Category Archives: Contemporary Techniques

Bassoon Reed

I’d like to start this post by making it clear that I do prefer playing the trumpet with an actual trumpet mouthpiece! Nevertheless, there are some unique sounds that can be made by using an alternative mouthpiece on the trumpet. … Continue reading

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The Double-Bell Trumpet

When I first saw Marco Blaauw’s double-bell trumpet, I was fascinated but skeptical. The effects are great, but are they enough to justify this huge modification of the instrument? Not to mention the expense of having one built! I avoided … Continue reading

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Multiphonics

My good friend, tubist and author Jack Adler-McKean, will cringe at the title of this post. He rightfully insists that: “a multiphonic means the same thing regardless of whether its for string, wind, brass, keyboard instrument or voice: making multiple … Continue reading

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Tongue Slaps and Other Percussive Sounds

Tongue Slap / Tongue Ram Whenever I have a gig with my horn colleague Samuel Stoll, we inevitably get into a heated discussion about the difference between tongue slap and tongue ram. In my opinion, this is one technique with … Continue reading

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Glissandi

Glissandi on the trumpet are kind of a mixed bag. On one hand, the trumpet can produce the super cool falls and doits that are familiar from jazz music. On the other hand, it’s nearly impossible to produce a pure … Continue reading

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Half-Valve

In classical trumpet playing, half-valve sounds are usually unintentional and a sign that you aren’t fully depressing the valve, or that you seriously need to oil your valves because they aren’t coming back up fast enough. This “mistake” has been … Continue reading

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Microtones

Microtones are available throughout the trumpet’s range. In this post I will focus on the production of quarter tones, as these have become firmly established in contemporary music, but other microtones can be produced using the techniques I describe below. … Continue reading

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Pedal Tones

My first encounter with pedal tones was in college, as warm-up exercises. I was taught that, in order to properly play the high register, I also had to learn to play super low. Though the connection between the two is … Continue reading

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Split-Tones

My first venture into split-tones was over ten years ago for a performance of the piece “Humans in Motion” by Canadian composer Annesley Black. If I remember correctly, there was one single split-tone in my part – one of the … Continue reading

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Flutter Tongue, Doodle Tongue and Growl

The tongue is a trumpeter’s secret weapon, with which they can coax some fascinating effects from their instrument. In addition to using the tongue for articulation, it can be used to create some interesting sound colors. Here are three of … Continue reading

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