The Advancing Trumpet Player – Jeff Brandt says

Mark,

The books you have recently written, are ALL just fantastic! ”

“Give It The 3rd Finger” has certainly turned out to be a hit with people as I watch posts about it.

But, I have to tell you, “The Advancing Trumpet Player” book, has been extremely helpful to me!

The combination of all the things you put in there, from all the years from many different teachers, brought back to memory all those things, and IF, IF I would just do them daily as you state, I really begin to improve quickly, and gain back many of the strengths I once had, and I improve with much less stress. Your book WORKS wonders! It is a true must for trumpet players who want to improve or maintain. It’s great Mark.

Thanks for putting so much time, thought and effort into such a excellent resource for all of us ! You are a blessing, in many, many ways!

Sincerely,

Jeff Brandt
Director of Music Ministries and Solo Trumpeter
New Hope United Methodist Church
Valrico, Florida

Jeff, thanks so much for your kind words, and it makes me feel great that “The Advancing Trumpet Player” book has helped you so much.

For those trumpeters who want to chack out why Jeff was so excited to write, here’s a link to all the trumpet books….

http://mphmusic.com/trumpet

And if you play trombone or sax, here’s a link for you too…

http://mphmusic.com

As always, my best to you —

Mark Hendricks

.

The Advancing Trumpet Player – Tips #3

The Advancing Trumpet PlayerThe Advancing Trumpet Player – Tips #3

Increasing endurance with little time to practice, airflow and buzzing, mouthpiece placement

One of The Advancing Trumpet Player book owners wrote to me and said…

Any advice for the comeback player using The Advancing Trumpet Player book, with people who have some time issues. Been playing 8 (come back after 25 off) years and still some of the warm ups I do totally wear me down. All of this info on air and buzzing, I’m not sure even how to set my mpc any more.

Thanks,
Mark S.

Hi Mark,

Thanks for your question.

When I was doing my comeback after 20 years of not playing, I also was frustrated with my endurance.  I remembered how I used to be able to play and play. But what I didn’t remember is the years of building up to that happened as I developed my trumpet playing. Even so, it was frustrating.

So how did I solve this?

I pulled out my Arban’s book, when to those old songs and started playing four measures at a time (usually one phrase). Then I would take the horn off my face and sing what I play and finger the notes. Then I would play the next four measures and then rest while I sang those. And continued this pattern to the end of the song. Then I would rest as much time as it took to sing through the entire song.

Then I continued this and did two pages of those songs. The next day I would start with the second page of the prior day for a little repetition of material and my second page on day two would be new.  And on and on in this pattern to the end of those old songs section.

Then I went back the first song and did eight measures, rest and sing eight, play eight, rest and sing eight, etc – and did two pages like that. Then next day, start with the second page and add the next page, etc.

Voila – I was resting as much as I was playing.

The problem is…. we hear people say “Rest as much as you play”, and we play and play for an hour, beat up our chops, then rest an hour, comeback to practice on beat up chops and wonder why things don’t work and we don’t improve.

Mark says… Rest as much as you play DURING each practice session, you should feel fresh and good at the end of your practice sessions. If you don’t, your not practicing correctly.  It does no good to practice on tired chops, you will only be developing bad habits, not good ones.

I included this “How To Increase Your Endurance The Easy Way” Special Report PDF in the Trumpet Players Sample Pack available for free at http://mphmusic.com/trumpet

Now as far as air and buzzing…

Let’s focus instead on sound, your sound.  It’s what people hear.  The don’t hear your air, they don’t hear your buzzing.

Focus on resonating the room with your sound.  This is not echo.  This is a thickness of sound that surrounds you when you play as you fill the room with your sound, you literally vibrate the room with your tone.  And you don’t have to play loud to do this. It’s more of opening yourself up so your airstream is easily moving through your horn and filling the room with sound on each and every note.

How do you practice this?

Those first few warmup exercises get you going on this in the Advancing Trumpet Player book, take your time, just get into the feeling of filling the room with your sound, resonate the room. I repeat myself, but that’s what I think about… listening for the room to resonate and tell me that I am playing correctly with a full and relaxed sound on each and every note, no matter if it’s short or long, low or high, soft or loud – resonate the room with the sound concept you are wanting to have.

Once you get the feeling of this it will carry over into all of your playing, if you pay attention to it. And you must on each and every note… resonate the room.

Okay enough of resonate the room 🙂

Mouthpiece placement…

Play a second line G with a full resonant sound with a comfortable mouthpiece placement, not too far left or right, not too far up or down… just make it feel good and sound good.  Let that be home base for a while. Build everything from that second line G.  Later on you may want to use top of the staff G for your setup, but that’s for later.  Get your in the staff sound resonating first.

