I have the confidence I’ll eventually get it. It might not be a quick fix, as much as you want to play the call in Also Sprach [Zarathustra], the first time you pick it up. It’s something I really had to work on, and still do.
~from the interview.
Colin Oldberg is a stellar musician. He played principal trumpet for the Hong Kong Symphony Orchestra, was a founding member of Axiom Brass, and now plays with New Chicago Brass. Colin has toured with the Chicago Symphony and earned a spot in the first YouTube Orchestra. He was gracious to talk about his own experience with practice for over an hour. Thanks, Colin!
Opening excerpt: The Axiom Brass Quintet: Colin Oldberg, trumpet; Dorival Puccini, Jr., trumpet; Matthew Oliphant, horn; Kevin Harrison, tuba; Brett Johnson, trombone.
here’s the mp3 of Wapango, one third of Pacquito D’Rivera’s Three Pieces for Brass Quintet, courtesy of Axiom Brass Quintet. If you like it, support these fantastic artists and buy the whole CD or mp3. It’s great stuff! Go see Axiom Brass live, too, for an even better musical experience.
CSO principal trumpet Chris Martin said Axiom Brass has …beauty and fullness of tone, precise intonation, virtuosic technique, expressive dynamic range, and stylistic flexibility. Axiom commands a repertoire ranging from Early Music and Renaissance to the most challenging contemporary compositions of today not to mention a fluency in the jazz idiom that puts most ensembles to shame. I have been consistently moved by their interpretations and inspired by their expressive maturity. …It is rare to find an ensemble possessing such artistic qualities also so devoted to education and outreach in its community, but this quintet is such an ensemble. They have performed over 100 educational concerts throughout the Chicago area as well as a summer brass seminar. Education is not just a side project for these men; it is one of their driving forces and a cornerstone of their mission.
Go check out Axiom on YouTube: excerpts of Carmen With Salsa is a good one.
Here they perform the D’Rivera movement Wapango and Puccini explains part of Axiom’s educational mission and community engagement.
You can buy Axiom’s recordings here.
Resources Mentioned in the Podcast:
- Warm-ups and Studies, by James Stamp
- Flow Studies, by Vince Cichowicz (difficult to find, but try here, and here). What you really-really-really should do is find someone who learned from Mr. Cichowicz and take lessons with him or her until you understand and can play the concepts. A book is a dead thing with no ability to give vital feedback. Find a live teacher.
- Musical Calisthenics for Brass, by Carmine Caruso
- Daily Fundamentals by Michael Sachs
- 100 Studies by Ernst Sachse
- Characteristic Studies for the Cornet by Herbert L. Clarke
- Haydn Concerto for Trumpet (sheet music (Bb version), recordings)
- My review of Outliers
- My review of Effortless Mastery by Kenny Werner
- Complete Conservatory Method by J.B. Arban (excellent article on himhere)
- Yikes. I both misattributed and misquoted violinist Jascha Heifetz, whose words were: If I don’t practice one day, I know it; two days, the critics know it; three days, the public knows it.
- Professors Barbara Butler and Charles Geyer teach classical trumpet at Northwestern University and play trumpet internationally.
- Chris Martin, principal trumpet, Chicago Symphony Orchestra (interview in TimeOut Chicago)
The Usual Resources:
Education is more important than Capitalism: I’ve given away well over 1 million free music book PDFs worldwide. Get your own free digital copy of
- Sound the Trumpet: How to Blow Your Own Horn
- Basic Music Theory: How to Read, Write, and Understand Written Music
- Basic Jazz Theory, part 1
- The Practice of Practice: a blog on music practice. Soon to be a podcast with more interviews on practice with other instrumentalists and singers.
- Other free printable practice aids
- Trumpet method books