Trumpet Challenge Week 3

The difficulty of the challenge has continued throughout this last week, especially in finding regular time to practice my instrument.

This week proved even more difficult due to some of the other gigs I had scheduled on top of my usual school teaching commitments. I received a phone call from Timothy Nelson, from Timothy Nelson and the Infidels, to ask if I would be able to join a band that had been put together to play at the Roadshow Record Club, the album being “The Travelling Wilburys Vol. 1”. It was a great gig but it meant that the 2 days I had to prepare the solos, needed note for note, put everything else on the back burner.

Another downside to this is I blew my lips out from this gig, I now have some splits and blisters coming up…hopefully these won’t last too long.

All of that aside, I did manage to get my practice down on the Saturday, the same 20 minutes as I have managed to commit to. This week’s session was quite a but better than the previous ones. I’m putting this down to a lack of lip fatigue. My Saturday morning is my big private teaching day, usually I have played throughout lessons for 4 1/2 hours prior to doing the trumpet practice. Due to my split lip this week I did not really play during lessons, the difference in tone and clarity of notes was quite good.

I would like to think that I’ll be able to get some more done this week…I suppose only time will tell.

I am still trying to work on getting the videos up, I’m having some trouble uploading files as they are so big. With holidays coming up in a few weeks I should have the chance to maybe workout how I can do this effectively…as always, it seems everything comes down to that one precious word – TIME.

Trumpet Challenge Week 2

This challenge is proving difficult for me to find a regular routine and flow of momentum regarding regular practice. The business of my teaching schedule at school when combined with my private teaching, practice on other instruments and then (somewhere in there) some family time is not leaving a lot of room for trumpet playing.

I have found that my range and consistency of notes has improved a little (despite the lack of practice). I am comfortably hitting from my Low A (beneath the staff) to my high A (one octave in total). I can play my Bb, B and C above this but not comfortably every single time. I am still finding that there’s a lot of mis-pitched notes which hopefully my dedication to long notes will assist in correcting.

My students at school know that I’m undertaking this challenge, they’re already asking for em to bring the trumpet in so that they can see my improvement / how far I’ve gotten. I think I might hold off on this until after the school holidays, this should give me enough time to get a little more confident!

My videos of the once a week practice are proving a little difficult to upload! As soon as I have worked out the bugs I’l get them attached to each post for people to have a listen to…hopefully the improvement will be heard in my playing!

Trumpet Challenge – Week One An Overview

One of my goals for this year to learn the basic trumpet. I’m not a brass player, I have no desire to move into being able to perform brass instruments at a professional (or even super high) standard. My intention behind setting this goal for 2017 is linked to my role as an ensemble director and educator.

I direct a number of ensembles at the school I currently work at, two of these are middle school ensembles that have brass players as members (a Concert Band and Jazz Big Band). I want to grow in understanding of brass instruments (fingerings and technique) to assist them in both their individual and ensemble musicianship development and I feel that one of the best ways to have more knowledge on the instruments.

I am hoping to try to practise my trumpet for 10 to 15 minutes, 5 days a week. This is the requirements that I place on my beginner students so it seems only fair that I try to apply the same principle to my own development!

I will be recording my sessions and posting the videos in post updates. It is going to be quite confronting for me to do this but my hope is that this will keep me accountable as well as show, over time, an improvement in my ability (if I do actually do the practise required).

If any trumpeters or band directors have any advice to give me in how to improvement please feel free to comment. I would ask that all comments are kept positive, after all my aim is to grow as a musician and educator rather than trying to showcase my ability on the trumpet…I know it’s very average at best!


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