Peter Flournoy says this about The Comeback Trumpet Player

The Comeback Trumpet PlayerPeter Flournoy says this about The Comeback Trumpet Player

Mark:

I am a comeback trumpet player and perform about 3-4 times per year at my church (either with piano or organ accompaniment or with the full choir). I began practicing again in late June for a church performance about a week ago and found your book to be valuable as I work to regain my chops.

I also especially like the warm up section, but find that I do not have the time to practice for more than about an hour per day. As such, I am taking your advice to practice parts of each lesson and alternate as I go.

I am finding my flexibility, endurance and range improving as I go.

Looking forward to working with your books and lesson plans throughout the end of this year and into next!!! I am really finding your book to be useful and helpful as I work to rebuild my chops!!

Thanks for providing a valuable and useful resource for those of us trying to get back in the game!!

With great appreciation,

Peter Flournoy
Norwalk, CT

Hi Peter, Mark here.

Thanks for your comments about The Comeback Trumpet trumpet book.

Sounds like you’re putting it to good use, and have customized your practice routine using the guidelines I gave you in the practice tips blogpost of alternating exercises every other day so you do get to all of them instead of just skipping around. Bravo!

By following the disciplined system of lesson plans you get a well-rounded approach to practicing all facets of playing in a balanced way, and you always know where to pick up again if you get side-tracked.

Thanks again for sharing your experience.

Mark Hendricks

You can get more info, free samples and order your copy of The Comeback Trumpet Player book at this link The Comeback Trumpet Player

And read practice tips and comments from other at this link Comeback Trumpet Player Tips

 

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Comeback Trumpet Player Dave Dennis says this

The Comeback Trumpet PlayerComeback Trumpet Player Dave Dennis says this

Hi Mark,

I have found The Comeback Trumpet Player  book an effective way to renew my acquaintance with my cornet. I am practicing up on my 1941 Conn 80a after — shall we say– more than 20 years. I had it restored earlier this year.  The old horn is slowly learning to sing again.

Having started from liver lips I have had considerable progress. The warm up section is especially valuable. I found the “rest as you play” instruction to be encouraging, especially when I was inventing notes that do not have  a place on any scale. The reminder to go slow and play well is helpful in coordinating rusty habits as well as replacing some unhelpful ones. Previously I had not given much thought to warm-down. Exercise 16 in the opening section really ends a practice session with a sense of relaxation. Because my cornet is larger bore the number of lower tones and bottom mid-range is helping me to build a tone I like. When I bust a note toward the top of my present range the “three strikes and you’re out” teaches patience and restrains my compulsions to overdo it. I chose to start with the G tonality studies. I appreciate the major and minor scale studies. My fingers are learning to cooperate again!

Your assigned Arban exercises gives me additional challenge as well as something to do during rest stops. My well-traveled book has now begun to molt and keeping the pages in order require attention. Gosh, it’s not even fifty years old yet! It is truly and old friend.

For those thinking about or starting up again, I highly recommend The Comeback Trumpet Player. It is varied enough to keep you interested and rigorous without being discouraging.

Keep on playing,

Dave Dennis
Knoxville, TN

Hi, Mark here…

Thanks Dave for your comments about The Comeback Trumpet Player systematic method book for trumpet players.

If you’re a Comeback Trumpet Player, this will help get you on track and keep you on track for years to come.

Read all about it at http://mphmusic.com/trumpet

If you’re more advanced already, I suggest you pick up The Advancing Trumpet player (you will see it at that same webpage).

More about The Comeback Trumpet Player – Tips and Comments

As always, my best to you —

Mark Hendricks

 

 

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The Comeback Trumpet Player – Tips #3

The Comeback Trumpet Player The Comeback Trumpet Player – Tips #3

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 minutes 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 improve 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:  Comeback Trumpet Player

The Comeback Trumpet Player book – click.

