Trumpet Players Directory

Trumpet Player Roger Ingram of Chicago, Illinois

Trumpet Player Roger Ingram

Roger Ingram
Playing the Jupiter Pro Model XO 1600I Bb Trumpet of his own design

Lead Trumpet Player Roger Ingram of Chicago, Illinois is one of the most sought after and prolific lead trumpet players of our time with more than thirty-five years of professional trumpet experience. Lead Trumpet Player Roger Ingram is well known for his dynamic sound and strong upper register. I have had the pleasure of hearing Roger perform with Harry Connick Jr. on several occasions as well as with the Woody Herman Jazz Orchestra led by Frank Tiberi.

Roger, who grew up in Los Angeles, California, began playing the trumpet at eight and was self taught until the age of thirteen. Roger taught himself using "The Arbans Complete Conservatory Method For Trumpet" and playing along with the radio. Roger credits playing along with the radio as helpful in teaching him to listen and to use his ears as a musician.

Roger attended high school at Eagle Rock High School. Roger's high school band director was John Rinaldo who was a gifted and working trumpet player on the Los Angeles music scene. Through Mr. Rinaldo, Roger was able to meet and study privately with his first trumpet teacher Laroon Holt. Mr. Holt was a Los Angeles studio trumpet player. Roger credits Mr. Holt with helping him establish his basic technical skills.

At the age of fourteen, Roger began studying the trumpet with Bobby Shew. Bobby Shew has been a major influence on Roger's playing. Roger continues to study with Bobby to this day. Roger also took phrasing lessons once per month from Don Raffell. Mr Raffell was an LA "session musician" who played saxophone. Over the course of Roger's career, he has studied with Bud Brisbois, Mannie Klein, Roy Stevens, Bobby Findley, Carmine Caruso, Reynold Schilke, James Stamp, Uan Rasey, Mel Broils and Dan Jacobs.

Roger told me that he began playing in rock, jazz, and latin groups in southern California. Later, at the age of sixteen he toured with the Louie Bellson Big Band: the section was comprised of Blue Mitchell, Bobby Shew, Cat Anderson, Frank Szabo and Roger. After his stint with Louie Bellson, Roger joined the Quincy Jones Big Band for a summer and then went on the road for a year with the Connie Stevens Show playing lead trumpet with a popular music act for the first time. At eighteen, Roger played lead trumpet with Tom Jones and remained with Jones for six years.

After his tenure with Tom Jones, Roger moved to Las Vegas where he gained invaluable experience playing production shows and star acts on the world renowned Las Vegas Strip. In 1985, Roger joined Woody Herman and The Thundering Herd as lead trumpet. Roger remained with Woody until Herman's death in 1987 recording three Grammy nominated albums during that time. Roger returned to Los Angeles after Woody's death founding and co-leading his own big band with the late Steve Elliott. The Ingram-Elliott Big Band featured talented artist such as Bobby Shew, Bill Watrous and Gary Foster.

In 1988, Roger worked with the WDR Jazz Orchestra in Cologne, Germany. Later that same year, Roger joined Maynard Ferguson's Big Bop Nouveau Band for the 60th Birthday Tour and recorded three albums with Maynard after being recruited by his good friend Wayne Bergeron to join Maynard's band. Roger spent many hours talking with Maynard on the bus into the late hours of the morning while on these tours. Maynard explained how he first began using his v cup mouthpiece design as something that he picked up from french horn mouthpieces and embouchure placements. Maynard would scrape old Rudy Muck mouthpieces down on the sidewalk in front of his parents home until he scrapped the mouthpiece down to the v cup. Maynard would then use various grades of sand paper to finish the job and make the mouthpieces as smooth as a "babies butt." Roger toured with Maynard on and off through three different recordings with the band.

