Audition season is upon us! Are you planning on auditioning for a performance degree? Preparation of mind and music is everything. Longtime trumpet teacher, performer, and Denis Wick artist Paul Archibald shares some advice for all brass students that is absolutely crucial to your audition preparation.
What are the top reasons customers tell me they want a new mouthpiece?
“I want to play higher/lower."
“I want to play louder/softer."
"I want better endurance."
“I've improved, I want a bigger/smaller mouthpiece."
“Can I get the one that *famous artist* plays?"
Should these needs be the basis of our search, or are there better "morals" that should be practiced?
Getting back in shape to play your instrument is usually not realized in a relaxed context. It is usually realized with anxiety concerning a deadline that is approaching. Though muscle memory is quick, and getting back in shape will not take too long, it is very easy to injure yourself along the way and prolong the time it takes to get in shape, or in the worst scenario, be the beginning of some really bad habits that will take you down later on in the year.
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.
Mouthpiece trials can be a dangerous sport! While we don’t suggest wearing a helmet, there are some steps you can take that will protect the sensitive area of your lips and muscles from damage. Follow the steps below and you should be able to walk out of your trial session unscathed and hopefully with a new mouthpiece!
What is winning, and how do I get it? The most appreciated parts of winning tend to be the beginning inspiration and the prize at the end, but what do you call all the stuff that make up the middle? In the end it tends to be all those middle parts which define winning more than the prize. Here is some great advice from Aaron Tindall on how to navigate your road to winning.
Are you a musician? Your New Year's resolution might include practice disciplines, range goals, technique goals, career goals, etc. Resolution planning can be tricky; too easy and you feel like you cheated, too lofty and half-way through the year you feel like a failure. If only there was one thing that you could resolve to do that would keep you busy the whole year while improving everything. And there is!
How I became a Mute Maker, By Denis Wick
My long-suffering wife said, “You’re just never satisfied!”. Many a true word is spoken in exasperation. I had tentatively suggested, in about 1969, that somebody ought to design mutes that actually played in tune and worked in every register. We had been recording film music with Bernard Herrmann, who had helped to make all those Hitchcock films such a success. He was contemptuous of the old fibre mutes that I and my LSO trombone section were using. He called them "psychological mutes” and we knew what he meant.