I've been playing trumpet now for about 2 years (and gotten alot of great info from TM). I think I'm finally going to stop considering myself a "newbie". Here's why...I feel like I've finally gotten things to click to a certain level. If any of you are runners, you know how after awhile you seem to break through that wall that's always there. You have that one good run where everything's good and relatively easy at the level you're at. And the next run and the next run and so on are past the wall too, so you know it wasn't just a fluke "good run". Then you're onto bigger and better walls so to speak. I think I've achieved that. All of a sudden my sound is much bigger, airflow much better, lips not giving out, fingers working great. What a rush! I thought I'd give a little of what I've done, which for me at least has really helped, in case anyone else is in my situation (new to trumpet, full family and job to worry about before even thinking about practicing, no $ for a teacher). - I usually practice literally for 2 or 3 minutes at a time (unless I'm working on an etude of course). I do what I think is a good practice (from what I've learned from vets on TM) but 2 minutes at a time. play 2, do something else for 15, 20, 30 min, play 2, etc. But when I practice those 2 minutes I try to totally concentrate and focus on exactly what I'm doing. - Tons of lip slurs of all kinds - Weekly "checkpoints" with various etudes and to build up endurance - Tons and tons of chromatics - Tons of scales - Basic Caruso at least twice a week (I don't understand why something so simple can be so helpful, but it seems to work great) These seem to have helped me quite a bit. Anywho, thought I'd share a little. Carnival of Venice (at 1/4 speed) here I come!