It is Always About the Basics

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by trumpetsplus, Jan 7, 2015.

  1. trumpetsplus

    trumpetsplus Fortissimo User

    Jun 11, 2006
    South Salem, NY
    A new blog entry
    It is Always About the Basics

    Or in longhand:
    It is always about the basics.

    Yesterday I had yet another reminder of this. One of my students, a recreational player who mainly plays cornet (although he does have a Jaeger trumpet), has been playing one and a half years. He has lessons every 2 weeks or so, and has already performed his debut concert: New Orleans style jazz. He is currently planning his second concert for Mardi Gras.

    He contacted me for a lesson this week. Although we had snow and consequently a slippery driveway, he was very keen to come.

    When he arrived I noticed that he was a little distressed. He told me that he has concerns about the repertoire for his upcoming concert. We discussed that a bit and then we worked on settling his playing; I took him through my exercise “Reflections” and then helped him to obtain pedal notes by attaching a trombone mouthpiece to a trumpet.

    Then I reminded him of the three basics:


    Lips together


    Concentrating on these basics got him back on track immediately!

    His relief was enormous, and so was his gratitude. I pointed out that most players lose this from time to time; it is only that some of us have so much more experience and “face time” that we are still able to function in this condition. He is the fortunate one because he feels the effects immediately. All he needs to do is keep in mind how simple it is to remedy. And in this regard it would be helpful for him to keep playing his Jaeger trumpet.

    He has just now sent this message:

    “Thanks for reminding me not to ignore my Jaeger. When I got the chance, I took it (her?) out and sight-read through a bunch of tunes, and she was friendly and happy and faithful to me. I swear if she had a tail it would never stop wagging!”
  2. bamajazzlady

    bamajazzlady Mezzo Forte User

    May 16, 2011
    Basics are to never be neglected regardless of playing level.
  3. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    Basics are most of what I work when it comes to my practice regimen these days, although I'll learn music when I have to. I don't break mine down in to the Breathe/Lips together/Blow thing, but it's definitely a breakdown of the basic technical aspects of playing the trumpet:

    Good breath/posture
    Tone/Sound production

    If you have a good handle on those, all of the rest of playing is working with those basic concepts in various combinations. The trick is getting them down to the point where they don't inhibit the music you are trying to make. I have to admit that there is a good bit of music that is outside of the limits of my personal technique on the basics, but at the same time I've been able to successfully play and gig for a long time, so I've got to be doing more of it right than wrong.
    edfitzvb likes this.
  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    I like that! A simple and effective solution for a very complex activity!

  5. edfitzvb

    edfitzvb Forte User

    Jun 10, 2008
    Woodlawn, VA
    It's all about that base
  6. gordonfurr1

    gordonfurr1 Forte User

    Aug 2, 2010
    North Carolina

    She has a BELL TAIL!
  7. ConnDirectorFan

    ConnDirectorFan Fortissimo User

    Nov 5, 2010
    United States
    So a shepherd's crook signifies a curved wagging tail? Cornet feature...
  8. gordonfurr1

    gordonfurr1 Forte User

    Aug 2, 2010
    North Carolina
    Why not!

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