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Pretty Basic Stuff

May 30, 2020

My band director introduced me to a trumpet player with an Air Force Band, and we set up private lessons.

I’d been playing a few years and, being a trumpet player, was overly impressed with myself and my ability.

Our first lesson was on breathing.

I was getting my trumpet out of the case when he handed me a newspaper and told me to not get my horn out just yet.

Holding the now narrowly folded up newspaper about a hand length from the wall, I was to stick the paper to the wall using only my air. Suffice it to say that I couldn’t do that very well for several weeks.

Eventually in that first lesson, we opened up our cases and got our mouthpieces. Not our trumpets, just our mouthpieces. I already knew how to make a buzzing sound on it. I didn’t know how to play scales and arpeggios and melodies on just my mouthpiece. Again, suffice it say that I couldn’t do that for several weeks either.

We were out of time. My lesson was over. I never played my trumpet, and I never got to show off.

That came later. My first lesson was on breath control.

Pretty basic stuff, right?

So is John Wesley’s advice: “Read and pray daily. It is for your life. There is no other way.”

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