One Range – A Trumpet Chops Strategy Guide

A Trumpet Chops Strategy Guide

The One Range Book Now Available

Good news everyone. The One Range book is finally available.

The One Range book helps you design your practice sessions in a way that will give you maximum physical benefit on the trumpet. When you practice according to the One Range strategy, you encourage embouchure strength and range familiarity at the same time.

Embouchure strength is what gives you access to greater trumpet range, longer endurance and a better sound. Range familiarity trains your mind and body to hear the notes in the upper register properly, giving you accuracy and technique.

Strength development is important in growing your trumpet range. Strength is the gateway. Without embouchure strength, you don’t have access to the higher register. But strength by itself is not enough. It doesn’t help to have access to trumpet high notes if you don’t have the ability to use them in a musically meaningful way.

What’s In the Book?

The first half of the book explains the concepts behind the One Range approach to trumpet practicing. We discuss how to build trumpet embouchure strength in a musically practical way. We also discuss the importance of full range trumpet practice (which fosters range familiarity). We talk about how practicing music insures that your efforts in the practice room remain 100% applicable to what you do on stage with the 50% rule.

The second half of the book spells out the practice strategy in detail. The strategy takes all of the concepts outlined in the first half of the book and puts them into action.

Use With My Other Trumpet Books – Or Not

You can implement the practice strategies in the One Range book without using my other trumpet books. I went out of my way to write this One Range book in a way that it can be applicable to everyone, regardless of where you source your trumpet practice materials. That said, the One Range book was written as a guide to help people figure out what to do with my other trumpet books.

As of now, I have written about twenty trumpet routines available from a variety of sources. I spend a lot of time answering questions about what to do with the routines. The One Range book is the answer to those questions. It is now my official “method” that I use for all of my students to help them navigate all of the trumpet materials I’ve written.

But the One Range concept works just as well with other trumpet practice materials. The only difference between my trumpet books and other trumpet teachers’ routines you might find from other sources is that my routines were written to conform to this One Range concept. There is very little effort necessary on your part to get started with the One Range approach if you use my trumpet books.

If you use other exercises from other sources, then you can make the One Range approach work if you modify the exercises to conform to the One Range requirements. It’s just a matter of how much work you want to invest before you can apply the One Range concept.

Buy the One Range Trumpet Book at:

As of now, the One Range book is only available as a paperback. Look for it at the following online stores:

Any Questions

I am glad to answer any questions you have about the book. Even though the One Range concept is rooted in traditional trumpet pedagogy, it is different. It is more involved than just pulling out an exercise book and playing through it every day. The One Range concept requires you to think about your practice time in broader terms, thinking in bigger chunks of time. So I am more than happy to answer your questions to help clarify the concept.

Posted in Book Reviews, Tiger Music, Trumpet | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

When Pros Take Trumpet Lessons

When Pros Take Lessons

Here’s a video about my attitude about taking advantage of pros to do my own personal advertising. When pros come to me for private lessons, I do NOT use it as an opportunity to brag, show off or “advertise” how good I must be as a teacher.

I began teaching other pros many, many years ago. I was barely a pro myself before other pros began taking lessons with me.

While I know that it’s common practice among other trumpet teachers, I believe it is wrong to take advantage of someone else’s problems to promote myself or promote my products. The more famous the pro, the better, right? I believe it is unethical.

When a pro comes to me for lessons, it’s typically not for fun. It’s not entertainment. It’s not an effort to broaden their minds.

No!

Pros come to me for lessons because they are in trouble. They make a living playing trumpet, but for whatever reason, they are having serious problems right now. They come to me for help.

The last thing I want to do is capitalize on a fellow professional trumpet player’s adversity in order to advertise my own business.

My First Pro Student

My opinion about this might have originated with my very first pro student. He was in absolute turmoil over his chop problems. He felt that he was at the end of his trumpet playing career. He told me outright in his very first lesson that he expected me to never tell anyone he was taking lessons.

I could understand his concern immediately. The last thing you want, as a professional trumpet player, is word to get out that you might not be able to do your job anymore.

That said, my opinion about this could also be rooted in the fact that this sort of thing has happened to me, too. I’ve been fired from a band (back in the late 80’s) for not having the chops for the gig. This was before I got my chops, so I’ve never had anything like that happen since. But I know precisely what it feels like to be fired for not having chops.

AND…

You know, it’s not just the teaching stuff that people will USE to further themselves if you give them the chance. I had someone take one of my vulnerabilities that I entrusted with him only to later use it as a way to advertise on Facebook. He even tagged me and a bunch of his friends, sharing something that really should have been very private.

It’s unethical. But lot’s of people do it.

It’s Their Choice

There are some pros that have volunteered to spread the word about my teaching and my books. I never asked them to do this, but it was something they wanted to do. In a way, it’s a way for them to express their gratitude.

And in fact, a lot of my new students end up being referred to me by those previous pro level students. And I appreciate that. But it’s not something I would ever ask them to do. It’s also not something I would just TAKE from them by using their problems to advertise my lessons.

