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Trumpet Professor

Although there can sometimes be many answers to a question, The Trumpet Professor tries to answer questions about trumpet playing- from the most basic to the most complex.

Perfect rhythm makes everything about playing music so much easier and a steady beat is essential to good rhythm. Good rhythm also makes playing the trumpet much easier in many ways. To explain this in a simple way, good time helps coordinate the tongue, lips, breath, fingers and brain. If you listen to the great trumpeters you will hear that they all have excellent time, something that they worked hard at getting.  Numerous trumpet virtuosos keep their metronome clicking throughout their personal practice sessions. So you might ask how should I use my metronome?  A good start would be to use it through your warm-up sessions and throughout your scale practice. The key to using a metronome is to listen to it CAREFULLY and not just casually. Treat the metronome as if it is another musician.  Listen to it clicking and coordinate your beats and rhythm with it. As with everything else about practice, be consistent and patient and it will pay off!
What is the correct of amount of pressure on the mouthpiece? First of all, the idea of a non-pressure method of playing is a myth. Too little mouthpiece pressure will create a weak and thin sound without any range. We do need pressure but the right kind and not too much of it. Excessive pressure strains and weakens the muscles. It inhibits the development of a beautiful sound, range, flexibility and is an endurance killer. The bad habit of too much pressure leads to the development of a forced sound that is heard even when the playing is easy. Here are few suggestions for fixing the problem:
1. Focus you attention on how much pressure you use throughout all of your playing range and volumes.
2. Hold the trumpet properly: don’t put your right hand finger in the hook (ring).  The right hand hook is there to accommodate playing with one hand while turning pages or putting a mute in. If you are a beginner, you may need to use the right hand finger hook for a while as you become accustomed to holding the horn and producing a sound, but in time, you will need to learn to play without the finger hook.  
3. Use less arm strength…learn to play with your lips going towards the mouthpiece.  Think of your lips going to the mouthpiece not of pulling the horn into the lips.
4. Play with more air pressure and less arm pressure.  
5. Be consistent and patient with your practice.
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