Posture is vital not only to a good sound, but will also help you avoid injury. Jazz trumpeter Ingrid Jensen gives a superb lesson about posture, why it matters, and how to do it. Listen and learn from Ingrid in the video below:
Without intonation, music doesn’t resonate, and if things are really out of tune, it can be a painful experience. Jazz trumpeter Ingrid Jensen gives an excellent example of how to play in tune. Here’s Ingrid in a video from JALC’s Jazz Academy to tell you more about playing with drones:
Jimmy Fallon and Adam Levine of Maroon 5, spar in a hilarious (and impressive!) with musical impressions of Frank Sinatra (Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes), Bob Dylan (Rude), Michael Jackson (Sesame Street Theme Song), Iggy Azalea (Old MacDonald Had a Farm), and Eddie Vedder (The Muffin Man). All serious musicians do it on the road to getting better. Find great tools to imitate below….
Want to learn to play in tune? You should. Read on. Playing in tune is a skill often overlooked in practice. Here’s a great example of playing in tune: Michel Godard playing a serpent. The serpent is an ancient low-voiced instrument similar to the Medieval cornetto, and it produces a mesmerizing sound in the hands of a master like Godard (see the vid below or listen to the mp3).
Hardenberger is working with young trumpeter Elizabeth Fitzpatrick. First, notice the difference in tone and musicality between Ms. Fitzpatrick and Mr. Hardenberger. Pretty amazing. But what’s really helpful is what Hardenberger tells her about listening.
Sting talks below about overcoming writer’s block. When we see these luminaries of music, it often appears they have no struggles, that music simply flows from them. But that’s not the case, most of the time. Music is work. A labor of love, to be sure, but still, a labor. A labor fraught with error and the necessary correction; a labor fraught with being (or feeling) “stuck.” Listening to Sting talking about being “stuck,” I thought of the Beethoven’s Opus 69 manuscript below and what every professional musician I’ve interviewed has said about being stuck…
Bill Evans is a genius whose ideas about music, and his music itself are still fresh and invigorating and necessary. Evans played piano on the best-selling jazz album of all time, Miles Davis’s Kind of Blue; he was nominated for 31 Grammys and won 7, including a lifetime achievement award. There are too many gems from Evans in these 5 short videos to list, but some of the good stuff include Evans’s thoughts about the universal musical mind, composition vs. improvisation, learning to improvise, and so much more.
Ms. Frink passed away July 13 from complications of bile duct cancer. She was 62. The loss of a great teacher is most tragic.
A Blog Supreme posted a nice tribute to Ms. Frink.
Below is a video of the Maria Schneider Orchestra playing Gumba Blue in 2000. Laurie Frink is in the trumpet section along with one of her students, Ingrid Jensen.
Want to learn more about the best ways to practice? Get an e-mail with a discount code when The Practice of Practice is published (June, 2014). To learn more about the book, check out a sample from The Practice of Practice. Hans Zimmer is an award-winning film composer and music producer. You can seem more pics…
To me, improvising is like speaking a language spontaneously, whereas only reading music and re-creating the music others (or yourself) have written is like reading a book or a story out loud. The reading is scripted, whereas the spontaneous use of language flows where it will, especially if it’s in conversation with another. If you’re new to improvising, it’s a simple thing to do.
Several months ago I spoke with the fantastic jazz trumpeter Ingrid Jensen about practice. She mentioned that one thing she liked to do was practice with drones, using an Indian instrument called a tanpura (also tampura). She said that playing against a drone was a great way to train your ear/horn coordination. Practicing with a drone allows you to really feel how it sounds to play every note against the tonic, throughout your range. It’s meditative.
When I hear a great practice idea, I try it, and I’ve been using this one for a while and absolutely love it. I almost immediately noticed a greater ability to match pitch (my fellow musicians mentioned it in rehearsal), and a deeper awareness of sound in general. Part of the reason for this is that playing with the drone makes me aware of where the horn is naturally out of tune, whether because of the way a horn is made or because of the quirks of the harmonic series.
Well, I’ve got a few interviews in the can and will be editing and processing them in the coming weeks. The next post to this podcast will have an interview with Nicholas Barron, singer-songwriter from Chicago, followed by interviews with classical trumpeter Colin Oldberg (principal trumpet w/ the Hong Kong Symphony Orchestra), Singer-Songwriter Erin McKeown, jazz trumpeter Chad McCullough, and the most excellent Chicago Symphony Orchestra Tuba player Rex Martin. There are more interviews in the works, too, including (tentatively) Ingrid Jensen, Bobby Broom, and Josh Ritter. Stay tuned. When that first one is posted, be sure to subscribe to the iTunes podcast feed to download future interviews automatically. The first one should be up by mid-March.