My lesson with Lynn Nicholson

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Mikester, Dec 15, 2009.

  1. Mikester

    Mikester New Friend

    Nov 9, 2003
    Monday, 12/14/09, I had a 2 hour video lesson using Skype with Lynn Nicholson. This was my first lesson through the internet. In this post, I want to describe the experience; will not share the unique elements of Lynn’s methods. That is his product to share and sell.

    Lynn started off by stating he talks a lot, so stop him and ask questions. Also, what he was going to teach me was not like a school course but more of a Zen thing. To be observed and absorbed.

    A week before the lesson, he sent me an audio warm-up file. He would play and leave space for the student to echo what he did, and then he would play again. The video lesson was similar. No written out exercises, just listen and play after him. Although I have had lessons with Wayne Bergeron and Patrick Hession, and met several other big names, was filled with nervous energy when I started playing in front of Lynn.

    At the start of the lesson, he stated the goals.
    1. Add a 5th or an octave to my range.
    2. Not change my current chop set in my current range.
    3. Not affect my current gigs.

    We talked about mouthpiece type. Lynn plays one like Maynard’s from 1950’s. He recommends mouthpieces like it for training the chops. Several mouthpiece sources have them. He listed a few to choose from, if I want to get one.

    During the lesson, every 20 minutes or so, he would say it was time for a quiz. He would emphasize the points covered since the last quiz.

    He made a thorough assessment of my playing, such as: way I held the horn, horn angle, mouthpiece pressure on my chops, breath support, and probably other factors he just did not tell me he observed. Looked closely at my chops, lips, teeth, and breathing technique.

    The amazing part he shared was that if he knew then what he knows now, his playing career could have been so much easier. He was working too hard back then. Just think, this is the guy holding his horn with his finger tips in the “At the Top” video, playing G above double high C!

    At the conclusion of the lesson, he listed the specific focus points for me to practice. He let me know, he is available for follow-up questions and advice.

    This lesson was a very positive experience for me. Even though the lesson was not in person, I found the use of Skype to be effective. Lynn was able to demonstrate what is necessary to build the physical aspects of trumpet playing.
  2. Solar Bell

    Solar Bell Moderator Staff Member

    May 11, 2005
    Metro Detroit
    Sounds good Mike!
  3. ChaseFan

    ChaseFan Banned

    Mar 25, 2008
    Your description of a 2-hour lesson from Lynn Nicholson is like taking a bite from a great steak.
    It leaves me wanting more!

    I agree with him about playing smarter rather than playing harder
    because I went through the same stages.

  4. oceandrive

    oceandrive New Friend

    Apr 9, 2006
    Me too had a lesson with Lynn Nicholson.
    this is what I am looking for since 25 years. So much progress in such a short amount of time.
    It is best when you just "forget" what you learnt before. Then the progress is best.
    You automatically end up on smaller equipment. I played around 5c mpc. Now I am somewhere between a 13a4 and 6a4.
    The guy is great.
    Chris Ahrens - trumpet player from Hamburg, Germany
  5. Galois

    Galois New Friend

    Jan 11, 2011
    What improvement did you accomplish? Did you really get the 5th to an octave on your range?
  6. Michael T. Doublec

    Michael T. Doublec Pianissimo User

    Nov 20, 2014
    I had a lesson with Lynn in Vegas. He is quite a guy. He cured an embouchure problem I couldn't figure out by using the rim only. Over the years my set had gone high and to the right making for too much upper and too little lower. I was back to normal endurance within a week. I also added at least a major third to the dbl c. I use his Lynnflex mouthpiece and that is incredible. So the man has it down. He is worth every penny you might spend. It is near impossible to tell you what an incredible experience the whole lesson was.
  7. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
    Thanks for the review "MikeydoubleC" -- I watch a lot of Lynn Nicholson videos and pick up a lot just watching --- I will have to look into this instructional vid
  8. Unclewawa

    Unclewawa New Friend

    Nov 14, 2009
    New Port Richey, FL
    Has anybody out there actually added a 5th or an octave to their range? If so, I would like to hear the story.
  9. Dr.Mark

    Dr.Mark Mezzo Forte User

    Apr 5, 2011
    Yes, 9th grade. Me and my buddy John would take songs like Oy Como Va up an octave and from there I performed most of the Maynard solos (note for note) from Mac Park, and Teonova to Give It One and Hey Jude for stage band and at 17 I was playing stratospheric notes beside Lynn in the mid 70's when Maynard came to town. The thing I remember about Lynn was that he was so thin or as Clark would say "If he turned sideways, the teacher would have marked him absent".
    I was one of those weird kids that range was never a barrier. What I had to learn was to not use so much energy and that's where studying and application came in. Now I can play controlled or hot in the upper register and dhc is more of a balancing act than an act of muscularity.
  10. Coehlers95

    Coehlers95 New Friend

    Jul 12, 2012
    Minneapolis, MN
    how did you set up a lesson with him?

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