Gary Grant’s Studio Musician Manual For A Long and Productive Career

  1. Be early.
  2. Show-up at proper studio.
  3. Be on time.
  4. Keep a good attitude.
  5. Keep mouth shut!
  6. Keep feet still.
  7. Don’t talk!
  8. Smile!
  9. Mind your own business.
  10. Don’t complain about parking.
  11. Sharpen pencil.
  12. Fill out forms immediately.
  13. Set up instruments 10 minutes before downbeat.
  14. Pay Attention!
  15. Keep earphones on.
  16. Don’t leave earphones uncovered.
  17. Listen!
  18. Be Ready to play at all times.
  19. Keep hands down.
  20. Stay awake.
  21. Don’t make any noise!
  22. Be polite.
  23. Say hello to leader.
  24. Charisma at all times.
  25. Don’t leave the stand.
  26. Warm-up very softly.
  27. Actually tune to the given “A”.
  28. Mark your parts so anyone can read.
  29. Don’t ask questions.
  30. Watch leader.
  31. Stay mellow.
  32. Don’t forget mutes.
  33. Keep instrument in working condition.
  34. Always seem interested in the music.
  35. Don’t look ahead.
  36. Stop playing when leader stops.
  37. Never talk immediately after a “Take”!
  38. Never hang over at end.
  39. Don’t play melodies that may have been “ripped-off”.
  40. Try to only have enough chops for that particular job.
  41. Don’t correct wrong notes after the final take.
  42. Be congenial.
  43. Don’t over compliment “great performances”.
  44. Never point at other musicians.
  45. Use the “chain of command”.
  46. Laugh at every joke.
  47. Say “yes” to everything.
  48. Blend and balance.
  49. Concentrate.
  50. Be quiet!
  51. Stay in chair.
  52. Be budget-conscious.
  53. Say thanks to everyone.
  54. Don’t be critical of fellow musicians.
  55. Don’t drink booze on the job!
  56. No drugs!
  57. Talk only on 10’s!
  58. Do not bother contractor!
  59. Focus!
  60. SILENCE!
  61. Concentrate.
  62. Stay out of the booth.
  63. Compliment engineers.
  64. Stay away from producers.
  65. Don’t eat booth food.
  66. Don’t complain about air conditioner.
  67. Don’t complain about mix.
  68. Don’t expect booth improvements, decade to decade.
  69. Don’t “produce” from the orchestra.
  70. Don’t pack-up early.
  71. Don’t leave until you’re excused.
  72. Pick-up all reminders.
  73. Clean up area when finished.
  74. Don’t make an ass out of yourself!
  75. Never ever say, Who wrote this $%&^%$^!?!

C2J Trumpet Mouthpiece Review

C2J Trumpet I just heard from trumpet player Steve Lampert, a new user of our C2J mouthpiece. Steve was looking for the right piece to play in a small-group jazz setting. The trumpet mouthpieces that got the dark tone he wanted were too hard to play, and the smaller mouthpieces that he could get around the trumpet on were too bright and edgy.

We recommended getting a 40/C2J mouthpiece (the C2J is available in any of our rims, or you can have your rim threaded to use on it if you prefer). The C2J is a special mouthpiece that you use in a trumpet that gets a sound like a flugelhorn, without sacrificing pitch or playability.

Well, I’ve talked enough, here’s what Steve had to say about the C2J:

I love it! Thanks so much. How y’all made a piece like this that even plays in tune is a mystery to me, but it’s so much more than just that. No wonder so many swear by you 🙂 Best & thanks for all the help upfront too!

Thanks for the kind words, Steve! We’re glad you like the mouthpiece and I hope you get a mileage on it.

Be sure to check out Steve’s website at, he’s got some great music on there!

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Welcome the Newest Bob Reeves Brass Dealer – BAC Horn Doctor

We’d like to welcome to the family our newest dealer of Bob Reeves Brass mouthpieces and accessories: BAC Horn Doctor in Olathe, Kansas.

For those of you who think the only things you can find in Kansas are wheat, giant balls of twine, and the Kansas City Royals, you are missing out on the great services that BAC Horn Doctor and its founder Mike Corrigan have to offer to brass musicians.

Mike offers the type of expert knowledge and personal service that is only becoming rarer these days, especially in the musical instrument industry. It is a real pleasure to have him on board with us, and I hope you consider him the next time you need a Bob Reeves mouthpiece or any other brass service.

You can learn more about BAC Horn Doctor from their web site at

We have all of the Bob Reeves Brass Dealers listed on our web site who are ready to help serve you!

