Wayne Bergeron & Arturo Sandoval perform "Maynard & Waynard" live at The Catalina Club in August of 2013.
Wayne Bergeron & Denis Diblasio perform "Mac Arthur's Park" with The One O'Clock Lab Band
began playing the trumpet around 1970 after first starting with the french horn. Wayne's first trumpet teacher was Ron Savitt who was a very good working trumpet player. When Wayne made the switch from french horn to trumpet, he had already developed some natural playing abilities and could already play a double C in the seventh grade. Savitt started Wayne on the basics such as Arban's and Clarke; however, he also began to teach Wayne to sight read and to interpret phrases. Ron would sing a phrase and then have Wayne play it. Ron would place numerous pieces of music on Wayne's music stand ... and have him sight read it.
Wayne's high school band director, Bob Smith, would have Wayne play along with him as he played the piano having Wayne learn to play by ear.
Wayne began playing gigs in high school with a top 40 band and several dance bands. Wayne's first experience on the road was with Buddy Miles who had performed with Jimi Hendrix. Wayne returned to California and began getting calls from players whom he had met with Miles band. Wayne then began his first full time professional playing gig with the Disneyland Bands. Wayne recalls there being many talented trumpet players at Disneyland and his time there being a great learning experience. After Disneyland, Wayne toured with Paul Anka and played in some local gigs.
Wayne was on tour with Bobby Womack in 1984 when he was offered the lead trumpet spot with Maynard Ferguson. Wayne turned that opportunity down as, at the time, as he was making more money performing with Womack than Maynard's gig paid. Maynard called again in 1986 and Wayne then took the job. Wayne recorded "Body and Soul" with Maynard's band during his second week working with the band. This stint lasted for eight months and then Maynard went to a much smaller band. Wayne was called by Maynard in 1988 and asked to assemble a band for Maynard's 60th Anniversary Tour. That trumpet section consisted of Roger Ingram, Peter Olsted, Chris Reyes and Wayne. The band recorded "Big Bop Nouveau." Wayne also recorded "Brass Attitude" with Maynard's band after Maynard called him in to augment the band.
The first movie soundtrack that Wayne performed on was "Another Stakeout." This occurred as Wayne was recommended to sub by Warren Leuning whom Wayne had been playing with on the Bob Florence Big Band. Rick Baptist and Gary Grant were also both very instrumental in helping Wayne "break into" the LA studio scene by recommending him for recording sessions.
In addition to hundreds of studio recording dates, Wayne now performs with his on big band, Arturo Sandoval's Big Band, Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band as well as other opportunities as they arise.
Wayne has several unique recordings that can be purchased off his website at WayneBergeron.com
Wayne's Trumpet Gear:
Bob Malone of Yamaha approached Wayne about becoming a Yamaha Performing Artist and the idea of designing a custom trumpet. Wayne tried some of the Yamaha stock trumpet line and found some stuff that he liked, and then he and Bob Malone modified parts from there. The Yamaha YTR 8335LA Professional Model trumpet was designed to be a trumpet that anybody could play for any style of music. Wayne describes it as a "good, solid all-around trumpet. It's a little more open-blowing, a medium large bore but more on the open side because that's what I've always played and gravitated to. It's probably a bookend to the Bobby Shew (YTR-8310Z) from Yamaha. It shares a lot of the same parts, the same bell, just more open out of the first valve. It shares the same lead pipe taper as well, it just starts and stops at a different place. So, the front and back end of the horn are very similar to the Bobby Shew horns."
Bob Malone at Yamaha also asked Wayne about contributing to the design of a new flugelhorn model ... the Yamaha YFH 8315G Professional Model Flugelhorn. Wayne told Bob that he didn't like that most flugelhorns play flat on top of the staff. Bob put a tapered lead pipe on the new design instead of a straight tube. The Yamaha YFH 8315G Professional Model Flugelhorn actually went through a bunch of redesigns in Germany and Japan, but they ended up going mostly with Bob Malone's original design. Wayne has also played on a Kanstul Model 1600 Trumpet of his on design prior to being approached by Yamaha.
