May June 2021
















Playing lip flexibilities well involves correct flow of air and quick specific adjustments to lip tension. I believe there is some additional benefit to be gotten by also tonguing the lip flex patterns. Practice first for a beautiful sound, in time with metronome, and in tune. Then try to use your best single tonguing. Listen carefully for the intonation when using 123, 13 and 23 valve combinations. You will crack fewer attacks when the sound is centered and in tune. If you have a slow response some days, try thinking of starting the first note with a grace note.

Common patterns to try:





This should remind you of the history of our instrument playing bugle calls!






This is a favorite of mine that I do every day.
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For a change and to become confident through your range try this one.









Since I am recommending the new book by Mr. Schlueter below, I think hearing some of his amazing playing is appropriate, The Hubeau Sonata is a commonly performed work and should be added to your repertoire, if it is not already there. Mr. Schlueter has a beautiful sound and plays with a wonderful lyrical quality. His playing is a terrific role model for your own playing. Listen carefully and enjoy.


(207) Monette 27th Anniversary – Charles Schlueter – Hubeau “Sonata for Trumpet and Piano” – YouTube

Charlie Schluter (Decorated Raja Samadhi C trumpet) accompanied by Stacie Lightner

Biography: Jean Hubeau – Wikipedia


A special note: In the early touring days of the Chestnut Brass Company, of which I am a founding member, we would often listen to recordings of the Minnesota Symphony Orchestra. We especially loved the French repertoire recordings with Mr. Schlueter playing principal trumpet.


Of Interest

Our reading and exploration/curiosity can help us all develop as people, musicians and trumpet players. These three books are diverse in the assortment of ideas they present. That diversity should allow you to think of new concepts and review old thoughts. The goal is to approach ideas in a greater variety of ways and help you improve your results. This should be new ground breaking in problem solving.


Bachelard, Gaston   Poetics of Space (Beacon Press)

Bond, Peter The Singing Trumpet: Using Singing and Speech as Literal Models for Trumpet Performance (Carl Fischer 2021)

Schlueter, Charles Indirection: On Becoming a Better Musician and Trumpet Player as a Conceptual Process (Combray House 2021)


Re visit

Over the last month I have been playing exercises from Cornet Playing by Norman W. D’Ath. Originally published in the 1960s by Boosey & Hawkes it is available from qPress (see link below).

The book contains tonguing, arpeggios and scales, but my favorite part is the assorted lip flexibilities. Some of the patterns are similar to those found in other trumpet books.  I think the order as suggested in the book is important. Also, as the exercises progress through the book, the patterns became expansive and utilize more range. I found them fun to practice and I could bring more focus to the practice session because the material was less familiar. The exercises should not distract you from reading some of the text

I was telling a friend about the book and he mentioned another lip flexibility book that I didn’t have. I was so excited when in yesterday’s mail a book from Lip Slur World Headquarters arrived. Progressive Lip Flexibilities for Brass by Scott Belck.  This is my second book by Mr. Belck, I am looking forward to exploring this new book. The humorous titles make for a light hearted start to each exercise; then off to the wonderful assortment of patterns. I am smiling!!



Cornet Playing (No Pressure System) by D’Ath, Norman | qPress

Scott Belck’s Lip-Slur World Headquarters – Home | Facebook