Some more thoughts and things to do for mouthpiece placement…

A little more for mouthpiece placement….

Get a 8×10 mirror and put it on your music stand so you can see yourself

Start with directly centered under your nose and in half and half upper and lower lips left/right in the middle, even if feels lousy at first

Then just play 2nd line G, half note, half note, whole note – horn off lips and rest that much

Reset and do the same 10 times – Mezzo Forte – but resonate the room

Just try that setup and see where it gets you.  Try it for at least 5 days like this — practice other stuff too after doing this and don’t think about placement so much, it will carry over. After the 5 days, you will probably used to it.

You may then experiment with tiny adjustments up down left right to find the spot where your chops resonate the room the best – let the sound be your guide not so much the feeling of the chops — your chops will build the embouchure to support the sound you discover that resonates the room when you play.

Slow and steady and a little of this every day, and let it carry over to your other playing.

Once this 2nd line G starts resonating for you they way you like, then do the first Full Range Study that is in The Comeback Trumpet Player book, The Advancing Trumpet Player book, and the Full Range Studies for Trumpet book. Be sure to play each valve combination slowly, take the horn off your face between each one and rest as much as you just played.  Make sure you don’t slide note to note, make your chops work and resonate well on each note. Only go as high as it is easy, with the mouthpiece placement you are not trying to build range with this exercise, but rather just get things working well in the staff. You don’t need to go higher than top of staff G for this.  And your chops should feel good after doing this, if they don’t you didn’t rest enough or you went to high.

If you don’t have these books, get the free Trumpet Players Sample Pack – this first exercise is in the Full Range Studies sample PDF, just do that first page and extend the pattern up to top of staff G. Get the sample pack at http://mphmusic.com/trumpet

Remember to resonate the room as your guide to whether you are playing correctly.

Listen to the sound of the room, more than the sound of your trumpet.

Hope that helps!

Mark

To get a copy of The Advancing Trumpet Player, click here

To get more Advancing Trumpet Player tips and info, click here

The Advancing Trumpet Player – Tips #2

The Advancing Trumpet PlayerThe Advancing Trumpet Player – Tips #2

How To Improve the K in Double Tonguing

One of The Advancing Trumpet Player book owners wrote to me and said…

Hello Mark,

I am working in the ATP book and trying to work on K tongue and TK. It is horrible! The slow tempo sounds so bad that I do not see how it can progress. Is this what I should expect until the K sounds like T?

Thanks for any help,

Tony

Hi Tony,

The idea and goal is to get the T and the K to sound alike.

Okay, so how do you do that?

Here’s a few things to do…

Days 1-2:

– Only play second line G
– Set a metronome to 92
– Play two half notes and a whole note with a T attack, no separation, just let your tongue touch the airflow
– Get the feeling of that airflow with the tongue just articulating with the T – more like Tuh – think about filling the room with your sound, resonate the room, do this four times
– Now play two half notes and a whole note with the same airflow and start the half notes and whole note with the K attack, more like Kuh – think about filling the room with your sound, resonate the room – do this four times
– Just stay on that G, reduce this down to only having to deal with the K (kuh) articulation

Days 3-4:

– Only play second line G
– Set a metronome to 92
– Play four quarter notes and a whole note with a T attack, no separation, just let your tongue touch the airflow
– Get the feeling of that airflow with the tongue just articulating with the T – more like Tuh – think about filling the room with your sound, resonate the room – do this four times
– Now play four quarter notes and a whole note with the same airflow and start the quarter notes and whole note with the K attack, more like Kuh – think about filling the room with your sound, resonate the room – do this four times
– Just stay on that G, reduce this down to only having to deal with the K (kuh) articulation

Days 5-6:

– Only play second line G
– Set a metronome to 92
– Play eight eighth notes and a whole note with a T attack, no separation, just let your tongue touch the airflow
– Get the feeling of that airflow with the tongue just articulating with the T – more like Tuh – think about filling the room with your sound, resonate the room – do this four times
– Now play eight eighth notes and a whole note with the same airflow and start the eighth notes and whole note with the K attack, more like Kuh – think about filling the room with your sound, resonate the room – do this four times
– Just stay on that G, reduce this down to only having to deal with the K (kuh) articulation

Days 7-8:

