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
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.

M Mary Galime
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Is "The Healing Power of Music" more than a cliché ?

Is "The Healing Power of Music" more than a cliché ?

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.

M Mary Galime
Simple Ideas for Teachers of Beginning Brass Students

Simple Ideas for Teachers of Beginning Brass Students

If there is one thing most brass players dread, it’s giving a lesson to a beginner. No, it's not because we don’t want to see the next generation enjoying music the way we do, but it's because we have NO CLUE how to fill 30 minutes of time for a student that may or may not have her horn correctly assembled. The first lesson I taught to a beginner was, let’s say, uncomfortable, (like, on the level of childbirth). Since those many years ago, I have come up with a few tricks to help both student and teacher get through those first few months without boring yourselves to death and in the meantime improve your student’s skills!

A Alliance Brass
​Planning to Adapt: Educational Strategies for an Uncertain Time

​Planning to Adapt: Educational Strategies for an Uncertain Time

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.

R Ryan Adamsons