After touring with Maynard, Roger collaborated with Cuban Trumpet virtuoso Arturo Sandoval, recording the Grammy Award winning album - "Danzon." In 1990, Roger joined the newly formed big band of singer, pianist, composer and arranger Harry Connick Jr. Roger recorded three albums with Harry Connick Jr. until his big band temporarily disbanded in 1993. In 1994, Roger toured with vocal legend Frank Sinatra. Later in 1994, Roger moved to New York City joining Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. In 1997, Roger went on the road with Ray Charles for two years. In 1998, after a stint with singer-songwriter Paul Anka, Roger joined the re-formed Harry Connick Jr. Big Band and recorded the Grammy nominated album "Come By Me." Roger retired from touring with the Harry Connick Jr. Orchestra after a twenty year tenure in February of 2010.

Roger has performed in a freelance capacity in over twenty Broadway productions as well as at numerous jazz festivals around the world. Roger has made appearances at multiple LA Jazz Institute Festivals, the Midwest Band Clinic, the International Association of Jazz Educators, the Charles Colin Brass Conference, and the International Trumpet Guild Conference. Roger also performed at the renowned Maynard Ferguson Tribute Concert held in St. Louis, Missouri in 2006, available on DVD.

Roger penned a comprehensive trumpet text book in August 2008 titled "Clinical Notes on Trumpet Playing." Roger's book was immediately embraced by trumpet players and music educators around the world: it has been sold in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Canada, Chile, England, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, and The Netherlands, and has been included on the recommended or required reading lists for music programs of universities and conservatories worldwide. As of October of 2012, Roger's book is in it's 18th cycle of printing! This book is worth its weight in gold! Roger explains why he uses an open aperture setting and the Whistling Method of Tongue Manipulation specifically for playing lead trumpet in the Jazz/Commercial arena. While explaining that different styles of embouchure combined with other equipment setups are appropriate for alternate styles of playing, Roger covers every conceivable variable of trumpet performance in this text book. Roger goes into great depth on his warm-up routine. He includes a comprehensive list of various method books (such as Arbans Complete Conservatory Method For Trumpet, Herbert L. Clarke Technical Studies, Saint-Jacome Grand Method For Trumpet, Colin Lip Flexibilities For Trumpet and Max Schlossberg's Daily Drills and Technical studies For Trumpet.) Also discussed is how to achieve endurance and extend ones range. He talks about the importance of various ways of aperture manipulation. He presents an exercise that he uses with all his students to help extend range. Equipment is discussed, including how to effectively utilize various sized mouthpieces. The Yoga Breath is also explained, as well as many other useful tools for the aspiring trumpet artist. I highly recommend getting a copy of Roger's book - "Clinical Notes On Trumpet Playing."

The following is an excerpt from Roger's book "Clinical Notes on Trumpet Playing" (Copyright 2008, One Too Tree Publishing, La Grange IL.)

"Maynard was always in a good mood, and when I came onto the bus, he greeted me with his usual, "Yeah man, the band sounded great tonight." On this occasion, I said to Maynard, "You know Boss, (we all called him Boss) "you always sound great, but tonight you were unbelievable." He replied, "Yeah man, my chops were so wide apart tonight you could drive a f*&^ing Mack Truck right through the center of them." And then he said, "you know something, all you have to do is make sure your belly button is pinned to your spine, and if you get that bottom lip up and out there, you can't go wrong." I learned quite a lot from this exchange. This taught me, among other things, a lot about aperture.
- Roger Ingram

Roger plays the newly introduced Jupiter XO Series 1600I Professional Bb trumpet of his own design. This trumpet was created after extensive research and testing done over a 9 month period by Roger and the Jupiter design team. Here is a pdf file of Jupiter's Official Accessories info document which is included with each new horn purchase. This describes all the "extras" that come with the 1600I trumpet (an extra tuning slide, brass valve guides, heavy bottom caps, lighter weight springs, lightweight finger buttons) AND the XONS, the "XO Nodal Stabilizers" that Roger designed to improve upper register slotting. Roger plays the new Jupiter XO Series Professional Flugelhorn. He also plays a Jupiter 1700 Bb/A Piccolo Trumpet with a Pickett Brass 9C cornet mouthpiece with a #1 back-bore and a #27 drill. Roger plays a Jupiter 528L valve trombone, just for fun.

