A light hearted, satirical approach to the instrument that we both love and hate simultaneously. At trumpetastic.com you will find all sorts of trumpet related news, articles, product reviews, events, blatant advertising and some completely useless stuff that will make you laugh or curse, depending on your take on playing the trumpet.
You don’t know what you don’t know until you learn from the best. Check out these masterclass articles.
Project Youtube has been a labour of love for me. I started this project to help me alleviate my own practice boredom. 10 years ago I found that I was making more progress with my playing if I used backing tracks. These tracks enabled me to really lock into a tonal centre but kept me in time. I could have used drones and a metronome but the backing tracks were the key to unlocking the next stage in my playing. They helped me to achieve a better range, endurance and most of all, a better sound. Please use the videos freely and subscribe to my channel, if there is something that you would like to see, let me know.
Brass performer, teacher, composer, arranger and conductor.
Ashley Buxton is the Director of Music at a grammar school in the West Midlands. He has an impressive background that includes 12 years as a trumpeter in the Regimental Band of Her Majesty’s Coldstream Guards. Ashley joined the Army at 18 as a professional Trumpeter and was awarded the Besson Brass Player of the Year 2000 at the Royal Military School of Music and the Royal Military School of Music Certificate for Exceptional Proficiency on the Trumpet/Cornet.
His career enabled him to travel and perform on live TV, at a royal wedding, on 36 commercially recorded CDs, at Live 8 and in premier concert halls around the world.
Having gained a BMus Hons Degree in Music from Trinity College in 2007, Ashley left the army for a career in teaching in 2011. He gained Qualified Teacher Status with Bromley Schools’ Collegiate and Bullers Wood School and is currently enjoying working with musicians and students in the Midlands.
This is Arban exercise number 20 in semiquavers with a backing track play-along to help improve your trumpet and cornet playing. This will help your production, intonation, endurance, range and sound. This is the chop-buster version, don’t panic it won’t bust your chops! It repeats and gets faster and will build your endurance quickly. Make sure you get lots of rest and do not play all of this in one go if it is too much.
Now try Chop Buster 2, this one repeats and goes higher. This exercise will build endurance and range quickly. Make sure you get lots of rest too.
I first picked up a trumpet at the age of 9 and haven’t put it down since, metaphorically speaking. That was 42 years ago now and along the way, I have also picked up a considerable amount of knowledge and experience. I now want to share what I know and can teach, with those who do not have or cannot afford a trumpet teacher. I am very fortunate in that I do not depend on music to provide my livelihood and can give my services for free.
There are many trumpet students around the world that I would like to reach out to and help in any way I can. With technology, this is now possible and if as a group or an individual you can access Skype, I will work with you personally to develop yours and your friends’ trumpet playing. I have taught and played professionally for over 30 years and know how to help. Please check me out using this link to my organisation, Freedom for Musicians.
If you think you can take up this offer, get in touch via the Facebook group, message me or use the contact form below.
Much love and happy trumpeting,
Roger Moisan LTCL PGCE (Founder and Director, trumpetastic.com and Freedom for Musicians Ltd)
If you haven’t visited Nick Drozdoff’s blog yet, you really must. Born out of decades of experience as a professional trumpet player, notably with the Maynard Ferguson Band, Nick’s insights and teachings are second to none.
Take a moment to read this fantastic article by Nick:
Chicago area trumpeter and Maynard Ferguson Orchestra alum, Nick Drozdoff, has been a fixture in Chicago’s jobbing arena for many years since he left Maynard Ferguson’s band in 1981.
After many years running his own contracting business and completing his masters in classical trumpet, he began leading a double life in 1991 when he took on a “day gig” as a high school physics teacher. Drozdoff has a B.S. in Electrical Engineering, allowing him to easily slip into a high school physics class. Drozdoff taught physics and APC physics at Winnetka’s New Trier High School.
After leading a double career existence, garnering awards as a high school science teacher and developing endorsement deals as a jazz trumpeter at night, Drozdoff recently retired from his beloved day job to get back to his passion of music exclusively. Now he leads a double life by virtue of geography, with a home in Door County, Wisconsin and in the Northern Suburbs of Chicago. He regularly performs in both locations as he lives equal time in both places, depending on his performance and lecture/masterclass schedule.