– Only play second line G
– Set a metronome to 92
– Play four quarter notes and a whole note with a T attack, no separation, just let your tongue touch the airflow
– Get the feeling of that airflow with the tongue just articulating with the T – more like Tuh – think about filling the room with your sound, resonate the room – do this four times
– Now play four quarter notes and a whole note with the same airflow and use the alternating Tuh-Kuh-Tuh-Kuh-Tuh… for the quarter notes and whole note – think about filling the room with your sound, resonate the room – do this four times
– Just stay on that G, reduce this down to only having to deal with the T-K-T-K-T (tuh-kuh) articulation

Days 9-10:

– Only play second line G
– Set a metronome to 92
– Play eight eighth notes and a whole note with a T attack, no separation, just let your tongue touch the airflow
– Get the feeling of that airflow with the tongue just articulating with the T – more like Tuh – think about filling the room with your sound, resonate the room – do this four times
– Now play eight eighth notes and a whole note with the same airflow and use the alternating Tuh-Kuh-Tuh-Kuh-Tuh… for the eighth notes and a whole note – think about filling the room with your sound, resonate the room – do this four times
– Just stay on that G, reduce this down to only having to deal with the T-K-T-K-T (tuh-kuh) articulation

Here’s what you’re training yourself to do…

– keep the air moving
– articulating the airflow with double tongueing articulations
– keeping the resonance of tone to fill the room with your sound
– keeping your mind focused on resonating each tone you play

You may also want to practice this with a softer attack of Duh-Guh-Duh-Guh-Duh.

Always keep the airflow and resonating the room the thing you think about, just articulate the airflow with your T-K.

After doing this for 10 days, you’re ready to speed this up, keeping all the basics in place. You can also use different notes, starting with F#, then G#, then F, then Ab… and only use one note at a time like you did with the second line G to begin with.

Once you can do it on one note down to low G and top of staff G, then start doing the double tongue studies in the Arban book.

Always focus on resonating the room, get the sound out there no matter what you are playing.

Here’s a video that someone did that’s pretty good on more advanced double tongue development after you do the above.

http://mphmusic.com/blog/trumpet/how-to-improve-your-trumpet-double-tonguing

Hope that helps,
Mark

Get a copy of the Advancing Trumpet player at this link

Get more Advancing Trumpet Player tips – click here

The Advancing Trumpet Player – Tips #1

The Advancing Trumpet PlayerThe Advancing Trumpet Player – Tips #1

I received this note from one of our customers, and I thought others may benefit from my answers too…

I have been making some progress through the lessons but my practice time has been somewhat restricted lately. I am concerned that I will spend one session warming up and then have little to no time for further lesson progression or just practicing music. Is there an expedited warm up regimen I can use. I have seen 20 minute plans and others.

Second what should I use as a metric or success before I move on through the parts of each lesson? No mistakes/perfect tempo,  1,2,3 mistakes? My concern with some of the Arban’s and even your practice lines is I might never play it perfectly. Or do you just play the lines once through ignoring mistakes and work to correct them the second time around?

Hope these questions make sense.
Any advice is appreciated.

Thanks, L.

And my note back to him…

Hi L.,

Try this for the warmup routine.

Do all of 1-5.  This is basically a warmup.  Get the lips vibrating, get the air moving, sound clearing, embouchure responding to tongue and slur, and some flexibility too.

Then for the other exercises (which are a daily routine to cover more areas of playing), do lines 1,3,5,7 one day, then line 1,2,4,6 the next.  This assures you are covering all of each at least a few times during the week, and shortening the time.

As far as progressing through lessons week by week….

It is really at your own pace, and how picky and tough you want to be on yourself.

I’d rather have you play things slower, with a great sound on every note, and not necessarily the whole exercise meaning you can divide it up into doing a line at a time, etc – and piece it all together over time).

For the tonality studies (section 2), this works fine, because after the first 3 months you will be doing one tonality a day as improvement and review … and your sound, playing, and technique will be improving continuously.

For section 3 (Arbans) – same things, slower with great sound and accuracy is better than fast and bad. This approach yields the best results in the shortest period of time.

A lot of what we do when we practice is build the automatic response systems required to play, and we really must slow things down to do it – kind of like a kid learning to ride a bike – lots of wobbling and falling at first, but once the balance and memory response is developed, away they go.

And just as they learn to keep their balance, and pedal and ride faster, so will you in speeding up the exercises that need to be speeded up … but always, even at quicker speeds your sound must clearly resonate the room.  Each and every note.

You can read more about how to use the book at this link:  Advancing Trumpet Player

To get the book and more, see The Advancing Trumpet Player book

Best,
Mark Hendricks

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David Cooper says this about The Advancing Trumpet Player

The Advancing Trumpet PlayerDavid Cooper says this about The Advancing Trumpet Player

Hi Mark,

I love your book “The Advancing Trumpet Player”.