Roger designed, plays, endorses, and offers the new custom line of Roger Ingram Mouthpieces which can be purchased from his website. Roger has designed the Ingram Lead, Ingram Studio and Ingram Jazz mouthpieces. For flugelhorn, Roger uses a Pickett Brass 6FL flugelhorn mouthpiece. For valve trombone, Roger uses a "Steinmeyer" signature model Marcinkiewicz tenor trombone mouthpiece. Steve Winans, aka "Dr. Valve," is Roger's preferred Chicago area brass instrument technician. Don Sawday is his preferred Los Angeles area brass technician.

Roger is currently Artist in Residence at the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University, where he teaches the Jazz Pedagogy course, as well as giving private lessons. Roger books clinics and lessons through his Chicago office. His busy schedule includes teaching masterclasses and clinics as well as performing as guest soloist at high schools and universities around the world on "Pedagogy Tours" sponsored, in part, by Jupiter Band Instruments Inc. For information on how to book Roger for a concert or clinic, contact

Roger Ingram's Advice On High Range For The Trumpet

*** NOTE: Thank you to Trumpet Player Augie Haas for permission to use the following information. ***

  • QUESTION - What equipment do you use for upper register playing and why?

    When I decide to play in the upper register on the trumpet, I use a Bb trumpet and a trumpet mouthpiece. Within the huge variety of Bb trumpets on the market today to choose from, I prefer a medium bored trumpet. Specifically, my choice of medium bored trumpet is the Jupiter XO Series 1600I which I designed for the Jupiter Band Instrument Company. This horn has a .453 uniform bore. "Uniform" meaning the same bore size throughout the instrument: after the lead pipe and up to the bell flare. This is as opposed to a "step bore" trumpet, which is comprised of 2 (or more) different bore sizes within the same parameters (between the lead pipe and the bell flare.) Because the bore classification of a Bb trumpet is determined by the bore size of the valve section, it is possible to have either a uniform bore or a step-bore design within the confines of what is considered "medium bore." Personally, I prefer a horn assembled within the parameters of what would be considered standard bracing as opposed to a "tune-able bell" trumpet. I feel that the tensile strength rigidity of a standard braced horn helps to move the sound in a forward motion as opposed to the more peripheral sound direction that the tune-able bell yields. I prefer a medium bored trumpet as opposed to what would be considered a large bore or medium-large bored horn. This is because a medium bore offers the proper amount of resistance required for ease of access to the upper register of the instrument. Originally, large bore and medium-large bore trumpets were designed specifically for symphonic or orchestral work. The occurrence of playing in the upper register within those genres is minimal when compared to what is required of the commercial player. A commercial trumpet player is required to play a wide variety of musical styles, i.e., big band, rock, funk, Latin, show-work, as well as specific upper register playing. Because I earn my living as a commercial musician, "I always default to medium." This gives one a "place to go" regarding degree of versatility.

  • QUESTION - What is the effect of the proper equipment on upper register?

    Well, using the "proper equipment" for a specific type of playing would of course produce good results. Acceptable results are attainable for accessing the upper register when using "improper equipment," but why make it hard on yourself? The very reason there is such a huge variety of equipment available for a trumpet player to choose from is to make playing as easy as possible for specific types of work. For instance, if I were asked to do work with a symphony, or in another classical setting, I would use a larger mouthpiece and a trumpet with a medium-large or large bore. This would make blending with that type of musical configuration "easier." Playing a medium-large or large bored trumpet for commercial or upper register work and conversely using a medium bored trumpet for orchestral work merely for "the sake of doing it" makes absolutely no sense.

  • QUESTION - How does a player go about finding optimal equipment?