Posted in Behind the Wheel Trumpet Wisdom, Video | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Trumpeter’s Thoughtless Journey

Thoughtless Journey – Trumpet Free Improvisation Number Sixty-Three

Thoughtless Journey

This is free improv number 63 in my trumpet free improv video series. This one stands out as being a little more unique than some of the others. I won’t try to describe it. You can listen to it here.

Often, the titles for these improvisations are more difficult to come by than the improvisations themselves. I am often in a hurry to edit and post the videos and not a lot of time can be invested into finding an appropriate title. That’s why some of the titles can come out sounding kind of bazaar.

In this case, there is a passage in the middle of the improvisation when I play with a slightly Persian sound. In my mind, while I was playing, I decided that this was sounding like a hodge-podge of cultural adventures. So yeah, I called it Thoughtless Journey.

The thoughtless part refers to the fact that I am not thinking about music when I do these improvisations. I don’t think about notes or rhythms. I just play what sounds good to me. The trumpet becomes and extension of my mind while I do these free improvisations and one of the goals is to reach a point where I think about almost nothing musical while I’m playing.

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Dear Lord and Father of Mankind

Trumpet Hymn: “Rest” – Dear Lord and Father of Mankind

This Week’s Unadorned Trumpet Hymn

Here’s another beautiful hymn from the 19th century. This one is a bit unique compared to a lot of the other hymns. It has some very interesting chromatic harmonies. You don’t hear the full extent of these chromatics in this video because I am only playing two parts on my trumpet, but you get a nice taste of it.

Rest

An alternative name of the hymn is “Rest”. It was composed originally in 1887 by Frederick C. Maker.

Dear Lord and Father of Mankind

This hymn was written by John G. Whittier in 1872.

Here’s the full text of the hymn:

  • Dear Lord and Father of mankind,
    Forgive our foolish ways;
    Reclothe us in our rightful mind,
    In purer lives Thy service find,
    In deeper rev’rence, praise.
  • O Sabbath rest by Galilee,
    O calm of hills above,
    Where Jesus knelt to share with Thee
    The silence of eternity,
    Interpreted by love!
  • Drop Thy still dews of quietness,
    Till all our strivings cease;
    Take from our souls the strain and stress,
    And let our ordered lives confess
    The beauty of Thy peace.
  • Breathe through the heats of our desire
    Thy coolness and Thy balm;
    Let sense be dumb, let flesh retire;
    Speak through the earthquake, wind, and fire,
    O still, small Voice of calm.
  • In simple trust like theirs who heard
    Beside the Syrian sea
    The gracious calling of the Lord,
    Let us, like them, without a word,
    Rise up and follow Thee.

Striving

My favorite is verse three. “Drop They still dews of quietness, Till all our strivings cease; Take from our souls the strain and stress and let our ordered lives confess the beauty of Thy peace.”

The Holy Spirit has been speaking to me a lot lately about “striving“. As a child of the King, a child of the Father of mankind, I am not to strive.

What is striving then? I actually asked Him in prayer.

And He answered me… Striving is when your heart and mind are not HERE. When I do my work, I am to do THIS work that is here in front of me and not worry myself with the work that lays ahead. Focus on what I am doing, not on what I am not doing.

Interesting that a hymn written over 100 years ago can so clearly say what needs to be said. When I stop striving and focus on what needs to be done now, my anxiety levels go down. Just as the hymn says, “take from our souls the strain and stress”.

Praise God!!!

We can live stress free when we live the way God wants us to live; trusting in Him, resting in Him, relying on Him to provide.

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Trumpet Scales We Don’t Practice

Trumpet Scales We Do NOT Practice

Scales to NOT Practice

If you are one of my students, whether you are a trumpet student or a jazz improvisation student, there are certain scales you will not practice for your lessons. Maybe you’ve noticed this in your lessons already?

I will share a brief list of some of the scales we don’t practice and then explain why.

  • The Blues Scale
  • The Bebop Scale
  • Natural Minor
  • Dorian Minor
  • Phrygian Minor
  • Lydian
  • Mixolydian
  • Locrian
  • Lydian Augmented
  • Diminished Wholetone
  • Super Locrian
  • Altered Scale
  • Lydian Dominant

This is a long list of scales that you will hear musicians talk about, especially jazz players. But we don’t practice them. What I’m about to share with you applies mainly to jazz scales, but also applies to trumpet scales in general.

Why We Don’t Practice These Scales

There are two reasons why we don’t practice these scales. The first reason applies to the first two scales on the list. Let’s look at the blues scale first.

The Blues Scale

The blues is not a scale!

Let’s say it again… The blues is not a scale!!!

The language that jazz trumpet players learn to make their improvisation take on a bluesy flavor does not come from the blues scale. Simply put, “you can’t get there from here”. Meaning, you can’t acquire the bluesy part of the jazz language by learning a scale.

In fact, if you play the blues scale in your improvised solos, THAT’S what it’s going to sound like, is a scale. Jazz improvisation is a living art form but when you play scales, you make it sound dead.

The Bebop Scale

Let’s do it again but with this scale now…

Repeat after me… “Bebop is not a scale!”

