Becoming A Professional Trumpet Player

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by trumpetaddict, Jun 27, 2011.

  1. Phil986

    Phil986 Forte User

    Nov 16, 2009
    Near Portland, OR.
    As others have said, time is huge. I met a trumpet student of a French superior conservatory once and tallked about how it was like to study there. In summary, it was like 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, with the expectation you'd do as much during the week-end. Most of that time was playing time.
    There was once a famous violonist who was accosted after a concert by an enthusiastic lady who told him "I'd give my life to play like you." To which he responded that he did give his life to the violin.
  2. DaveH

    DaveH Piano User

    Nov 27, 2003
    Well, I don't mean to sound flippant and such is not my intent, but I think the following has a great deal to do with it...

    Be better than everyone else.

    There is an enormous amount of competition. There is a huge need to be in the right place at the right time. There is a need to find openings in what appears to be a shrinking job market.

    So, what all that seems to mean to me is that you must simply be the best. Be in the right place, at the right time, be lucky, and be able to outplay and out perform the competition.

    It causes me to think that the answer to a question about how to get into show business, the movies, or professional sports would be about the same answer as to how to become a professional trumpet player.

    My opinion, FWIW...
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2011
  3. hichez

    hichez Pianissimo User

    Jul 13, 2009
    I have a friend that is studying to be a oboe performance major. She enjoys most of every day of it and she is lucky to have the talent. If you absolutely enjoy the trumpet then go with it. I have also seen the dark side where people end up be band directors or something of that nature. Some people it turns into a positive although for other it is a long long downhill slope.

    I always wonder with the popularity of band in high school and in college why is that wind ensembles have so little representation in the professional world? Does the general public not want to hear wind bands? I only ever hear sprinkles about community bands.
  4. tptshark

    tptshark Pianissimo User

    Jun 4, 2005
    Hong Kong
    Can you see yourself doing anything else other than trumpet playing as a career? If so then I would be wary - a career as a musician is a long, tough road for most (though ultimately one of the most rewarding, IMHO).

    Once you are sure you want to start down the path and are ready for the rigors, find the very best conservatory you can (no matter where it is - maybe consider international schools as well as in your home country?) and work as hard as you can to be the best you can be: as a musician, a trumpet player, and as a person. And try your upmost to be versatile - get involved in everything the school has to offer.

    A friend of mine once laid down the reality of the situation to one of his students like this: "If you want a job, by the time you leave me you need to be better than me, because at that point I will become the competition". Food for thought.

    BTW, at some point it is inevitable that you are going to have to put in some serious (5+ hours a day) practice. But this should be treasured for all it is worth - i wish i still had the time to practice 5 hours a day!

    All the best,
  5. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    This wonders me too. There is no difference in the quality of fine band music compared to symphony orchestral repertory, there are also enough fine bands.

    In this day of special interest radio stations on the internet, I think there could be a business model here!
  6. Satchmo Brecker

    Satchmo Brecker Piano User

    Jul 19, 2010
    Not sure where you guys are, but in the US schools are under severe budget crunches. And band and art programs are usually the first to go. So I wouldn't say band, yet alone wind ensembles, are growing or even staying even in popularity.

    And beyond that, and this is just my opinion, the US population in general seems to be getting dumber and dumber. I see the popularity of fake wrestling growing, and any kind of cultural activities diminishing. I believe there was a study done and 10 or 20 years ago the US was #1 in education. It's currently around 17.
  7. DaveH

    DaveH Piano User

    Nov 27, 2003
    I agree, and see evidence of all the above every day.
  8. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    The point is, that there is no web channel for wind band music. The chance of one of the classical stations dedicating any time to excellent wind band music is VERY low. A decent radio channel would give the kids a constant comparison and good groups a forum! There are enough of them out there as any cruise through YouTube will show!
  9. NeonMarmot

    NeonMarmot New Friend

    Sep 25, 2010
    Do not let other responses here discourage you. There is always work for those who are passionate about their craft. Yeah sure there's guys out there who are always moaning about how there's no work but that's because they're not working at the time...

    Being unhappy in life is impractical, follow your passions.
    tobylou8 likes this.
  10. DaveH

    DaveH Piano User

    Nov 27, 2003
    Yes, do not let the responses here discourage you. In fact, I don't think most of them intend to, or are actually trying to, discourage you.

    I think what you are hearing amounts to a healthy dose of realism, and the so-called "facts of life" as it relates to this situation.

    I think what you are hearing is that becoming a professional trumpet player is something that only a relatively few people - compared to the number who aspire to do so - actually succeed in doing, that there are many challenges to expect and be aware of, and that some of the realities of the situation may actually be beyond your control to overcome with sheer effort alone.

    I repeat - be the very best; better than the rest who want the same thing, and you may very well succeed - if you are in the right place at the right time. If you get to be as good as you need to be to defeat the competition; then you have, IMO, a good shot at it.
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2011

Share This Page