As a trumpet player the most important thing is the ability to produce notes that are in tune without effort. Now that may seem easy, but it's the greatest challenge; the sound of grace that can only come when no great force is used to produce the sound (here is a solo). This is unlike pressing the trumpet against your lips and making your face turn blue from lack of oxygen.
Four months ago I was in the small office of my trumpet instructor, on a tall stool that forces me to sit with proper posture. I had been struggling for months to find a balance between the amount of pressure I apply to my lips and the amount of air I put through my trumpet. My instructor took out his phone and showed me a five dollar app. That may seem like a lot for an app in today's market dominated by ads and in-app purchases, but the app let's me record myself playing the trumpet, and then I can slow the recording down. This allows me to hear every small mistake I make and discover my problem areas. So, now I know how to identify the problems, but how do I solve them?
The answer turned out to be simple. There is another app, showing in real time the exact tone of each sound being created, as well as the length of the wave length and the decibels. Using both of these apps, whose combined costs was less than ten dollars, I can make breakthroughs in my technique in half an hour that would have taken the likes of Louis Armstrong and Miles Davis weeks or even months to discover through simple trial and error. This new technology is giving way to a new breed of trumpet players, allowing me to be my own teacher, and saving countless hours from failing in the same way over and over again.