It is quite a routine and works everything associated with trumpet playing.

The tonality studies really help to learn your scales and flexibility!!

I miss some days because of my work schedule but seem to pick up where I left off.

I do wish that there was more time for Trumpet!!!

This book is a major asset – Thanks Mark!!

David Cooper
Cataula, GA

Hey David, thanks so much for sharing your comments with everyone.

One of the biggest problems we all have in practicing is coming up with an action plan, a track to run on.

ATP is designed to be that kind of action plan.

You simply follow the lesson plans that are included, and if we get knocked off track for a little while, it’s easy to pickup where you left off and get back on the plan.

And there’s plenty of variety to keep your practice sessions interesting and challenging too.

If you have a copy already, dig in and stick with it… you will get great results.

If you don’t have your copy yet, get yours today.  It comes with my personal 100% money-back satisfaction guarantee.

Get it here:  http://mphmusic.com/trumpet

As always, my best to you —

Mark Hendricks

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Comments about The Advancing Trumpet Player book from Wayne Johnson

The Advancing Trumpet PlayerComments about The Advancing Trumpet Player book from Wayne Johnson

I received my ATP on Saturday and it is just what I needed!

I’m a “comeback player” with about 5 years back on the horn after 19 years off. I was doing pretty good until I had to have major dental work and I had to basically start over from scratch. I needed a structured plan that covers all aspects of playing and ATP does just that!

Thank you for writing this book, it is just what the doctor ordered!!

As an added extra to the ATP is that my family prefers it over the routine I was doing before!  My wife says it sounds more musical, like I’m prepping for a concert.

Thanks again Mark!

Wayne Johnson
Bakersfield, CA

Hi Wayne,

And thank you so much for sending in your comments about The Advancing Trumpet Player book.

Now that your experiencing it for yourself, you know the studies and routines in it will be ones that you’ll benefit from for many years to come to continually improve your all-around playing and keep you in shape too – you’ll be ready for anything they throw at you, no matter what kinds of playing situations you find yourself in. Glad to hear your wife likes the new you too!

And if you’ve been thinking about getting your own copy of The Advancing Trumpet Player, go ahead and order yours today. Just begin with lesson one (I’ve provided 52 lessons) and you’ll start seeing improvement in your playing, and get more enjoyment from it too, just like others do.

Here’s where to get your copy:

http://mphmusic.com/trumpet

As always, my best to you —

Mark Hendricks

The Advancing Trumpet Player – Tonality Studies Commentary

The Advancing Trumpet PlayerThe Advancing Trumpet Player – Tonality Studies Commentary

Here’s some tips on each of the exercises in the Tonality Studies, kind of the what, why, and how to practice each.

The most important rule – it’s better to play slow and correct, than fast and bad. If you practice playing incorrectly, you will only reinforce incorrect playing.

An interesting thought on these tonality studies – all of the commentary below applies to each of the tonalities, but what you will find is in each of the tonalities, each of the exercises will present different challenges due to range, fingerings, intonation, aperture, tongue levels, etc.

#1 – Believe or not, this is an interval study. Yes, the interval you on working on is the chromatic 1/2 step. Strive to have each and every note resonate clearly. Blow through the valves and out into the room. Get your tone to match on each note. Take your time, don’t rush. Think of this as a long tone study and move the air through the whole exercise. When tonguing, connect each note to the next, leave no space between the notes. Full value notes, not staccato. It’s all one long tone, your tongue is just articulating the beginning of each pitch.

#2 – Play with a full sound, not loud, just full. Once again this is all one long tone. Be sure you are not sliding between notes to get to the next note, it’s either one note or the other. Minimize the movement of your face and jaw as much as possible, use the beginning note as the homebase for your embouchure as you move through this exercise.

#3 – When first learning the scales, it’s okay to play one measure and the downbeat of the next. Then play the 2nd measure and the downbeat of the next, and so on. Once you have that, then you can string all of the measures together as written. Keep the air moving, don’t stop the air at the valves, resonate the room with your tone. End the first half of the exercise with a full tone note, let it really sing. Practice using all articulations, never staccato. Connect each note to the next, keep the air moving, your tongue is only there to start the next note, there should be no separation. As soon as possible, commit all scales to memory, close your eyes and play the scales. Get to the point where you see the key signature, the starting and ending notes, and just play.

