For all you pros out there...

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by YTR-6335S, Jul 18, 2006.

  1. YTR-6335S

    YTR-6335S New Friend

    Jul 3, 2006
    How did you get to were you are today? Did you take private lessons, attend a music collage, teach yourself? I'm am doing a report in school on professional musicians and any info would be great. Altough I might need to cite your words if you will allow me to use them.

    Thanks for any replies!
  2. cornetguy

    cornetguy Mezzo Forte User

    Sep 12, 2005
    Saint Paul, MN
    short answer,. yes

    Long answer: the private lessons are important and the school is probably helpful. But the most important part of the piece is learning to teach yourself. Get all the playing opportinities you can, network network network.
  3. eisprl

    eisprl Mezzo Piano User

    Sep 26, 2004
    Halifax, NS CANADA
    Practice, Practice, Practice

    I am no "pro" but I am very close and I happen to agree with cornetguy that self teaching is very important. I went to a school that was not heavy on the performance side of music. The result? although I had a fairly good teacher, I learned to rely on myself as being my own worst critic. I did a lot of listening (A LOT OF LISTENING). I learned what I wanted to sound like and I went for it.

    School is also very important. Some will say that school doesn't matter if you are a good enough player. I couldn't disagree more. What point is there to playing professionally if you do not (and cannot) understand what you are playing. Musicality is very important to being a "pro". You have to be able to sell what you are playing. (Listening helps! - LISTENING!)

    Personally, I have learned the trumpet on my feet in the cadet days. Now I play with the Band of the Ceremonial Guard (my display picture) to help pay tuition. I did an audition in April for a regular force full time position in the Canadian Military. It is sounding better and better everyday that I might have won it. (The rejection letters went out and I never received one).

    Private lessons are extremely important. I have had a couple lessons with great players and it helped me sooo much (Andrew McCandless - Toronto Symphony, Jens Lindemann - (ex) Canadian Brass, Karen Donnelly - National Arts Center Orchestra, Stuart Laughton - Canadian Brass, Rick Rangno - Central Band of the Canadian Armed forces, Ingrid Jensen) and a couple others.

    What I am saying here is that you can't be shy to ask some of the greats! Most of these guys (and gals) are extremely pleasant to talk to and almost always willing to give a lesson to an aspiring pro.

    OK Anecdote time - My Dad plays guitar and as a kid he used to live across the street from a guy who made guitars for "The Who". One day he saw the band go inside the house and he was too nervous to go over and talk to them - He never ended up seeing them again.


    Listening (active listening), networking, private lessons and just love the instrument. If you love it that much and want to make it you will put the work and effort into it.

    Hope this helps at all
    Cheers and good luck

  4. trpt2345

    trpt2345 Mezzo Forte User

    May 21, 2006
    Morelia, Mexico
    First, you just have to be crazy about it. Just can't wait to get your hands around the valve case and the mouthpiece on your lips and the sound coming directly out of your soul into the world. Then find the best possible player you ever heard and ask him or her what they did to get so good. And take every opportunity to play that you can. And be willing to go wherever it takes you.

    Michael McLaughlin

    Life is a long preparation for something that never happens.
    William Butler Yeats
  5. Billy B

    Billy B Pianissimo User

    Nov 5, 2004
    Des Moines, IA
    My first pro gig was a band I started with some friends. Transcribed Chicago, Cold Blood, White Trash, etc. Knocked on doors and booked the band ourselves.
  6. Bill Dishman

    Bill Dishman Piano User

    Nov 22, 2003
    Gainesville, Florida
    Becoming a PRO!

    Without getting into the multitude of topics related to this thread, I am areminded of a story regarding Jasha Heifetz. (This may be paraphrased through the many variations of the story.)

    When asked how he became good enough to play Carnegie Hall...he responded PRACTICE!

    When asked how he became the best in the country...he responded PRACTICE SLOWLY!

    When asked how he became the best in the world...he responded PRACTCE EVEN SLOWER!

    Jsut a thought...

    Bill Dishman
    Gainesville, Florida
  7. NickD

    NickD Forte User

    A bit of everyting...

    I practiced obsessively. I still do (just ask my kids - my dog!!! - my wife!!!!). I am willing to take chances. I also find it helpful to be very introspective about practicing. So, there is a huge element of being self-taught.

    I have had some amazing teachers each of whom impacted me a great deal.

    Neil Dunlap
    Eddie Brauer
    Bill Bay
    Joe Daley
    Gary Smith
    Adolph Herseth (ok, this was for one three lesson which I'll never forget)
    Richie Corpolongo
    Alan Swain (my current piano teacher)

    Now I will argue that, ostensibly, we are ALL SELF-taught in any endeavor. A "teacher" is only a guide - a coach. However, the actuall teaching and learning is self administered. There is plenty of educational theory out there that supports this notion.

    Finally, Mike said a mouthful when he said you;ve got to LOVE this!

    I just LOVE playing. All my professional work is all in support of my playing. I could do it all day 24/7.

    OK, time to practice!

  8. YTR-6335S

    YTR-6335S New Friend

    Jul 3, 2006
    Thanks guys.

    Can anyone tell me how much you normally get paided for each session? Does experience or anything else effect your pay or do all of you do this for fun? Anybody here consider themselves a session musician?
  9. cyber_shake

    cyber_shake Mezzo Forte User

    Jun 16, 2006
    The 'Nati
    Hi YTR-6335S,

    Welcome to TM.

    You've already received a lot of good info. Just wanted to stretch the 'listening' aspects a bit...

    Essential elements for all musicians:
    #1 = HTOF (Horn Time On Face) - practice never stops.
    #2A = Private Lessons & Master Classes are 'a must' if you really want to imporve. Instruction from others saves you time and energy and is the fastest way to improve your skills. Plus your instructor can more easily see what you are doing right and wrong and can make recommendations to help you overcome obsticles. This is also a great networking step for getting referrals to 'pay jobs' that can sustain you as a pro musician.
    #2B = This did involve music school for me. Besides lessons, playing in organized music groups (through the school) like symphonic band, jazz band, brass ensemble, show choir, orchestra and concert band were all beneficial to learn about playing with others. That improves your listening abilities as well. This opened the doorway to playing 'outside' gigs, whether filling in for others in a group or organizing a trio or band to play various venues. That includes weddings, church, musicals, big band shows, funk bands, pop groups, community bands and orchestras, & various shows. Some of these are 'for pay', but more than anything get your name in front of the music community which opens up opportunity for recordings and more.
    #3 = Listening to great trumpet players / live and on recordings
    - The 'active listening' statements written in other replies are a huge deal. To me that means not only listening, but participating, such as trying to play along with the recording. Make a CD of songs you really like (just about any kind of music) and figure out the melody line. Whether you are playing along with a trumpet recording or learning the lyric flow of a passage from a good vocalist, this type of practice will help you train your ear and increase your 'musicality'.

    - A lot of people just 'play notes'. You want to 'make music', which is much more than just the notes. You have to have a certain amount of God-given talent to be a great musician... but those who are great don't just wake up with all the skills. They take lessons from those with greater experience and technique (and they listen to them play), practice and pushing yourself to play passages perfectly, and develop their own sound & style by taking the best elements that they hear in others and making them their own.

    I'm glad you asked the question. Hope the report turns out well.

    I don't think there are any great pro musicians out there that do it to get a check. They do it because they love playing. It puts you in a secret and very special world. If you are fortunate enough to be able to live from doing what you love, then that is the sweetest icing on the cake!

    Best regards,
  10. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

    Sep 29, 2004
    If you go to the Introduction section of this site, you'll get many life/trumpet stories of the the people that frequent this board.


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