2010 46th Ave #45
Greeley, Colorado 80634

Phone: (970) 339-3135


Buddy presenting a lecture on jazz
improvisation at Brigham Young
University in February, 1980.


Buddy Baker’s Maxims on Teaching

Compiled by Jemmie Robertson and Dave Cron
Airmen First Class Trombonists, United States Air Force Heritage of America Band

Four C’s: Concept, Correctness, and Consistency build Confidence

Philosophy of Teaching: Teach students how to teach themselves.

Professional Philosophy: Take care of business. No matter what, get the job done, and well done at that. Always leave your home for a gig early enough so that if you forget something, you can go back and get it. Make sure you arrive early enough to warm up and get focused on the job at hand.

Breath Support: Every student’s first lesson usually culminated in a demonstration of the importance of proper breath support and physical conditioning.

The Big Easy Sound:
Learn how to get the most sound/technique/everything with the least effort; play efficiently.

The Numbered Tonguing System:
Based around the number 2, which is a long note with good front (a continuous air stream interrupted by a “T” tongue) was an important foundation that all of his students learned. Once we knew the system, he could simply tell us to use a 2.2 (more tongue) or a 1.7 (less tongue) and we could quickly make the adjustment.

Daily Routine: A specific regimen that Mr. Baker teaches all of his students involving warm-up, scales, flexibility, single and multiple tonguing, and an end-of-rehearsal/end-of-day warm down. The idea was that all technique could be learned during the routine on a daily basis, and the rest of the day could be spent playing music.

Systematic Approach: It is important to develop systems for solving problems, because this develops consistency.

Organization: Mr. Baker was an organized man, and insisted that we learn how to organize our lives too.

Devoted Teacher: Mr. Baker felt that his job was to make his students good musicians, and he would do whatever it took to accomplish that goal. He was always available for us, showing up at work at 8:00 a.m. for a lesson and often leaving after 11:00 p.m. (he never missed a concert that one of his students was involved with).

4:40s: Every week would begin with a master class for his entire studio. He generally shared philosophies and talked about whoever the screw-off was (it was usually Craig Mulcahy, but we were all guilty at one time or another) and even though he never said the offender’s name we would always know who it was.

Bottom Line: We wouldn’t have professional playing jobs without him.