#4 – Practicing these slowly is good, focus on getting your fingers to work at the correct time. You may wish to repeat each two bar phrase. Make sure to keep the air moving past the values and resonate the room with each note. Match the tone quality on each note.

#5, 6, 7 – When first learning the scales, it’s okay to play one measure and the downbeat of the next. Then play the 2nd measure and the downbeat of the next, and so on. Once you have that, then you can string all of the measures together as written. Keep the air moving, don’t stop the air at the valves, resonate the room with your tone. End the first half of the exercise with a full tone note, let it really sing. Practice using all articulations, never staccato. Connect each note to the next, keep the air moving, your tongue is only there to start the next note, there should be no separation. As soon as possible, commit all scales to memory, close your eyes and play the scales. Get to the point where you see the key signature, the starting and ending notes, and just play.

#8 –  When first learning the two octave chromatic scale, you may want to play the lower octave up and back down. Then play the upper octave up and back down. Use all articulations indicated. Then once you have that, put it all together as a two octave chromatic scale. Keep the air moving, stay relaxed as you ascend, there is no need to tighten up, just let the notes come out.

#9 – Play with a full singing style sound. Make this study as musically beautiful as you possibly can. Resonate the room with a full and relaxed sound.

#10 – Each note needs to speak clearly. Don’t make them too short, each note should resonate. Be sure to play this one three times, and get it to sound great the first time through it.

#11 – Once again, think of this as one long tone, it’s one stream of air, but the pitch changes each beat. No separation between notes, no sliding between notes. Listen closely to your intonation, know ahead of time the pitch center of the note you are about to play, then play that note right in it’s most resonant center.  Use all indicated articulations so you learn to come into the notes from every which way.

#12 – When you first learn this one, practice it single tongue to develop the tongue and finger coordination. Then play with the double tongue articulation. It’s okay to slow down the double tongue to make sure your T and K tone quality matches. You must keep the air moving through the T-K that is going on, don’t back off the air flow on the K syllable. Each note should resonate and speak clearly.

#13 – Each note should flow into the next one. You may want to also practice this all slurred so that you get the feeling of it all being one long tone, then go back and add the slur-two tongue-two articulation. Make this sound effortless.

#14/15 – Play full value sixteenth notes, don’t try to play them short, they’re already short. Connect each note to the next, with the tongue only activating to define the beginning of the notes. Use all indicated articulations.

#16/17 – Practice this slowly and memorize it. Get the feel for the free air flow up and down the arpeggio. Make it sound easy and effortless. Stay relaxed as you ascend and descend. Use all indicated articulations.

#18 – When you first learn this one, practice it single tongue to develop the tongue and finger coordination. Then play with the triple tongue articulations. It’s okay to slow down the triple tongue to make sure your T and K tone quality matches. You must keep the air moving through the TTK and TKT that is going on, don’t back off the air flow on the K syllable. Each note should resonate and speak clearly.

#19 – Playing these slowly is just fine. You are after accuracy and tone quality. You can learn these by playing two beats at a time ending on the next downbeat, then start on that note and do the same, two beats and end on the next downbeat. Then go back and put it all together. Use all indicated articulations.

#20 – Just as in the two octave chromatic study, when first learning the two octave whole tone scale, you may want to play the lower octave up and back down. Then play the upper octave up and back down. Use all articulations indicated. Then once you have that, put it all together as a two octave whole tone scale. Keep the air moving, stay relaxed as you ascend, there is no need to tighten up, just let the notes come out. The whole tone scale will force you to hear the center of the next pitch so you can resonate the tone as soon as you play it.

#21 – Learn these augmented arpeggios one measure at a time, play a measure and end on the next downbeat. Start on the second measure and end on the next downbeat, and so on. Get the sound of these augmented chords in your head so you know where you are going with the pitch of each note so it resonates the room when you play each one. Once you have this, string the whole study together as one. Use all indicated articulations. Keep that air moving, it’s all one long tone. And resonate the room with every note.

#22 – Take your time, play it slowly. Rest between each section. Go for a full and beautiful singing sound, each note is clear and resonates the room. Match the tone quality of one note to the next, each note connects without break to the next. Use all indicated articulations.

If you don’t have a copy of The Advancing Trumpet Player book, get full details here:

http://mphmusic.com/trumpet

 

 

 

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Tom Hall says this about The Advancing Trumpet Player book

The Advancing Trumpet PlayerTom Hall says this about The Advancing Trumpet Player book

I have been using The Advancing Trumpet Player for about 5 months. My sound, range, and endurance have all improved dramatically!

Mark’s books really do work!

