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The Answers from Jens Lindemann's back to school Tip Tuesday special are

below!!! Jens answered 15 of the questions submitted! Take a moment to

read some of the advice below and make sure to pass it on to anyone who
might benefit from it!

Question 1. Hi Jens! First off, thank you very much for the "Tip Tuesday"
series. I have greatly enjoyed reading and learning from these posts. I
would like to know more about your approach to "Anchor Tonguing" and
how one would benefit from this tongue placement technique. Also, if you
would have any suggestions and/ or exercises for players looking to switch
from a traditional tongue placement/ onset to Anchor Tonguing. Thank you
very much for your time and I look forward to seeing answers this weeks

Answer 1. Anchor tonguing is something I discovered naturally when I was

younger. That is to say, just by experimenting a bit, I liked the result. No
one told me what it was and the only teacher that ever asked me about it
(Bill Dimmer in Edmonton) had the eternal wisdom to just leave things
alone and not make a big deal out of the fact that I was trying something
different and experimenting. My obvious problem was clean articulation
and easier control in the upper register. Nothing too extreme, just G on
top of the staff to high C. I theorized that if the tip of my tongue stayed
placed where my lower teeth meet my gums, then there would be a
permanent arch to the middle and back of my tongue. This would help me
increase air speed and compression (especially the compression) which is
critical to playing in the upper range. I also theorized that since only the
most minimal of changes actually takes place between the top of the
treble clef and everything above it, that I wanted the most minimal
movement possible taking place inside my mouth. Although I can now
verbalize it somewhat, this was a concept first inspired in high school
when a great trumpeter (Gary Guthman) came through our school and
said that if you can play a G on top of the treble clef stave, you could play
the double G above that. Of course, it seemed ridiculous to a young player
who only dreamed of what that must really feel like, but I vividly
remember my excitement watching how easy he made it look and that
made me curious.

With the tip of my tongue striking the top of my mouth, it seems to

automatically lower the middle of my tongue causing a loss of pressure.
That loss of pressure causes a slight vacuum inside my mouth (have you
ever accidentally burped while holding a note? Same thing but more
extreme) which made higher notes more challenging and I figured there
had to be a way to make it look and feel as effortless as Gary made it
seem. IAnchor tonguing also gives my notes in that upper fourth (and
eventually beyond) a roundness and ‘ping’ to the front of them that was
missing when I would tongue striking the tip against the upper part of my
mouth. By keeping the tip of tongue permanently placed where my lower
teeth meet the gum line, I felt like I could just touch the notes and that
they seemed closer together. Today I call that feeling the compression of
intervallic relationship.

Bottom line is just to experiment with it. Nothing bad will happen to you if
you are curious to try and keep an open mind and positive attitude about
the work process.

Question 2. How do you organize your daily practice time? More

specifically how do you approach including more chop demanding
elements like range building and or concerto/solo work into a long day of
playing without compromising your endurance for the rest of the day?

Answer 2. Practice time reduces rapidly after you leave school. My work
now is program driven practice. That is, no time is wasted on things that I
do not need to accomplish for a particular work or set of works. Isolate
problem areas and concentrate there. When you do discover a problem,
become obsessive about working it out....good enough is not perfect.
Perfection occurs after much repetition and even then, it only becomes
natural after it becomes second nature and that takes time. I can still
chuckle at the thought of a group of trumpeters huddled outside Sergei
Nakariakov's practice room when I hosted the ITG conference and seeing
the obvious look of disappointment in their faces because he was playing
EVERYTHING slowly and in tiny three or four note chunks.