    The answer to this is one simple word: EXPERIMENTATION. There are hundreds of different Bb trumpets and thousands of different Bb trumpet mouthpieces on the market today. Within the parameters of using specific bore sizes for different types of work, a trumpet player has many different brands and bore configurations to choose from. Time and energy must be taken for this consideration: all the while remembering (once again) that the bore classification of a trumpet is determined by the bore at the valve section. Not all medium bored horns play the same and not all medium-large and large bored horns blow the same or offer the same degree of resistance. Many people do not know how to test a trumpet. I've discussed this matter at length with Bobby Shew; here are HIS suggestions from that correspondence on how to test a trumpet. I concur, thus my inclusion of his words:

    A VERY important aspect of testing horns is knowing HOW to test. I have a simple suggestion and if it is too much for your current chops, adjust it to fit your capabilities.

    1. Get a simple and decent warm-up but don't overwork your chops. Just get them somewhat working enough to do the test. Use your current horn for this as well as the initial test on step 2.

    2. Using only low C to high C, Arpeggiate the lower octave ( C-E-G-C ) and then continue upward to high C using the basic C scale (diatonic.) Hold the high C for a few seconds just to check for how much stress your body is using to do this. Do it 2 more times identically to ensure that you are aware of the body sensations.

    3. Select a different trumpet and do the exact same process as in step 2, 3 times, measuring your body sensations. It can really help if you are able to do these tests with your eyes closed as it helps internalize your awareness of the kinesthetic reactions.

    4. If the process on step 3 gives you a sensation of greater ease, the horn goes into the YES category. If the sensation is greater stress, then it's a NO category. Keeping recorded notes on paper might be a help so as to remember over a period of time. If you're not certain of the differences, go back to your primary horn and alternate again. It COULD be that they both might feel very similar. If so, note that on paper.

    5. Repeat the process with a different horn and make the categorical decision. Don't rush the process and rest periodically so you don't overtax your chops. Assuming you have 4 or 5 horns to try, you might find that 2 feel easier than your current one and the others feel harder to play. Eliminate the ones that DON'T make playing easier. Write down the names and models (maybe even serial numbers) of those in each category for further reference. So, EASE OF PLAYING is the primary objective but QUALITY OF SOUND is of equal importance. It's possible to find a horn that seems a lot easier to play high on but the sound might be extremely strident and irritating to your ears. NO ONE should play an instrument that doesn't please their ear! It's a matter of what type of music you will be playing that will be a major determining factor in your ultimate decision.

  • QUESTION - In your opinion, approximately what percentage of high note playing is mental vs. physical?

    The physical aspect of accessing the upper register includes of course, muscle development, muscle memory, and the coordination of bringing together all the ingredients of the principles of playing mechanics into one cohesive motion. The mind polices all of this motion through muscle memory and repetitive playing actions. I would have to honestly say that the physical aspect of accessing the upper register comprises 15% of this energy. The mental component would of course then be 85%. On a physical level, you could teach a chimpanzee to access the upper register. However, a chimpanzee's mental capacity would be unable to control it.

  • QUESTION - Is upper register playing a learned trait or is it based on natural ability?

    It can be either. Personally, I had to figure it out, which is why I am in a very good position to teach it. I know exactly what I am doing and how to convey that to a student. Many people who "fell into it" naturally have no idea how they do it, or how to teach it. In many ways, this is a liability for them: if and when they run into "chop problems" many of these "natural players" have no idea how to correct chop issues that may have arisen.

  • QUESTION - What is your philosophy on breathing concerning the upper register?

    "You can breathe until you are blue in the face, but if you don't create compression it won't matter." This is a quote of mine from my textbook, "Clinical Notes on Trumpet Playing." It is well known that I employ, recommend, and teach what is known as the "yoga breath." This breath was originally explained in the 1903 book, The Science of Breath: a complete manual of the oriental breathing philosophy of physical, mental, psychic, and spiritual development by Yogi Ramacharaka. To my knowledge, the yoga breath is the most efficient way of physically creating air compression. In a way, when playing a brass instrument, we can think of ourselves as human air compressors. The ability to create compression in an efficient manner is crucial. Applying this breath helps maintain endurance, protects our muscles from possible injury, and creates the necessary compression to ignite the combined actions of the tongue, embouchure, and aperture.