Once in while, not terribly often, a trumpet player is born with a brain. One such player is Aussie commercial and jazz artist Greg Spence. I met Greg a few years back on one of his legendary Mystery to Mastery tours and was immediately struck by not only his awesome playing but also his ability to analyse and reflect on what it is we are trying to do with this 3 foot length of pipe.
I urge you to get involved with Mystery to Mastery and listen to what Greg has to say. Your playing will improve, period.
WHAT IS MTM? Mystery to Mastery (MTM) is the most modern, easy to use and logical approach to trumpet playing available. MTM offers you Step-By-Step troubleshooting advice.
MTM is for people who love the trumpet and want it to be easy.
A ground breaking and top selling method by Dancing with the Stars (OZ) lead trumpeter, Greg Spence.
Whether you want to play as a hobby or as a professional, MTM is here to help beginners to get off to the best start, and to help players of all standards troubleshoot limitations.
“What makes your book so incredibly rich is that it’s a collection of basic, gradual and pragmatic skills which can be made as complicated as one pleases. So regardless of one’s level (beginner or advanced) it is an unlimited recourse of training. I should have known it 40 years earlier!” Andre
“The Mystery to Mastery Method taught me how to go beyond the playing plateau that most players hit. Understanding how the body and the instrument work answered many questions other regular methods could not.
The Step-By-Step layout and gradual approach allows players of all styles and standards to recognise and overcome technical flaws. An absolute must for all brass players!”.
Greg with Wayne Bergeron at Melbourne International Brass Festival
From performances at Carnegie Hall with the Adelaide Symphony to backing Herbie Hancock with the Queensland Symphony and playing alongside Tim Minchin with the Western Australian Symphony to grooving with Olivia Newton John at the Sydney Opera House with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, add 15 seasons as lead trumpet for Australia’s Dancing With The Stars…
YAMAHA ARTIST and Dancing With The Stars/Strictly Come Dancing (Australia) trumpeter GREG SPENCE. Greg is a renowned clinician and freelance studio trumpeter. His impressive industry experience in performance and education places him at the forefront of modern trumpet teaching. Whether you are a complete beginner, advanced player or teacher looking to advance your skills, Greg’s insightful lessons, endorsed by world class players, will inspire and extend you in all aspects of trumpet playing and teaching.
There are innate traps that only the lucky few avoid when beginning their trumpet playing. Overblowing and lip pinching are the primary problems I see in 99% of my students. It is very easy to recognise these issues having done them myself for so many years.
Over the last 25 years, I have researched many methods and approaches for improving on the trumpet. Being self taught originally, I have fallen into most of the many traps that the trumpet can present you with.
I am inspired by my idols Maynard Ferguson, Raphael Mendez, Bobby Shew, Doc Severensen, James Morrison, Bill Chase, Lee Morgan, Maurice Andre and the likes.
I have dedicated my life to this wonderful instrument and in doing so have learnt amazing information from world renowned teachers such as James Stamp, Claude Gordon, Carmine Caruso, Dr Charles Colin, Max Schlossberg, Jerome Callet, Bill Adam, Arnold Jacobs and Jean Baptiste Arban. Although these methods are quite different in their approach, they all have an underlying message that has helped me to progress my playing way beyond my expectations and this same information will undoubtedly help you in your quest for trumpet mastery.
Above that, I dedicate this method book to Maynard Ferguson, Bobby Shew, Roger Ingram, Allan Vizzutti, Wayne Bergeron, Charlie Davis, Arturo Sandoval, Chuck Findlay, Gary Grant and Lew Solloff, all of whom I have had the pleasure of meeting personally and talking trumpet with. I have also been lucky enough to have had lessons with or been to masterclasses and workshops by all of the above mentioned Superstars.
The aim when writing these books was to compile and explain great information in the clearest, most concise way for players of all standards, then to combine basic to advanced exercises and to demonstrate them on CD. That is the real key to the success of this book – a step by step guide to help you understand, to hear and to copy!
I am very proud to have received brilliant feedback from players from all over the world. It has certainly made the hundreds if not thousands of hours that I have put into practise and research over the years very worthwhile.
