Beginner's Range

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Trumpet Dreamer, Aug 28, 2010.

  1. dhbailey

    dhbailey Piano User

    Jul 28, 2009
    New Hampshire
    Miles was not a well-rounded player from all I've heard of his playing. He never played in a symphony orchestra section, he never played in a brass quintet/quartet, I doubt whether after high school he played in a concert band, he wasn't a first-call studio trumpet player. He was a superb jazz trumpet player who did what he did better than anybody else, which is why he's a giant in the jazz world. But that doesn't make him a well-rounded player. Was his head buried in the sand? Sure, regarding classical trumpet playing and other aspects of trumpet playing other than what he chose to concentrate on.

    But how many of us are able to build trumpet-playing lives like Miles did? For most of us, if we want to play the trumpet and earn some money at it, we need to be able to do many different things with our horns, from playing in a symphony orchestra to playing in a pit orchestra for a broadway-style show to playing in a rock/blues band to playing in a small jazz combo to playing in a big band. And all of those different styles require a much larger range of playing capabilities and knowledge than many people who simply concentrate on a single playing style and do it extremely well. Wayne Bergeron is an example of a trumpet player who is pretty well-rounded, as is Wynton Marsalis.

    Turtle is absolutely right that nobody has to do anything they don't want to do in music, but eliminating certain aspects of trumpet playing reduces the well-rounded-ness of a person.

    Not being well-rounded isn't a good thing or a bad thing, but it's a luxury that very few trumpet players I know of can afford to do.

    If your trumpet playing is purely a hobby and you don't expect to get any paying gigs, then play and practice only that which makes you happy. But it won't make you well-rounded, if that's your intent.

    The only thing wrong with trying to play like Miles is that he's already done it and nobody ever plays like Miles, really. They simply play like copycats. Same with people who try to specialize in Maynard charts.

    Play like *you* and find where your trumpet voice is and work on that. For me, I really enjoy having many trumpet voices. Your mileage may vary.
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2010
  2. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

    Jun 6, 2010
    :lol: I like that.

    You make a great point with that whole post above. Thanks. I know that right now I'm focused on jazz but I actually know classical music much better and may very well want to play more classical in the future. I'm probably limiting myself for the future with my casual attitude about range.

    On the other hand, it's working well for me right now to not worry or even think about it. If and when my teacher mentions it or I run into something that's outside my current range that I want to do ...... I'll introduce some tension into my system at that point to get it done. Right now, with the guidance of my private teacher, the whole focus is on breathing and relaxation. No worries, just easy steady progress. Both him and I are very happy with the progress I'm making.

  3. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    the truth is simply that it is impossible to say how long it will take, if it is possible at all and what YOU need unless we are familiar with YOUR playing in real life.

    Goals need to be short term tidbits that are based on where you are today. A good, long term goal would be to be a lead trumpet player, not have a double C. That places MUSIC first and will keep you focused.

    A bell curve of all players and where they were after 6, 12, 24 months is insignificant. Maybe some of them woke up after 36 months?

    There is no average. There is dedicated however and a good, balanced program will make sure that YOUR development will not have any holes in it.
  4. Trumpet Dreamer

    Trumpet Dreamer Mezzo Forte User

    Aug 14, 2010
    Jazz Town, USA
    Thanks for the advice. I am working hard and hope to simply become the best that I can be using whatever talent the Good Lord blessed me with.
    "The only person you can ever be better than is your former self." M.F.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 29, 2010
  5. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

    Jun 6, 2010

    Nice quote, T.D. :play:

  6. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
  7. schleiman

    schleiman Piano User

    May 12, 2010
    Austin, TX
    Keith is my teacher as well and I have to say. He is an amazingingly patient, and focused teacher. The results are staggering since i've started lessons with him.
  8. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    :-) I think that sometimes there is an interesting perception that Miles didn't have any high chops. I've heard a recording of Miles with a big band (don't know what it is - it was given to me by a friend) and some of Miles' solos extend past High C - not by much, D or E, but up there and solid enough nonetheless.

    Back to the subject, in my own personal experience, this is where my range was:

    5th grade beginning band - 3rd space C to 4th line D
    6th grade - same basic thing but with a bit more strength - played an E a couple of times
    First half of 7th grade - more strength, same range
    Second half of 7th grade - range extended to high C - not sure why, (probably because I was playing more) it just happened.

    My basic playable range was high C and below until I was about 27, and then I got another jump - not a big one, but it increased to about a D#, with occasional one-note things up to F and G.

    But, back to that thing with being a beginner, if you can get a solid 1 octave scale from low C to normal tuning C, that's probably about right for most beginners.

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