Best,
Mark Hendricks

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The Comeback Trumpet Player – Tonality Studies Commentary

The Comeback Trumpet PlayerThe Comeback 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 meaures 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 meaures 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 sixteeth 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 Comeback Trumpet Player book, get full details here:

http://mphmusic.com/trumpet

 

 

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The Comeback Trumpet Player – Warmup Routine Commentary

The Comeback Trumpet PlayerThe Comeback 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 16 the first week.  Then the second week add one more exercise (ie 1-5 and 16), then the third week add one more exercise (ie 1-6 and 16) and continue in this pattern until you are playing exercises 1-16 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 – 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 Comeback Trumpet Player yet, get details here:

http://mphmusic.com/trumpet

 

 

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Dave Ramsey – The Comeback Trumpet Player

The Comeback Trumpet PlayerDave Ramsey – The Comeback Trumpet Player

I’m Dave Ramsey in Philadelphia, PA.

I have a degree in Jazz trumpet from Temple University from 10 years ago.

I’ve been working a lot on composition for the past couple years so I’ve mostly just been doing long tones a few times a week. After starting to get ready for the performance I kept finding it difficult to practice longer than 10 minutes without taking a long break.

I picked up Comeback Trumpet Player and had a wonderful lesson with Mark. By following the structure of the book that specifically highlights a variety of exercises that strengthen all of my playing my lips feel better than they’ve ever felt and I can practice nearly all day. I’ve been using the book now for 4 weeks and continue to progress both through it and have energy to practice the jazz licks and songs I want.

Mark everything is going fantastically. My lips feel better than ever.

Thank you so much Mark!

Dave Ramsey
Philadelphia, PA

Hey Dave – that’s GREAT news!

It’s amazing how something as simple as resting during your practice sessions as I prescribe can make such a huge difference in your ability to practice more and get more accomplished in a shorter time frame… and still have your chops feel good at the end of the day and at the beginning of the next day too!

Check out all the trumpet books, each specifically targets an area of playing – however they all have efficient and effective practice concepts written into them to get you the most results in the least amount of time.

http://mphmusic.com/trumpet

As always, my best to you —

Mark Hendricks

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The Comeback Trumpet Player – Quick Start Guide

The Comeback Trumpet PlayerThe Comeback Trumpet Player – Quick Start Guide

First of all…

Congratulations on your comeback!

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 CTP 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 CTP book, in the first session (the Warmup Routine), just play exercises 1-4 and 16 the first week.  Then the second week add one more exercise (ie 1-5 and 16), then the third week add one more exercise (ie 1-6 and 16) and continue in this pattern until you are playing exercises 1-16 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 comeback trail).

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

12. Have fun and enjoy the ride!

You’ll find some other CTP tips here.

As always, my best to you —

Mark Hendricks

One very important tip for The Comeback Trumpet Player

The Comeback Trumpet PlayerOne very important tip for The Comeback Trumpet Player

Immediately go find some groups to play in and make music. This will keep you motivated to practice and you need to make music, not just practice to really get yourself back into shape and enjoying all aspects of playing the trumpet (music, social, challenge, concentration, etc).

Here’s a few ideas:

1 – Community Bands and Orchestras

2 – Brass Bands

3 – Church groups

4 – Jazz Ensembles

5 – College-sponsored groups

6 – Duets with other trumpet players (5 star tip)

Actually schedule a time each week to play duets. We all need to have ensembles to play and perform in, and a duet is the easiest to organize – it’s just you and your duet partner. Or add a third player to make things even more fun (plus this makes sure you are resting properly by having only two of you play while the third is resting).

Here’s a page on my site for some links to lots of performing options:

http://mphmusic.com/play/

And…

Get that book “The Comeback Trumpet Player”

And if you need a great duet book, look on my site for the 49 Long Lost Arban Duets for Trumpet (…that Arban never wrote!)

Here’s a sample letter you can email to the organizations you find in the directory:

replace “wind ensemble” with orchestra, brass band, church orchestra, etc

Subject line: I am interested in playing trumpet in your wind ensemble.