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Like Going From a Volkswagen To A Porsche

We received this email the other day from trumpet player Bobby Kammer who fought snow, closed freeways, and tornado warnings (yes, this is Southern California we’re talking about!) to have us work on his set up:

Bob, Juli and Howie,
Thanks so much for all of your TLC last week. The horns and mouthpieces are GREAT! The sound is like perfectly tuning in a radio station (pure and clean) and it feels like I am playing the horn instead of the horn playing me!

It will take a couple of weeks before I’ll play with the church band, but I feel like I’ve gone from playing a Volkswagen to a Porsche.

Thanks So Much!
Bobby Kammer

Thanks for the kind words Bobby, and we may have to hire you on as our next advertising consultant. Those are some great analogies!

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John Clyman and Arnold Jacobs – 1941

My long time friend John Cvejanovich just sent me a great book of the 1941  All American Youth Orchestra under Leopold Stokowski. It was found on this great Stokowski fan site in Japan.

Included in the brass section were two young giants of the brass world, John Clyman and Arnold Jacobs:

Arnold Jacobs, TubaJohn Clyman, trumpet

Back before I began making trumpet mouthpieces I actually played the trumpet and had the honor of studying with John Clyman, who was 1st trumpet with 20th Century Fox studios for 25 years.

You can see scans of the entire 1941 American Youth Orchestra Tour Book here.

Carroll Purviance Story

Carroll PurvianceI received this email the other day and thought I would share. I worked with Carroll Purviance for the last 8 years of his life and this story shows how, despite his personal conflicts, he was a master craftsman and respected by the best players worldwide. I am proud to be able to make his mouthpieces using his original tooling and also integrate his ideas into my own line of pieces.
– Bob
“Dear Bob,

I happen to be surfin’ the net the other day, and came across your web-site. Having been once a student of trumpet years ago and my best friend’s Dad was a highly respected trumpet player in the Warner Bros. orchestra from the late fifties to early sixties..(Larry Sullivan), thought I would relay this message:

We, as 12 year old boys, would often accompany Larry on brief  trips to the studio in Hollywood or Glendale to have mouth pieces made. I have memories of Carroll Purviance, hunched over his lathe, maybe slightly intoxicated and weeping, talking to Larry about his life. Later, Larry would always compliment us for not laughing or acting up on the way home. He always made it clear though, that Mr. Purviance was the absolute master at what he does, no matter what his state of mind. Nice to know that his name still lingers and represents this.”

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Gap and the Player-Trumpet-Mouthpiece System

On a regular basis, we receive a call or email at the shop that takes on the same basic form:

“Hi, I play on a ABC mouthpiece on a XYZ model trumpet. What sleeve would give me the best gap.”

Usually, our customers are shocked when our answer is a resounding, “I don’t know!” After all, Bob Reeves invented and patented the adjustable gap receiver and sleeve system 40 years ago. How the heck couldn’t we know?

The answer is simple – we only know two of the three variables needed to determine the best gap and really, we don’t know any of the three variables unless we have your mouthpiece and trumpet here in the shop for analysis.

The Player-Trumpet-Mouthpiece System

It is critical to realize that there are three elements that must be analyzed in assessing your equipment – the trumpet, the mouthpiece, and you, the player. It seems silly, but most players forget the most important element – you!

How The Gap Relates to the Player-Trumpet-Mouthpiece System

Think of the gap as a fine tuning device. It is a way to dial in your trumpet, with your mouthpiece, to the way you like to play. Let’s say we know the exact size of your trumpet mouthpiece shank and the receiver on your trumpet. There is still no way we (or anyone else in the world, for that matter) can know what you like to feel in your trumpet equipment.

The Shoe Analogy

Think of it like shoes. Imagine you wear a size 9 shoe. Let’s go one step further and say you wear a 9 Wide shoe. I could send you 10 pairs of size 9W shoes and I would bet that some would feel more comfortable than others. In fact, I’d be willing to bet that there would be some shoes, despite being your measured size, will feel downright uncomfortable to walk around in. The best shoe salesman in the world cannot blindly tell you which brand will feel comfortable to you until you try them on.

Put Yourself First!

Just like the shoe analogy above, only you know what feels comfortable to you. Put another way, no one can tell you what will work for you (if they do quickly run the other way!).

So how do you find what works for you? Experiment. Our paper trick is a great way to discover what role the gap plays in your unique Player-Trumpet-Mouthpiece System.