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In the forward to Focal Point Exercises, the latest book from famed pedagogue and trumpeter Chris Gekker, Allan Dean tells this story:
“During my second year of college, I took a lesson with Dan Tetslaff. The first thing he asked me to do was to show him a warmup. I started with a long tone middle G, and Dan said “You’re a big boy now, you can start on C.” That message registered with me and I have continued to make that my starting point for the past 60 years!
Chris’ new book brings this principle up to date. These wonderful exercises and comments are centered on the idea of raising the daily warmup starting point to third space C or higher, to fourth space E or fifth line F. The exercises cover many areas, giving the player options to choose from while focusing on this higher starting point. As always Chris’ comments are thoughtful and practical in approaching the trumpet.”
~ Allan Dean, Professor Emeritus, Yale University
These drills were inspired by Rich Willey’s Focal Point. Chris considers Rich’s publication a profound insight into the heart of trumpet playing, with a clear presentation of a core principle that can be applied creatively to a wide range of approaches. After working on this concept for five months, Chris started writing his own exercises, the ones printed here, following this protocol.
You can expect to develop ease in the upper register, yes, but more importantly, by raising the “hub” or center of your range, you smooth out the transitions between all registers of the instrument, increasing your facility and endurance in the process.
There are fantastic instructional writeups throughout, from Allan Dean’s foreword to Chris’ lengthy introduction, followed by the Focal Point Exercises, and capped off with Chris’ detailed thoughts on Articulation and Etude Practice as a whole.
To the left, you will see a few samples, but to go deep into this incredible new playing protocol, you will need to grab an immediate digital download above.