Wycliffe Gordon Plunger Warm-Up

Here’s a great clip of Wycliffe Gordon demonstrating various warm-up techniques, sounds, rhythms, vocalizations and more. It’s not only an incredibly musical warm-up, but it inspires out-of-the-box thinking when it comes to making sounds on your own instrument – whatever it may be. Visit Wycliffe Gordon’s website for a ton of great music, videos, images, education materials and products!

The way Wycliffe Gordon plays, at all times, is authentic, soulful, relaxed, heartfelt and genuine. He lives the music. He lives the horn. It’s a tremendous lesson to us all as Charlie Parker said, “If you don’t live it, it won’t come out of your horn.” Dig in. Be creative. Have fun. Play your horn!


Some hallmarks of great, creative and interesting musicians:

  • Successful musicians are confident and adventurous enough to dive into their music careers headfirst. There are no other distractions and no other options.
  • If you think going into music will be an escape from doing “real” work, think again. A professional musician must fill many hats. A successful musicians is willing to always work hard!
  • They have a patient, persistent attitude.
  • In order to not only compete, but succeed in this hyper-competitive musical world, it’s absolutely vital to be on top of your game at all times, and be consistently raising the bar for yourself.
  • Successful musicians don’t wait for opportunities to come to them – they seek them out or create them themselves.
  • A great performing artist has a great sense of enthusiasm for their craft.
  • Every artist who has pierced the veil and become a household name (or local name) has a quality of bravery. It takes a lot of guts to put yourself out there, and you have to admire the power and stamina it takes. Don’t hold back.
  • The artists that are humble and not full of themselves are the ones we fall in love with.

Bonus: Wycliffe Gordon During a Masterclass at Eau Claire Jazz Fest, 4/4/14

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