Bobby Shew was self-taught, according to my teacher.

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by turtlejimmy, Aug 17, 2010.

  1. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

    Jun 6, 2010
    Nice clinic from Bobby Shew. In it he describes a sort of 5 minute lip warmup that includes roughly duplicating the sound of a horse snorting casually (or something like that), then buzzing lips w/o the mouthpiece (bee-like) and finishing with buzzing the MP (often duck-like in sound).

    I'm adopting it. I love it, my whole mouth feels better .... I'm calling it:

    Shew's Wild Warmup. A little horse, a little bee, a little duck .... and you're ready to tear it up. :-)

  2. bigtiny

    bigtiny Mezzo Forte User

    Aug 14, 2005
    Robin, I'm pretty sure I read that you live in Germany. I"m not sure if you are German or an American living in Germany so I'm not sure if we're talking about different cultures here.
    I'm 52. I started playing when I was 10. Until I went to Berklee (age 33) I never had a music lesson outside of group lessons and rehearsals at school. I played in concert band, marching band, and later, jazz band in school.
    So, while I certainly absorbed knowledge from these activities, interacting with my band directors, etc. I basically figured out how to play the trumpet and how to practice so that I could progress at playing the trumpet on my own. I had no help. I did read vociferously, as I got older I started playing with other cats and going to clinics and concerts, and again, all of these activities certainly imparted some knowledge to me. But very little, if any of it had to do with how to physically do the technical things one has to do to play the trumpet. I spent hours and hours slogging through the Arban, Bosquet, and other books trying to get it right. And I can play...I can't do what you do, that is play in an orchestra, but I can do what I do.

    So, I consider myself pretty much a self-taught player, in that I largely taught myself how to play the trumpet, while getting experience playing in band and going out of MY way to seek knowledge about all aspects of music from anyone I could get it.

    I never really thought of it, or tend to think of it as a big DIY thing. I had no choice - my family didn't have the money, nor the interest in encouraging my musical pursuits. I would have LOVED to have had trumpet lessons for 16 years like some of my friends did...but alas, I simply couldn't.

    Just a little info about why I (and maybe some others) consider themselves to be 'self taught'.

  3. ComeBackKid

    ComeBackKid Fortissimo User

    May 11, 2009
    Yorba Linda, CA
    Like just about everything else in the physical world, being 'taught' is a matter of degree. In the best case scenario, we take a lesson...we practice...we take a lesson (assess progress-make assignment)...we practice...we take a lesson (ditto)...

    So, the question becomes, what is the form of the "lesson" and what is the structure of the "practice" - and, what is the interval between "lessons"? For some the lessons are formal, regular, effective sessions with an excellent teacher. For others, lessons may be informal, irregular, less-effective observations of other players. It would be interesting to see what would happen if someone took a trumpet to a remote jungle tribe who had never seen or heard one and simply handed it to the tribe members. I doubt that anything that we recognize as music would ever result.

    So, yes, observation and emulation are forms of "lessons" and some are just better at it than others. The term "self-taught" is simply a convenient way to refer to the ratio of actual formal lessons on has had to the "ideal" number (whatever one perceives that to be). Bobby Shew had his own ratio in mind when he used that term.
  4. wolfmann

    wolfmann Pianissimo User

    Aug 19, 2010
    I will add my 2 cents:
    A lot of the old greats didnt have formal training like we know it.
    They DID have teachers EACH other.
    I was VERY lucky to have been able to hang around a few of these people.
    When I asked Cat Anderson once why he talked so much with me he simply told he was doing what others before him did,PASS IT ON.

    A Cat story:
    He was playing in Duke's band and they pulled a chart out that one of the guys was working on.It was a total sight read and a very hard chart.
    Cat Layed out for most of it,I asked him why,he goes Im not very good at sight reading.Now that is being a REAL pro.

    I could also tell you about Stan Mark getting into a fight onstage and having some of his hair pulled out:shock:(the other guy started it)
  5. Markie

    Markie Forte User

    Jan 4, 2009
    Clarksburg, WV
    rowuk sez:
    there is a VERY strong wish by many here to keep the DIY miracle alive. Actually, most everything that we learn in life is not DIY, rather by emulation: walking, talking, writing and ultimately trumpet.
    Oh my! Now let me get this right. DYI stands for Do It Yourself, right?
    I won't go(and you don't want me to go) into the innateness of human mobility and critical periods of speech aquisition. Instead, allow me to say you're almost exactly incorrect.
    Until the day we can implant workable intelligence chips into certain parts of the brain which will allow motor knowledge to be formed without rehersal, everything is pretty much DYI.
    The only person that can teach the brain is its owner.
    The term teacher is kind of a misnomer. The most we can do as educators is to facilitate a topic. The ONLY person that can create the neural pathways that indicate learning has taken place is the individual.
    I'm not trying to undercut the benefits of good guidance. However,"Wanting" to learn from a great facilitator deals with motivation, another topic. Even with high motivation, it is the subject that must learn the material. Motivation simply helps make the learning easier.
    I like what Frank Zappa said to someone when they saw him writing music.
    A person (Ian Underwood, I think) saw Frank writing a complicated score and he asked "How did you learn to write music like that?"
    Frank said "I went to the library"
    I've had some of the best statistics professors in academia, but it was I who had to pound the knowledge of statistics into my brain via repetition.
    The professor simply showed what to do and how to do it.
    I was always amazed that while I was in class and the professor was working a statistical test on the board, I would say to myself "Damned, I get this stuff!" However, by the time I got home and opened the book, it all looked like a foreign language.
    I had to train my brain. I had to do it myself.
    P.S. sleeping with the textbook on your head doesn't work either. I've tried.
    Unless its innate, its basically DYI.
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2010

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