Getting to the next level

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Nealium, Jan 13, 2015.

  1. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
    Switch up your program - focus on your weaknesses. Nealium at some point being a teacher that you want to be ---- but at some point you need to figure out how to teach (to inspire, to motivate, to excel) -- and quite frankly you need to be able to inspire and motivate yourself before you will be a great teacher --- but as you say, this won't happen overnight --- learn patience with yourself also
  2. therealnod

    therealnod Pianissimo User

    Dec 30, 2014
    This is akin to what I was thinking. I would come up with my own tailor made exercises to fix specific issues. Easy stuff just to work on, instead of relying on things in a book. If you are to become a teacher someday you will need to do the same for students eventually.
  3. Nealium

    Nealium New Friend

    Jan 9, 2015
    I've never really thought about that side of teaching before. Thank you, King! It makes me that much more excited about what I want to do.
  4. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    It seems elementary, but it wasn't something that I came to while I was in high school, which is likely due to the fact that much like Nealium, I was on my own. I was in a small rural town out in the midwest - trumpet teachers just weren't available, so I never really developed a strategy for practicing. Fortunately, I managed to be somewhat successful in spite of it.

    Something else I have come to believe is that although written exercises and method books are an essential part of learning to become a rounded player, I think a person needs to spend a fair amount of time where it's just them and the horn, without the written page to distract us. Sometimes we get so caught up with the mental aspect of reading from the page that we forget to focus on just what's going on inside the mouth and the mouthpiece so we can fine tune and make the small adjustments that are necessary to dial in. I think that this is especially true when approaching basic concepts like articulation and attacks.
  5. Jazzy816

    Jazzy816 Pianissimo User

    Jun 5, 2013
    Rowuk why do you have to live so far away? :( If I could afford a plane ticket to Germany for a lesson or twelve, I would gladly purchase it.
  6. Jazzy816

    Jazzy816 Pianissimo User

    Jun 5, 2013
    If you have the aspirations to get lessons and are truly hindered by not having a vehicle, look into Skype lessons. Granted, you will need a good quality mic to assure that the teacher hears what you're playing, but it's a great option. It's also super beneficial because you can take lessons from whoever, a ton of the big names do Skype lessons. Adam Rapa, Lynn Nicolson, Charlie Porter. Just to name a few. Heck, maybe rowuk does skype lessons..? Now I'm not by any means suggesting this as a first option. I believe in the physical presence of a teacher just as much as rowuk believes in the holistic approach to trumpet (TM humor). I'm only suggesting this, because at least based on what you have stated, it seems like one of your only options. If I was you I would consider it, seeing as with technology your teacher is limitless. You can have a different one every day if you want! (Extremely un-recommended, but you could do it) Take this into consideration as you wish, felt like I should mention this for you.
  7. Cornyandy

    Cornyandy Fortissimo User

    Jan 9, 2010
    East Yorkshire
    Please don't make excuses for not having a teacher, if you are driven you will find a way. Jonpetter one of the members on here I respect greatly and count as a friend swears by working with Adam Rapa, which he is lucky enough to do in person but Mr Rapa does offer Skype lessons which I believe are very reasonably priced for someone of his ability, and perhaps will serve you well if you have a monthly masterclass with him.
  8. Tjnaples

    Tjnaples Piano User

    Aug 30, 2013
    Shortcuts in life there are not. Find a good teacher to learn good technique you must! Adam Rapa Online, Skype lessons he does...leave your home you do not.
  9. cfkid

    cfkid Pianissimo User

    Jul 24, 2013
    I've been taking lessons (locally) from Bruce Haag in Cincinnati. He also does Skype based lessons and I would highly recommend him. He played with Stan Kenton and Elvis and was a long time Claude Gordon student. You can find him at

  10. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    There seems to be a general consensus on the forum that having a teacher is absolutely paramount to becoming a proficient player.

    Is it really absolutely necessary? What measuring stick are we going to use as proof that a person is a proficient player? Do they have to have made a major music ensemble somewhere in the US, or is the ability to make music and in general and not suck, all while having enough of a command of the instrument to play in a multitude of styles and ensembles good enough?

    And how do we define just what a "teacher" is?

    I've always maintained that other than the 6 months I spent at the Armed Forces School of Music, and the one-off lessons I've done here and there, I'm primarily self-taught. Even with the School of Music, my instructor and I didn't really get along and I don't think I got much out of his lessons because I didn't fit in the mold of the student he thought I should be. (This was when he didn't cancel my lesson for a myriad of reasons, which was about half the time.)

    I've always been an inquisitive musician though. I've always asked a lot of questions and paid attention to players better than me, and I learned a lot by doing, and being in ensembles that forced me to be better.

    I'm not a virtuoso by any means, and I certainly have my limitations as a player, but at the same time I've also been good enough to gig fairly consistently since I was about 17 and started doing my first "real" playing in my hometown when I started doing a lot of church work with a mentor and friend of mine. I suppose I could say that he was a teacher, but only in a general way - he is a keyboard player, so he didn't teach me anything involving the trumpet itself.

    But going back to just what itmeans to be a trumpet playing musician, again, what measuring stick are we going to use? There are only so many openings in major ensembles, so while that is definitely proof of proficiency, they aren't the only places a person can play. There are thousands and thousands of amateur to semi-pro level ensembles out there where a person can be successful in their own ways. I've always believed that if you are getting paid for it and are gigging at least semi-consistently, then you must be doing something right. (Let's not even begin to go into all of the college educated players I've gigged with over the years - folks who had all of the private lessons in their formative years and up through college - who were't doing it as well as I was.)

    Bringing this back full circle to the thread, achieving the next level, what is a teacher going to do for this kid, other than maybe to make sure they don't have some major embouchure issues, and help them to avoid certain pitfalls? The student is the one putting in the work, and they have most of the tools necessary to know if what they are working on is helping - they have touch and feel, sound, the end result of the execution of the material, and with the internet, they have a mountain of knowledge to tap into, at least when it comes to specific methods, exercises, and general playing concepts. Most of trumpet playing, at least to achieve a decent level of proficiency, isn't rocket science, and focused work on the basics can take an aspiring student miles in the right direction if they put in the time. Is it going to matter so much if they read if off of the internet rather than hearing it from the mouth of an instructor as long as the content is the same?

    This in turn brings to me a story that was related at a percussion clinic I attended. The clinician was a collegiate level percussion instructor, and he wanted to pass on what he felt was a very important lesson he learned soon after he started lessons with his college instructor. He had inquired to his instructor, "how to I improve my drum roll?" He was expecting to learn some trick or technique that would give him a smooth drum roll. What his instructor told him surprised him: "If you want to improve your roll, then roll - 10 minutes a day, every day."

    There was no trick to it and no real special technique, but rather focused practice on a specific element of playing that needed to be improved. I believe our young poster can go a long way in a short amount of time with some fairly basic tweaks in their practice regimen. Obviously basics like posture and good breathing need to be considered, but if they do some concentrated work on basic elements of trumpet playing - long tones/sound production, articulation, flexibilities - the rest of it will likely start to fall into place.

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