Trumpet Fundamentals and Jazz Soloing

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Jazz Trumpet By: Tutor no longer registered
Subject: Jazz Trumpet
Last updated: 24/10/2013
Tags: bebop, jazz, solo, technique, trumpet

Each of us has a different embouchure for the trumpet. It is important to find out early on which is the best way for you to play. This can be done by experimentation and careful guidance from your teacher who will judge according to your jaw shape which is your natural position. Each player also has a pivot which they use in order to play high and low notes for the trumpet. A fascinating book by Donald S Reinhardt examines the embouchures of numerous players in order to assess and classify their pivot (how they hold the trumpet) according to their style of embouchure. Using this can help to order embouchure problems you might have as a player. 

In addition to this there are a number of exercises you can do away from the trumpet which will help to increase stamina and enable the player to achieve high notes with ease. One in particular is buzzing with the lips and the pencil exercise (more to be explained in the first lesson). These exercises and techniques can help the player to produce notes with confidence and assurance.

Playing jazz is often difficult because the trumpet player has to think about lines to play over chords at the same time as concentrating on sound and technique. However, there are certain tricks and bits of knowledge which can really help with this too. In particular the player needs to understand how different chords are related in function within a song and also which diminished, dominant major or minor scales to play over each. Some of the books for jazz can be confusing but the work of Barry Harris has greatly contributed to reducing confusion. It is important for the trumpet or horn player to visualise this using a piano and I do require students to use the piano to help with understanding. Do contact me if you would like to learn more about this fascinating and challenging topic and I will be more than happy to help.

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