Recapturing Old Content

One of the things I’ll be doing on this site is bringing back some of the content I had originally removed from I started today by adding one of the old book reviews from my original site.

I have a lot of old content tucked away on my hard drive. Some of it will need some touching up. Others are ready now to be posted. I won’t be posted ALL of the old stuff. There were legitimate reasons why I took most of it down. But there is a lot of it that is more appropriate for blogging.

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Book Review: The Secret of Technique Preservation

The Secret of Technique Preservation – Ernest S. Williams

Publisher: Charles Colin
Copyright: 1980
No. Pages: 16

Two pages of text and fourteen pages of exercises which include:

  • Exercises for Limbering Lips and Fingers
  • Major Scales
  • Trills
  • Minor Scales
  • Chromatics
  • Exercises for Lip-Flexibility
  • Studies in Attack
    • Single-Tongue Staccato
    • Double-Tongue Staccato
    • Triple-Tongue Staccato
  • Intervals
  • Chords
  • Diminshed-seventh Chords
  • Whole-Tone Scales
  • Augmented Chords

The text on the second page describes the “Daily Routine” concept with its application to trumpet playing, and quotes Paganini with, “Every day I have to find my technique anew.”

My Comments:

This book was one of the very first books I used in college with Sam Trimble. Although I haven’t used any of it’s exercises in over a decade, the concept I have of what a daily routine is and how it works comes directly from my work in this book.

I continue to practice a daily routine which includes a warm-up but focuses more on development and maintenance than it does on the physical process of warming up. In that way, my daily regime is strongly influenced by “The Secret of Technique-Preservation”.

I would also like to point out that much of John J. Haynie’s published material is the same, in content, as this book is, but organized according to keys as opposed to being organized according to similar exercises.

Available at Dillards Music

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Daily Routines for Trumpet

Daily Routines has been my most successful book. As of this year, I have written sixteen trumpet methods and continue to sell most of them through our online music store called Tiger Music and also at, but Daily Routines has always been our number one seller. It has helped literally hundreds of trumpet players with the physical aspects of their playing; range, endurance, flexibility, articulation and sound.

The Daily Routines book is a collection of seven graduated routines starting from beginner and progressing to virtuoso. This graduated organization makes it easy for trumpet players to grow their strength over time without radically changing their daily practice habits.

Each routine includes exercises for lip buzz, mouthpiece buzz, long tones, lip slurs, articulation and multiple tonguing. The exercises are always practiced in this precise order and I always tell my students that it is the order of the exercises which is most important and not the exercises themselves.

There are a number of trumpet teachers across the country who regularly practice the Daily Routines book and we are working on a distribution list for recommending them as teachers of this method. Please stay tuned for more information.

Here are a few links for more information about the Daily Routines book:

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Avoiding Virtual Schizophrenia

Getting connectedSitting here over the past several days since I started this official blog, I have been struggling with the whole blogging architecture thing. I realized that the reason I resisted moving to a blog format was because of the push for smaller posts and the fact that everything is listed in reverse order.

First of all, I have never been one to write short essays. Almost everything I write is considered “too long” on internet standards. The conventions almost all say to write content that doesn’t require scrolling. They say that people lose interest if you write anything more than a few paragraphs and I have a bit of a problem with that.

They say that you should break longer topics into smaller, individual posts and I would be cool with that IF those topics weren’t listed in reverse chronological order. And really, the way I see it, if someone doesn’t have long enough an attention span to read more than a few paragraphs, then how many of those people will be inclined to click through to the next previous post. Yikes! It bugs me that hey would be forced to read the stuff in reverse order.

But that’s the nature of a blog, am I correct? The whole point is to present your writing in a way that naturally ages over time. If people become regular visitors, they will go to that top post because it is the newest. The assumption is that they have already read all the previous content that appeals to them and are waiting for our newest revelations and words of wisdom.

I have to admit that this is not WHY I’m using a blog. My objective here is to avoid V.S. (Virtual Schizophrenia). My online presence goes all the way back to 1993. I currently run an array of different websites and participate in a variety of forums and community sights. I enjoy contributing to each of these, but it has become increasingly more difficult to keep up with it all. In an effort to centralize and simplify my online content, I decided it was a good idea to have a centralized hub for that content and link to it from each of those other sources. In this way, I hope to be able to connect with more people with less effort.

For that reason, my posts will tend to be long, just as they have always been during my almost two decades online. In that sense, I am not really using this blog as a blog. It’s just a place for me to deposit content that can be linked back to from a variety of different sources.

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Study Guides to Pass the Torch

For several years I have been writing study guides for my students in an effort to help them maximize their practice time. I started doing this in 2006 when I was out of the country for the month preceding solo contest. Because I knew I would be gone during that time, I designed step by step instructions for each of those students so they would know what and how to practice while I was gone.

When I returned, I realized I had created a system of communicating practice strategy to the students and I began using the study guides regularly for any long term projects they were working on. Most typically these were competition pieces but not always.

The study guides have worked well for these few years but I’m concerned that the students have become complacent in taking part of the planning that should be invested before working on a major piece. As with most of what I do as a teacher, the study guides were originally intended as an example for them. I didn’t mean to actually do all of the planning work for them. But that’s how it worked out in the end.

I am happy to have used the study guides and I will continue to use them with the students who have never done anything like that before. But now is time to pass the torch. It’s time to give the students who have been using these guides an opportunity to begin planning and writing those plans on their own. My job is to teach them, not to always do the work for them.

One study guide I have done every year for the past five or six years is for the All-State band trumpet audition music. This year I have no new high school students and it’s time for the high school students I do have to begin making these plans themselves.

I will blog again later about how well this goes. I’m actually quite excited about the change of procedure.

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Q & A

Q: What happens when you don’t make a habit of putting things away when you are done with them?

A: Those things pile up until you are forced to spend extra time putting them all away later.

The result is a difference in lifestyles. One lifestyle is filled with clutter while the other is not, generally speaking. When you live a life of clutter, it becomes an impossible task to find things when you need them. The efficiency of your life suffers and just about everything you do takes more effort than it should.

Putting things away when you are done with them seems like a trivial thing to do. Most people do not like to do it, but when you understand the difference it creates in lifestyles, it becomes a no-brainer.

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Centralizing Our Online Presence

We have installed WordPress here in an effort to increase the efficiency of our online presence. The intention is for this blog to become a hub for most of my news, events and other information. So much of what we do is scattered in so many virtual directions and it has become far too much effort to keep up with all of it.

If this works the way I hope, I’ll be posting about trumpet playing, composition, Bible study, music business and even a few personal things along the way.

So, on your mark, get set….. go!

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