Other portion of your question is easy to answer. Don't play a lot or even
at all on a concert day if you don't have to. Dress rehearsal with orchestra
or band should be played with ease of pacing and mindful of what your
task is that evening. Playing a solo with orchestra should also be played
with ease in mind and laying out at times when it is really not necessary
for you to be coordinating with conductor and ensemble. Of course, that is
not always possible so pacing and intelligence must be the key if you do
have to play. However, given the option, easy to no playing on game's too late to fix any big problems then anyway. If the issue is just
feeling that you want to be strong at the end of your practice day even
without a concert, then do what Mark Gould says, just stop when you are
tired. Practicing on absolutely fatigued chops is usually counterproductive.
Also, practice upper range work on a fresh face so that you start
imprinting the feeling of muscle memory. Another trick that Dave Hickman
taught me early on is to start practicing a piece from back to front so that
you further establish a good psychological space with a concerto or
Question 3. Hi Jens, thanks for this and all of your T3'sssive !
What does your pre-performance routine look like? What do you (if
anything) to get yourself in the right headspace before a big show?

Answer 3. In a perfect world, I try and shut down four hours before a
concert. I don't talk, don't hang out, definitely take a nap for 45-60
minutes (longer makes me groggy). I used to do a long routine on game
day with Canadian Brass and quickly discovered that this was just dumb.
Why waste any extra face and focus? In terms of endurance, there are few
things in our business more taxing than playing a two-hour quintet show
as a trumpeter. Quite simply, you are playing all the time! I have found
that concept of pacing invaluable for concertos and everything else as
well. Practice valves are an awesome way to iron out some technical
issues that you might still like to cover before your concert. Just the
valves! Even the great Maurice Andre said that if he would do anything
different again with his career, it would be to practice away from the
mouthpiece and more on the dexterity of finger coordination.

Question 4. How do you practice on the days when you feel there sound
isn't there? And specially if you have one of those days and you have to
play a concert or a recital.

Answer 4. In my opinion, people focus too much time worrying about their
sound on game day. Worrying about your sound at that point probably has
more to do with focusing on the nervousness that comes from anticipation
of the performance. You are allowing yourself to be distracted from the
actual task at hand which is to deliver what you have presumably
prepared. Have you ever noticed how much better you always tend to
sound the next day when everything is over? There is a correlation to that.

Having said that, one can also be in a situation where the chops are just
beaten up from a long week of rehearsals or other performances. Only you
will know when that is and your job at that point is to focus on trying to
understand what is happening because the show must go on. Jetlag is a
real beauty for that one. You could feel awesome and then just really
strange a moment later.

Anticipating what to do is key to solving the issue before (or as) you run
into a problem. Too bad if you don’t like that rollercoaster…that comes
with the territory and if you don’t like the challenge of trying to figure it
out, get out! What I mean by such a direct statement of course is that you
can learn from poor performances as well. In fact, that’s when much of the
real learning takes place. In an extreme case, your job is to simply survive
a concert. While you are doing that, have the foresight to log what is
happening while it is happening so that you familiarize with the symptoms
for the future. That is everything, from the heat of the lights to the new
dryness in the hall because of people in the audience to butterflies
arriving near a difficult passage, to what strange thoughts are actually
going through your head in this moment of ‘crisis’, etc. You will not die
from riding a rollercoaster and once you have experienced that first drop,
the next time you get on the same one you can better anticipate what will
happen. I always say it is impossible to have ‘experience’ until you have
actually experienced something.
Question 5. Tips on developing range?

Answer 5. A great range exercise is to simply play Clarke No.1 half way.
Root to the tritone, back to the root, forward to the tritone again and stop
at the top of the phrase. Then hold that note longer and do what Bobby
Shew calls. “hanging out just getting to know each other”. You will have
approached the upper register that way from below. Further, remember
that higher notes don’t actually exist, faster vibrations do. Imagine seeing
upper notes on a horizontal plane instead of a vertical one. They are
further away, not higher. Also, remember another plane of thinking and
that is that you use less air for high notes. So you can also imagine a
visualization of higher notes being closer to you based on the amount of
air you use as you go up. Those are two visualizations which are both
accurate in describing the ideal ‘feeling’ for upper register. Finally, do not
practice loud when doing these exercises. Playing mp to mf is the ticket. It
will allow you to start feeling the focused nature of the centre of the note.
Another interesting analogy is playing at 40 miles per hour instead of 80.
Mark Wood hit me with that one and I will let him explain that further as it
is actually quite an advanced concept explained in a simple way with
intention of creating a fantastic result for lead playing in particular. He will
definitely be a Tip Tuesday guest soon so stay tuned for that answer…
hope you are reading this Mark!

