A Matter of Potential and Choosing?

Discussion in 'TM Lounge' started by trickg, Oct 31, 2005.

  1. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    I decided to drop this in the lounge since it isn't completely about trumpet playing.

    I have mentioned on numerous occastions that I play drums - I started playing regularly about two years ago so that I could be the drummer for a contemporary church Worship band. While I'm not currently drumming in that role, I have continued to work at my craft as a drummer, and have strived to learn more so that I could do and play more things. This last weekend, I had a MAJOR breakthrough in limb interdependence and something clicked for me that has opened a floodgate of creative possibilities in my drumming.

    Back to the trumpet, I have played trumpet for over 24 years and while I have always managed to do fairly well for myself, I have always had certain limitations toward playing and have felt on a couple of occasions that I was bumping my head on the ceiling of my potential as a trumpet player, and to me, that ceiling was just not as high as I wanted to go.

    At this point, at age 35 and I'm an old dog trying to learn new tricks, but I am learning them and I am beginning to wonder if my potential as a drummer isn't in fact greater than my potential as a trumpet player. I just don't see any big limiting factors with drumming like I do with trumpet. (range, endurance, accuracy, etc) On top of this is that drums are much more forgiving if you are only going to do them part time. At this point I can take a pretty large break off of the kit and come back to it with no problems. If I do that with trumpet, I come back to all kinds of problems.

    All of this comes with the question of whether or not I should at some point make the decision to put the horn down for good, and put my time and energy into drumming alone, rather than split that time between the two.

  2. tpter1

    tpter1 Forte User

    Jan 12, 2005
    Northern New York
    Pat- Music is an interdependant type thing. That's why horn players should sing, and singers should play an instrument. To extend tthat a bit further, your drumming can only benefit from your trumpet playing, and vice versa.

    I remember a few years ago, I took my HS Jazz band to Rochester for a performing clinic/festival thing. The clinicians were a trombonist from Eastman and a drumkit player from Eastman. The drummer talked at length about playing "melodically" on the drum set. He even played a few melodies on the drumkit. (I know, sounds highly questionable, but it actually worked). As a trumpet player, you have this melodic ability already developed from years of playing a melodic intrument; something we take for granted, but that many drummers may find difficult.

    My rhythmic abilities grew in many directions when I began taking percussion methods classes; and most recently when I had to begin teaching drumset here at school. (Try to Samba; you'll know what I mean!)

    I guess what I'm trying to say is if there is enough room in your life to practice both, then do both; one will influence the other.
  3. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    I guess that part of my fear is that because trumpet takes so much time to maintain that I will simply let it go due to the fact that drumming is in many ways more satisfying.

    I do think that I have made a lot of my progress on drums as quickly as I have due to being a melodic instrument first, and understanding from a horn player's perspective how to set things up to kick the band. I think that my understanding of nuance and musicality on drums is also somewhat enhanced due to my time and experience playing a melodic instrument and singing. Granted, I don't have the consistency and flexibility that a veteran drummer will have, but I do think that those things will continue to improve over time.

    Another aspect of drumming I like is the creative and expressive freedom that I have - while I can read simple drum music, to date, I have yet to use it while playing drums with a band. I simply lay out the groove, and hit, kick and fill based on feel and the format of the tune. I imagine that someone who is good at improvising on trumpet must feel the same way about it because it can be completely different each time you play it, based solely on how you feel at the time.

    If I didn't have the limitations I have with trumpet, I suppose I wouldn't feel this way about it and drumming would only be a fun distraction. All I know is that I have taken it pretty seriously and I would very much like to start playing on Sundays again - I can't really do Saturday nights because I would have to stop playing trumpet and singing for the other band in order to do that.
  4. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    Something that I thought I would add here is that another reason I enjoy playing drums so much is that I continue to have major breakthroughs in my playing. I mentioned having a big breakthough this last weekend and I can look back over the last couple of years and chart the progress I have made as a drummer, (which I feel is pretty substantial) and there were several "aha!" moments that served to open up new possibilities.

    I have not had a major breakthrough playing trumpet in years. Maybe even a decade or more.

    I just thought I would toss that up on top of the rest of it.
  5. old geezer

    old geezer Pianissimo User

    Dec 26, 2004
    trickg - no reason not to do both. I have been fooling around a bit on the elect. Bass and am enjoying it. when I told a trumpet teacher about it he said " what a concept- a bass player with a sense of rythm". the same applies with you - as a trumpet player you know how important it is to have a drummer who knows how and when to "kick". how many decent drummers out there just don't get that concept. get into the drumscene but don't disregard the trumpet completely - you will be sorry. just some thoughts from some old geezer Dave

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