January 2015

Scherzer D Trumpet


                                     Scherzer “D” Trumpet

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For many people, January is a time of making resolutions- and therefor planning for new goals and projects. Are you considering increasing your practice time? Finally learning all your scales? Working on double or triple tonguing? A fun new solo?

Here are some thoughts for your consideration. 1.) Practice 2.) Piece for Listening   3.) Of Interest   4.) Revisited.

1.)  Practice

Are you doing your lip flexibilities? Using a metronome, tuner and varying your dynamics? Getting the most from your practice time? Look at the revisited section below…


2.)  Listening Project

Here are some wonderful performances to listen to and study how they interpret the style of the piece. Playing an unaccompanied piece presents very different challenges for the player. Think you are the best story teller- no one is there but you…you are the entire focus of the audience.

Parable XIV for Trumpet Solo, Opus 127 by Vincent Persichetti

Terry Everson- Professor of Trumpet, Boston University


Gábor Tarkövi – Principal Trumpet Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra


Anna Karin Andersson (student exam- Malmö, Sweden)



3.)  Of Interest:

Philip Smith- Principal Trumpet New York Philharmonic


Found at this website is a highly recommended recording of solos for the student trumpet player (available from ITG too) and two fun and new (to me) etude books. Best yet, there is an enclosed CD with Mr. Smith playing the etudes! All of your practice time doing scales, tonguing, intervals, playing in the high and low registers will be put to use. Concert Studies for Trumpet (intermediate- good high school player, early college) and Advanced Concert Studies (college, professional) – WOW! – IF you need some new challenges for 2015- these could be perfect!

Be sure to spend some time everyday listening to great trumpet players- it will inspire you to practice and help you to know what you should sound like when you play.

4.)  Revisited

Looking back this month-

This month I went back to two outstanding items and really enjoyed spending further time with them both.

Recording: Copland – Quiet City- Michael Laird, trumpet & Celia Nicklin, cor anglais, Neville Marriner, Academy of St. Martin in the Fields – Argo 417 818-2ZH

This is a terrific collection of music – with works by Barber, Ives, Copland, Cowell and Creston. Quiet City by Aaron Copland is a beautiful composition. The duo of solo trumpet and English horn is striking. Mr. Laird plays the trumpet with a wonderful lyrical quality and has a commanding sound.

To contrast this performance, here is another trumpeter playing Quiet City.

James Watson


In the next few months, I have several fun pieces to play that I will call for me to use my piccolo trumpet. That means I will spend extra time doing lip flexibilities… I love doing lip flexibilities and feel it greatly helps my endurance and high register playing. I have many books that are great for this- but my favorite and the one I use most often is The Complete Trumpet Advanced Lip Flexibilities by Charles Colin. I do the Volume 2 section with some modification that gives me greater control.

I see this (on Charles Colin page 1 of Volume 2, ascending from 7th position 123 valve combination):

It becomes (repeat 3 times):

I feel that being able to alternate between duplets and triplets with the metronome means my lips are doing what I am asking NOT what they feel like (out of time and tempo), This gives me more control and confidence for my performances.

I always use my metronome and a tuner… this should give me the maximum results! Vary the tempo and when working on a specific solo be sure to use the tempo of your solo…

There are many other books, generally available at your local music store, with which you could begin your study of lip flexibility-

For the absolute beginner-

  • Walter Beeler Method for the Cornet ($8.45) has small fragments of lip flexibilities throughout (ex: page 12 #14 or page 15, #5 bottom of the page) Do these several times- later skip around and do three or four of them, for say 15 minutes each day, you will notice a difference in a week or two.
  • Arban Complete Method for Trumpet from pages 42 through 47 also could be used.
  • My book, Daily Routines for the Student Trumpet Player, has in each routine (exercise #2) a variety of lip flexibilities to help you play better.

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For the intermediate player- you should be familiar with:

  • Trumpet Technique: Lip Flexibility by Knudt Hovaldt (published by Robert King Music $20.35)
  • 27 Groups of Exercises ($14.00) by Earl Irons

For the advanced player, I also use:

  • Flexibility by Branimir Slokar and Marc Reift (~$28.00- Reift Editions)

All of these are great books and should have a place in your music library!

Good luck in your practice- have a goal, have a plan!

Happy New Year…