Question 6. How do you recommend building better efficiency on the

horn? I do a lot of scaler exercises at soft dynamics already. Also, what are
your suggests for building a clear, pristine sound?

Answer 6. Better efficiency is based not only on what you practice but how
you practice. Have a plan and don’t turn off your brain, ever! Know what
you are trying to accomplish and learn from results both good and bad.
Develop good habits. As Jim Thompson told me, “the body does not know
a good habit from a bad one, it only knows what you input”.

Clear, pristine sound? Play every note in it’s middle, regardless of where
you are coming from. Centre every note and then your only real job is to
string them together. Sounds easy, right? Well, at least it will make for a
lifetime of fun challenges.

Question 7. Have you ever had a lip injury from playing too much, that
caused you to stop playing for a couple days? If so, what kind of things did
you use to get back your "normal" playing ability. Hopefully this makes

Answer 7. Yes, I have. There is a difference between bruised or having

what Mark Gould would call ‘leather lip’ and an actual lip injury. The
former is simply the wear and tear that can take place after a rough
rehearsal or perhaps a string of shows. Absolutely, do not be afraid to
have a very light day or no playing day. Perhaps even two. Again, nothing
bad will happen.

If you are a diligent performer, you will know that there is a difference
between saying ‘I’m taking a few days off’ (because you heard that it’s ok
to do that and you are just being lazy) and ‘I need to take a day or two
off’. Again, I cite Canadian Brass as an example. After 30 days in a row of
touring Europe playing concerts every night, do you think the first thing I
wanted to do upon landing back home in North America was to run to my
trumpet and practice the next morning? Those that think ‘yes’ are
beautifully (and I mean that positively) naïve. Those that say ‘yes’ and
think they are not naïve have an OCD issue! Now, being truly injured is a
different thing and it takes good self analysis to understand when there is
a real problem that needs dealing with and when a physical and mental
break from the horn are ok. Injury stems from overuse or incorrect use. It
is often because of playing that has been too loud. As with any injury, the
body wants to heal itself so let it. Remember, you are pushing metal into
flesh which is entirely unnatural. Soft long tones are a great way to keep
the embouchure vibrating safely without further damage. I would highly
suggest using the Walter White Long Tone accompaniment CD. I used it
avidly when getting back into shape for concerts after time off or just
maintaining shape if I wanted a light workout.

As for more extensive injury, that is a different topic taking more time. A
few years ago (2010-2011), I was dealing with a major inner lip injury, a
hyperkeratotic nodule from a split inner top lip. It was diagnosed properly
by a great trumpeter from back in my high school days, Dr. Jeffrey Harris,
who is now a highly regarded ENT surgeon (…stay friends with your

The timing of that injury could not have been worse as I had two nights of
Brandenburg Concertos with Pinchas Zukerman. Up until then, it was a
problem that I could mask quite effectively from my own colleagues since
it did not really affect my overall playing, but Bach requires pianissimo
control in the high register to perform the work as a true piece of chamber
music. Pinchas could hear that there were some control issues the day
before and due to his tremendous experience and professionalism, he just
said casually at the end of the rehearsal, ‘sounds great, I’ll see you
tomorrow night at the downbeat, no need for you to be at the morning
dress rehearsal’.

His vote of confidence in front of the orchestra was at a moment when I

most needed it. It allowed me not only to relax and spend the entire next
day being still and focusing on every fundamental I had ever learned, it
gave me the inner confidence to trust myself and concentrate on
technique to play the work for two nights. The concerts were just fine and
I spent the next few months addressing the problem carefully, solving it
and being a far wiser trumpeter because of it. As I said though, that is a
topic taking more time and will definitely be addressed by myself (and
others) on this Tip Tuesday site.

