Increasing your endurance by using the small spaces

Increasing your endurance by using the small spaces

When preparing to perform a solo or a whole recital, there are a lot of factors that motivate our practice. To have a polished end product we meticulously learn notes, rhythms, and technique, with metronomes, recording devices, and more. And, if you are like me, I practice getting through the complete solo or program to make sure I have enough endurance.

M Mary Galime
Can your mouthpiece cup size affect your articulation?

Can your mouthpiece cup size affect your articulation?

When we think about cup depth of a brass instrument mouthpiece, we generally think about how they will affect the sound. Generally, a large cup will provide a dark sound, where a shallow cup will produce a brighter more projecting sound. Is sound the only thing that the cup affects, though? We recently polled our Denis Wick community with this question: Does the cup depth affect articulation? Each player is different, and while we here at Denis Wick have some specific ideas about how the right cup contour can assist your performance, we also realize each player has their own experience with this, and feels support from a mouthpiece in different areas.

D Denis Wick Discuss
Which Students do I Switch to Tuba?

Which Students do I Switch to Tuba?

This installment of Brass Advantage was written for music teachers faced with the daunting task of choosing students to switch to tuba to facilitate the orchestration of their band as well as tuba players seeking advice and counsel from a professional tuba player to improve their performance qualities.

M Marty Erikson
A new approach to fixing technique issues & practice plan

A new approach to fixing technique issues & practice plan

Playing by ear and working in groups form the foundations of both my teaching and practice. In this article I look to explain why I think it holds so much value and how I think anyone can improve their enjoyment of playing with some time spent playing without music each week, with even more success if you can find others to play with too.

M Matt Lewis
Low Range Troubleshooting - Especially for new tuba players

Low Range Troubleshooting - Especially for new tuba players

Anything can be achieved on our instrument, so long as we practice incrementally. I’ve always called this style of practice “incremental,” because it describes how we improve our skills by one unit at a time in an organized linear way. And it’s exactly the mindset you should proceed with when trying to play lower.

W William Russell
Practicing with Drones

Practicing with Drones

Need a new way to improve your intonation. Here are some great tips. Practicing with drones is one of the best ways to improve intonation. There are several good resources on the internet for downloading audio files of drones. There are also a number of drone albums available on popular music streaming platforms. Here are a few exercises to play to get the most out of your drone practice:

A Andrew Hamilton
Accomplish all your 2022 goals with this one New Year's resolution

Accomplish all your 2022 goals with this one New Year's resolution

Are you a musician? Your New Year's resolution might include practice disciplines, range goals, technique goals, career goals, etc. Resolution planning can be tricky; too easy and you feel like you cheated, too lofty and half-way through the year you feel like a failure. If only there was one thing that you could resolve to do that would keep you busy the whole year while improving everything. And there is!

M Mary Galime
High Register Remedies

High Register Remedies

Many talented brass players have problems in high note playing which seem inexplicable. Often there is no obvious reason. These days the general standard of teaching and playing sophistication at a professional level is at an all-time high, but there are, of course, many amateurs who have not had access to the best teaching. These brass players who have no aspirations to earn their living at anything so potentially precarious, but who derive much satisfaction and pleasure from 'taming the tubes' can perhaps benefit from a few words of advice from a teacher who has seen most aspects of playing over many years.

D Denis Wick
The Art of Winning: Part 1

The Art of Winning: Part 1

What is winning, and how do I get it? The most appreciated parts of winning tend to be the beginning inspiration and the prize at the end, but what do you call all the stuff that make up the middle? In the end it tends to be all those middle parts which define winning more than the prize. The Denis Wick Artist and Ambassador groups are made up of professional musicians who have all experienced all the glory and humiliation that winning has to offer. Here is some great advice from Aaron Tindall on how to navigate your road to winning.

A Aaron Tindall
Visit the Denis Wick Factory!

Visit the Denis Wick Factory!

Get a tour of the Denis Wick factory and a peak into how Denis Wick creates performance ready mouthpieces and mutes for beginner to professional brass musicians.

