Approach...universal?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by loweredsixth, Apr 24, 2005.

  1. loweredsixth

    loweredsixth Pianissimo User

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    Mar 11, 2005
    Fresno, California, USA
    Manny, I really value your opinion and advice. I am, however, strictly a jazz player (small group soloist...not lead.)

    From talking with many trumpet players from varied backgrounds, do you think that your approach to practicing and playing can be taken regardless of the type of music to be performed?

    As a jazz player, is it appropriate for me to approach practicing and performing the same way you do? I know that no two players are the same, and everyone's approach are at least slightly different, but I am just curious if there is some vast difference in the fundamental concepts towards different types of music.

    Thanks.

    Joe
     
  2. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

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    Joe,


    That wins for question of the month, I think. I've never really considered where the parting of ways is for a classical player and a jazz player on a practical level.

    Let's see... I think any jazz player could benefit from my warm-up (fat low notes, chromatics, arpeggiated articulation studies, lip slurs). Then I hit the etude books. Maybe that's where the parting point is... after the warm-up. It would sem to me that a jazz player's bread and butter is in the keys and patterns as studies. Then learning a variety of tunes in various keys, right? Modal studies would have to be a pretty indispensable part of today's jazz musician, too.


    How's that sound to you? Or were you talking about the physical approach?

    ML
     
  3. loweredsixth

    loweredsixth Pianissimo User

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    Mar 11, 2005
    Fresno, California, USA
    Thanks a lot Manny. Yeah, I was also talking about the physical approach.

    Is there something inherently different for the body (lungs, arms, tongue, etc.) about playing classical vs. jazz? I did both when I was in college, but I really felt that my classical playing took second chair to my jazz playing.
     
  4. loweredsixth

    loweredsixth Pianissimo User

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    Mar 11, 2005
    Fresno, California, USA
    Actually, this question is all over the place. Let me se if I can express myself better.

    I've been playing trumpet/cornet for 20 years. Every warm up activity or technical activity that I have done has come from a classically trained musician. I was just wondering if there was anything wrong with that.

    As I think about it, here are some differences:

    1. Jazz players probably play louder on average than classical players.
    2. Jazz players probably change their sound within a piece more often than classical players.
    3. The amount of actual playing jazz players do is probably more consistent from concert to concert than orchestral players.
    4. The style of tonguing is definitely different for jazz players and classical player.

    I don't know. Maybe all of this is nonsense. If it is, I'm sorry to waste your time. :-)
     
  5. trumpetpimp

    trumpetpimp Piano User

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    Dec 6, 2003
    Toronto
    I don't want to step on anyone's toes but I really feel that no matter what style you are playing there are certain standards to good trumpet playing.

    Some of your concerns about the differnce between jazz and classical playing is addressed in equipment trends. Since jazz players tend to play more intense(high, fast, loud) music for longer periods of time they tend to play mouthpieces that are a little smaller and sometimes trumpets that are a little lighter in weight and perhaps more resistant.

    I don't think that the approach to the instrument itself is any different. Tonguing and sound concept may be different you must still have a clear tone, strong technique, good range, the ability to play loud and soft, and the ability to change styles. I think about how to approah Ellington, Clifford, Metheny, Kern, and Jobim as much as I think about how to approach Haydn, Bach, Gabrielli, Bartok, Berlioz, and Arban[played 'em all :D ].

    Manny, as a jazz player I do spend a lot of time learning tunes and scales, and chords but I also keep up with my Arbans, Charlier, etc. because while I'm working on my jazz playing I still have to work on my trumpet playing. All my teachers who have been jazz players practice etudes and classical solos as well as jazz playing.
     
  6. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

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    Low 6,

    Questions are never a waste of time when they're interesting like yours!

    Now, the premeses of most of your statements I'm sure raised the eyebrows of any of the more serious classical players as they're just not altogether accurate.

    Although we don't play as loud all the time as a big band player might, I'd argue that we probably play as much as a small group player like yourself.

    The same goes for changing the sound. I would wager that I go through a great variety of sound changes throughout the course of an evening. It really seems like you're thinking more of Classical Period players as opposed to symphonic players who play on big equipment. I'm not so sure I understand your third comparison so, I'll leave it alone. The tonguing is different, yes.

    I've stood side by side with Doc Severinsen and nobody's ever had a problem hearing me. We have different sounds but if I played a Destino with a little smaller mouthpiece I'd match him just fine. Same if he played a 937 Monette, etc.

    The basics are the basics. It's all about the application of said basics.

    ML
     
  7. loweredsixth

    loweredsixth Pianissimo User

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    Mar 11, 2005
    Fresno, California, USA
    Yeah, I will be the first (or this case, the second) person to admit that I don't really know anything about orchestral playing. Sorry for that display of ignorance.
     
  8. wiseone2

    wiseone2 Artitst in Residence Staff Member

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    What you have stated was true........maybe 50 years ago. The orchestral player today has to make an incredible amount of sound. There were no Michael Torke, John Adams or John Williams around, though Copland, Roy Harris and some of the others were beginning to push the dynamics a bit higher. I play a concert that had a theme of the sea that had us ending one piece by Virgil Thompson on fortissimo high Gs and immediately segueing to La Mer.
    Having played on both sides of the fence I have to say that I think I have played just as strong in the symphony as I did in the big band.

    I would recommend that every musician play chamber music. Brass quintets employ tone color changes that the uninitiated would marvel at.

    Today's writers will give you pain........in the chops. Check out Adams, Del Tredici or Louis Andriessen for endurance demands.

    You would be surprised at the variety of attacks the players in symphonies do employ.

    Quite often I get a chance to play duets with a long time friend, Jimmy Owens. I think of our similarities, trumpet playing, and our differences.
    Jimmy is a musician who composes as he goes along. I MUST have notes in front of me to function. We learn from each other.
    Man, he gave me a drill based on fourths that is kicking my butt :oops:

    I could go on all day about out differences and our similarities.
    We, trumpet players, have gotten closer together over the years.

    Wilmer
     
  9. camelbrass

    camelbrass Mezzo Forte User

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    Nov 5, 2003
    Dubai, UAE
    Hi,

    Interesting discussion guys. Although I don't have the experience that you guys do I can't help but to bring up the topic I raised a couple of days ago about versatility. I agree, just my listening over the years has told me that players need to be strong regardless of genre and that in the real world there are more similarities between the skills than differences.

    It reinforces my concern that the system appears to be breeding specialists..even in high school. Does concentrating on excerpts, C trumpet and winning auditions prepare a trumpeter for Copland and Williams? What happens when a player has to earn a living, put away the Hefti chart and play Telemann? Can they do it?

    Regards,

    Trevor
     
  10. wiseone2

    wiseone2 Artitst in Residence Staff Member

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    The answer is an emphatic yes.
    Listen to the Woody Herman Band play Stravinsky with Richard Stoltzman. The Philadelphia Orchestra accompanied Nat Cole on record when I was a kid in Philly.
    Who do you think were the string players with Motown?
    Older members will remember Ray Crisara sitting next to Joe Wilder on the Dick Cavett Show. Jimmy Maxwell was a Herbert Clarke student.
    When I was young and really nuts, I did a concert with the Philadelphia Orchestra and then went down Broad Street to Peps Club to sight-read the lead book with Quincy Jones..........on C trumpet :roll: Blame it on my youth.

    The day of the unhip symphony cat is loooooooooong gone.
    Wilmer
     

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