January 2016



Ricco Kühn Corno da Caccia in Bb

visit chestnutbrass.com – see “News” for more information





  • Practice – Since the early 1990’s I have been saying the phrase to students “Sing, Buzz, Play” – over the next few months I will talk about that concept/process because I think it can help all of us to play better. There are sections in my book Daily Routines for the Student Trumpet Player that can direct you specifically, but some additional statements may help focus your attention so that you will give this a try in your own practice.

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Sing– yes, use your voice- this helps improve pitch, establishes character and allows your inner musician to develop and be assertive. Imagination at work – a time to be creative and remember you are telling a story in music. Practical application for your developing imagery.

Buzz– this is the heart of the technical issues. Here lies the balance between embouchure and air control. A resonant vibration makes for a beautiful sound and proper use of air allows the embouchure to function more efficiently.

Play– playing the music thinking only of the phrase before you. Picking the note of climax or easing into a subtle final note. Where is the growing of intensity of the phrase going to happen? Remembering the goal of playing with abandonment (NO technical thoughts allowed). Remember in addition to the performance, practice hearing the positive response of your audience when you complete your piece.

Here is a beginning exercise to use as a warm-up and to enact the Sing, Buzz, Play process:

Sing Buzz Play G major scale detail








continue the pattern down the scale.


You want to Sing in a full, confident voice. Listen carefully to sing the intervals in tune. The mouthpiece Buzz should be a mezzo-forte resonate buzz, don’t force the sound and hold the mouthpiece gently on your lips. Play using lots of air and  in a singing style. Listen and make your “best sound” !!

The complete exercise written out is available here:
Buy Now


  • Listening

Time to stretch and hear something different… Flugelhorn, trumpet, oboe or cello- different timbres, different approaches to presenting a beautiful melody…

Astor Piazolla- Tanti Anni Prima (Ave Maria)

Carlos Manuel Zabala, Flugelhorn

Geraldo Diaz, piano



Vinicio Allegrini, trumpet

Orchestra, “Sabina International Ensemble”



Filipe Freitas, oboe

Nikolay Lalov, violin


Stjepan Hauser, cello

Unidentified- piano



Tom Boyd, oboe

Marcelo Cesena, piano


Music- where to get the Ave Maria



  • Of Interest

Eric Aubier International Trumpet Competition

October 22-27, 2017 at the Opera of Rouen (France)



From the brass band world: visit the site of World Brass for lists of competition repertoire, compact discs and music.



The great violinist Itzhak Perlman- from The Strad- talks about practicing:


For fun:

Maurice André-“Performance” of trumpet and orchestra Jean-Michael Defaye (Extrait)



  • Re-Visit

When you play the trumpet, having a clear attack for brilliant fanfare like passages is a must. Having a nice book with material that is varied makes the practice towards excellence a lot of fun. The Goldman Practical Studies for Trumpet published by Carl Fischer is often on my practice stand. Among my favorites are #11, #8, #1 and #4. Maybe #1 isn’t a favorite, but I find that I am always working on it to improve myself. You can play them in different keys once you feel like you need more challenges. Each exercise comes with a paragraph talking about style or the possible pitfall like rhythm that is present in addition to the tonguing practice itself. The cost is very affordable, so even with so many books to choose from this one should be in your library.


A new year- set your goals, making a practice plan and start being the player of your dreams.

Music source