Are guitarists/bassists naturally ambidextrous trumpeters or is it common to all?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by PGM, Feb 26, 2016.

  1. PGM

    PGM New Friend

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    Hi,

    Lately I've been noticing that, when I'm playing in front of the computer waiting for some task to conclude and a message arrives, I change hands and continue playing the tune with the left while clicking the mouse with the right.

    I was wondering if, having been a bass player in my teens (which makes one develop left hand finger articulation, just like if one plays the guitar or piano), makes a trumpet player ambidextrous or is it a common brass player trait?

    Might seem a silly question, but it made me curious when I noticed I had been doing that without even noticing it.
     
  2. Rickyroughneck

    Rickyroughneck Pianissimo User

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    Rarely done it: I can play simple things, but with nowhere near the speed or accuracy of my right hand.

    My problem is that my 3rd slide slips down unless I hold it so playing left handed doesn't work very well, and my flugel requires two hands, so this situation rarely occurs.
     
  3. Dennis78

    Dennis78 Fortissimo User

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    I play bass and it does not work like that for me. Left bass, right trumpet
     
  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Ambidextrous means independent of left or right sides. Bassists do not learn or train this. Each side has its own unique skill set and dependencies.

    If we turn down the quality requirement, many that have trained patterns can move those patterns in a primitive way to the other side. If they want any type of quality, far more training is involved.

    We are creatures of habit. We need thousands of repetitions to store patterns for recall, perhaps for the second side we could get away with "only" hundreds of additional repetitions. I have my doubts
     
  5. Dennis78

    Dennis78 Fortissimo User

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    Hell on bass only two fingers on my right hand want to work, put a horn there and the other finger jumps to action. All my fingers seem to die when I'm trying to type. For me trumpet and bass are way different and my hands react differently depending on which I'm holding.
     
  6. PGM

    PGM New Friend

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    What I meant was that, since playing bass develops left hand fingers coordinated articulation, playing trumpet with the left hand may be easier than if one never develops it. I find my right hand fingering slow and yet the left hand is almost the same speed. I would try seeing if it would get better with the left were not the strange way one has to handle the trumpet and that I noticed that, since bassist left fingers are used to press the cords firmly, the gesture is a little too hard on the trumpet pistons, so I guess they wouldn't endure it so well as the sensitive right hand. Too bad that, has bassist, one (usually) plays with two fingers only, therefore I only developed 3 fingers articulation with the trumpet, one year since I started it for real and I still find it pretty poor.

    [QUOTE =rowuk;850628]Ambidextrous means independent of left or right sides. Bassists do not learn or train this. Each side has its own unique skill set and dependencies.

    If we turn down the quality requirement, many that have trained patterns can move those patterns in a primitive way to the other side. If they want any type of quality, far more training is involved.

    We are creatures of habit. We need thousands of repetitions to store patterns for recall, perhaps for the second side we could get away with "only" hundreds of additional repetitions. I have my doubts[/QUOTE]
     
  7. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Paulo,
    we are creatures of habit. There are reasons why trumpets are built "right handed" (has to do with the function of the left and right brain half) and disadvantages to playing them "left handed". The first thing that goes is the 1st and third slides for intonation of at least low F#, G, C# and D. That in my opinion is a BIG hit. If you had a Xeno trumpet, the E and A in the staff would also be too high.

    You will build dexterity if you practice consequently. The reason that you are "finding it pretty poor" is because you do not have the necessary amount of repetitions - habits built. The trumpeter also should get used to banging down the valves too. Only then do they have the speed for clean transitions.

    That all being said, it IS possible to play the trumpet very well left handed. I believe that it is a lot more work with benefits primarily for the disabled.
     
  8. kinetic711

    kinetic711 Piano User

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  9. PGM

    PGM New Friend

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    Hi, kinetic711,

    Thank you, I appreciate knowing about it, left handers surely welcome the possibility, handling it "the wrong side" is as uncomfortable as riding a right-hand car when you're used to the left-hand one

    Rowuk, though I haven't noticed any interference in intonation, but being a beginner, it probably is for not having got "there" yet.
    I tried to compare playing with right and then left and still find little differences, but the right hand gives better control on the strength I press the pistons and the slurring seems neater too.

    Anyway, it's a great to know that, regardless of which hand one uses best, one can change to the other if needed and get as good with it with (probably) little practice.

    Thank you all for the feedback.

     
  10. Bwanabass

    Bwanabass Mezzo Piano User

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    I am left handed. I learned trumpet first, and had about 12 years of playing time in before I ever touched a bass guitar. I play bass right handed (fretting with my left hand), and of course, play trumpet right handed (right hand operating the valves).

    In my experience, I wouldn't be able to say that any type of ambidextrous ability develops as a result. If I strapped on a left-handed bass, I would be lost. All of my muscle memory and fine motor controls, which have developed over many years, would go right out the window. Same would go for trumpet, I imagine. Like others have said, I might be able to fumble through using my left hand, but it would not be pretty.
     

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