Please enjoy the book and I am sure you will find plenty of information at this site to keep you motivated on your lifelong trumpet journey.
Interview with jazz trumpeter, bandleader and Taylor Trumpets Artist, Yervand Margaryan.
JazzBluesNews.Space: – First let’s start with where you grew up, and what got you interested in music?
Yervand Margaryan: – I was born and grew up in Tbilisi (Georgia). My first interest towards music was in early childhood. I loved singing songs from famous cartoons since I was 4 years old. And at that time I remember I gathered a huge collection of such cartoons with original songs on the vinyls. I played them everyday and sang along all of these by heart.
JBN.S: –What got you interested in picking up the trumpet? What teacher or teachers helped you progress to the level of playing you have today? What made you choose the trumpet?
YM: – My father is a big musical fan especially of the French singer with Armenian heritage Charles Aznavour. He didn’t miss any old or new record of that singer. Besides this he also loved listening to jazz music. All of this didn’t miss my attention. At 14 I discovered a tremendous vinyl of Louis Armstrong and from that moment on fell in love with jazz! I have been lucky in life. When I moved to Yerevan, a famous American pianist of Armenian heritage Armen Donelyan came here with master classes! After literally a couple of his workshops I understood in which direction I had to develop and this was a deciding period in my choice for my future path!
JBN.S: –How did your sound evolve over time? What did you do to find and develop your sound?
YM: – Sound is a language . We express an idea with a language. The idea itself is born from the context which is always different. Accordingly sound always arises from context and can change depending on the composition. And in music context is; style, tempo, emotional substance, etc. I have a small daily routine to always maintain the shape of my technical apparatus which is responsible for my context dependable flexible sound.
JBN.S: –What practice routine or exercise have you developed to maintain and improve your current musical ability especially pertaining to rhythm?
YM: – When there is time for practice I love to play and improvise standards in a variety of tempos from the slowest to the fastest in completely different styles from pop and reggae to straight 8 and hard bop in all keys.
JBN.S: –Which harmonies and harmonic patterns do you prefer now?
YM: – For me the priority in music, just like in life is the context. Everything arises from the context. For me it all depends what kind of music I play at that moment. Let’s agree, that it would be clumsy to imagine using pentatonic patterns in dixieyland music or to play bibop patterns in bossa nova. Everything has to be natural and arising from the context.
JBN.S: –Which are the best jazz albums for you of 2017 year?
YM: – I really like Arturo Sandoval’s last album “Ultimates Duets.”
JBN.S: –What’s the balance in music between intellect and soul?
YM: – Of course the best that can be done is to combine the intellect with the soul! And I try to walk on that path. But nonetheless for me the priority in music and life is the heart and soul! Only the outcome of the heart and soul can reach out and touch the hearts and souls of your listeners!
JBN.S: –Please any memories from gigs, jams, open acts and studio sessions which you’d like to share with us?
YM: – I have had many memorable gigs, concerts and studio recordings. All of them are precious for me in an equal manner. I can only note that I’ve been lucky to work with such performers as Michel Legrand (France), Igor Butman (Russia), Charles Davis (USA),Roy Hargrove (USA),Ramon Flores (USA) Victor Espinola (Paraguay), Ziad Rahbani (Lebanon), Ventzislav Blagoev (Bulgaria), Roger Wright (England), Arno Van Nieuwenhuize (Netherlands), Arto Tunchboyajian (USA), Adam Rapa (USA), Zaid Nasser (USA), Michel Delakian (France), Stephane Stefan Patry (France), etc.
JBN.S: –Many aspiring musicians are always looking for advice when navigating thru the music business. Is there any piece of advice you can offer to aspiring students or even your peers that you believe will help them succeed and stay positive in this business?
YM: – My main advice is to be dedicated to your work and believe in what you do! Sooner or later it will bring you to success!
JBN.S: –Аnd furthermore, can jazz be a business today or someday?
YM: – Yes, I firmly believe that jazz can also be a business in addition. Everything depends how you do your work and deliver it to the audience.
JBN.S: –Which collaboration have been the most important experiences for you?