If you have hurt yourself, proper rest and good habits will help nurse you
back so check with other people and get some sound advice which leads
to knowledge. Do not become paranoid, stay positive and become both
intelligent and curious about how to go about fixing things…the answers
will be out there for your particular issue.
Question 8. I know that you work with brass bands on occasion. I play with
Salvation Army bands and have been since I was very young. I now study
at the university of Manitoba and find myself approaching brass banding
and orchestral trumpet completely differently, and suffer with
inconsistency in both tone and flow. Do you have any suggestions for
approaching these two very different genres in a way that may bring my
playing more consistency.

Answer 8. I play twice a year with one of the greatest brass bands in the
world, the Brass Band of Battle Creek. Everything from cornet, to flugel, to
soprano. Almost every player in that band has an orchestral style
background. The thing about banding is that you actually play more than
you do in orchestra. It is almost impossible to simply keep the horn on
your face at all times for long tutti sections. That is the reality of playing a
high brass instrument which demands far more vibrational frequency than
low brass. You are in a section for a reason so in order to help each other
carry the weight, you should occasionally get the horn off of your face for
a moment to get renewed blood flow…stagger things ever so carefully
(PS, that does not mean ‘leave out the hard passage’!). With a cornet, you
still have to remember to blow through the instrument while continually
monitoring the fact that you are also blending in unison with your section.
The tendency is not to blow through the horn because there are usually
three other people playing your part (flugel and sop excluded but those
parts are given more breaks anyway and they have different demands
because they are solo chairs). In the orchestra, you play your own part
except for the rare moments when you are also in unison. For the band, I
would start by simply saying that you should commit to blowing through
the ends of notes and phrases as though you were playing with the more
soloistic approach that comes from orchestral playing. Projection is the
key word. Also, be cognizant of the fact that bands tend to sit closer
together than you do in orchestra and that is usually a rehearsal space
issue. As a direct result of that as well as the fact that there are three
other people playing your part in a cornet section, you tend to play softer
in bands because of that.

Question 9. Hi Jens, thanks again for these Tuesday Tips. My question to

you is what can I do to get my buzzing in the lower register, to loosen up
and become a fatter sound. My lip seems very tight, when I try to do my
pedal tones.
I'm looking forward to Brass Day at UWO in London, Ontario.
I'm hoping they/you may have some handouts?
See you on the 25th!

Answer 9. Pedal tones are a different world and to be honest, I have not
spent a lot of time experimenting there…I should and we should compare
notes in London. Yes, I will have handouts!

Question 10. How would you help a student who is having trouble
sustaining long, lyrical passages especially at the top or above the staff?

Answer 10. Professionals playing long lyrical passages at the top of the
staff have challenges as well and it is one of the most difficult things to
do. The main difference between most professionals and students is the
ability to relax the rest of the body to attain an easy sounding result. A
great exercise for students (and pros) is to simply play the passage down
the octave several times and observe how the body ‘feels’ there. Then try
playing in the proper register maintaining all the physical characteristics
of playing an octave below. This is the same for the more extreme upper
register as well. The one area of the body that must become more
engaged in the upper register are the muscles around the diaphragm.
Best way to wake up those muscles is to do some breath attacks in the
mid upper range (no tongue). Similar to engaging the muscles that are
used in saying Santa’s ‘Ho-Ho-Ho’. That is the part of the body that
students in general have underdeveloped when engaging in more
advanced trumpet playing.

Question 11. What is your warm-up routine?

Answer 11. Vincent Chicowicz flow exercise…a one page exercise based
on that study which has a chromatic modulation done by my first teacher,
Alvin Lowrey and a couple of other little touches that I threw in based on
experience along the way. Takes 7 minutes (less if necessary) and I am
ready to go. Much of that is due to experience playing with the Canadian
Brass where we had a different hall and time zone almost every night. It
was a survival instinct to learn to trust your body, as well as all of your
learned fundamentals and NEVER to panic. Basically, I hate the term
warm-up and think it should be banned from use. It should be substituted
by the word ‘routine’. The implication that you are not ready to practice
until you are ‘warmed-up’ is ridiculous. You are practicing the minute you
pick up the horn and even before if you want to get really philosophical
about it. If you have time, headspace and desire to do a longer routine
then go for it. I only ever worry when I hear people say that theymust do it
the same way for the same length of time with clockwork precision or
everything will fall apart. It won’t…try changing it up sometime.

