Denis Wick once said, "Eventually, when you're talking about playing. you've got to do something with bits of metal because the human body can't do everything." If we look at the second half of that statement, we can all agree that you can't really play a brass instrument without a mouthpiece. And, that mouthpiece has to be designed in a specific way to be playable. However, we are looking at the first half of that statement today. The human body part of that equation: the embouchure. What is the perfect embouchure? What does it look like? Though Denis Wick is a trombone player, this simple advice and instruction is true for every instrument. Click below to listen to Denis Wick discuss embouchure in an interview with Ian Bousfield.
Why the Haydn is the standard concerto that all trumpet players are measured against, I will never know. If you want to hear and see the heart and soul of a trumpet player, give them the Arutunian. Whether your teacher introduced it to you, or you heard it for the first time in a performance, it is impossible to not be inspired to work endlessly on such exciting music!
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 Estela Aragon and Jason Klobnak are just for you!
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!
If you haven't checked out Denis Wick Artist Josh Rzepka's "Mute Mondays", this episode is the one you want to start with. Josh will take you through details about the mutes and perform excerpts on them back to you so you can not only learn about, but actually hear the subtle differences between the mutes.
For the younger player, or for the beginning jazz player of any age, here are a number of exercises and activities that you or your students can do with friends. They will all help in ear training, jazz improvisation and general musicianship.
It was a rough spring and a stressful summer for many of us, and though a vaccine would be handy, sometimes humor is the best medicine. Here are some of our favorite musician bloopers to brighten your day.
Did you ever get lost in a corn maze? You took a wrong turn one too many times and you are completely lost... except for the fact that there are some kind people in a watch tower watching your every move and waiting to help you out. To them, they can easily see the path of least resistance. With their overhead view, they have a much better ability to get from the beginning of the maze to the end than you do on ground level.
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:
Portrait – Reflections on Belonging is the new much anticipated fifth album from London-based trumpeter and composer Byron Wallen, and reflects his study of indigenous cultures connecting people from all over the world.
Is it just cliché or can music have the power to change what is happening in the world today? Let me start this article with a big IN MY OPINION…. I do not have all the answers, and there is a lot that needs to come together right now in order to heal the wounds and stop the continued offenses of racism, police brutality, social injustice, as well as religious injustice, sexism, and poverty, just to name a few… But the ways we create as musicians indeed does move the phrase “the healing power of music” beyond cliché into tangible action.
The further we get into learning about how Covid-19 is passed and the science behind it, the more we learn how it affects the workers in each industry. Over the past several weeks, we have been collecting new information on safety and cleaning practices and I'd like to share with you some of the information we've come across.
When you search for a mouthpiece, what measurements do you look toward to make sure you will find the perfect fit? Our suggestion is to always start with diameter. From there you might look at cup contour (B cup, C cup… shallow or deep?) or rim width/contour. The sizing you will see on nearly every mouthpiece manufacturer’s website is diameter, rim width, throat, and backbore. Each of these measurements will give you an idea about what level of comfort and support the mouthpiece will offer your individual needs.
In addition to his role as an Artist Advisor for Denis Wick’s Musician’s Advisory Studio in Chicago, Ryan Adamsons is an active performer, composer, and educator working with a wide variety of schools, arts organizations, and individuals. This broad reach has put him at the forefront of countless discussions regarding both the immediate and long-term future presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, giving him a unique perspective on adapting existing programs and trying to plan ahead. He offers the insights he’s gained through those experiences here with some basic guidelines to help you think through your own situation.
I recently read this great advice from well-known Clarinet performer and professor, Mitch Estrin. One of the best ways to keep yourself active as a musician is to learn new music. How you learn that new music will either hurt or help your skills. If there is no system or focus to your practice, you will teach yourself bad habits and slowly deconstruct your playing and technique. These tips on focused preparation will help you stay on track toward mastering some new skills and new music!