YM: – I consider a very important collaboration with the famous composer and pianist Ziad Rahbani. For me that collaboration has started in the beginning of my musical career and lasts until now. I like his non-standard approach to music. These are original compositions in which you always have to thoroughly approach each of your solo performances. Minimalism, stylistic opportunities and also a unique musical color which combines jazz music as well as national motives; all of this is extraordinarily interesting and captivating! We also talked a lot with Ziad on music and I noticed the similarity of views with him. All of this also influenced me when started composing my own music.
JBN.S: –How can we get young people interested in jazz when most of the standard tunes are half a century old?
YM: – That’s a good question! In my opinion there are several ways and they are not mutually exclusive. Most importantly is the form in which the music is delivered. We need newly composed music, which reflects our life with its rhythm, harmony. It will definitely be close to young people because it originates from our daily lives. And evergreen repertuar is a classic. And there’s two ways for it to develop; perform them like classics without changing anything or perform them them using new and interesting rhythmic and harmonic solutions. But this doesn’t mean that the priority here is to change something. The priority is the sense of taste and style! That’s the most important thing!
JBN.S: –John Coltrane said that music was his spirit. How do you understand the spirit and the meaning of life?
YM: – This is how I imagine it all. All of us received this life as a gift. And each one of us has a special mission uniquely suited to him. Our life is the dream of God. And God sent us here to manifest various divine qualities; talents and good acts to make this planet the way God and ideally each one of us would have wanted to see! And only when we accomplish the mission assigned to us we become happy! And we make the people around us happy too! It’s a different issue that a lot of people often don’t believe in their mission in this life, don’t believe in miracles, in good. And it gets them to waste the missions assigned only to them and making them unhappy. You always need to believe in your mission and listen to your heart!
JBN.S: –What are your expectations of the future? What brings you fear or anxiety?
YM: – I look optimistically into the future. I have a lot of ideas and projects in mind! It also concerns the development of jazz in Armenia. New concerts and festivals by their format. It also concerns Armenia’s presence in the international arena as well as joint international projects! Let’s hope there’s much energy and health to accomplish all of this!
JBN.S: –If you could change one thing in the musical world and it would become a reality, what would that be?
YM: – Maybe this is a utopia, but I would make all the news channels and shows to broadcast good music, concerts and recordings instead of bad and horrific news about catastrophes,murders, etc. Then our world surely would turn in the right direction!
JBN.S: –What’s the next musical frontier for you?
YM: – From my early devotion to jazz one of my idols was the singer and trumpet player Chet Backer. Quite recently I caught myself on the thought that there are song lyrics that are in sync to my life experience and I have a message to express with them, to sing them more specifically. Very recently I sang “When I Fall in Love” for the first time in my life publicly at the Armas Wine & Jazz Festival. I think everything went alright and I would very much like to prepare a new project in which I would completely sing famous standards in a couple of months. That’s my next goal!
JBN.S: –Are there any similarities between jazz and world music, including folk music?
YM: – There is a little similarity between jazz and world music. But I still think that a mix of genres can give wonderful fruits both creatively and as a means to popularize jazz in the whole world!
JBN.S: –Who do you find yourself listening to these days?
YM: – I always love to listen to a variety of music from classical to rap. From the jazz performers of our time I like to listen to Тill Brönner, Arturo Sandoval, Roy Hargrove, Chris Botti, etc.
JBN.S: –Let’s take a trip with a time machine, so where and why would you really wanna go?
YM: – I really believe that I was born in a time right for me. But often I would like to travel on a time machine through all the historic periods!
JBN.S: –I have been asking you so far, now may I have a question from yourself …
YM: – How do you ideally envision the future of jazz in Armenia and the role of the Armenian musicians in the international arena?
JBN.S: –Thank you for answers. I am sorry, I do not want to offend a compatriots.
Performance anxiety, or stage fright, affects all musicians at some point in their lives and can be devastating for us trumpet players. Trembling legs, shaking hands, shortness of breath and and a mouth like the Sahara Desert are not very helpful when you are trying to show the world what you can do with the trumpet. Months of preparation; years of expectation ruined in a heartbeat!
Before I continue, I would like you to watch the following video of yours truly some 30 years ago playing the Haydn on the telly. Not because it’s a great performance or anything special, but to understand what is going on in the trumpet mind and to fully understand how we can tackle the scourge of performance anxiety.
