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Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by trickg, May 29, 2015.
Gengis Kahn said the persistent student needs no teacher
Or was it Lao Tzu
My teacher gave me a plan when I was young, but he always maintained, "You teach yourself to play, I'm just the guide".
I had my first trumpet lesson yesterday. I'm not an absolute beginner but I'm coming back after a 30 year break. (and I was trombone player anyway)
Mostly we worked on two note slurs. The instructor first played the notes and asked me to duplicate what he did. I listened with my eyes closed then played what he played. A few times I think I actually duplicated what he played. I was amazed.
The other times I sounded like a cat fighting a cow but my few small success inspired me to practice more.
I'm not sure what all this means if anything. Could I learn to play on my own? Perhaps yes, but I didn't for 30 years. Now, after having just one lesson... I feel like I'm on the path I want to be on.
Can you teach yourself? Yes. Should you? No.
I had no music training whatsoever. Not even at school. Later in life I bought a trumpet and Tune a Day book one and started to teach myself, both to play and read music. There are now huge holes in my knowledge and skill set, that would not be there if I'd had lessons. I've played in brass bands, concert bands, big bands, orchestras and even get paid to play in a pit band every year. I learn from listening to whatever is said to any player by the MD and by any player. I'll never be a good player, just an OK one. And that is because of being completely self taught. I had no idea what I needed to know and that is what a teacher could have provided.
My biggest musical regret is not having had lessons from day one.
I think it was Lay Tze.
He was an early proponent of Prof. Harold Hill's "think method".
I'm on the self taught path right now. I did look into a teacher, but found out that while there are some fantastic players in my area none of them teach. Most of the teachers play another instrument and know enough trumpet to teach it to kids. I don't have the time to travel a long way to a lesson on a regular basis.
I play in a community band, read a lot, listen to a lot of music and listen to everything anyone tells me (and try to filter out what is good information). I am looking into a small recording setup so I can hear myself and see a little easier where I need to work on. Something I am looking forward to is in the fall, the band is bringing in some very talented musicians to do sectional workshops with us.
I do think a teacher would improve the process, likely see trouble spots early and guide me through them and speed growth.
I think I'm in the same position -- I started out with a couple of guidelines from a brass band trumpeter (simple things such as not to wrap my lips around the mouthpiece like it was a tin whistle) and a copy of A Tune A Day. The band itself was rising from the ashes of a previous existence so many of us (mainly kids) were new to the instruments as well, though there were 5 or 6 fellows who provided some continuity. I got some more tips from a conductor we engaged who was an army trumpeter.
I'm up against things now with many things competing for my time - but I still think I have a chance to be a good player. (Some days I think that's a long way off, other days not so far )
And as far as teaching yourself something goes, I'm always reminded of something on UK TV which I posted about before:
A long time ago I taught myself to play bass, and became pretty good even had a band, but I cannot read music for the bass or translate music I read to the neck. On trumpet it is second nature. So I do believe it is best to work with an instructor in the beginning
gmondy writes: "I was at the ITG last evening and was there for the award given to Bobby Shew. He said he was 100% self taught so that when he was actually asked to teach his first lesson 47 years ago, he felt some apprehension as how could he teach if he himself had never been taught. He said he learned from listening to others' recordings".
I don't doubt Bobby Shew taught himself. And for those that have the talent of a Bobby Shew, I say go for it on your own if that's your desire. As for me....well, I don't have Bobby's talent and guidance was most beneficial.