Working off the horn (why playing your instrument is not enough)

Working off the horn (why playing your instrument is not enough)

Whenever I give clinics, the usual questions about practicing or instrument/mouthpiece choice inevitably arise. The questions that never get asked are about the other, non-musical things that go into a successful music career – and they are numerous. This is the stuff that doesn’t get talked about much in music classes, and comprises the vast majority of what I do on a daily basis. Recently, while talking to class of collegiate trumpet players, the professor (who is also one of my former teachers and knows me pretty well) asked me to tell the students how many companies I run. Here it goes (and I’ll try to keep it brief):

C Chris O'Hara
What makes a great private teacher? Here is your job description.

What makes a great private teacher? Here is your job description.

A great band director is the start to a great music education. However every great band director knows a great private teacher will lead their students to the next level. These private teachers are carefully chosen by band directors because they can mold the future success of each of their students and encourage the growth of their band programs.

M Mary Galime
Scientific Study on the Proper Disinfection of Musical Instruments.

Scientific Study on the Proper Disinfection of Musical Instruments.

Have you been curious about how best to approach beginner band recruiting and in person band rehearsals? Denis Wick is very pleased to be one of the sponsors of this important piece of research by CSFI on the COVID-19 Disinfection of Musical Instruments. The CSFI (the French Musical Instrument Manufacturing Association) have conducted some extremely thorough research and presented their findings at a Webinar hosted by the MIA on Thursday 25th February, 2021. What they have discovered is vital information for keeping musicians safe from infection.

T The Buzz
Mouthpiece Auditions- How to Avoid Injury

Mouthpiece Auditions- How to Avoid Injury

Summer is a great time to look for a new mouthpiece. Adjusting to a new mouthpiece can take a little time, and the summer provides just that. Since a mouthpiece will not teach you to play higher, lower, louder, or softer, the summer is also a great time to hone your skills in these areas. Stay tuned to the Buzz in the upcoming weeks for tips and advice in these areas.

M Mary Galime
A Practical Aid to Beautiful Sound

A Practical Aid to Beautiful Sound

As every teacher knows, a good tone on any brass instrument needs a properly set-up embouchure; these days one may assume that the young player will have a reasonable instrument and a sensible mouthpiece. To this one could add what many teachers would regard as the most important of all – good breath control.

D Denis Wick
Mouthpieces 101

Mouthpieces 101

Your mouthpiece is a relationship of measurements, joined together to support you. Understanding the terminology and relationship is key to finding the right mouthpiece.

M Mary Galime
Everyone's a Critic

Everyone's a Critic

In his web series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, Jerry Seinfeld says of performing: “I don’t accept the judging of process. It doesn’t matter [how you prepare]. We’re all trying to get to the same island. Whether you, swim, fly, surf, or skydive in, it doesn’t matter. What matters is when the red light comes on.” This is a great attitude to adopt as a musician especially if you are self conscious of how you sound in the practice room. We’ve all been there, sounding our worst while our friends, colleagues, teachers, well-wishers, and personal idols all mill about outside, eagerly pressing their ears to the door in hopes of catching a moment of weakness.

W William Russell
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
Playing In Tune: Part 1

Playing In Tune: Part 1

Tuning is one of the few areas of music that are binary; something is in tune or it is not. However, even though most everyone would agree with this statement, the subject of tuning and its pedagogy get surprisingly muddled especially within the world of marching band. While there are still many ways to address tuning, keeping in mind the following concepts will help guide you to success and diagnose problems you may encounter.

R Ryan Adamsons
Don't be the head, be the neck!

Don't be the head, be the neck!

In one of my favorite movies, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, the main character’s mother provides her daughter some valuable advice for their household: “The man is the head of the house, but the woman is the neck and she can turn the head whichever way she pleases.”

M Mary Galime
Practice Over Break: True Advice & Tips from a College Professor and Practicing Horn Player

Practice Over Break: True Advice & Tips from a College Professor and Practicing Horn Player

It can be challenging to find the motivation to practice over break, and you have several factors operating against you. You are at home. There are no performances on your horizon. You want to see your friends. You have siblings or erratic sleep schedules to work around and there’s no decent acoustical space for you to practice. There are many excuses that can account for neglecting your instrument over break. I’ve been there and now as a mom of twin toddlers and a professional freelance horn player, I am here to tell you that if you want to find time to practice, you will. Keep your chops in shape and your momentum moving forward as you head home for the holidays.

K Kelly Langenberg
The key to consistency is....ahem... Consistency

The key to consistency is....ahem... Consistency

Good habits are the Holy Grail of musicianship. Legendary in benefit; frustrating in attainability. If your posture is perfect, your technique immaculate, and your preparation thorough, you are sure to succeed. We spend hours, days, and years in the practice room reinforcing good habits (and inevitably some bad ones), but there’s another kind of habit that’s more destructive than the bad ones we can gain in the practice room and it often comes from our best intentions.

W William Russell
Is there one to rule them all? How many different mouthpieces do you play survey results

Is there one to rule them all? How many different mouthpieces do you play survey results

Over the last month we conducted a surey of how many different mouthpieces one musician might use. Do you use the same mouthpiece on everything you play, or do you have multiple different mouthpieces to accomplish different styles of playing on the same instrument. Since there is no right or wrong answer to whether you should play one or multiple, we reached out to you to get your thoughts. Here are our finding.

M Mary Galime
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
The Inspiring force of Malcolm Arnold, as recalled by Denis Wick

The Inspiring force of Malcolm Arnold, as recalled by Denis Wick

My first contact with Malcolm Arnold was in 1947 and was a memorable one. Although I had played with several amateur orchestras in my hometown, Luton, it was at the age of 16 that I saw and heard a professional orchestra for the first time. It was the London Philharmonic Orchestra, in the nearest local approximation to a concert hall, the Vauxhall Motors works canteen.

S Stephen Wick
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