Ask yourself whilst watching: Does this young man have ice water in his veins or is there something deeper going on here? To put in context, Saturday night prime time television on BBC 1 and it’s live. No internet and most people only have 4 TV channels. Studio audience of around 200 and the viewing figures were approximately 11 million.
Firstly, I would like to introduce you to your friend and mine, The Trumpet Mind, the driving force behind our performance anxiety. Let’s face it, us trumpet players are not the sharpest tools in the box otherwise we would be playing the violin. Therefore, we are by nature, slaves to our emotions. We’ve all experienced it, playing a piece with a high note at the end and all we can think about during the performance is that note. The Trumpet Mind says to you, “You know that high note at the end? Well, you are really going to screw it up and look stupid in front of all these people!” Thanks Trumpet Mind, that’s really helpful, not!
Now, I would like to share with you my top 2 worst performance anxiety/stage fright experiences. They came early on in my playing journey and interestingly, it was only when the stakes were higher than playing a tune for my mum that they occurred.
Aged 17. Audition for the Guildhall School of Music, London. Interview panel was the late and great Philip Jones and Rod Franks, both former principal trumpet players of the LSO and legends in their own right. I was shaking before I walked in the room, I had a plastic lemon juice container hanging from my wrist in a vain attempt to combat dry mouth syndrome. I dropped my music whilst trying to put it on the stand because I was trembling so much. When Philip Jones reached down to pick it up for me, I shook his hand by mistake. The performance was a non-performance which took me months to get over and needless to say, I was not offered a place. BOOM! Round one goes to Trumpet Mind.
Aged 18. Shell LSO Scholarship audition. Interview panel: Jack Brymer, principal clarinet LSO. Maurice Murphy, principal trumpet LSO. Hugh Seanan, principal horn LSO. Denis Wick, principal trombone LSO. Programme: Arutunian Concerto and Hindemith Sonata.
The exposition of the Arutunian went well however, I had not rehearsed with the or any other pianist prior to the gig (Problem 1). I had ignored my teacher’s advice not to do it in the first place (problem 2). I arrogantly thought it would be ok to wing it (problem 3). As a result, I began shaking so much that my trousers started to fall down and all moisture left my mouth with no hope of return. Burned into my memory is the sight of Maurice Murphy approaching me and saying, “I think we had better leave it there, don’t you?” BOOM! Round two goes to Trumpet Mind.
Now, we can all share war stories but how does that help the still suffering player? It is good to know that you are not alone but it is better to equip yourself with some strategies to avoid this ever happening again.
Huge doses of adrenaline released in order to kill a tiger or run like hell don’t help the performing musician, so what can we do to prevent this primitive response?
The motto of the Parachute Regiment is ‘Knowledge Conquers Fear’. Prepare, prepare and, oh yeah, prepare. You wouldn’t jump out of a plane unless you had treble checked your chute would you. Don’t put yourself in front of an audience until you have done all the necessary spade work. Nuff said on that one.
Keep it in perspective. Let’s face it, we are not splitting the atom or performing heart surgery here. The audience are sitting there to be entertained with some music, you are there because you are good at it. Tell yourself that you have done it before therefore, you can do it again.
Give yourself a chance. Think of this one as the escape lane on a dangerous road where you can pull over if things don’t go to plan. The high bit at the end? Prepare an alternative that is easy in case you need it. If all is well, go for the big finish. No one will know or even care as long as it is done with conviction.
A boxer will spar many rounds prior to a big fight. Look for opportunities to put yourself under pressure as part of your preparation. It doesn’t even need to be playing as it is the same emotional and physiological response. Public speaking, presentations or better still, the warm up gig are all excellent in heading off an attack. This feeds the ‘I’ve done it before, I can do it again’ strategy.
Meet and greet your audience as they arrive. Hmm.. weird concept huh? Not really, part of the problem is that your audience are strangers and not necessarily your mum. Get to know them first if you can.
These are my top five which I use in conjunction with each other on a regular basis. Think back to that young man playing the Haydn on the telly. It was not ice water but a well thought out, prepared and rehearsed strategy that was cursing through my veins on that gig. When your Trumpet Mind starts its BS, you are ready with an answer and response to shut it up and get on with the job in hand.
