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Pietzsch 8

Pietzsch #8 strikes me as a very "orchestral" sounding etude.  Meaning, I want to play with a big, broad sound and play the dotted rhythms as squarely as possible.  I don't mean square as in a non-jazz sense but I'm thinking the shapes of squares and rectangles when I approach these rhythms.  Keep the corners of these shapes as sharp as possible.  Keep the long notes in the phrases as stable as possible (like a rectangle) and try not to let the pitch bend as to "telegraph" where your next note…


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David Cooper is the host and author of All Things Trumpet; the blog for research, education and reviews of musical issues pertaining to the trumpet.

UW-Platteville Director of Jazz Studies – Trumpet
Madison Symphony Orchestra
Conn-Selmer Artist

More on Mouthpieces

I wrote a post on a mouthpiece experiment back in 2011. It's now 2014, summer just finished, and I'd like to follow up on that article. I was surprised by how much attention that particular post got among trumpet players.  I guess a bunch of us…


Site Update News

For those of you that frequent this site, you are obviously aware it has recently undergone a complete makeover.  My web designer does a fantastic job and if anyone is interested in hiring him, please contact me and I'll put you in touch. Aside from…


What Trumpet Do You Play? Part 2

Well, here I am about to sound like a real "waffler" and contradict a previous post of mine titled "What Trumpet Do You Play?"  In that post I said that I have owned many brands of trumpet throughout my career.  In each horn, at that time, I truly…


The Greatest Trumpet Cases, Part 2

It's been four years since I wrote my post "The Greatest Trumpet Cases In The World".  Any self respecting trumpet geek like myself would of course have added equipment to his arsenal in that amount of time, and so I have.  A couple years ago I had…


Thank you, Fred.

I wrote a post a while back called "A Musical Remembrance", where I talked about a couple key musical moments that happened in my life that were profound for me.  A similar topic I would like to share with you is that of memorable mentors.  I have…


Scrapple From The Apple

Scrapple From The Apple was written by the great Charlie "Bird" Parker in either 1946 or 47.  It is considered one of the classic tunes in the BeBop repertoire.  It is a 32 bar form that is AABA.  Like many BeBop compositions, the chord structure is…


Maiden Voyage

  Maiden Voyage Recorded in 1965, Herbie Hancock’s “Maiden Voyage” was a revolutionary tune because it consisted almost entirely of sus chords.   Studying “Maiden Voyage” is basically learning what options one can play on suspended chords.  Sus…


Tune-Up

Miles Davis' Tune-Up is considered a jazz standard and is a great vehicle for working on a very important and common chord progression found in many jazz compositions. This progression is known as the ii-V-I (two-five-one).  There have been many,…


Madison Jazz Jam 2

I am thrilled to host the Madison jazz Jam again this coming Sunday.  This week the featured tune is the standard, "There Will Never Be Another You" by Warren and Gordon. From an improvisation standpoint the tune has many opportunities to work our…


Madison Jazz Jam

Hi everyone that attended last Sunday’s jam session.  I had a great time and am thrilled to be asked to be a part of it.  What a great space, too!  The Fountain certainly seems to be the new place to hear and play jazz in Madison.  Finally!! Next…


ITG Conference 2012

ITG Conference – 2012 This year’s conference was held in Columbus, GA at Georgia State University.  The facilities were gorgeous as the school has recently had a fantastic center for the arts built.  The Schwob school of music is connected to a new…


Doc DeHaven

Doster (Doc) DeHaven Doc was born in Madison, Wisconsin in 1931 and is still living in Madison today, although, sadly he is no longer playing trumpet.  As a musician in the Madison area, I have rarely – if ever – run into another musician who has…


Beijing – Day 7

Today was my last day in China.  The other guest artists were on very early flights and mine did not leave till 5:30pm so I had the day to myself.  I basically retraced the steps of my first day here a week ago.  It was interesting how much more…


