Chase Sanborn is an engaging modern jazz trumpet voice with a warm, inviting tone, fluid lyrical phrasing, and a style that always swings. He exhibits the cultivated sensibility of a player at the peak of his powers.
Music Business Tactics is an easy and enjoyable read that provides sound, practical advice. If you are an aspiring musician, or you know one, get this book! You need this information!
Chase Sanborn goes right to the heart and soul of the music. His performance was an inspiration to hundreds of festival participants, and his positive and upbeat outlook made a lasting impact on our students
Jazz Tactics presents the material in such a clear and simple way, with the vitality and spirit of a live teaching session. This method speaks to all musicians, regardless of age and previous experience.
Chase addresses the needs of developing musicians in a manner that is understandable and relevant. My students were thrilled to work with someone who understands their learning curve.
Tuning Tactics teaches you to listen. In just a short time, I've witnessed strong improvement in my students' awareness. Tuning Tactics makes good intonation attainable for all!
Chase Sanborn has a natural gift for engaging and involving an audience. He shares a wealth of honest and knowledgeable information about music and the music business.
Brass Tactics offeres authoritative instruction balanced with sage and homely advice. It shows you how to handle yourself in any professional or amateur situation. No trumpet player should be without this book!

Yamaha Silent Brass

I first reviewed Yamaha’s Silent Brass practice system several years ago, when it made its debut as a revolutionary product. Since then, Yamaha has expanded the ‘silent’ practice concept to many different instruments. While it does not eliminate all sound, the reduction in decibels is enough that you should be able to practice anywhere, anytime. I’ve used it in hotel rooms, cottages and tents.

The system is comprised of a mute containing a microphone, connected to an electronic control unit with output to headphones. The mute itself is one of the best-designed practice mutes on the market. It works very well even without the electronics. Connecting it to the control unit and headphones, however, is much better. The sound, while not an open horn sound, has a full-bodied tone. Adding reverb eliminates the tendency to overblow, common with practice mutes, and makes it comfortable and satisfying to play. With the headphones in place, I can perform virtually all of my practice routines.

The second-generation Silent Brass offers a choice of two control units. My recommendation is to spring for the deluxe unit, the ST5. If you have an original Silent Brass, you can upgrade the control unit only, and it is well worth doing. In addition to many extra features, the sound is better and the EQ options more numerous.

The ST5 is about the size of a pack of cigarettes (but better for you). It operates on four AAA batteries or the included AC adaptor. The EQ settings are labeled trumpet, piccolo trumpet, flugel horn, French horn, trombone and tuba, but any setting can be used with any instrument, so experiment with the different sounds to see which you like best. Ultimately I settled on the trumpet setting for trumpet. Go figure. Each EQ setting has a choice of reverb lengths. Inputs are provided for one mute and one auxiliary, so that you can listen to a CD or MP3 player while playing along.

The ST5 includes lots of bells and whistles, including a metronome and a tuner. A variety of effects are available, e.g. chorus, delay, pitch shifter, distortion, compression etc. These effects elevate the Silent Brass from the realm of a practice tool to a potential performance tool. By running the output to an amp or PA system, you can electronically alter your sound on a gig. Using a practice mute in combination with an effects processor is effective, since it eliminates the natural sound of the horn, sending only the effect through the speakers. There are 50 factory presets (including the EQ settings) and 50 user-programmable presets with adjustable parameters.

Two of the two coolest features are the Key Transpose and the Phrase Trainer. The Key Transpose feature lets you transpose the key of a player plugged into the aux input. i.e. for play-along recordings. Theoretically you can transpose up or down 12 half-steps, but the further you go the more distorted the sound becomes. Transposing up and down a half step from the original key of a tune is enough to hit some ‘hard’ keys, and the ST5 handles this just fine. The Phrase Trainer samples a short segment from the mute or the aux input, and allows you to slow the playback without changing the pitch. Like the transposer, if you slow it too much distortion occurs, but you can go to about 80% of the original speed without losing too much fidelity. This is enough to help you transcribe a difficult solo lick.

It is never ideal to do all your practicing with a mute. You need to hear the open sound of the horn to really know what is going on with your sound production. The Silent Brass, however, allows you to practice in situations where it would otherwise be impossible, and recreates the sensations of playing mute-less better than any other. It is a worthwhile investment for any brass player.

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