M Mary Galime
How I Became a Mute Maker

How I Became a Mute Maker

My long-suffering wife said, “You’re just never satisfied!”. Many a true word is spoken in exasperation. I had tentatively suggested, in about 1969, that somebody ought to design mutes that actually played in tune and worked in every register. We had been recording film music with Bernard Herrmann, who had helped to make all those Hitchcock films such a success. He was contemptuous of the old fibre mutes that I and my LSO trombone section were using. He called them "psychological mutes” and we knew what he meant. Our trumpet colleagues were using a famous US make but they always played slightly sharp with a very tinny sound and we did not blend at all. I had found a newer American trombone mute since then, thinking that it would solve our problems. Great sound! Unfortunately, they were just too big to handle easily and on one (for me) memorable occasion refused to come out of the bell of my trombone, then finally slipped from my fingers with a…

D Denis Wick
Stolen: A cautionary tale by William Russell

Stolen: A cautionary tale by William Russell

I had always believed that I had a well-gauged sense of the risks associated with leaving my instrument unguarded in a publically accessible place. Frankly it’s a bad idea and I try to avoid doing so at all costs.

W William Russell
Housebound Practice Tips for Trombone

Housebound Practice Tips for Trombone

For those of us learning and working from since March, endurance practice has taken on a whole new meaning! There is a whole different sense of endurance when it comes to practicing by yourself at home. There are many distractions, it's harder in someways to motivate yourself, and the unpredictability of performing with another human does not challenge your ear and muscles in the same way. Because of this, we may need to rethink our at home practice goals and routines if our main, or only, performance opportunities are at home right now. If this is resonating with you, these tips from Denis Wick Artists Andy Baker, Tim Coffman, and Christpher Bill are just for you!

D Denis Wick Trombone Artists
What makes the Classic 4AL the top selling mouthpiece in America?

What makes the Classic 4AL the top selling mouthpiece in America?

The Classic 4AL has a lot going for it. It's diameter, rim contour, and backbore combine together to provide a full low register with a big, dark sound. It is probably a little big for a beginner but, if you step-up to this model, this very well may be the last mouthpiece you have to buy. It works great for both classical and jazz, and will support you through every other style of music you may encounter. Here are the details:

M Mary Galime
5 Ways to Use your Practice Mute to Improve Immediately

5 Ways to Use your Practice Mute to Improve Immediately

Try these sound improving tips now! Did you know that quiet practice was only a side benefit, but not the main purpose of the Denis Wick Practice Mute? Denis actually created it to be a practice tool that could be used for opening up a player’s throat for breathing, broadening the tone, and helps fix a host of other playing issues as well. Here are 5 ways you can use the mute to improve your playing this week.

M Mary Galime
Why Did Denis Wick Create the 10CS?

Why Did Denis Wick Create the 10CS?

The 10CS is renowned as one of the best jazz trombone mouthpieces around today. How did it originate? Amazingly, it started life as a mouthpiece for the alto trombone. Denis Wick recalls “I originally designed it for my old German alto trombone, which was made by Lätzsch. The alto trombone was rarely used in London, and I remember having to make a journey to Dover to collect the new instrument sent from Bremen in order to pay the duty. It had been illegal to import foreign instruments, but the Board of Trade lifted this embargo in 1958 and I bought the Lätzsch shortly afterwards. A few years later Yamaha in Japan borrowed it from me when I was on tour with the LSO and made a copy which was actually much better - they gave me the copy! I had to design a mouthpiece which would make the kind of sound that I wanted. The tone quality with the very small mouthpiece supplied with the instrument was terrible! Designing a mouthpiece for the alto is difficult – the tolerances are…

D Denis Wick
Turning Every Experience into Training for Your Goal

Turning Every Experience into Training for Your Goal

Congratulations. You just earned a degree in music. You and thousands of other qualified graduates are eager to enter the workforce when you suddenly realize that your degree isn’t your passport to employment. So, what are you going to do all summer? Then, after that, what are you going to do all year? You’ve got six months before that first student loan payment arrives…

M Mary Galime