comeback player seeking advice

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by smiletoastguy, Jun 18, 2010.

  1. smiletoastguy

    smiletoastguy New Friend

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    Jun 13, 2010
    I have two sons. One who plays electric guitar incessantly and one who will be begin playing trumpet this fall. As a result, we inherited a family trumpet for our son to play. When I picked up the horn, my French horn days came back to me and so I was able to run up the scale. I instantly fell in love. I had never played something that sounded so warm. When I put the trumpet down, I turned to my spouse and said, This horn makes you want to play.


    I find myself wanting to play again and am messing around on the horn just for fun because it sounds so good.

    BUT at my age, I am intimidated by the idea of starting an instrument and jumping into lessons with a private teacher. SO, I am interested in hearing how others play trumpet, and in particular those who started playing trumpet as a adult began their journey. Are there practice materials, techniques, advice or stories you would share for an older return player who is new to the instrument?
     
  2. jason_boddie

    jason_boddie Piano User

    263
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    Dec 26, 2008
    Jacksonville, FL
    I do not know if I am the kind of guy you are looking to get advice from, but I will tell you my background and let you decide.

    I played extensively in my younger days, all the way through college. I then took a 16 year break. My wife bought me a horn xmas '08 and I have been on the "comeback trail" since then. I now play 1 book in several community orchestra, and in my own Brass Quintet. In the Quintet we play intermidiate/advance Canadian Brass Books, and arrangements at theat level.

    So, my suggestions to you for getting back in the game.

    1. Don't think about playing in terms as how good you were on the F. Horn xx years ago, it will only frustrate you.

    2. Identify goals that you want to accomplish (playing in a community band, churcg band, jazz combo, etc.). Create a plan of action that will get you there.

    3. Clearly define practice times, and techniques.

    4. Long Tones, Long Tones, Long Tones (boring but very helpful)

    5. Lip Slurs, Lip Slurs, Lip Slurs (see above)

    6. Find a local teacher that will start you out with proper habits and techniques.

    Stps 4 and 5 are huge. When I started back, I bought a fake book and figured I would get it back by playing through that book. Didn't work, I needed the endurance and warm sound that 4 and 5 create.

    Just my 2 cents. Rowuk, and others feel free to chime in
     
  3. jason_boddie

    jason_boddie Piano User

    263
    1
    Dec 26, 2008
    Jacksonville, FL
    and BTW welcome to Trumpet Master
     
  4. veery715

    veery715 Utimate User

    5,010
    1,801
    Mar 6, 2007
    Ithaca NY
    When you fall in love there are two choices. Lay it on the line and go for it - and face possible rejection, frustration, obstacles, and the like.
    Or
    Don't go for it, and always wonder what might have been.

    To me the correct choice is a no-brainer! Take the challenge, play your heart out, take lessons, and you will never, ever, be sorry.
     
  5. JDay

    JDay Pianissimo User

    144
    25
    Nov 20, 2007
    Wenatchee, WA
    Veery said "To me the correct choice is a no-brainer! Take the challenge, play your heart out, take lessons, and you will never, ever, be sorry."

    I hate to question this.... But...

    It happened to me one day when I was standing there, dressed in Lederhosen playing polkas in a German band while having tourist taking pictures of how cute we looked in our "Band Uniforms". :cool:

    I guess the moral is: Beware of being sucked into a german band and having to wear lederhosen! Might make you question youself! :huh:

    Cheers & good luck!
     
  6. Bob Grier

    Bob Grier Forte User

    Age:
    69
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    May 4, 2007
    Greensboro, NC
    I would suggest lessons. I work with a number of comeback players. You needn't be self conscious. Do you have a web cam?
     
  7. Glennx

    Glennx Pianissimo User

    208
    77
    Aug 16, 2009
    Ottawa
    I played trumpet in high school and did one year of trumpet in university in 1973. Swtched to bass trombone(!!) which I played for about 8 years but pretty much stoped playing after that. Started trumpet again 11 months ago and am now playing with two community concert bands (co-1st) and a 17-piece dance band (on 3rd). I practice 1+ hours every night, live for playing, and turned 55 years old today. My advice to you?

    >> I am intimidated by the idea of starting an instrument and jumping into lessons with a private teacher...

    Why be intimidated? If you really wanna to play, love the sheer physicality of getting everything in synch to make that amazing sound and revel in how it makes you feel to produce that, then go for it: jump right in, take the lessons, practice as much as body & spirit allow, and enjoy every minute of it. It matters less where you are on the path than the fact that you're on the road and moving forward.

    >> Are there practice materials, techniques, advice or stories you
    would share for an older return player who is new to the instrument?

    - Read & learn everything you can about trumpet playing
    - Try, utilize & keep everything that makes sense to you and that works
    - Keep an open mind!
    - Be very patient; think long-term
    - Learn to conceptualize the sound you want to produce...
    - ...and do the same for the style(s) you want to be able to play
    - Set & stick to a regular practice time
    - As soon as you feel ready, join a community band (the world needs 3rd & 4th chair players, too)
    - Cultivate a supportive family (trumpets are kinda loud)
    - Improve your physical condition if you think you need it - it'll help
    - Enjoy it & have fun, but don't get obsessed with it or hung up on it

    ...and perhaps consider that the difference between a good, used $400 horn and a $2,000 Xeno or equivalent isn't one that you're going to be able to capitalize on for a while, no matter how seductive that uber pro horn may look!

    And welcome to TM.
     
  8. Alex_C

    Alex_C Piano User

    449
    6
    May 30, 2010
    Gilroy, California
    Hey man I'm in my 40s and I don't care. I think of how I'll be IN FIVE YEARS not rightaway.

    I"m hoping to be able to play a decent Xmas carol or three when that season comes around.

    I think that's the difference, adults can tend to want results soon, where kids will just do a thing because it's cool, they're in the class (band) and they just end up doing it and feeling OK about themselves because they're playing as well as their friends, or a little better, or not too much worse, and just have fun. Without even thinking about it, they go through a few or several years of Band and they're decent players. The results just come.
     
  9. mrdave

    mrdave New Friend

    5
    0
    May 13, 2010
    i'm much like you, but a little further along, and have past experience, in that i played trumpet for about 9 years, put it down for about 20, and have been at it for a little over a year now.

    Get a teacher early to insure that you establish good habits out the gate. Read around here first to make sure you have some idea what that means, because one out of the three teachers i've had since i started ended up being clueless.

    Your only initial goals should be to have fun, and constantly improve. I went into it thinking that it'd just take a year to be where i was at when i stopped, because I'm more disciplined now. I ended up disappointed because it simply does not work that way. Negative thinking over this, and analysis paralysis held me back significantly.

    Beyond that, it's just practicing the right things as much as you can. I'm learning solo right now for now for a couple of different reasons, but hoping to find somebody soon that can help me with making sure I have "the right things" part of that settled.
     
  10. Jackson Arch

    Jackson Arch Piano User

    272
    35
    Mar 6, 2010
    Oklahoma
    Give it a go, smiletoastguy! (smiletoastguy...? You might have to share the origins of that one with us!).

    Sounds like playing that horn makes you happy. If I got that right, there's your answer. Intimidated? That will subside quickly...and, then there will be some frustration. But, that will diminish, as well. I am fairly new to this great forum and am also a comeback player. Every time these guys offer solid advice on this subject, it just motivates me something fierce.

    You have a talent and a desire. Don't let life's other demands deter you (wish someone would remind me of that daily...that's a biggun).
     

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