December 2015

The year will shortly come to a close… Happy Holidays to you- I hope you enjoy time with family and friends and can reflect positively on this year 2015.

  1. Practice

Many of the wonderful trumpet solos that we hear in film soundtracks involve being able to play slurs on intervals over an octave in distance. While it is true that the players doing this are among the best in the world, it does not mean that it is impossible to learn. In my book, Daily Routines for the Student Trumpet Player there are several exercises to establish the principles that with practice should make this goal very reachable. Here is the exercise for 3rds and sixths.

Example I

F#-A interval study





The sub division would begin like this:

Example II

F#-A interval detail





Continuing the intervals as high as possible with a good sound!

interval 3rds study




Use the metronome (starting slowly) and be sure to subdivide to sixteenth notes so you teach your muscles to make the quick adjustment in time. Use lots of air to carry you from note to note. Try to minimize the amount of change you do with your embouchure. If you sing the interval you will remind yourself that the distance is really not that far apart.



  1. Listening – a lighter style listening project and not just trumpet players interpreting the music!

Gabriel’s oboe by Ennio Morricone is such a beautiful melody and seems to work well for many different instruments.

Oboe version

Violin version

Ryan Anthony, trumpet

Chris Botti, trumpet


  1. Of Interest

There is nothing like listening to great brass playing. Here are two wonderful pieces by John Williams. Tim Morrison and Chris Martin do the honors!

Summon The heroes conducted by John Williams

Chris Martin – John Williams – “Lincoln”

  1. Re-Visit

Masterclass- the continuation of the Reykjavik Trumpet Session (part 2)

  • Multiple Tonguing – for me, two things really help the acquisition of multiple tonguing – 1. Slow practice with a metronome and 2. a clearly defined role model- your single tongue followed by the multiple at the same slow speed. Heard slowly you can hear and match up the attacks. The double tongue should be as clear and pointed as your single tonguing.

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Example III

tonguing example




  • Lip Flexibilities – I believe a portion of practice every day should involve lip flexibilities. I use a metronome and a drone pitch and believe studies like the Colin book really help endurance and the development of the upper register. I rotate the materials so that I maintain focus in what I am trying to accomplish. Use lots of air and make the connections from note to note flow. Avoid note connections that seem stiff and labored. It should be fun and be a musical endeavor, think of the studies as melodies.
  • Scale to develop endurance – more next time on this one.
  • Upper Range – Clarke series 1 – If you have read the autobiography of Mr. Clarke- you already know how this can be beneficial to your practice routine. I often will buzz the first time on my mouthpiece and on the repeat play on the trumpet. Play softly and think of the crescendo as musically intensifying not just getting louder.
  • Power Chromatics – more next time on this one too!

Happy New Year! Best wishes for a great 2016!