uptown Funk”. The list goes on and on!!

Podcasts & Podcasting

Podcasting as a tool for engaging, educating and entertaining has been growing rapidly over the past few years. There are two questions that I want to pose here: "What are the interesting existing podcasts aimed at trumpeters?" and "Is a podcast becoming an important marketing tool for today's professional musician?"

Trumpet Artist Profile: Eric Miyashiro

With a trumpet in his hands, Eric Miyashiro is a force of nature. The powerful sound, blistering range and flamboyant lyrical playing suggest a very different personality to the one that I met! Eric is one of the gentlest, nicest people that I have come across so I was thrilled when he agreed to spend some time doing this interview for Mouthpiece Online…