Finding a trumpet teacher - can they really ...

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by jdostie, Feb 23, 2008.

  1. jdostie

    jdostie Piano User

    Feb 20, 2008

    So, as a comeback player, I have some ideas about what I'm doing, and I have some ideas about to build back. BUT, I could also shoot myself in the foot in a few areas. I used to reach double G, and it was consistent, but I never got beyond that - of course I had no real method of study . . . just play the show we were working on, or something I liked that someone else played, no exercises other than:
    1. Warm ups that we did as a corps.
    2. Trying to teach myself how to lip trill.

    Now to the question: Can a trumpet teacher (one that is a real trumpet teacher, not a music teacher who knows something about trumpet)
    1. Watch me play and actually make judgements about my emboucher.
    2. Teach me how to build range - such that double C will be a "playable note" rather than something to reach for . . . and maybe even beyond
    3. Do both of those things and lessen my use of pressure

    Or, if the trumpet teacher viewed my embouchure, might he/she simply say, that's right, now just do these exercises which consist of lip dexterity exercises up and down moving to and away from the extremes of my range (both upper and lower)?

    How will I know if I have a teacher capable of doing that,


    Is it likely that I can find a teacher for an initial "checkup" lesson, and then possibly one lesson every month or so, or will most insist on a weekly commitment?

    By the way, if anyone knows of a good teacher in the Modesto, CA area that would fit this bill, that would be wonderful.

  2. Kevykev

    Kevykev Pianissimo User

    Sep 27, 2006
    St. Louis.
    Well one way to determine what your asking is find out if the potential teacher has that kinda range himself!

    I think you need to really seek out the best teacher you can find and afford. Trumpet forums such as this one are great avenues to find qualified teachers in you area of the country. Just put the question out there and see what kinda response you get. Ask around at your local area music college's and music venues.:cool:
  3. nplotts1

    nplotts1 Fortissimo User

    Aug 5, 2007
    Atlanta, Georgia
    Everyone has a different embouchure set up. The thing that seems to be the most common with a "bad" embouchure is the firmness of the corners.
    So as for looking at you and saying your set up is wrong, possibly, he/she may say you have too much top or bottom lip in the mouthpiece, but likely he will hear the results of a less than great set up, not see it.

    As far as range goes, why do you need a double C? A resonable question to ask yourself is what is the extent of range you will see on music (or improv if you are jazz.) Remember that most music stays below High C, I have rarely come across any thing above High D (outside of Trumpet Ensemble where some times it goes high F) The only reason the professor even picks these pieces is because we have 2 trumpet who can really nail notes up there. I am not saying you shouldn't go for a Dub C, but a better appraoch would be to get the G and then work on your endurance in your higher register (the rest will come on its own)

    Just insight from a college student, feel free to take it with as a grain of salt, but figured id put in my 2 cents
  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    playing is SOOOO much more than isolated embouchure or technique.
    ANY great teacher can watch you play and offer holistic advice that will benefit you musically, spiritually and mentally.
    If your only goal is double C, you are missing out on MUCH more.
    There is no reason not to visit more than one teacher to get a feeling for what is going on. return to the teacher with the best vibes. The chance you will do what they say is GREATER!
  5. Jude

    Jude Piano User

    Dec 2, 2007
    How do you go about finding a teacher if you're not already connected to the local network in some way? the Yellow Pages? classified ads? asking at music stores? How do teachers looking for students advertize?
  6. Eeviac

    Eeviac Piano User

    There's one teacher near me, 2 or so miles away so even walk-able when the weather's not great (motorcycle not the greatest in snow or deep mud) but it's still $20 a lesson and I don't have the income to support that.

    So, I'm hoping to first get good enough to busk to earn the $$ for lessons.

    I've hit upon a brain-wave, old lounge songs like "Volare" don't have a ton of range, but sound decent, even damn good. I might be able to busk with that material.

    $20 a lesson is a lot of money here!
  7. Eeviac

    Eeviac Piano User

    Just you have to gossip and gossip good. In running my biz I learned that the US economy would grind to a halt if it weren't for gossip.

    Gossip at your music store and at jam sessions if there are any. With instrument repairers and with buskers on the street (if there are any) and in coffee shops. Natter on about anything and everything like an old lady and learn some good jokes. Jokes have led me to deals on servers and oscilloscopes and all kinds of weird stuff. No jokes, no connections. I swear to God this is how business works.
  8. Jude

    Jude Piano User

    Dec 2, 2007
    Jokes. Oh dear.
  9. Eeviac

    Eeviac Piano User

    Yeah, I know. As part of my business, I had to learn to become "entertaining". No jokes and pal'ing around, no lead on who's selling off servers I could get $200 apiece for, for $10 apiece.

    Have you tried asking your local high school brass teacher, about other teachers? Or your local HS brass guy might be the one to go to....

    In my own case, as outlined, to afford lessons at all I'll have to become even MORE entertaining.
  10. Jude

    Jude Piano User

    Dec 2, 2007
    As for me, I have a teacher (once he comes back from vacation) - I showed no initiative and simply asked about the music lessons advertized at the music store. I was just wondering how you could start looking if you had no idea. Bandman suggested in another thread asking at your church - most of them have some kind of music group, and musicians know other musicians.

    About the busking - yeah, you'll have an advantage if you're prepared to be entertaining and not simply go out there and play an instrument, no matter how proficiently. Josh Bell showed how well that works.

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