Tom Hall
Retired Band Director and
Life-long trumpet player
Iowa Falls, IA

Hi Tom,

Thanks for your comments you posted on Facebook recently.

Best to you … Mark

If you haven’t gotten your copy of The Advancing Trumpet Player yet, go ahead and order it today. Be assured if you simply follow the lesson plans in the book, you will improve all aspects of your playing just like Tom did.

If you already have a copy, dig in and do the program. Some simple disciplined practice that progresses step by step is exactly what you need, and The Advancing Trumpet Player does that for you.

Order yours today, or at least get our free Trumpet Players Sample Pack … but don’t put this off, take some action now, you deserve it…

http://mphmusic.com/trumpet

As always, my best to you —

Mark Hendricks

.

The Advancing Trumpet Player – Warmup Routine Commentary

The Advancing Trumpet PlayerThe Advancing Trumpet Player – Warmup Routine Commentary

Here’s some tips on each of the exercises in the Warmup Routine, kind of the what, why, and how to practice each.

When you first start using the book, in the first session (the Warmup Routine), just play exercises 1-4 and 17 the first week.  Then the second week add one more exercise (ie 1-5 and 17), then the third week add one more exercise (ie 1-6 and 17) and continue in this pattern until you are playing exercises 1-17 of the Warmup Routine daily.  If at any time the additional added exercise is not to your liking (still difficult) at the end of the practice week, then stay with that routine for another week or so until you it becomes easier for you.

#1 – The breath attack on the first note G of each set is to let your lips know that when you release the air stream you really want your lips to vibrate and instantly create your sound. Be sure to have your air pressure in place before starting the sound, the sound should start instantly. Exhale, inhale, release, resonate the room with your sound.

Match the tone color of the fingered notes to the open G sound. As you move your way down and up the scale, match the tone quality of each note to the others. Because you are using different valve combinations the tone quality will change, it’s up to you to make minor adjustments to get the tone quality to match note for note. Make sure to not slide the pitch from one to another, the pitch of each note should happen instantly. Keep the air moving through the valve changes. Always fill the room with your sound. Resonate the room.

Take the horn off your lips after each fermata. Rest as long as you just played. Note that each line of this exercise gets longer in length, learn to regulate your air flow, in and out.  After you’re done, rest at least two minutes, more is good.

#2 – Now we add the tongue attack (T) on the notes.  Get those first two eighth notes to resonate the room, they should not be staccato, just a full eighth note. By resonate the room, I don’t mean loud, rather get the feeling that you are filling the room with your sound to all the corners of the room and you can hear it coming back to you. This is not echo. It is you exciting the air in the room with your playing. Always, no matter what you are playing, resonate the room.

In measure two, three and four, connect the notes, do not slide between the notes. The note pitches are one or another, little notches of tone. Keep the air moving, think of everything as one long tone. Rest as marked.

#3 – Match the tone quality of each note, the fingered lower neighbor tone, the slur up, the fingered lower neighbor tone, the slur up, the fingered upper neighbor tone, the slur down, the fingered upper neighbor tone, and the slur down and hold. Keep the air moving, it’s all one long tone, just the pitches you play are different. Resonate the room.

#4 – Going from note 1 to note 2, it’s either the Db or the Bb, there is no Gb in the middle (same on the other valve combinations on the first two notes).  Then keep the air moving and slur down and up without sliding from note to note. Listen to yourself closely, each note has it’s pitch and tone quality, match them and smooth out any glitches.  All one long tone, resonate the room.

#5 – Go for a full singing sound as you play this one. Keep the open, relaxed feeling of the low notes as you ascend to the higher notes. Keep your concentration up after the top note and descend gracefully all the way down and hold. No sliding between notes.

#6 – Get the tempo of the sixteenth notes in your mind before you begin. Play the first two notes with a resonate sound even though they are eighth notes. Play the slurred sixteenth notes evenly and smoothly, no sliding allowed.  When you land on the half note it should be stable and steady with a resonate sound holding it full value and then slur down without sliding to the next note and then slur down without sliding to the next note and hold, then rest.

#7 – It’s all one long tone, you are just changing pitches along the way. Match the tone quality pitch to pitch, especially the top note of the sets, keep the air moving all the way up and back down. No sliding, each note counts, each note resonates the room.

#8 – Get the tempo of the sixteenth notes in your mind before you begin. Play the first two notes with a resonate sound even though they are eighth notes. Play the slurred sixteenth notes evenly and smoothly, no sliding allowed.  When you land on the half note it should be stable and steady with a resonate sound holding it full value and then slur down without sliding to the next note and then slur down without sliding to the next note and hold, then rest.