We don’t practice the bebop scale for precisely the same reason why we don’t practice the blues scale. “You can’t get there from here!” The sound that people are trying to get by practicing the so called “bebop scale” cannot be obtained by practicing a scale. Instead of practicing the bebop scale, you should be learning the jazz language.

Learn the Jazz Language

In the case of both the blues scale and the bebop scale, the reason we don’t practice them is because scales can never replace learning the jazz language. And in fact, adding yet another scale to the already huge list, in my opinion, is a waste of time and effort.

If you want that bebop or bluesy sound in your jazz improvisation, then learn the jazz language. Study jazz transcriptions. Practice jazz motifs. Write your own “jazz solo wish lists” (my better way of saying “jazz etudes“) using the jazz language and practicing it that way.

If you try to get there with scales instead of jazz language, then you will invest a LOT more effort than necessary and probably never end up sounding as good as your effort. If that makes sense.

Jazz Modes

All of the other scales in the list above are modes of scales that we DO practice.

When you practice your scales the way I teach, then practicing the modes is a complete waste of time. If you do my Tonalization Studies on the major scale, then there is NO practical difference between those exercises and the modes. The first Tonalization study is as follows:

C D E, D E F, E F G, F G A, etc.

The Dorian mode Tonalization study is the exact same exercise beginning on D instead of C:

D E F, E F G, F G A, G A B, etc.

Due to the comprehensive nature of the Tonalization studies, ALL of the modes are included in the parent scale and there is no difference between them.

This is true for all scales that have popular modes. For example, the Altered Scale is a mode of the Melodic Minor. If you practice the Melodic Minor, then you have already practice the Altered Scale, the Diminished Whole-Tone Scale, the Super Locrian scale, the Lydian Augmented scale and all the rest of the modes of the Melodic Minor.

It’s About Efficiency

It’s all about efficiency. We already have so much on our plates as jazz improvisers. There is so much to do and when you practice the Tonalization studies, it takes about fifteen to twenty minutes per scale. That’s a lot of time when you look at how many scales we need to practice.

Why make it needlessly impossible by adding hundreds more scales in the form of redundant modes?

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Behind the Wheel Discussions

I am posting two videos in this blog post because I didn’t have time to do two separate posts this time around.

It’s What You Do With Your Time That Matters Most!

Not Quantity, Not Quality, but How You Spend Your Time

A lot of people say that it’s not quantity that counts, but the quality of what you do that counts. And while I do agree that the quality of what you do is important, I also believe that, if you are doing the wrong things, then you will get the wrong results.

I have had a good reputation as a trumpet teacher since the 1980’s. Because of that reputation, I have attracted some very desperate students over the years. They are eager. They are hungry. But their ambitions are often their own worst enemies. Their ambitions blind them to the truths about proper practice and they struggle with things that most of my other students accept without complaint.

It’s so very important to practice the correct materials, in the correct sequence, in the correct manner. If you deviate from these conventions, no matter how passionate you are about making progress on your instrument, then you will never reach your full potential.

Your Musical Value as an Individual

I talk often about your value as an individual. It’s one of those areas that can be a bit risky to talk about because the language can come dangerously close to new-age philosophy. And that is NOT what I teach.

What’s the difference?

We must ALWAYS keep in mind that music is a subjective topic. Art is NOT objective. No matter how people try to cram art into an objective box, it simply doesn’t fit. The industry is rife with false myths about what is good and what is bad in music. I can go into how they do this, but that is a topic for another post. Just know that it is true.

Music is an expressive art. Everything we do in music should express our thoughts and feelings as an individual. This is even true in contexts where you are just one of twenty trumpet players in the trumpet section. You are still expressing yourself within the context of your part. That is your partial contribution to the whole.

That said, it doesn’t mean that everyone will always like what you do. You have value and it is important for you to recognize that you have worth, musically speaking, whether you know what that worth is yet, or not.

I also talk in this video a lot about people who take this too far and think that their worth is greater than everyone else. That sort of arrogance and lack of humility has no place in the music industry. Contrary to what some will tell you, there is nothing to gain from that kind of conceit.

Posted in Behind the Wheel Trumpet Wisdom | 2 Comments

44K Streams in 90 Days

Spotify Streams from the Past 90 Days

44,155 World Wide Streams

Hello everyone. Today is the last day of the third quarter of 2019. One of the things I like to do is check my Spotify stats when I reach the end of another quarter.

Praise God, the streams continue to stay in the tens of thousands. The map above represents all of the countries where my recordings are being streams. The darker the green, the more streams. Brazil leads the way with over 35K streams. American streams are over 3K.

As I have said many times, this is not something I “brag” about because I had nothing to do with it. This was not something I did out of cleverness and now everything is working out. No, this is one of the miracles in my life. And it is a miracle that has continued to bless Pearl and I for several years now.

Is it JUST Hymns?

You know, when I first posted these hymn recordings and when they first began getting so many streams, I thought it was something less honorable than if my friends were to have as many streams as this. But I thought about this attitude recently. No, these are not my original compositions. And I think this is what I was thinking…was that true success needed to be with originals. But when you look at how many people find their success in recording Haydn, Bach, Mozart, etc. – when you look at it that way, having a successful hymn recording actually is a pretty big deal.

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