Brass Chats Season 2, Episode 6: Tony Prisk

He practiced five hours a day for like ten straight years, keeping detailed logs the entire time, and he shares these logs with his students.

He played with a good handful of principal trumpets in Houston, informing his second-trumpet expertise more than nearly any other player—ever.

He almost stopped playing in Houston 'cause he couldn't figure trumpet out. 

He rides escalators in the wrong direction.

He changed his trumpet playing completely using a dental apparatus (could you do the same?'s like a get-good-quick scheme. People like that, right? You guys like that?).

It's been a "long time" since he cried himself to sleep. (sure, Tony.)

He has the inside scoop on what it's like to play with Dave Bilger.

And of course—he passed the Monster Round with flying colors.

He is.....the Most Interesting Second Trumpet Player in the World.

Monster Lesson: when your creative juices aren't flowing, steal and modify something someone else has created. This applies HEAVILY to trumpet. And jazz. And making blog posts. We'd like to thank Dos Equis Beer. Prost, Prisk, and enjoy this month's installment of Brass Chats!!!



Brass Chats Season 2, Episode 5: Neal Berntsen

What happens when you sit down with Neal Berntsen, second trumpet of the Pittsburgh Symphony, at Heinz Hall, and dig into trumpet nuts and bolts? Well....

You learn what you're not doing right in your morning ritual. You ask yourself about your own trumpet routine. You reconsider how to stay healthy. You realize that you're bad at articulation. You realize that your sound isn't quite what it should be (but Neal's is). You hear about Chris Martin getting punched in the face (???). You talk about trumpet legends, like Bud, George, and Manny.

Bach vs. Yamaha? Basketball? Favorite trumpet recording? MARK HUGHES' MUSTACHE?!?!?!?'s all here. Enough said—getcha some Neal! 




Brass Chats Season 2, Episode 4: Stephen Burns

Pierre Thibaud. Bill Vacchiano. Arnold Jacobs. Armando Ghitalla. Roger Voisin. Besides trumpet influence, what do these guys have in common? Well, if we're writing it here, you can probably guess: this month's Brass Chatter, Stephen Burns. Oh yeah: Mel Broiles. Håkan Hardenberger. Tom Stevens. Others. Stories abound and we get great stuff from each one. 

How much do you practice? it's not as much as Steve high school. Let alone later on in life. Want to hear about the kind of focus it takes to win the 1st Grand Prix in the Maurice André International Competition? Your clues lie within...

Perhaps most importantly is a question we should all be asking ourselves: what is the modern trumpet player? What is the modern musician? Just how the hell are we supposed to get audiences, make money, build a reputation, and create new music, assuming we can ever figure out how to play the damned instrument in the first place? It's all in there. The key is here.

He's a man who forged his own path. He's a thinker. He's a trumpet genius. He's Steve Burns. And now, he's a Brass Chatter! So get going. And make sure you watch all the way to the end. And thanks, Steve!!

Love, - Monsters




Brass Chats Season 2, Episode 3: Rex Richardson

International soloist and Yamaha performing artist Rex Richardson talks teachers, influences, idols, and anthropology. Wait, what?

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Brass Chats Season 2, Episode 2: Jen Montone

She crushes it on the horn and always has. She says curse words in job interviews. Her mental game alone is stronger than all of the skills we have—combined. She has overcome great obstacles and injuries; she knows how to practice. She is a superstar. She is the Boss. She is all of these things, and much much more—at a young age with myriad untold wonders to offer the world in the future.

What we're trying to say is, holy moly, were we ever lucky to score an interview with the Principal Horn (I know, horn, right?! Us!!) of the Philadelphia Orchestra JEN MONTONE! Here it is, this month's inspiration feast. Enjoy!

Brass Chats Season 2, Episode 1: George Vosburgh

Well everybody, it's been quite a ride, but it's time for us to call it quits on Brass Chats......season ONE!!!! HAAAA GOTCHA SUCKERS!!!

We are super excited to kick off the SECOND SEASON of the best interview series in the world that we make. That's right---Brass Chats is back! And we are kickin' ass and takin' names. The first name we are taking is a real legend: a former member of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and former Principal Trumpet of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra: George Vosburgh.

Some people practice for years and never achieve a screamin' high G. George did before he could drive a car. Other people try to bench press 135 lbs; George benched 400. Some people enjoy normal civilized conversational discourse; George gets in, gets out, says what he thinks, and bombards you with energy and information. You'll be tired, but you'll be better afterwards.

We love George. We love Brass Chats. We love you. Go!!!

Brass Chats Episode 34: Håkan Hardenberger

Each time we do a Brass Chat, we think "wow, this one is going to be hard to top.", this one is going to be hard to top. Håkan Hardenberger is REALLY GOOD at acting, keeping a straight face (must be a Swedish thing) and dumping out buckets of water (click for proof). 

Fortunately for all of us, Håkan is also really good at dumping out buckets of knowledge, from trumpet nuts and bolts to the ever-helpful 'poo' attack—we are getting pretty good at talking 'poo'—to lip bends to practicing to performing to musicality.  

Speaking of Swedish things, did you know that "sent from my iPhone" in Swedish is "Skickat från min iPhone?" Well...Skickat från Håkan's brain to yours: it's Brass Chats! Enjoy. 

Brass Chats Episode 33: Mark Hughes

Mark Hughes: Principal Trumpet of the Houston Symphony. Baseball enthusiast. Audition prep master. Lap dog owner. Doc Severinsen fan. Master Swimmer. Texan. 

Those highlights say a lot about Mark, but they don't say it all. Click on in to get closer to the full truth, including Mark's advice on how to record yourself, his favorite piece of music, the "polishing" stage of audition prep, and much more. Oh, and we almost forgot—the always-illuminating Monster Round. The June 2017 installment of Brass Chats. Enjoy!!!



Brass Chats Episode 32: Trent Austin

If trumpet star Trent Austin had a baseball card, the back of it would show stats like: 

  • Pitches: R (click for proof)

  • Bats: R

  • Owns: Austin Custom Brass (click to visit)

  • Teachers: Findlay Brothers, Clark Terry, Thomas Stevens, Gabriel probably

  • Usable Range: seventeen octaves

  • Position: All around, every style, every note

  • Equipment: Adams Instruments (linked), makes his own mouthpieces, but could play any music on any trumpet ever made with any mouthpiece 

  • Number of lips needed to play actual music on the trumpet: one, possibly zero

We were super excited to score an interview with Trent, who's a renaissance man, an incredible trumpet player, and an all-around great dude. Tune in to see how Trent does it, and also to hear him talk trumpet technique, mouthpiece/equipment selection, his longtime friendship with Clark Terry, his dream jazz combo, and much more, including the always entertaining Monster Round.

After you're done learning tons from Trent, go check out his FANTASTIC shop Austin Custom Brass (linked). Go drop by for a visit in person too—Trent's a great hang and interactions with him makes you a happier, better person and trumpet player.




Brass Chats Episode 31: Chris Martin

Can you walk and chew gum at the same time? Rub your belly whilst patting your head? Triple-tongue three-octave arpeggios while sitting on the shoulders of a unicycle-riding bear in a party hat?'re about: can you be principal trumpet of both the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic at the same time? HA! ...then you're not Chris Martin, our 30th guest on Brass Chats. 

Lots of trumpet (slash brass) nuts and bolts in this one. Watch and learn all about how he warms up, what he works on every day, how he develops his sound, and of course---how he navigates the looming minefield of the Monster Round. This one easily gave us about 6 months of stuff to work on in the woodshed. Enjoy! ...and then go practice.