#9/10 – Once again, it’s all one long tone. Keep the air moving in a steady flow from first note through the last note. There should only be the notes heard that are written, no little extra notes when you slur up between notes 3 and 4. It’s okay to practice this slowly to get the feeling of the air flow, and the continuous resonating of the room with your sound. Give a little special attention to the next to last note of the phrase, it’s a little “curve ball” thrown at you to get you to change your valves quickly and have the note speak clearly, still with the same tone quality as the other notes.

#11 – Get the tempo of the sixteenth notes in your mind before you begin. Play the first two notes with a resonate sound even though they are eighth notes. Play the slurred sixteenth notes evenly and smoothly, no sliding allowed.  When you land on the half note it should be stable and steady with a resonate sound holding it full value and then slur down without sliding to the next note and then slur down without sliding to the next note and hold, then rest.

#12 – Go for a full singing sound as you play this one. Keep the open, relaxed feeling of the low notes as you ascend to the higher notes. Keep your concentration up after the top note and descend gracefully all the way down and hold. No sliding between notes.

#13 – Wow, look at all of those Db notes. That 1-2-3 valve combination is the longest your trumpet gets, and it takes a little more concentration to get your horn to speak compared to other notes, and it’s up to you to make this happen. This study helps you learn how to match the tone quality going from longest to all the other valve combinations too, plus make it happen over a few different overtone partials. Be sure to do all of the articulations, this assures you are approaching this issue from every which way to get your chops working efficiently.  And remember, it’s all one long tone.  Oh, and… resonate the room.

#14/15 – Full length sixteenth notes, don’t try to play staccato, they are already short notes.  Resonate each one, every note counts, no fluffs accepted. Match the tone quality each note to the others, listen closely to the intonation of each note so you are playing the middle of the pitch when you attack the note. Keep reminding yourself that it’s all one long tone, the air keeps moving all the way from the first note through the last note. Get used to using that 3rd valve slide to get that Db in tune, it needs to be out for the Db and D, and for the 2-3 combinations (Eb and Ab) it’s in.  You can leave it out on anything other than 2-3, no airflow is going out the 3rd valve tubing if you don’t have the 3rd valve pushed down.

#16 – Once again, it’s all one long tone. Keep the air moving in a steady flow from first note through the last note. There should only be the notes heard that are written, no little extra notes when you slur up between notes 3 and 4. It’s okay to practice this slowly to get the feeling of the air flow, and the continuous resonating of the room with your sound. Give a little special attention to the next to last note of the phrase, it’s a little “curve ball” thrown at you to get you to change your valves quickly and have the note speak clearly, still with the same tone quality as the other notes.

#17 – Go for a relaxed and resonate sound. Fill the room with your sound, not loud, just resonate.

If you don’t have a copy of The Advancing Trumpet Player book, get full details here:

http://mphmusic.com/trumpet

 

 

 

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The Advancing Trumpet Player – Quick Start Guide

Advancing Trumpet PlayerThe Advancing Trumpet Player – Quick Start Guide

First of all…

Congratulations on your purchase of The Advancing Trumpet Player book!

You’re embarking on a great journey complete with challenges and rewards…  frustrations and fun too!

Here’s a few tips on getting starting using the ATP book:

1. Read the written materials in the front of the book during your rest time within your practice sessions, let the information there really sink in (read it many, many times).

2. When you first start using the ATP book, in the first session (the Warmup Routine), just play exercises 1-4 and 17 the first week.  Then the second week add one more exercise (ie 1-5 and 17), then the third week add one more exercise (ie 1-6 and 17) and continue in this pattern until you are playing exercises 1-17 of the Warmup Routine daily.  If at any time the additional added exercise is not to your liking (still difficult) at the end of the practice week, then stay with that routine for another week or so until you it becomes easier for you.

3. Always rest as much as you play DURING your practice sessions, not just between your practice sessions. You should still feel fresh at the end of the practice sessions, if not then rest more during the session. You don’t get better by playing incorrectly on beat up chops. Always strive to practice correctly. When you perform or rehearse with others, just play (your correct practice habits will be with you).

4. It’s really okay to play the tonality studies S-L-O-W-L-Y. Go for air flow (think of each exercise as one continuous long tone of air), resonant sound on every note (fill the room with your sound, no matter the length of the note), clean attack and articulations, etc. What you are wanting to do with slow practice is to give your body a chance to learn to coordinate all of the “moving parts” of trumpet playing so that it becomes second nature (subconscious reflexes) and carries forward into the study when you incrementally speed it up to quicker tempo.

