Jazz Trumpet Player Rich Szabo and his Big Band

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Lip Trills & Shakes

Many aspiring trumpet players have over the years been stuck when it comes to performing a correct "lip trill" or "shake".  They hear guys like Maynard Ferguson play with wide and fast lip trills and wonder "how in the world can I do that????"

From the Jimmy Maxwell book "The First Trumpeter":

The "shake", the lip trill, you name it, it has many names as it has interpretations, but the production is basically the same.  It can be put in the catagory of jazz ornaments and like all jazz ornaments it should not be used too often or it becomes trite and gives the band a ragged, unorganized sound.  Used sparingly it sometimes contributes to the excitement of a swinging arrangement but I believe it to be much more effective in a live performance than it is on records or broadcasts.  When it is being played on records or broadcasts, it has to be done carefully and in a well rehearsed manner or it will just give the band a rough sound, but in this careful presentation, it is apt to lose much of the impact that spontaneity would lend to it.


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