Question 12. I have a tight set which really helps the upper register, but
when I get down into the staff and below, I overshoot a lot, which then
makes me over think my playing and become more inaccurate. What can I
do to relax my set and my mind so that I can become more accurate with
note placement? Thank you in advance.

Answer 12. You have answered your own question. Do not overshoot the
note, play in the centre of it. Accuracy has nothing to do with ‘tightness’,
it has to do with concentration. Be sure to do some lyrical playing that
does not take you above G on top of the stave. Concone vocalizes are
great, especially if you do them with piano. Piano will help you hear
harmonization’s from below (bass and tenor voice) which helps you ‘feel’
the centre of pitches. Playing a passage on mouthpiece is also a huge
help. Remember, the trumpet is just a big amplifier for your buzz so if it
sounds good there it will coming out of the bell as well.

Question 13. I have some questions if it's cool.

Having played the trumpet for 27 years I stopped playing totally 5 years
ago. Picked it up a few times in the past month but find that my air flow
isn't centred as it used to be. I now find that my air flows better and with
more consistency if my mouth piece is placed off centre.
My question on this is, is it ok to totally change and revamp what I've
known for decades and also if you could recommend any exercises to re
strengthen my embouchure without frustrating myself at not being able to
do stuff that I found effortless 5 years ago before I stopped playing.

Answer 13. Start with long tones and couple it with easy flow studies that
do not leave the mid register so that you can start reconnecting and
blowing through the ends of notes with ease. I always suggest doing long
tones with the Walter White background CD (easy to find at his website). I
swear by that recording and have been doing it ever since it came out 20
years ago. Just two notes, middle G and low C and sometimes low G. I
know that Jean Luc Gagnon of the Montreal Symphony has developed his
own set of exercises to go with the recording as well and it has been very
successful for both him and his students. Personally, I only use it with the
aforementioned three notes. It is a great way for amateurs (and not so
amateurs like pros!) to get back into shape and also maintain consistency
since it sounds like your practice schedule is a bit erratic. Long tones are
done mp and down in volume so nothing ‘bad’ will happen to your
embouchure and the background music of the CD allows the rest of your
body to stay in a relaxed, focused state. Doing long tones also helps
reestablish the corners so you can start the development of muscles that
will hold everything in place. If you find that playing in a slightly different
position from where you remember feeling it gives you a pleasant sound,
then roll with that. It should not take you too long to get back to where
you were but you must exercise basic patience and do things carefully
instead of trying to jump in where you left off as that will only imprint new
‘bad’ habits into your body.

Question 14. What are some things that don't require putting the horn to
the face that would help to expand our musicianship and perhaps rest on
days we have harder playing to do (gigs, rehearsals, etc.)? I'm thinking of
things like score study, listening, etc. but could definitely use more.

Answer 14. Surround yourself with music. Score study is great. Memorizing
at least some things is also fantastic. Singing things (even just in your
head) as you walk or run helps connect an internal sense of rhythm with
the externalization of actually making music. Practice valves…YES, YES,
YES! They are awesome. I use a set of valves that I bought through
Rayburn Music in Boston. They come from Spain, and have a wooden
casing. I hear they may not be making them anymore but am not sure…
start with Rayburn. I know that Arturo Sandoval also has something
coming out called the ‘Sandovalves’ (great name to remember!!!) and he
too has used practice valves for as long as I have known him. Practice
valves are also great because they are not as smooth as regular valves
which is good. That firms up your finger technique by slamming down
Question 15. How do you work out the time difference between, say,
Shanghai and Manchester before making a FaceTime call? Would you
consider yourself a master of this most difficult-to-master of arts?

Answer 15. Always use the time zone function on a computer. If you forget
that basic tenet then at least promise your groggy friends grog when you
see them next time in real time to make up for bad timing when