Maintenance Videos back up!

Whee! It's that time of year again- everyone is receiving from sunburns and soccer camp- now it's back in the saddle and BACK TO SCHOOL!

Each year there is an influx of new brass students that all need instruction in how to take care of their new instrument, but we ALL need to take better care of our instruments, not just the new crew.

I created a series of videos to make sure that students worldwide could have a head start on taking care of their instruments.  As a lifelong student myself, and admitted GEAR NERD, I am always interested in how to take care of your instrument so it will last a lifetime.  

By taking care of your instrument, it will be:

  • easier to play
  • last a lifetime
  • save money on repairs and maintenance
  • keep you from getting sick (really)

    My favorite thing I've heard is, "It's a school horn, I don't need to clean it."

    Ummm. . . sonny. . . . . if anything, you REALLY NEED TO CLEAN IT, because you have no idea where it's been, or what's growing inside of it.  Plus, you deserve a horn that is in top shape, and your school deserves a horn that will last for years to come.  You owe it to the next group coming down the road, and your school - take care of it.

    Check it out, and let me know what you think!

    This is no good - Sorry, Sibelius


    As a fan, and avid user of Finale- it's sad to see the only major competition in the field go under.  It looks like they're farming the code out to foreign programmers, but the entire original team in England, has been let go.

    Competition is always a good thing.  It keeps us on our toes, and reaching further than we thought possible.

    I hope for Sibelius fans that things come together, but fear the worst.  But, I do welcome hopefully many new converts to Finale, and have high hopes that MakeMusic will stay focused, on target, and continue to evolve.

    I've met many of the team there--they're good people.


    Hip-Bone U launched!


    Getting stuck in your warm-up?

    Hit a rut lately? I've been doing the Remington warmups (the foundation of the 15 Minute Warm-Up book) since I began my brass career thirty years ago. When I came across the 15 Minute Warm-Up I was thrilled to have something to:

    • Make sure I don't waste time during my warm-up
    • Get 'er done
    • Have more fun
    • Have something to reinforce my pitch accuracy, tonal center, and rhythmic sense

    I have to say, the 15 Minute-Warmup, and the 20 Minute-Warmup are a boon to keeping my chops in shape. When I'm running about, I've got it on my iPod or iPhone, and can buzz along with it even while driving. (Note: Please drive responsibly and safely.)

    If you've found yourself in a bit of a rut lately, I would highly recommend checking out these new videos, and picking up a copy of the book(s). If you don't own either, start with the 15 Minute Warm-Up -- it's the meat & potatoes of any solid brass players warm-up. Solid fundamentals presented in a logical and methodical progression, with accompaniment that takes the tedium out of warming up.

    You definitely need to check out the new videos that Mr. Michael Davis has launched at Hip-BoneU.

    Mr. Davis has launched a set of three videos (with more to come) at Hip-BoneU as a companion piece to his 15 Minute Warm-Up and the 20 Minute Warm-Up series.

    The current video lineup at Hip-BoneU includes the following videos:

    There are more lessons coming soon, including team lessons with studio legend Bill Reichenbach, improvisation lessons, and more!

    Mr. Davis has also released a new Bone2Pick feature, which will feature free interviews with leading brass musicians. Don't miss the great interview with legendary studio musician, arranger, and producer, Mr. Jerry Hey

    MWM What happened.

    Where did I go?Has the podcast died? 'What Hoppened?

    Never fear true believers- we're coming back strong later thus week. In a crazy period entitled "I wish I had another six hours a day and a tail" (heretofore referenced as- aJust became a new stay at home Dad, moved, and still maintained my studio, workshop, gigs, and auditions) all I can say I'm- sorry!

    Three Great interviews in the can, coming shortly- I promise. Much more coming to the site as well. Please feel free to drop me a line regarding things you would like to see here.

    Best, Dr. J

    Meeting with Masters: Podcast Launch

    It's the quick (and unofficial) launch of my new podcast:

    (submitting the formal RSS feed to iTunes today, but available now)

    Meeting with Masters: Thoughts on Music with people who don't suck.


    1. Share the life stories and musical insights of outstanding musicians, craftsmen, repair technicians, music businessmen, creative professionals, and people that impress me, with the world.
    2. Provide an avenue for students and listeners to ask a question of a seasoned veteran.
    3. Provide an opportunity (bully pulpit) for outstanding professionals to share their wisdom with the next generation of musician, and their thoughts on the craft and art of music performance and pedagogy.
    4. Learn, be inspired, and gain pearls of wisdom to fuel our need and desire to become better musicians and humans.

    The first episode features Mr. Alex Iles, Los Angeles studio trombonist, college professor, and all around 'good human'.

    He's an inspiring trombonist who has seen great success in all genres of music ranging from touring with Mr. Maynard Ferguson, nearly a decade as a trombonist for cartoons with the Animaniacs, numerous movies and recordings, Principal trombone with the Long Beach Symphony, and professor of trombone at California Institute of the Arts.

    Alex is a Conn/Selmer performing artist and plays King and Conn trombones.

    I hope that you enjoy, and learn from this interview as much as I have.

    I'll be putting up information on how to subscribe to the podcast in iTunes once it's confirmed in the iTunes store, but for now, you can use iTunes (or your preferred Podcasting program) with the following feed://

    Open iTunes, click on "Advanced" ---> "Subscribe to Podcast", then enter in feed:// and you're set!

    Please let me know what you think, thanks so very much for the generous donation of time and knowledge by the artists, and I thank you for your time and support!