Wayne has played on a Parke trumpet mouthpiece, a Marcinkiewicz Shew 1.5 trumpet mouthpiece and is now using Gary Radke (GR) trumpet mouthpieces of his on design which can be purchased directly from WayneBergeron.com
Wayne Bergeron & Arturo Sandoval discuss all things trumpet.
QUESTION -What equipment do you use for upper register playing and why?
I have used a couple different mouthpieces over the years. In the past I
played the Marcinkiewicz Bobby Shew 1.5 and larger equipment in
general. I don't have a mouthpiece I use specifically for upper register
playing. I currently play a custom Wayne Bergeron GR trumpet mouthpiece with close to a 3 rim
that is very rounded. I use this mouthpiece for comfort so I don't hurt
myself. I play a Yamaha YTR 8335LA Professional Model Bb trumpet and it is the trumpet I designed
for Yamaha. It is a medium large bore horn with a fairly large lead pipe
and tuning crook.
QUESTION - What is the effect of the proper equipment on upper register?
I think that it is important to have the right balance ... player, horn and
mouthpiece. We are all different, so what is shallow for one person isn't
necessarily shallow for another person. There is no trick or magic mouthpiece for range. Range is often "discovered" (rather than built) by focusing on air speed, aperture size, lip pressure, a bit of tongue level, air direction and jaw position.
QUESTION - How does a player go about finding optimal equipment?
Trial and error. For young players, I think there is a reason a 7C comes
with every trumpet, it is a size that is right in the middle. As far as an
established player, I never think the mouthpiece should hinder the ability
to make a good sound.
QUESTION - In your opinion, approximately what percentage of high note playing
is mental vs. physical?
I think it is a lot more physical than it is mental. Our mind can definitely
play tricks on us. When I say physical, I don't mean physical strength, I
mean getting all the physical aspects in play ... staying relaxed while
creating compression. I would say it is 80% physical and 20% mental.
QUESTION - Is upper register playing a learned trait or is it based on natural
I think it is both. I am a firm believer that we don't build range, we find
range. For me, I could do it when I was a kid and kind of had natural
high chops, but I have watched many players who didn't have it when they
were young and learned to do it later on in life. There is no one set of
rules, it is all about getting the air stream and mouthpiece in the right place
and getting the horn ringing.
QUESTION - What is your philosophy on breathing concerning the upper register?
I don't know if I have a philosophy on breathing in the upper register, but
I kind of have a philosophy on breathing in general. No matter how much
air we take in, only so much will go through that little hole. I like to take a
relaxed breath using an open syllable like the "O" syllable. It's important
to breath for the phrase.
QUESTION - How does air compression effect upper register playing and should a
player be able to execute upper register playing both with and without
I think compression effects the upper register greatly. I think compression
is essential for upper register playing.
QUESTION - How and what do you practice to be able to play consistently in the
I don't practice a lot of upper register stuff actually, but I do make sure I
set my foundation every day. My first goal when I pick the horn is to
make a decent sound, and I won't move on until I can. It is important to
lay a foundation before practicing anything high. I don't think it is
important to just hammer in the upper register, it is important to find a
"Warming up is part of my practice routine. I start with things that aren't physically demanding and ease into other things. For me it's long tones ... Soft and centered, always striving for clarity and center.
Flexibility exercises - I usually do things I've made up myself. Recently I've been working out of Modern Flexibilities for Brass by Scott Belck.
I'll include tonguing and expanding the range a bit as I go. Start your routine (warm up) the same way every practice session (like an athlete). This will help train you for consistency, much like an athlete trains. Practice "range" things at the end of your practice session when you're a bit tired. This conditions you to survive at the end of the gig when you need the chops.
I advise trumpet students individually based on their personal playing issues. Each trumpet player is different and will have a different set of issues to address. Some general advice is to warm up the same way everyday and make sure your practice session is focused, (no TV, radio or other distractions.) Always include tonguing, flexibilities, fingers, an etude and/or a jazz tune. To improve, you need to be your own worst critic. Listen carefully to what's coming out of your bell; don't just go through the motions.
Wayne can be contacted for online SKYPE trumpet lessons, his CD's and his signature GR mouthpieces at WayneBergeron.com