Beyond the 5%: The Case for Having Jazz in your Classical Diet

Beyond the 5%: The Case for Having Jazz in your Classical Diet

If you’re a young brass player, you’ve probably had dreams of playing in a Big Five orchestra since you first learned that such a magical job existed. I’m not here to say that a dream job will never happen for you; we’ve all heard enough from the negative voices. Frankly, I’m a little more concerned with what you’re doing in the meantime to maximize your music-making. Now, not everyone has extra time in their practice routine to add an entirely new course of study, but before you trumpeters smash your faces on another run of the Petrushka ballerina, or you tuba players spend a futile half hour on the trill from Die Meistersinger, let’s consider what you can do for your classical playing if you spend that time studying Jazz theory instead.

W William Russell
The NEW Heritage Mouthpiece for Trumpet

The NEW Heritage Mouthpiece for Trumpet

Heritage mouthpieces carry the mass of the mouthpiece in the lower region of the cup which provides the focus of a HeavyTop mouthpiece. To compensate the extra weight in the cup, Denis Wick thinned out the upper walls of the cup and underparts of the rim. This creates one of the most responsive and projecting mouthpieces you will ever try. They share sizing with the American Classic 1.5C & 3C, the Maurice Murphy 2C and 4C, and Classic 4X and 5X. What are those sizes? Find out below.

M Mary Galime
Heritage vs Heavytop Trumpet Mouthpiece Showdown

Heritage vs Heavytop Trumpet Mouthpiece Showdown

The Heritage mouthpiece for Trumpet is Denis wick's newest installment to a long list of amazing tone-producing products for trumpet players. Both the HeavyTop and Heritage utilize additional mass to provide focus to the sound, but in much different ways. While the HeavyTop provides extra mass throughout the mouthpiece, the Heritage localizes the mass of the mouthpiece to the base of the cup, and then thins out the upper walls and rim to add sparkling projecting and response to a focused foundation. Check out Denis Wick Artist Victor Haskins in this demo of both mouthpieces to get a better idea of what both can do.

V Victor Haskins
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
Tips from Denis: Embouchure Advice for Brass Players

Tips from Denis: Embouchure Advice for Brass Players

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.

I Ian Bousfield
3 Non-Negotiables for Working on the Arutunian Trumpet Concerto

3 Non-Negotiables for Working on the Arutunian Trumpet Concerto

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!

M Mary Galime
Housebound Practice Tips for Trumpet

Housebound Practice Tips for Trumpet

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!

D Denis Wick Trumpet Artists
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
Best. Straight. Mute. Demo. Ever

Best. Straight. Mute. Demo. Ever

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.

M Mary Galime
Jazz Ear Training Exercises With a Friend

Jazz Ear Training Exercises With a Friend

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.

T Tom Ervin
Humor, The Best Medicine

Humor, The Best Medicine

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.

M Mary Galime
The BIGGEST etude blunders and EASIEST fix

The BIGGEST etude blunders and EASIEST fix

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.

M Mary Galime
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