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
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
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
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
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.

J Josh Rzepka
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 fixes

The BIGGEST etude blunders and EASIEST fixes

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