    RSS Link for iTunes

    Happy Thanksgiving!


    Upcoming Artists to include:

    Podcast coming soon!

    Look out! "Meeting with Masters, or Thoughts on Music with people who don't suck" is coming soon!

    Artwork candidate

    The premiere episode to feature Mr. Alex Iles, Los Angeles studio trombonist, pedagogue, orchestral musician, and inspiring human.

    Recorded episodes to come include:
    Mr. Rod Gilfry - 30 year career as an international Operatic Baritione, star of South Pacific's National Tour, and faculty member at the University of Southern California.

    Masterclass by Los Angeles trombonist, Mr. Andy Martin--Trombone Day 2008

    Mr. Rick Walsh - San Francisco Trombonist, Arranger, and Music Copyist.

    Mr. Glenn Cronchite - Inventor of Reunion Blues Gig Bags

    And many more (top secret- if we told you, we'd have to kill you.)

    ETA: this week.

    Where the heck are the videos you promised?

    Where the heck are the videos you promised? Hi there!

    Sigh- technology is fun and challenging. I'm running out now to play with the Four Tops, and am having some difficulties with the website. All will b fixed by Monday.

    Please visit DrJ YouTube Channel to see the videos until I get them, and the sample video up this weekend.

    Thanks very much for your patience!

    See you at the top!


    Summer Lessons!

    I hope that you’ve had an outstanding year, and are ready to relax, recharge, and have a great summer! It has been a privilege to assist your child in their musical development this year, and I would like to thank you for that opportunity.

    I am available for private instruction this summer, and would love the opportunity to work with you further.

    Please check your calendar, then contact me via mail, e-mail, or phone at your earliest convenience, and we’ll get everything set up!

    MIX & MATCH SUMMER! - As everyone has an incredibly complex, fun, and exciting summer schedule, the summer lesson policy is a bit different from that in the year. You have the option to create a lesson schedule that suits you best. You may request either a ½ hour or 1 hour lesson time. I will put you in as close to your request time as possible, so act quickly to reserve your desired time! In order to provide the best possible lesson environment, all lessons this summer will occur in Danville, CA (less than 10min from Lafayette)

    Thanks for your time, and hope to have the privilege of serving you this summer!

    Dr. J

    Summer Lesson Flyer

    Moment of Silence for Trombone Great: Steven Witser

    Steven Witser dies at 48; L.A. Philharmonic's principal trombonist - Los Angeles TimesThe loss of a stellar player, teacher, and human: Steven Witser.

    I did not have the pleasure of knowing Mr. Witser personally, but I do have several close friends and colleagues who were students and friends of his--through which, I have learned greatly.

    The picture above is a scanned "Baseball trading card" style production by the Los Angeles Philharmonic's outreach program. This was shared with me by colleague Alisha Ard. These "trading cards" were passed out to children during the orchestras educational outreach program in an effort to involve children in classical music. Of the 76 trading cards assembled, Mr. Witser was the only trombonist represented. Upon inquiry as to why the only trombonist was Mr. Witser, Ms. Ard was told "SOME sections aren't as good about getting their information back to us."

    :) As we all know, life often gets in the way of returned calls, email, greetings, and human contact. It's impressive to note that amongst the busy schedule with the Philharmonic and life, he took the time to share with the next generation of audiences and musicians.

    The overall resonating vibe surrounding Mr. Witser's legacy through his students and peers always surrounded two facets--he was an impressive and inspiring musician, but also, or more importantly, a good human.

    Thanks for all the great inspiration Steve, through your recordings and your students-- god bless you and your family, and may we aspire to similar evolution as musicians and humans.

    New Logo design!

    Working with the fabulous Scott Johnson to get a new logo in place for Bonehead Music.

    I originally planned to have a trombone bell in place of the head (kind of like the Pixar lamp), but am thinking that his artwork is so good that I'll keep it as is, and have the bone bell slung on the back, peeking over the shoulder.

    What do you think? Please give me some advice below!

    Dr. J

    Mobile Blog test

    Easter gig done: Happy Easter everyone! I'm running to the airport and testing the ability to Mobile Blog (moblog) in preparation for my jaunt to Carnegie Hall.

    Thinking of traveling only with a Zoom H2 recorder, a Flip Mino HD, and my iPhone.

    I'll capture plenty of clips of the blog and to kick off the podcast.

    What would you like me to ask members of the YouTube orchestra, and our world class mentors?

    Please leave comments below, or drop me an email!

    Dr. J

    Hello World v2

    Egads, we've started. Welcome! If you're reading this, you realize that the (old) site has gone down, and we're in transition to a new interface--one which ultimately is going to provide you with lots of interesting and exiting information for the brass community.

    If you have any questions, or are stuck, please feel to write at any time, and I look forward to seeing you soon!

    Seeking your input- HELP!

    Moving forward, our mission statement is twofold:

    1. Create the best online portal for trombone content online.
    2. Provide outstanding content, information, interviews, and knowledge for students of all ages.

    Please, in the comments below, give us an idea what is it that YOU want would like to find here?   

    Where have other online resources (in addition to being scattered about the net and not congregated anywhere) fallen short? - what can we do for YOU?

    Free Lesson for Beginners/Introduction to Dr. J

    Hi there! I truly appreciate you taking the initiative to come visit my page and see this post!  I've had a little server trouble and am about to start a lesson right now- I will update this page later this afternoon.   Please check back, and also feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions, or would like to get started on your musical journey right away!


    Dr. J