Instructional and Inspirational


Dean's Tips for NEW trumpet students :

Once you acquire your perfect combination of a mouthpiece and a quality trumpet that sounds how you want to sound, then its continual practice that will make you a master of your instrument. Where your trumpet becomes an extension of your soul !  You can be as good as anyone else out there !

We are what we repeatedly do … Excellence then is not an act, but a habit.

If you practice, your horn playing will eventually sound great. If you don't practice, not even a $3,000+ pro quality trumpet is going to help you any.

"If you skip practice for one day, you will notice it. If you skip practice for two days in a row, the people you live with will notice it. And if you skip practice for three days in a row, EVERYONE will notice it!"

Scientific studies indicate that "ten thousand hours of practice is required to achieve the level of mastery associated with being a world-class expert - in ANYTHING!" If that is the case, then ten thousand hours is equivalent to "roughly three hours a day, or twenty hours a week, of practice over ten years."

If you want to master anything in this world, you have to consistently practice that skill, art, craft, science, behavior, thought process, what have you... AND you WILL make lots and lots of "mistakes" on your way to mastery. There is no getting around this truth.

So, the next time you see someone exhibiting mastery in a business, juggling, music, sports, cooking or innovation, remember that you are witnessing a perfection that is the end result of at least ten thousand hours of bad business decisions, dropped balls, missed notes, at bat strike outs, burnt or awful tasting meals !

Music Lessons + reading + Listening + Playing by ear + practicing = a Competent Player : 


Seek out a good personal instructor:  You can contact your local school band director or local music shop.  Many times they will have an excellent recommendation for you.  Also contact your local community orchestra conductor.  Many times an orchestra will have skilled players who also “moonlight” teaching their respective instruments. With steady practice, (1 hour a day or more) and guidance from a competent teacher, you can develop your own technique, while building your range and endurance, very rapidly.  I suggest also the student listen to recordings of their favorite professional trumpet player such as Maynard Ferguson, Arturo Sandoval, Doc Severinsen, Clark Terry, and many others.  Listening to trumpet artists can vastly increase your interest in the trumpet and give you incentive to strive to be the one of the best!

Playing recognizable songs, tunes, solos, tunes also adds to the fun and enjoyment of learning the trumpet.  Simple things like bugle calls such as reveille, taps are easy to figure out without any music and can be played on any trumpet.  A good player should strive to develop playing their instrument “by ear”.  Get out a record of your favorite “horn” band recording and try and figure out the notes by trial and error.  Maybe that is a “ Chicago ” record or such.  Also ,  have someone play a note on the piano, or maybe even HUM or sing it , and just by listening to that note, see if you can “nail it” on your trumpet the first time.  With much practice listening to a note, and being able to play it right off, you will develop a huge sense about you, your playing, key signatures that the songs are written in, etc.  The horn becomes an true extension of you and your musical soul.  This is extremely important to excel in the ability to “ jam”  “ ad-lib”  perform solos without music ! (eventually)  Don’t get discouraged.  Practicing by ear is just as difficult as having a piece of music in front of you, but it does require practicing in this manner. Too many instructors "hammer" music reading into a student, and overlook practicing "by ear" .  Many people think that players who can just pick up their trumpet, and play most anything are “such a natural” , or that they were "born" with such natural talent.  While there are those rare cases, the other 99.7 percent of trumpet players who have exceptional "ad lib" solo skills have worked VERY HARD at developing their “natural” talent !







                                                                        Trumpet Fingering Chart





Trumpet Mouthpiece Components:


Dean's Trumpet care tips:

I am just amazed at some of the information out there regarding trumpet care and maintenance. Some sources have some great information and some tell you that you do not need to clean the inside of your trumpet or give it a bath. Some will tell you to use Vaseline on your slides. I will not go into complete step by step listings of what to do and how to do it, as I am sure most trumpet players know what to do. Here are some things to keep in mind regarding trumpet care :

1 - Slides - Never use Vaseline on your slides. It's a really good product . . . It just should never be used on your trumpet slides !  I am sure you have all seen the trumpet that has a darkened inner slide. This is because Vaseline is slightly corrosive to the brass. You should utilize a slide grease made specifically for brass instruments. Yamaha, Conn, Selmer and other aftermarket manufacturers all make a specific grease for this purpose. Your inner slides will stay clean and slide wonderfully ! You can even purchase the grease in thick and thin formulations.

2 - Mouthpiece - You should purchase a mouthpiece brush and swab the inside of your mouthpiece at least once a week to prevent deposits from forming inside. This is an extremely close tolerance critical airway and will affect your playing with even slight deposits inside.

3 – Internal Cleaning (BATH) - yes , you should completely disassemble your trumpet at least 4 times a year, and soak for 30 minutes in WARM water with a little bit of dish soap in your bathtub, with a rubber bath mat. You should have a Chinese wooden chopstick with a soft cotton cloth wrapped around it to swab out the valve casings. You should have a lead pipe cleaner to swab out your lead pipe. A trumpet snake for the slides is fine.

I have actually seen a major trumpet site say that you do not need to clean the inside of your trumpet ! ( I wish I was kidding ) Hmmm … really! They actually go on to say that your trumpet will play better and have a nicer tone with deposits in it! Hmmm … really! I beg to differ. Consider this …. Internal bore sizes for the trumpet are extremely critical on how they perform and play .453 .460 .465 .470 . Consider just how extremely small those differences are and you can understand just how different your trumpet will play, with .007 thickness of deposits and crud in it.

It is really amazing when you stop and think about those differences isn't it !

Be sure to completely dry your trumpet inside and out before reassembling it. Be sure to re-grease the slides, oil the valves, and put a drop of valve oil on your Amado water keys as those are "mini pistons" also and need oil.

4 – Exterior Cleaning - Every few days, a soft cloth dipped in a mild dish soap solution to wipe off the exterior and fingerprints is just fine. Most trumpets are have lacquer over the finish, be it brass, silver, nickel, copper, gold plate.  Never use a silver or brass polish as this will take off the lacquer on your trumpet. If you have a raw bass trumpet, then go go go ... polish away !  For Daily routine care of a lacquer trumpet , keep a non-treated soft cotton cloth handy to wipe your fingerprints off each and every time before putting it away.



Never too young to START your love of the TRUMPET ! ! 


Daughter Julia - Age 18 months actually buzzing notes ! ( Watches Dad closely, note the position of her lips !  ) 

She really wants to press the buttons and get lots of sounds!

Daughter Julia, age 2 1/2 , really having fun, steady tones, mostly G's and middle C !  She has "tested" many CarolBrass horns for customers !

Julia, now 6 ... still "testing" pocket trumpets !


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