[Dixielandjazz] Trumpet help

Custode at aol.com Custode at aol.com
Tue Nov 18 14:17:27 PST 2003

In a message dated 11/18/2003 3:27:35 AM Eastern Standard Time, 
jazzmin at actcom.net.il writes:

> My problem is that there is a chromatic run
> in 16th notes at a very brisk allegro from A to the C# over an octave 
> higher.
Here are a couple things to help you get through this problem:

1) Hold the horn in your RIGHT Hand and practice the run using your LEFT hand 
to finger the notes.  I know it is backwards, but if you practice doing this 
slowly, and increase the speed to as fast as you can using this configuration, 
when you switch back to holding the horn with your left hand, and using your 
right hand for fingering, the notes will "pop" and "lock-in" for you.  The key 
to using this approach is to play the run in perfect rhythm.  If you practice 
it uneven, you will learn it that way.  I have used this method successfully 
in the past with my students, as well as, for personal performances.  Also, 
slam down the valves when you finger the run.  Again, the key is playing it in 
perfect rhythm.

2) Your range problem is probably due to pinching off the notes as you 
ascend.  Try pressing the lips against the teeth on the sides of your mouth as you 
ascend, while pushing the jaw slightly forward.  This keeps the embouchure 
flexible in the mouthpiece and prevents you from choking off the air supply in you 

3) Finally, air speed is the key to playing high notes.  You can achieve the 
proper speed by pushing the air faster through the horn and using your tongue 
to condense the cavity in your mouth.  Use the syllables AHH for the lower 
notes, OOH for the middle notes, and EEH for the higher notes.  Practice 
chromatic runs extremely soft using a combination of air speed and syllables.

Hope this helps, and good luck,

Lewis D. Custode, Jr., CLU, ChFC
Bourbon Street Brass
Buffalo, NY

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