I do hope you have found this article on performance anxiety helpful or at least amusing in some way. Please share widely and join our new and fantastic trumpetastic.com community on Facebook.
Wynton Marsalis is an internationally acclaimed musician, composer, bandleader, educator and a leading advocate of American culture. He is the world’s first jazz artist to perform and compose across the full jazz spectrum from its New Orleans roots to bebop to modern jazz.
By creating and performing an expansive range of brilliant new music for quartets to big bands, chamber music ensembles to symphony orchestras, tap dance to ballet, Wynton has expanded the vocabulary for jazz and created a vital body of work that places him among the world’s finest musicians and composers.
The Early Years
Wynton was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, on October 18, 1961, to Ellis and Dolores Marsalis, the second of six sons. At an early age he exhibited a superior aptitude for music and a desire to participate in American culture. At age eight Wynton performed traditional New Orleans music in the Fairview Baptist Church band led by legendary banjoist Danny Barker, and at 14 he performed with the New Orleans Philharmonic. During high school Wynton performed with the New Orleans Symphony Brass Quintet, New Orleans Community Concert Band, New Orleans Youth Orchestra, New Orleans Symphony, various jazz bands and with the popular local funk band, the Creators.
At age 17 Wynton became the youngest musician ever to be admitted to Tanglewood’s Berkshire Music Center. Despite his youth, he was awarded the school’s prestigious Harvey Shapiro Award for outstanding brass student. Wynton moved to New York City to attend Juilliard in 1979. When he began to pick up gigs around town, the grapevine began to buzz. In 1980 Wynton seized the opportunity to join the Jazz Messengers to study under master drummer and bandleader Art Blakey. It was from Blakey that Wynton acquired his concept for bandleading and for bringing intensity to each and every performance. In the years to follow Wynton performed with Sarah Vaughan, Dizzy Gillespie, Sweets Edison, Clark Terry, John Lewis, Sonny Rollins, Ron Carter, Herbie Hancock, Tony Williams and countless other jazz legends.
Wynton assembled his own band in 1981 and hit the road, performing over 120 concerts every year for 15 consecutive years. With the power of his superior musicianship, the infectious sound of his swinging bands and an exhaustive series of performances and music workshops, Marsalis rekindled widespread interest in jazz throughout the world. Wynton embraced the jazz lineage to garner recognition for the older generation of overlooked jazz musicians and prompted the re-issue of jazz catalog by record companies worldwide. He also inspired a renaissance that attracted a new generation of fine young talent to jazz.
A look at the more distinguished jazz musicians of today reveals numerous students of Marsalis’ workshops: James Carter, Christian McBride, Roy Hargrove, Harry Connick Jr., Nicholas Payton, Eric Reed and Eric Lewis, to name a few.
The Italian Brass Week is an international festival born 19 years ago under the artistic direction of Luca Benucci, the first horn of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino. During these years, the festival and the Association have dealt with the formation of thousands of young artists from all over the world, with the aim of consolidating a reality that too often goes unnoticed and give the opportunity to emerging musicians to participate at a primary visibility event for the world of brass and music.
The mission is the enhancement of great Italian and foreign talents, through promotion and cultural exchange. The festival gives the opportunity to young students, new professionals and professionals to take part in an event of international importance, to play and learn from the most important musicians in the world of brass, being part of the greatest orchestras, conservatories and universities.
The high level of training and the quality of the event were rewarded with the bronze medal of the President of the Republic and with many other awards, obtained for the importance of the event and for involving generations of young musicians, who were trained and they have become excellent interpreters.
The Italian Brass Week has moved to various locations in Tuscany, Santa Fiora, Vinci, to land last year in Florence, because Florence is an important reference for cultural growth. It is a city devoted to hospitality and already culturally renowned as a meeting point between present and past.
During these years the artistic quality of the festival has always been guaranteed by the presence of virtuosos and soloists from all over the world, Italian, European and international teachers, jazz bands and brass ensembles who participate, compare and play together in an important moment for the professional growth of all the young people taking part in the festival.