Trumpet Performance Tips

Trumpet Lessons and Performance Tips in Mason, Ohio

Trumpet Lessons and Performance Tips in Mason, Ohio

Trumpet teacher and player Russell Dixon grew up in Waycross, Georgia during an era when there were no trumpet teachers accessible via or on the internet and there were no proficient trumpet teachers within 100 miles. If a trumpet player wanted to excel, diligent trumpet practice, desire, hard work and experimentation were the necessities that ruled that day and time. I practiced trumpet daily and experimented with various trumpet equipment much to the detriment of my high school Band Directors. I had four wonderful Band Directors who all played the trumpet; however, none of whom understood the physical side of playing the trumpet (air cvompressions etc). I learned through years of practice, reading and experimentation to find exactly what worked for me. Over time, I learned that the paradigms the masses believe are incorrect. Playing trumpet musically with great tone and range is a matter of finding the right gear to fit YOU as an individual AND practicing in a way to BUILD everything that synergistically goes into playing the trumpet with excellence. A talented basketball player will probably struggle with the wrong size shoes on.

Trumpet Mouthpiece Inner Diameter

It is very important that a trumpet player determine what their preferred mouthpiece inner diameter is first. Like finding the correct shoe size, one size doesn't work for everyone. Then, the player can experiment with various shaped trumpet mouthpiece rims, cups, cup depths, throat sizes, back bores, alpha angles, and an inumerable amount of combinations etc. Most people play a trumpet mouthpiece that is too big (a quote from Allen Vizutti). How comfortable the mouthpiece fits your chops as well as your musical tone quality should determine the proper fit for YOU as an individual. Stop buying into the old tired paradigm that you must play a Bach 3C etc or something bigger. Read about Allen Vizzutti and what he went through in terms of dealing with the old trumpet mouthpiece paradigms while at Julliard. He played everything in music conservatory and lead on the jazz ensemble using a Schilke 14A trumpet mouthpiece with a Symphonic back-bore that was sent to him by accident. What you MUST do is play with beautiful tone on the most efficient equipment for YOU as an individual. I play on a two Marcinkiewicz Claude Gordon Personal mouthpieces with a #22 drill and a #20 drill (both a tad under a 1.5C in size so I am told by a CG expert) for all of my legit studies. I play a Lynn Nicholson XLT Monette Prana trumpet mouthpiece as well as several similiar sized MF "Holy Grail" variations for my Trumpet Range Studies. I can (and do) use numerous trumpet mouthpieces at times ! I also own and enjoy playing on a Patrick 12C; LOUD 10.5C; Mt. Vernon Bach 10.5C, and a Marcinkiewicz Model 6.

Open vs. Tight Trumpet Gear

Do you prefer a tight trumpet mouthpiece and a tight horn? An open trumpet mouthpiece and an open horn ? A Lightweight horn? Tight trumpet mouthpiece and open horn? Open trumpet mouthpiece and tight horn? These parameters can only be determined through experimentation. You must determine exactly where you prefer the air resistance within the trumpet and mouthpiece combination to find the best combination for YOU as an individual. Try everything different you can get your hands on. I once stopped in Atlanta, Georgia at a Musical Instrument Store while driving alone down I-75 to Waycross, Georgia just to be able to try out a bunch of Marcinkiewicz Trumpet Mouthpieces. Look for different equipment to just to try out. If you don't try various bore sizes, mouthpiece sizes etc. how will you know what fits YOU best? How do you know if you like different foods unless you try them. At one time or another I have owned the following trumpets: a Bach Stradivarius Model 37, a large-bore Benge, two Holton large-bore ST-302 MF HORN's, a Schilke B-1, a Schilke X4, a Schilke S-42, a Kanstul 1600 Wayne Bergeron Model, a Yamaha YTR 8340 Eric Miyashiro Model, a Bach Stradivarius NY7 and I now own a Schilke X3. I have found through playing differing equipment that I prefer a large-bore trumpet that resonates (light-weight). Schilke and Yamaha make great trumpets on a consistent basis. I do also love the Bach Stradivarius NY7 Model Trumpet.

For Sale - Brand New Monette Prana BL2J Trumpet Mouthpiece
LT Blank; roughly equivalent to a Schilke 11A cup

$250.00 (you save $100.00) ... I accept Pay Pal and will only ship to the CONUS.
Will trade for a Monette Prana MFII or MF III in an XLT blank or LT blank in new condition.
Contact email below

Find What Trumpet Mouthpiece Works for YOU

You are a unique individual; therefore, it is best that you determine what works best for YOU in the way of equipment as well as what physical approach etc. The tired old notion that everyone must aspire to play a Bach 3C is like saying everyone must drive a Ford Tempo. It is ludicrous. We do not ALL wear the same size shoes. In the words of Jerry Hey, Allen Vizzutti, Roger Ingram, Arturo Sandoval and Bobby Shew ... "Find what works for you as an individual."

Practice Trumpet Fundamentals

Practicing trumpet fundamentals and having fun doing so is a necessity. Use a Metronome and rest as long as you play. You play a note for eight beats ... then, you rest for eight beats etc. You must learn to feel your body and determine when you should "hold back" and when you can "push the limits" within your practice sessions and when it is time for a break or to quit for the day. Beating up ones chops over and over again does NOT build the chops (any more than it builds your body in the gym - OVER TRAINING). If you feel tired or you are having an "off day" then lay back a little that day or REST. Long tones, scales, chromatic scales, lip slurs, double tonguing etc. are the building blocks or fundamentals. Practice softly because that forces you to utilize more air compression and control. Practicing anything correctly will build your range. I have found my range being built JUST playing legit fundamentals on my larger mouthpieces!

Trumpet Physical Set-up
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Physical Set-Up for Trumpet Playing

Chest up, feet firm etc. (no slouching) slightly arched back. Watch the greatest trumpet players on YouTube and study their physical nuances. Is their chest up? What are they doing with their shoulders ? Why does it look so easy when Scott Englebright plays a dubba C? A HUGE part of conquering the trumpet (especially the high range) is utilizing the correct physical setup. A Powerlifter or Olympic Weightlifter gets "tight" and in a specific stance BEFORE exploding with speed and strength. The same holds true of air compression when playing the trumpet. YOU will NOT play a strong high register slouching or not being tight.

Daily Trumpet Practice Routines

Find a trumpet practice routine and use it for a while such as a the Bill Adam Trumpet Practice Routines; Claude Gordon Weekly Lessons from the Systematic Approach; Bill Knevitt's Trumpet Courses; The Reinhardt Routines by Rich Willey (Boptism online) etc. Having never had a trumpet teacher, I have found these type trumpet method books very valuable When you begin to use a lot of mouthpiece pressure to play a note, it is time to stop. Notes should be produced by air compression along with control of the embouchure muscles. There is absolutely nothing wrong with learning to practice softly. Playing softly takes more physical control and air support (compression). I practice my daily routine while watching a 90 - 120 minute movie. Right now I am playing out of The Reinhardt Routines for Trumpet ... a new trumpet method I recently bought from Rich Willey at Boptism. I own and have used ALL of the trumpet method books mentioned on this website. Trumpet practice for me is very enjoyable and a matter of trying to maintain my abilities at the moment.

Contact me for Trumpet Lessons in and around Hamilton, Ohio at