Message:

Hi,

My name is Mark Hendricks.

I am interested in playing trumpet in your wind ensemble.

Here is where you can see a little about my experience:

http://mphmusic.com/about.htm

(or just include a little about your experience here, if you don’t have a webpage)

Whether it be an extra chair upon occasion, or to fill a current opening, it’s okay with me.

Mark Hendricks
Phone: 987 654 3210  (use your real phone number 🙂 )

That’s it. They will get back to you.

Go forth and let the trumpet sound!!

Mark

 

Skype lessons with Mark – comments from Ralph Marks

The Comeback Trumpet PlayerHere’s some comments I received from Ralph Marks regarding the trumpet lessons we did over Skype… Ralph’s been playing for decades and never stopped along the way, so some may not consider him a “Comeback Trumpet Player” but he did purchase “The Comeback Trumpet Player” book and we used it in our lessons along with some other materials I created for him to practice too.

Here’s Ralph…

Thanks LOADS Mark.

Yes, I thought our time was valuable and helpful in terms of knowing what needs to be done and how it needs to be done to increase one’s skill level.

Like an athlete needs to keep honing his skills and keep them sharp, you’ve been helpful, Mark, in giving me a perspective of where I’d like to get…in terms of sound, consistency, air flow, control, and resonance…and how to fine tune those skills and incorporate them into my playing style.

Oftentimes, we play notes and take the rest of that for granted. Thanks for helping me again to focus on not only playing notes, but playing MUSIC and making MUSIC.

In addition to the book The Comeback Trumpet Player, I also appreciated the added exercises you made available to me right in the middle of the Skype lesson. That was ADDED VALUE to your commentary.

One final thing: the explanation of why we do it this way was helpful, and a reminder to not only play exercises, but play them correctly (and often slowly) to get the desired results.

Thanks for the four weeks of lessons. I’ll be back again after a little break and I work on some of these things.

And oh, thanks for being “picky”.

Ralph Marks
Brass From the Past
West Lawn, PA

Mark here again…

If you’d like to consider having lessons with me as your coach via Skype (it’s really easy to do), click on over to this page for more info…

http://www.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

The Comeback Trumpet Player – Tips #1

The Comeback Trumpet PlayerThe Comeback Trumpet Player – Tips #1

Thanks again for ordering your copy of  The Comeback Trumpet Player.

I hope you’re progressing step-by-step through the lessons, if you’ve had the book for a while. If you haven’t received it yet, simply start with lesson one when you get it, and progress at your own speed (at least one week per lesson).

The reason I’m writing is to let you know that you can contact me with any questions you might have, and I will answer yours and share the question and answer with other CTP users. Of course, your question will be confidential and your name won’t be mentioned.

Here’s a few responses I wrote to recent questions…

Mark, what tempo should I do the exercises?

For tempo, pick a moderate tempo for the exercise you are doing, with the most important thing is that it is slow enough for you to hear your sound on every note and respond to that sound.  It doesn’t have to be real slow, but slow enough for your natural learning feedback system to make adjustments and for you to be able to be aware of problems and improvements.

Try playing the exercise a little slower and faster also.  Different tempos yield different insights. Like I said in the intro comments in the book, it is possible to play the exercises too fast, but not too slow.  Some exercises you will want to go for more speed, like the scales, arpeggios, lip slurs, but always work incrementally to the faster speeds, keeping the resonate sound on each note as your ultimate goal.

Also to work on your air flow, slowing things down will help there.

One concept that is not explained well by someone saying use more air is this…

It’s not so much the volume of air, but rather the speed of the air coming out of you through the horn and resonating the room.

Think…. fast air … while you play slow exercises so it becomes a natural thing to do.  Think of moving the air quickly all the way through the horn to outside the bell as soon as you begin blowing air into and through the horn.  Never think of just air getting to your lips and mouthpiece, always through and out.

