nkoda : App Review

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.

Trumpet Artist Profile: Randy Dunn

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.

BlackBinder : App Review

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.

37 vs 43

The Bach Stradivarius 180 model Bb trumpets have been the best-sellers worldwide in the pro and advanced upgrade instrument market for many many years. The 2 most popular bell shapes, models 37 and 43 both provide a lot of flexibility and versatility, and of course will respond very differently depending on the player. This video from Dawkes Music gives a really good overall and balanced comparison of the two models, allowing you to really hear the different characteristics.

Trumpet Artist Profile: Mario Guarneri

Mario Guarneri will be known to many readers as a performer and educator of the highest calibre. A former member of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Mario is also in demand as educator and lecturer on the pedagogical concepts involved with his groundbreaking designs and the trumpet in general. Here he shares with me some thoughts on approaching different stylistic challenges both as a player and a teacher.

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.