James Stamp Methodologies Thread

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    James Stamp Warmups Thread

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    I studied with a student of James Stamp for about 1-1.5 years. Besides developing a great friendship and learning more about the man who is behind so much of our modern pedagogy, I also learned how to apply his techniques. I felt like sharing this with the world would perhaps be beneficial to some.

    I am sure that many reading this thread are familiar with the Warm-Ups book (the blue one with the big red lips). This book is actually a compilation of many techniques that he taught. Like the Schlossberg, it wasn't compiled by Mr. Stamp himself. Unfortunately, it doesn't always make it very clear how some of these exercises are to be done. To make matters worse, the recordings that come with it are appalling and not easy listening at all.

    Let's start with the basic exercise that everyone knows. It is this simple melody. At first glance, this seems very doable, and it is! However, it has a purpose, and the exercise is more or less a waste of time if not approached properly.

    First off, Mr. Stamp advocated using a piano in all exercises. I would recommend this. Use either a piano or some other form of pitch reference. Playing in tune is absolutely key for this exercise. Do it first with the mouthpiece, then with the trumpet. Timing is also essential. Play with exact rhythm! Using a metronome in addition to the pitch reference will help.

    Now, you need to understand what the little bar symbol means. It represents the fact that each pitch is individual of the preceding pitches. Take the D, for example. You should not anticipate that pitch at all. This is why rhythm is essential. Play the preceding C for one whole beat, and be conscious that you are not slightly bending the pitch up to the D before the next beat. Each note should be its own entity. Ensure that the transition is clean, distinct, sharp (in differentiation terms, not in pitch) and clean.

    Now, when you reach the D, think of resetting your mind to that pitch. Play it perfectly in tune with the piano. Then, when you go to the following C, again, make sure that you do not bend the pitch of the D down at all before the time has arrived to play the C. As you play the C and G, think of maintaining that set you memorized for the D. Thinking "up while you go down" or "down while you go up" can accommodate this. Repeat this same tactic with the A. The idea is to play the G and C with the same set that you played the A with. This will help train your mind and muscles to play in tune, regardless of the direction of travel.

    More to come soon...

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  • Came across this today. It has some good advice.


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