Bad Habits

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by AndrewK, Feb 10, 2005.

  1. AndrewK

    AndrewK New Friend

    Feb 10, 2005
    Edmonton, AB
    I have been playing trumpet for 15 years, however, I have always played by ear, not reading sheet music whatsoever. I can play by ear quite well and generally listen to a song and play it instantly. But, I am now looking to take lessons to read music to learn more and am worried that I will have such bad habits from improvising constantly that I will struggle with it. Does anybody have any suggestions or advice for me in bringing discipline to my playing?
  2. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

    Sep 29, 2004

    No need for you to worry until you get together with a good private teacher, if that's your plan. You've been enjoying the horn way too much to worry about it. A good teacher will be instructive yet encouraging.

    If he hears you play and starts shaking his head, run away, run away! It's important to be someone who's knowlegeable and encouraging even if you only take a lesson once a month. Spend the money and find a good teacher not a Trumpet Mill type.

    Good luck,

    MUSICandCHARACTER Forte User

    Jan 31, 2004
    Newburgh, Indiana
    Oh my ....

    One of the most gifted piano players I have heard at age 18 when I was a freshman music major who had a great ear. He could read some music too. He failed music theory and the last I heard he was a computer field engineer. He had more raw talent in his pinky than I did in all of my being. But he got frustrated by the basics.

    He is one example, and I have met others. Playing by ear is a blessing. Playing from music is a discipline. Remember that and you will be fine. Most people with a good ear what to play what is not written. Their ear tells them it would sound better a different way.

    While this is fine for jazz and improv solos, it is terrible if you are expected to play what is on the page in support of someone else or a group. That takes discipline. Playing what is written, nothing more and nothing less.

    It will probably frustrate you at first. Just remember, it is a discipline. LIke a golfer who practices chip shots for hours. It is a discipline that is necessary to become a complete musician.

    Manny is right. Finding a teacher who understands where you are coming from will be important!

  4. yesenia

    yesenia New Friend

    Feb 7, 2005
    Bloomington, IN
    Andrew - I have been playing about as long as you, and reading music as well, but I do not consider myself more disciplined than you for it. We simply use different skills that makes the other side of the fence look a bit more intimidating.

    Keep in mind that the mind perceives reading music the same way it perceives reading a language - it is decoding and attaching meaning to a series of symbols on a page. The fact that the symbols are music and stimulating parts of your brain that make learning more meaningful will perhaps make this easier than you think.

    As far as bad habits go, I wouldn't worry about them at all. Even people who have been reading for years have a rough time when they haven't done it for a while!

    Good Luck!

  5. Johnleopold

    Johnleopold New Friend

    Feb 7, 2004
    Tracy, CA
    Hey guys...

    It's new guy again... this is an interesting topic. I'm finding that I am learning to read the music and I'm getting better at reading in sentences ... sort of... but what I'm finding is that when I hear a piece of music I'm compelled to try and play or duplicate the sounds I like and I'm finding more enjoyment from that.

    For example:
    At the church I attend we have volunteer musicians that make Sunday come together. We have a bass player, percussion guy, drums, 2 keyboards and only one of those guys can read music... or barely reads. The sounds that play are more gospel jazz and it works for a small congregation. There's been a long standing invitation for people to join the music team just to balance out the sound. Our bass guy plays a little riff between the service venues and during transitions that just sounds so cool that a little brass would make it ALL RIGHT indeed ! ... and that kinda where I want to be ... ... to be able to add in and bring some spice and enjoy playing...

    I really don't have any glamorous goals of playing in a big band so much as I'd really like what you said earlier... I'd like to be able to play a few cool songs and jump in on a jam session that's jazzy...

    Am I asking for a bad habit to start ?
  6. AndrewK

    AndrewK New Friend

    Feb 10, 2005
    Edmonton, AB
    I also play in a church setting... our style is different as it is black gospel, so we use a lot of R&B influences, as well as a lot of Reggae sounds in our music. Very fun to play with I will tell you that. Our choir just performed at the Winspear Centre (where I had watched Wynton Marsalis play just a few weeks earlier) I had a lot of fun there I must say. I enjoyed it because I could improvise and play whatever I wanted to play, that made it a lot of fun!

    I am still learning the whole reading music right now and my biggest problem is that as I read the music I keep wanting to throw in my own improvisions as to what I would like to hear it sound like! I guess as I learn more about it I can take those same pieces and write them down with my own improvisions.
  7. dizforprez

    dizforprez Forte User

    Nov 2, 2003
    you might run into a problem of trying to play things you are not ready for and force to get them out. That could be bad in itself. but there is nothing wrong with the idea of jumping in and trying to play.
  8. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

    Oct 25, 2003
    Yee HAW!
    Sidebar! Andrew mentioned the Winspear Center, which is in Edmonton AB. An incredible concert hall to be sure. Not exactly a shabby place to put on a concert.


  9. wiseone2

    wiseone2 Artitst in Residence Staff Member

    Nov 19, 2003
    Playing with people behind you is spooky :-? My first time playing under those conditions was on a Marlboro tour. We were doing the Mel Powell Divertimento. It is a woodwind quintet with trumpet replacing the usual french horn. Actually the guys in the group freaked me out...John Mack and Buddy Wright were in that quintet. PRESSURE :cool:
    I did not embarass the trumpet. I got to dig the setting. It kept me alert.

  10. pots13

    pots13 New Friend

    Dec 5, 2004
    That concert hall actually looks a lot like the jack singer where I saw Wynton here in Calgary. It was pretty surprising for me to see people behind the stage, but that's a really cool idea. Plus the way Wynton turned to play for them was cool.
    Is that the concert hall where the Edmonton orchestra (don't know it's name) plays? Because I've heard it's one of the best concert halls with such a great sound...

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