  • QUESTION - How does air compression effect upper register playing?

    Compression effects upper register playing in that without it, the ability to access the upper register is non-existent.

  • QUESTION - Should a player be able to execute upper register playing both with and without compressed air?

    It's not a matter of "should they be able to, it is a question of whether they CAN access the upper register without compression. The answer to that is simply, NO. Now, air VOLUME is another matter all together. The great Bud Brisbois once conveyed to me during a lesson I had with him when I was 16, "Roger, when I play a high C, I use, let's say, a tablespoon full of air. When I play a high G, I use a half tablespoon of air. When I play a double high C, I use a teaspoon full of air. When I play a G above double high C, I use a half teaspoon full of air." After Bud told me this, I asked him the obvious question: "then why does it look like everyone is working harder and harder as they ascend into the upper register?" Bud simply answered, "well, if they are playing correctly, their body is working harder to create the needed compression to move a smaller volume of air faster."

    Please do not mistake air speed for air volume. A brass player needs to increase compression to increase air speed. The amount of air brought into the lungs is determined only by how long a particular phrase or note needs to be sustained. This applies in all registers of the instrument. For example, to sustain a middle C for 10 seconds would require twice the air volume than to sustain a high G (above high C) for 10 seconds. However, the amount of compression needed to create the air speed for that G would be twice as much as the compression required for the middle C. These fractions might not be exact, but the principle is certainly true. This is why many trumpet players become light-headed when they perform in the upper register: they do not understand this concept of air volume versus air speed, and consequently are inhaling too much air volume when they attempt to play in the upper register. The amount of air to be used in the upper register is significantly less than what is required for the mid or low registers of the instrument.

  • QUESTION - How and what do you practice to be able to play consistently in the upper register?

    I never practice in the upper register. When I do get a chance to practice, I mostly play transcribed Lee Morgan, Chet Baker, Clifford Brown, and Blue Mitchell solos with my large mouthpiece - to keep my corners strong. Muscle memory to access the upper register was imprinted in me a long time ago. It's like riding a bike. After you learn how to ride a bike, you can go for years without riding one, and then hop right back on, and you'll be able to ride it. When I am asked to play in the upper register, I simply assemble my upper register mouthpiece with the trumpet, and it's there. The biggest challenge is keeping the corners of the embouchure strong. The best way I have found to do this is by playing be-bop.

  • QUESTION - Please provide any additional comments you feel would be helpful in advancing the knowledge of upper register playing?

    Obviously, there is not a lot of attention given to playing music when concentrating purely on physics and playing mechanics. Knowing how to play high notes does not make you a good musician. With that said however, upper register trumpet playing can be exciting when used sparingly and tastefully.

    In any major metropolitan area where there is a busy music scene, for the most part, "high notes and $1.25 will buy you a cup of coffee." (Depending on where you buy your coffee.) The majority of good paying commercial jobs for a trumpet player (television, theater, recording, club dates, live concerts) rarely require a lead trumpet player to play past a G above high C. Occasionally there may be a written A above high C. In even rarer instances, a player may run across an optional double high C within a written passage. I enjoy playing in the upper register to a degree, although this was not the primary reason I took up the instrument. In many ways, the range I possess was developed out of necessity.

To contact Roger Ingram for online trumpet lessons or to purchase one of his signature trumpet mouthpieces ... you can visit Roger's website at

To contact Roger Ingram ... you can visit Roger's mute restoration website at

Roger Ingram Discography At CD Universe

Clinical Notes On Trumpet Playing

Clinical Notes On Trumpet Playing
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