A newbie teaching a newbie

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Mud, Jun 5, 2012.

  1. Mud

    Mud Pianissimo User

    May 26, 2012
    Noblesville, IN
    Hey, we are starting our marching season off at our highschool, and my band director (new this year) has seen the amount of trumpet players that we have (about 30) and was impressed, and has decided to choose a song that would suit the amount of trumpets that we have. Now, I know he knew that he didn't expect all 30 of us to march, but that first day, he did not expect seven of us to show up. Our four best players are gone this year (college, moving, or simply do not want to march) and so we are stuck with now 8 freshman-sophmores and 2 sophmore-juniors (3 more trumpets joined). We actually had to do a call out, and we managed to get 2 people from the woodwind section to pick up trumpet on the fly, and try to march with us, because a fortissississimo with (what is supposed to be) 30 trumpets is going to be hard to do when there is 10 of us.

    So, our 2 new trumpet players are doing rather well, and there are 4 people in the 3rd section: me, the 2 newbies (Rachel and Alli), and my good friend Evan. Alli plays flute, and Rachel plays alto. Everyone has marched except for me, so that means in the thirds, we have one who has both marched and knows how to play trumpet, 2 whom have marched and dont play the trumpet, and me, who plays the trumpet but doesn't march.

    Our song has some 16th notes, and we have to double tongue it (although i found that the same effect is achieveable with triple tonguing, which i found easier to do). Now, I can barely double tongue, But the rest of our thirds can't. How could i possibly teach them how to double/triple tongue? either works at this point. I am meeting up with them in about 2 weeks, and after that we have about a week before marching starts, and Evan will not be there for the first week. I do not wish to have to replace those 16th notes with 8th notes, because our band director threatened us with this.

    Also, there is a high Eb (the one on the fourth space on the staf, not the one above.) and the newbies are finding it difficult to go above a C. I have written them several practices to work on, and took a couple pictures of some practices in the Arban's Book for them to look at, as I am in a different state currently, and facebook is one of my only means of contact.

    Does anyone have suggestions on how to improve upon teaching these newbies how to double tongue and play higher?
    I never thought I would end up being a mini section leader (not really a section leader, more like 3rd part leader) when this is my first year of marching. I've been planning everything!
  2. Satchmo Brecker

    Satchmo Brecker Piano User

    Jul 19, 2010
    Sounds to me like your director needs some work, not you or your trumpet mates, unless s/he's not too serious about marching band. I mean maybe he justs wants a bunch of kids out their playing loud for the fans and not tripping over each over...i.e. a very low bar being set for you. If you have beginner trumpeters, then the music needs to match their abilities.
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2012
  3. Mud

    Mud Pianissimo User

    May 26, 2012
    Noblesville, IN
    Our new band director actually is pretty good at teaching us these things. It's just that he expected more people to march. We have tons of good trumpet players, and we had over 20 last year march. Suddenly, our best players either left the school, or aren't marching. He wasn't expecting to have to bring in some non-trumpet players--- let alone non brass players. I guess everyone kind of stunk out. He's been trying the best he can to provide help for the newbies, but just to give them a boost, I give them plenty of practices and tips and the like to learn trumpet as fast and as efficiently as possible. The song by itself isn't that hard, there's just a couple articulations and notes that beginners find challenging, and, once again, we thought we wouldn't have to go to this extent. Last year, (as in the school year that has just ended) we had a busload of decent trumpet players. I really don't know what happened, everything's different.
  4. mgcoleman

    mgcoleman Mezzo Forte User

    Jun 22, 2010
    The high school with which I am involved as a volunteer marches freshmen and, often, some arrive with a skill set that leaves them over-matched. Leaders at the section level (not just section leaders) are a big part in getting them up to speed, so you are doing the right thing, stepping up in a leadership capacity and taking accountability for delivering results to your section, the band and your director. Good on you! Work with the trumpet section leader (assuming that is designated) in a collaborative manner and be prepared to offer some suggestions on hiding some of the performance deficiencies your new players might exhibit. For example, if range remains an issue, you may want to experiment with rewriting certain portions of their part to drop them down an octave.
    In the meantime, have them do chromatic long tones (whole notes would be fine) to push their breath control and range (maintaining good tone, intonation and attacks the entire time). As for teaching them to double tongue, work them into it slowly. I personally like to work scales, such as doubling tonguing each note of the scale twice going up, once coming back down and then reversing it. Again, it doesn't need to be fast initially. They need to learn the technique and then slowly build familiarity and confidence in bringing fingerings and more speed into the equation. You might even give them a multi-week plan that starts at 60 bpm and builds them up to performance speed. Hint: if you want to work double tongues on a scale, use the key of song to focus their practice a bit more. A plan like that would allow you to measure their progress and, should progress not match expectations, provide more coaching or begin collaboration on alternatives to the issue.
  5. Mud

    Mud Pianissimo User

    May 26, 2012
    Noblesville, IN
    okie dokie!
    I will give them some mini excersices to work on their tone and range, and ill make a practice plan for them to use. Luckily, they are very enthusiastic about learning how to play trumpet, so they are a breeze to work with.

    Thank you!
  6. DaTrump

    DaTrump Forte User

    Oct 21, 2011
    Huntsville, Texas
    Remington, long tones, chromatic runs and Chicowitz air flows. On teaching them how to double tongue, the hardest part is the ghost tongue, or K tongue. Give them a page of quarter notes, one of eighth notes and finally one of triplets. Start with the quarters note page and have them do the whole page with a ghost tongue, like the Ku in Tu Ku or Gu in Du Gu so as to make that part easy, once they can do the last page, put it together.
  7. kehaulani

    kehaulani Fortissimo User

    May 14, 2011
    Hawaian homey
    Man, just simplify the parts. Instead of tonguing sixteenth notes, make them eighth notes. Play them very short. The others who can play the sixteenths will fill in the rest of the sound and no one will know the difference. IMO you probably have enough to teach them as it is without getting bogged down on a couple of measures requiring double tonguing.
    tobylou8 likes this.
  8. Martin Williams

    Martin Williams Mezzo Piano User

    Apr 29, 2005
    Columbus, Oh-hi-uh
    Very well said!
  9. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    If I remember my acoustics correctly, 30 trumpets don't pump out three times the db's of 10 trumpets--you would need 100 trumpets for that.

    Have your guys keep their sounds focused, and the added projection more than makes up for blasting, and it sounds better too.
  10. Phil986

    Phil986 Forte User

    Nov 16, 2009
    Near Portland, OR.
    Wouldn't that be actually 1000 trumpets?

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