Did any of the greats not start out so great?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by TrumpetMonk, Apr 13, 2012.

  1. EdMann

    EdMann Mezzo Forte User

    Sep 20, 2007
    Los Angeles
    I've encountered students who have asked me, "how do I know that this is swing?" or, "what's the articulation on these eighth notes?" The question remains, is this a matter of time, talent or a matter of ears? I know that for me, I got a knack for some musical feel because it was on in the house all the time-- my mother was a music major and music teacher-- so I was exposed to a ton of genres. She made us listen to KDFC in SF (classical) two to three hours a week in the car. My second teacher was member of the Oakland Symphony. My dad had dixieland jazz blasting on the weekends and I took it in. Did this gentleman who asked me the above questions, have that kind of aural experience? Who knows, but likely not. Music can be learned, but only after hearing it!

  2. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    Allowing 8 hours for sleep, 3 hours for meals, and 1 hour for personal hygiene, leaves us 12 hours per day that we could practice and perform or 4,380 hours a year. With such a regimen we would exceed the propounded “10,000 hours” in just over 2 years, and 3 months. With extreme rarity worldwide, would I believe any 14 year old to be a proficient player of any musical instrument, let alone a professional player. At best, I believe most of us average less than 2 hours per day actual lip time practicing and performing, or a minimum of 13 years and 6 months of practice and performance to attain the "doorway" to musical professionalism. Maybe this could be achieved with all public school band participation and a Master's degree in instrumental performance from college, but not many choose this "pathway". Even so, while one may get many weekend gigs or concerts, achieving an adequate family living income solely by such remains elusive.
  3. Satchmo Brecker

    Satchmo Brecker Piano User

    Jul 19, 2010
    Charlie Parker is a perfect example of what the OP is talking about. He was your average player into his 20's (i think it was). Then one day he got booed off the stage at some clubs open jam session. After that he regrouped, I'm assuming practiced like hell, and came back the Bird we know today.
  4. chapmand

    chapmand Piano User

    Jul 26, 2010
    Edmonton, Alberta
    I tell my students that I do not believe in talent. I believe in opportunity, access and desire. With the opportunity to learn from a good teacher and access to an instrument with time to practice coupled with a personal desire to achieve and improve any one can become musically proficient if not great (fill in definition of greatness here).
    The more you play the more you can play. The more you listen the more styles you can take in.
    Whether you come to it late or had the advantage of a young start I think that this still applies.
    I came to the trumpet late in life while already having had a fairly good and early start on piano. My biggest problem (um, well one of them) is that my musical mind exceeds my trumpet technique. It's frustrating to not get ones fingers to respond to ones thoughts. I'm working on it, but I believe if I had started on trumpet the fingers would be a bit more automatic (autonomic?). Anyway, my 2 cents.
  5. ultratrumpet

    ultratrumpet Piano User

    Jul 10, 2009
    Old Lyme, Connecticut
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2012
  6. Haste2

    Haste2 Piano User

    Jun 16, 2010
    I don't have an example for a trumpet player, but I know a flute player who started off bad, but is now great, which is my sister.

    In junior high she was pretty close to LAST chair in her second year of playing in what was the SECOND best band of that junior high. Now she's a college player, with a gorgeous sound/vibrato.... this year in auditions, she beat out a professional flautist AND the former previous year's principal flautist for a spot in the top orchestra.

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