5. Practice all of the articulations notated (ie S, T, K, TK, TTK, TKT, Breath). This will get your embouchure learning to play each note in every which way and whatever direction.

6. When playing from the tonalities section, or the Arban’s studies section, or any other thing you practice… it’s okay to practice one measure at a time, or even two beats at a time, or whatever. You can always string things back together and play longer stretches of music as you get better. It’s more important to play correctly for short periods, than incorrectly for long periods of time.

7. In the fourth session of the lessons, play as musically as you can. Those short little songs in the Arban book are full of twists and turns that really can give your chops a good workout and get you playing with finesse, and if you do them as I prescribe, your chops will feel fresh at the end of that session. Follow the instructions in the fourth session on how to alternate in the full range studies a few days a week also.

8. Always strive to play with the best tone possible. That’s what people hear, so why not be aware of it all the time when you practice. If you really sound great, chances are you are playing correctly. Always be thinking to resonate the room, not just the horn. This is not loudness volume, this is resonance. You will hear the room “feed back” the sound to your ears when you get it right. This is not echo. It is more of a thickness of your sound in the air that resonates while you play.

9. Always strive to make your practicing sound musical – make music, that’s the ultimate end game, so do it all along the way too.

10. Consider taking some lessons, either locally with a good instructor, or with me via Skype (yes, it really does work well, and I am very, very good at coaching you along your ATP trail).

11. Contact some local ensembles and get going on playing with others (see this page for ideas).

NOTE: if you purchased and received ATP prior to January 14, 2016… there is a typo on page 117, Lesson #7 – Session 2.  It should just read Eb Tonality – disregard anything else in that box.

12. Have fun and enjoy the ride!

You’ll find some other ATP tips here.

As always, my best to you —

Mark Hendricks

Tom Hall comments about Skype lessons and ATP

The Advancing Trumpet PlayerTom Hall comments about Skype lessons and ATP

It’s always really nice getting comments from people like Tom Hall, here’s what he wrote…

I am 68 years old.  I have played trumpet since I was 11 years old.  I graduated from Drake University in Des Moines, IA, with a Bachelor Of Music Education degree in 1971.  Trumpet was my major instrument.  I taught instrumental music in the public schools for 35 years, mostly at the middle school level.  I have played in pit orchestras for over 30 Broadway musicals, mostly at the high school and college level.  I have played in numerous bands in our immediate area (north central Iowa) as well.

I first saw some things about Mark on Facebook, and started following his MPH Music page.  After reading about some of Mark’s teaching techniques, especially in working with players that want to get back into shape, and seeing something about Skype lessons a couple of months ago, I decided to contact Mark and try a few lessons.

The best part for me has been working one on one with Mark.  He concentrates on the basics, which is what I need to do.  I have always been involved with performance based playing, so I have gotten away from working on the little things – which are not little at all, but very fundamental.

Mark’s book, the Advancing Trumpet Player, is a very simple approach to improving your playing.  I have no doubt that if I follow it I will become a much better player.  I can already see improvement in 2-1/2 weeks!

My last lessons were with my college trumpet instructor over 40 years ago.  Again, most of his instruction was performance based.  Mark encourages playing passages slowly and he’s got me listening much more carefully to what I play, and he really emphasizes that resting is just as important as playing.

I have recommended Mark to a couple of friends already.  I explained how Mark approaches playing, and showed them the ATP book.  Mark is very professional in his teaching, but friendly.  He knows his subject well, and is able to explain how to deal with problem issues.  In the past 2-1/2 weeks since I started lessons, I have been very impressed with Mark and the ATP method book.  The book is laid out in a way that makes it easy to follow, and keeps my interest from day to day.

My goal in taking Skype lessons with Mark was to regain the excitement for playing trumpet.  In recent years, I have been playing in a few groups, but I have not been able to get excited about practicing on my own.  Mark has really helped me get back that enthusiasm for playing.

I think Mark has developed a good, solid system!  I would highly recommend it to anyone who is not satisfied with their current level of playing.

Tom Hall
Iowa Falls, IA

It’s Mark here again…

Thanks Tom for your kind words. It really helps and encourages others to get back in the game, or to brush up on their game of playing their trumpet too (and other music making too).

If you’d like more info on my trumpet and trombone books, check them out here:

http://mphmusic.com/trumpet

http://mphmusic.com/trombone

And if you’d like more info on Skype lessons with me (yes, it really does work well), take a peek here:

http://mphmusic.com/skype

And you can read comments from other people too at http://mphmusic.com/blog/category/comments/

As always, my best to you —

Mark Hendricks