Education is a lifelong journey, and a journey that often starts in schools around the world that suffer from a lack of funding in music. It is more important than ever to find good quality and reliable resources to help children on their musical journey, as well as adults and advanced learners too. Trumpet Headquarters is a wonderful resource set up by Estela Aragon who was kind enough to talk to me here.
“Mental practice preparation” - Getting ourselves in the right frame of mind, and then planning and executing our practice goals - an article by Sam Neufeld of 'Trumpet Warmup'.
Back in September 2020 I wrote about the new solo repertoire that I had discovered in 'Lockdown Part 1'. Now that we are into 'Lockdown Part 3' in January 2021, I thought that I would share some of the variety of study books and etudes that I have been taking a look at with the help of the nkoda app.
Brass players, including those at the top of their professional tree, have experienced Focal Dystonia that has either permanently, or temporarily, halted playing. Marcus Reynolds was a ‘pro’ player who overcame the challenge and here offers his personal (as opposed to medical) perspective on the road to recovery.
Transcription is a great skill to develop in itself, but is also invaluable for developing our ears and our general musical awareness. Darren Lloyd from 'Jazz etudes' talks here about how to actually go about this and develop this important musical skill:
Jazz Etudes is a new resource that helps and supports students new to the world of jazz improvisation. The approach is centred around developing your jazz vocabulary and although primarily aimed at intermediate players, is receiving praise and endorsements from musicians at the top of their game. The creator of jazzetudes.net is Darren Lloyd, a professional player … Continue reading Do you want to improve your improvisation?
Over the past few months, many of the articles that I have worked on and industry pros that I have interviewed, emphasise how working life has changed drastically since the start of 2020 lockdown. With that in mind, it would be great to explore how we can successfully manage our recordings remotely now that we are all having to work with a greater degree of isolation.
I have spent a lot of time recently (mainly virtually!) working with players who have used this enforced period of time off to look at new and possibly better mouthpiece options for themselves. Many classical, and particularly specialist orchestral players are traditionally very conservative in their choices and often choose to stick to the ‘tried … Continue reading Finding the perfect orchestral mouthpiece
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
"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.
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.
So, here is a really interesting new product that I have been sent through for review… The Vhizzper mute is the brainchild of Christoph Baerwind, trumpeter in ‘German Brass’ and ‘Der Orchester der Hamburgischen Staatsoper’. The essential concept is a practice mute that can also be used as a mouthpiece mute. This is not something that I have encountered before so was fascinated to give it a try.