Hopeless trumpet players: have you met them?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by DiaxII, Feb 6, 2013.

  1. Comeback

    Comeback Forte User

    Jun 22, 2011
    Fort Wayne, IN
    You have received great responses so far, DiaxII, and I am happy for you that you are encouraged to persist. So the Blessing 10 1/2 is your normal mouthpiece, right? There is certainly nothing wrong with it, but making sure your mouthpiece is well-suited to you and your trumpet is really important. Normal common mouthpiece sizes for Bb trumpet appear to be 3C, 5C, and 7C, if referencing Bach or Blessing identification systems. A 10 1/2C is a little less common and is perceived by some to be on the small size. Have you tried other sizes for a month or so each to satisfy yourself concerning potential for improvement? I experimented with all common sizes, including 10 1/2C early in my comeback. I am now playing a Bach 3C. It has been providing a satisfactory playing experience for me and decent range as well. Best wishes to you as you persist!

  2. DiaxII

    DiaxII Pianissimo User

    Oct 22, 2009
    Or, definitely that effect is possible also. I mostly remember though how ordinary women lookled to me like top-models when I was drunk. Gosh, I'm missing it... :(
  3. DiaxII

    DiaxII Pianissimo User

    Oct 22, 2009
    Thanks Comeback, I'll try others from what I've got.
    No way to quit if you've posted such a thread on TM! You ask for permission and YOU people act like tiny devils: 'No, no stay with us' :)
    Or 'tiny angels' should I say?

  4. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    Many here on TM laid aside their instruments after 12 years education but only 7 years instruction on the instrument that was mostly only once or twice a week having relied mostly on self study and practice at home, the latter where few really put forth the effort at home. Those who did, may have continued on to college / university participating in band or orchestra but most of these as a goal to teach music, but again laying aside their instrument when such position was not available or not sufficient to support a family or that they then had other interests that attracted them more or were required such as military service. So it was that I laid aside my instruments and "lost" them for more than 40 years only to get more when I became disabled.

    No, I agree with you that in most of the world's music, the Bb trumpet parts are in the range of middle C to the the C on second ledger line above the staff. If I needed to play higher, I'd use my my piccolo trumpet, and if I needed to go lower I'd use my euphonium.

    Now my goal is simply to enjoy music, making it, listening to it, and minimally teaching it. Too, the only hump is the one I haven't yet climbed, but it is the small pebbles I worry about now.

    In less than 4 months I'll be 77 years old, and I like to play a lot of music that is twice as old as I am (and older) but my highlighted era was the 1950s.
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2013
  5. Peter McNeill

    Peter McNeill Utimate User

    Jan 30, 2009
    Melbourne Australia
    Hi Ed,
    My highlight era is still to come, but I hope 2013 will be rewarding with some good gigs and concerts. That will make me happy, and hopefully with no mistakes when I play, if I practice enough and do enough rehearsals. But agree with you, you can enjoy the music without needing the high range... but it is still a nice place to get to :-) or to have been :cool:
  6. DiaxII

    DiaxII Pianissimo User

    Oct 22, 2009
    Peter, please no 'high range' mentioning! We are talking about solid normal range here, up to high C.
    Yes, 'high range' squeaks are great for meauring up the 'trumpets' but to enjoy something you need to have a reasonable set of things in the context of the activity. I doubt anyone can truly enjoy trumpet playing without being able to play a simple melody with couple Gs, As, Bs and the high C (maybe), unless it's a job but in that case I doubt any professional can be limited to the top line F.
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2013
  7. simonstl

    simonstl Pianissimo User

    Nov 25, 2008
    Dryden/Ithaca, NY
    My comeback keeps getting interrupted by long travel to places where trumpets aren't welcome, and my range (and everything else) is expanding only slowly. I have two suggestions that might help, though they aren't exactly classic TM suggestions:

    1. Try playing a bugle, preferably one on which you can use the same mouthpiece as the trumpet. The limited number of notes available makes it easier to focus on hitting them. The range on the bugle won't go much above what you're looking for.

    2. Be content with a more limited range. Lots of songs fit in the range you already have. If you're playing by yourself, it's not (that) hard to transpose down when music is written higher. Even if you're playing in a group someday, lots of trumpet parts (sometimes 2nd but especially third) demand more attention to rhythm and tone than high notes.

    Good luck, whatever path you take!
  8. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

    Jul 20, 2006
    Heart of Dixie
    I'll give you my story, to the best of my memory. I started playing cornet in 6th grade. By the end of 9th grade, I had a pretty good top space E, but that was it, and was stuck on 3rd part in the school band. The band director told me I'd never be any good as a trumpet player and suggested I switch to a larger brass instrument before high school. My parents said "no", as they had made an investment in an instrument for me and I was sticking to it.

    So, next came high school. In 10th grade, I barely made the concert band cutoff. In 11th, I got to where the top line F and the G above it were pretty secure, but I had no A. My senior year, I was sitting 3rd chair and had a pretty good A, but was in that seat mainly for my technique. I was practicing, and progressing slowly, but there was progress.

    Then, I graduated high school and went to a small university that had no instrumental music program. I knocked around on trumpet for a while, playing in a quintet a bit, but lost interest since there was nowhere to play regularly. About 7 years later, out of school and married, my wife encouraged me to start playing again, and I joined the local concert band.

    Playing in the band was fun, and I started practicing again, and in a couple years, I had a good high C and could play better than I ever had before. A few more years, and I auditioned for the local semi-pro symphony and made it. I think I was about 32 years old at that point. By then, I had a pretty reliable high D, but rarely needed it. Anyway, the point of the story is, I'm not a natural when it comes to playing trumpet. I'll never be a lead player or screamer, but after years of playing, I have a range that is sufficient for most of the playing I want to do. Yeah, I can play an E or F above high C on a good day when I'm fresh. but I can't count on them in a playing situation.

    I guess my junior high band director was right - I will never become a great trumpet player, but I'm good enough to have fun at it, even as I turned 60 last year. I think if you keep at it and can get a little direction from a teacher or a good player, you'll be fine. Maybe trying a larger mouthpiece will help. Some of us just develop slower than others.
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2013
  9. Dupac

    Dupac Fortissimo User

    Aug 19, 2008
    Bordeaux, France.
    I'm probably not the most qualified to give an opinion, but I would still say that I am here with Comeback :
    Try a 7C and/or a 3C for a while … You could be surprised.

    And what I am fully qualified to tell is this :
    Don't quit, you'll regret later !
    :evil:ly yours,
  10. barliman2001

    barliman2001 Fortissimo User

    Jul 5, 2010
    Vienna, Austria, Europe
    No one is hopeless - except a guy with no lips. And even then...
    A friend of mine was lead trumpet with one of the most important European professional swing bands. He overdid things, got lip paralysis and that stopped his playing. A year later, his lips gangrened due to a treatment error. Half his lower lip had to be amputated (the left half).
    Two years later, he had readjusted, retrained and was back playing in his old job... His embouchure looks awful - he now plays with the mpc to the right - but he sounds as ever.

    Learning to play trumpet is not a straight line. There will be rapid success at the beginning; then - somewhere about middle E, as in your case - there will be a time where there is seemingly no progress. But it is there - only beginning players don't yet realize it. They are in the phase of fixing everything down. And as soon as that phase is over it can take some time, and will possibly require a change of TEACHER - you will get further success.
    I'm crossing fingers for you!

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