In Conclusion

 

In August of 1997 I had a revelation that started me on a journey of discovery that still amazes me with every new thing I learn about trumpet playing. What did I discover, you ask?  Simply, that the way I was playing was not the only way to play. This truth was a lot more involved than I ever dreamed. There were many ways to play! I began searching out a teacher to teach what I came to learn would be called a ‘virtuoso embouchure’. Sounds good, doesn’t it? I thought so too. My searching led me to Jerome Callet on Staten Island in New York and in March of 1998 my good friend Rob DuVall and I flew down and spent 3 days learning from this master. He is a world-reknowned embouchure teacher but taught a radical style that I never did manage to develop. After months of struggle my playing was actually worse. Two things I came away with of value kept me going. One was to study the way professional trumpeters play, the other was the sound that Jerry generated in the extreme range. It was amazing.  This led me years later to a teacher in Texas named Clint McLaughlin who had mastered the 5 main virtuoso embouchure styles and would steer his students towards the closest one to the way they already played. This sounded ideal to me. So in June of 2002, my wife and I rented a car and drove to Dallas. I spent 7 grueling hours playing with Clint, or Pops as he prefers to be called. My range has increased nearly an octave and continues to improve and my endurance is much much better. The lessons presented here come mostly from his material and the lesson I took from him. He is indeed a master teacher and his teaching has given me a renewed enthusiasm for becoming all that the Lord will allow me to be on the trumpet. These few lessons are small distilled bits of information that hopefully will fire your enthusiasm for playing , and potentially, make your journey to becoming a better player a shorter one. Pops has a whole series of books that go into much more detail than I go into here. I would recommend them to anyone serious about taking their playing to the ‘Next Level’. You can find him online at http://www.bbtrumpet.com/ .  Stay relaxed and remember it is about the music, not the notes we play. God bless you and grant you the patience needed to excel on the instrument of kings.