Beijing – Day 6

Today one of CCOM tuba students’ took Marty Erickson and me to the Great Wall.  It was a wonderful experience even though the sky was very foggy.  There are many points that tourists can enter the Wall and the one we took was supposedly the most…


Beijing – Day 5

This afternoon I gave a four-hour master class to the CCOM middle school trumpet students.  There were about 15 students around the age of 14-18. First we went through some warm-up concepts together as a class.  Then I talked about putting music…


Beijing – Day 4

After a morning of practicing, our host, Fan Lei treated us all to another amazing lunch.  I had turtle, venison, goose, manta ray and an amazing ginseng soup!  He has assigned three of his students to chaperone the four guests around throughout the…


Beijing – Day 3

Today was the day of my solo recital.  I had a dress rehearsal followed by lunch at a local hotspot. After that some much needed downtime till the concert.  The first portion of the program was by tuba great, Marty Erickson.  He plays with amazing…


Beijing – Day 2

The Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing has about 1000 university-age university music students and another 1000 high school-age students.  They call them middle school students.  There are two large buildings that house the students, rehearsal…


Beijing – Day 1

I have been invited to play some recitals and give some master classes at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, China.  This is part of the 2nd International Wind & Percussion Music Festival.  This is a huge thrill and honor for me so I…


Wayne Bergeron clinic

I just recently attended a conference where the trumpet great, Wayne Bergeron gave a presentation.  I feel pretty safe in saying that Wayne is perhaps THE most in demand lead trumpet player alive; or at least in the top-5 among all commercial…


Sampson – Notes from Faraway Places (suite 1)

Title Notes from Faraway Places Suite 1 (I. Krems, Austria - II. Richmond, Virginia – III. Delaware Water Gap, Penn.) For Unaccompanied Trumpet By David Sampson Biographical Info David Sampson is a trumpet player, teacher and composer living in…


Mouthpiece Experiment

This is super-geeky, but whatever. This summer I'm going to only play one mouthpiece per horn! Today starts my summer playing schedule and for the next month and a half, it's going to be a very busy one. The last few months I have been slowly…


Aesthetics of Tone

I recently came across this article written by Steven Emery.  It's absolutely the best depiction of tone description I've come across.  Dizzy used to say, "Talking about music is like dancing about architecture."  Well, describing sound and why we…


Great time at ITG

I'm back from another fantastic ITG Conference.  This time it was Minneapolis, May 23-28.  I would like to thank everyone that stopped by the Composers' Collective booth and said Hi or bought something.  It seemed we hardly ever had any down time.…


A Musical Remembrance

I would think that most of us have had musical experiences that have dramatically affected, if not impacted our lives; perhaps a top 5 list of favorite musical memories.  Funny thing for me is that I didn’t even play in two of my top five musical…


A Note to “Serious” Music Students

“I’m thinking about transferring to a different university.” As a college music professor, I have this conversation every now and then.  As someone who transferred to four schools during my undergrad years, I would like to offer my thoughts on the…


Preparing for the stage

Here is a quick little piece of advice some of you may find useful.  (Those of you with nerves of steel can disregard.)  I have been implementing it the last few times I’ve performed and this morning it really came in helpful.  Please read on.…


Takemitsu – Paths

Title Paths (1994) In Memoriam Witold Lutoslawski for Trumpet Toru Takemitsu (1931-1996) Biographical Info Toru Takemitsu was a self-taught Japanese composer who combined elements of Eastern and Western music and philosophy to create a unique sound…


Another Music Conference Comparison

In February of 2011, the saxophone prof at my school, Allen Cordingley, asked me to play on a recital with him at NASA.  I know!  Pretty cool, right?  Well, to him and eventually me, this actually meant driving to Chicago and playing at the North…


ITG 2011

If you are reading this blog, then you are probably someone who is well aware of what ITG is and what they do in the summer.  Well, in the event you happen to be some renegade string player who loves to read trumpet blogs, ITG is the International…