It also helps to think… resonate the room.

Get your sound to fill all corners of the room you are in.

This is not equated to playing loud, but rather full and resonate.

One other tip….  when descending keep the lips together, in other words don’t let the aperture get spread. This is so when you go back up, the aperture is still ready for the notes above.  In the warmup you will notice a lot of descending lips slurs, they are there for this purpose.

And another…. for low and middle range (up to G on staff) think the vowel sound of A, like in the words   dAd  or At. Not a nasal sound but rather just in your oral cavity.  This tends to help get the resonance right and the overtones that are in the note you are playing to vibrate. Experiment with subtle changes in the vowels you think while playing some long tones, like on 2nd line G.  Think  aw … oooo … oohhh…  eeee..    ah….  and dAd  (don’t put a D on the cutoff).

I think you will find that the dAd sound resonates the best.

Hope this helps.

One other thing.

In session 2, I talk about choosing a track, 1 or 2.

If you can play low notes ok, start with track 1 … if low notes are really difficult, use track 2. Then stay on a tonality for at least a week, then move to the next one in the track for the first 12 weeks (or 24 weeks)… after that you can do one a day in rotation, or do them for a week again. You will know which you need to do, just listen to yourself and make minor adjustments.

In session 3, Arbans, when you get to the page 125 intervals studies 1-6, you may want to start at the top of the page instead of the middle.  Then the first day, just play half of the lines and add an extra line each day.  Why?  The interval studies tend to show embouchure weaknesses and if you continue into the higher ones before you’re really ready for them, some bad habits develop in reaching the notes. Patience is better than learning bad habits that need fixing later.  With that in mind, patience is quicker than fixing.

Mark, do you give lessons on Skype?  — yes I do… see this page for details: http://mphmusic.com/skype

Keep in touch,  let me know when you have more questions, and let me know your progress.

And we always love getting great testimonials from our customers, so if you’ve gotten results that you like, tell us about it… others who are considering the books will find your stories helpful in making their decision to get their copies too.

If you don’t have your copy of The Comeback Trumpet Player, get yours now at: http://mphmusic.com/trumpet-music.htm

As always, my best to you —

Mark Hendricks

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The Comeback Trumpet Player – Tips #2

The Comeback Trumpet PlayerThe Comeback Trumpet Player – Tips #2

Some good questions from Jim…

Q1:  For the first “Lesson #1-12”  under session “2” Tonality Study,  it asks me to choose a Track and stick with it for the first 12 lessons.  —   does this mean for 12 days?  12 days for each of the first 12 lessons?

A1: For Track 1 (building range from the bottom up), stick with one tonality for session 2 of each of the lessons 1 through 12. So session 2 for the first lesson would be G…. session 2 for the second lesson would be Ab…. session 2 for the 3rd lesson would be A… and so on through lesson 12….  Each lesson taking one week or two (or longer), depending on your progress.   At lesson 13, you can start doing one tonality per day as a review and maintenance – just work straight through the book starting with the C tonality study, then F… Bb… Eb… and so on – and then loop back and go through the cycle again and again.

Q2:  Under “Lesson #1, Session 2” again  where the book describes the Tracks, It states Track 1 will build the range from bottom up – G Ab A Bb B…etc.. But the track 1 series of pages is only written in key of G.  I see no progression?

A2: Track 1 equals one week (or two) on the G tonality study…. then Ab tonality study…. then A…. then Bb… and so on… to F#… thus building the range from the bottom up.

If your lower range is difficult, the optional way is to do Track 2. Start with the C tonality study for a week (or two)…. then B tonality study… then Db… Bb… D… A… Eb… Ab… E… G… F… F#  –  you will build your range in both directions with Track 2

Feel comfortable in contacting me with any CTP questions, and I will write back to you and post the answers for all the CTP Gang to see and benefit also.

And if you wish, I am available for Skype lessons http://mphmusic.com/skype

Thanks.

Mark