How good were you

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by trmpt_plyr, Jul 16, 2009.

  1. rbdeli

    rbdeli Mezzo Piano User

    May 8, 2009
    Oh, at 16 years of age, I thought I was amazing. I had fast, furious technique. High Range that made all my section mates jealous. When I got to college, it was an eye-opening experience. That's when I realized I couldn't read music worth a darn. I had a horrible time counting and reading complex rhythmic patterns. ..and if someone asked me to play something, I never knew what to play: Arbans exercises? Super fast Clark? Claude Gordon high note routines?

    The lesson is that we sound how we practice. If we spend all our time practicing exercises instead of music, we will be great at everything but music. My trumpet teacher thought I was terrific, but he assumed too much that I could just be a musician just because I practiced all the technique.

    I'm not a trumpet teacher, but I would love to give lessons to kids your age. I feel that I have lots to offer from my own experience. 16 years old seems like yesterday to me. I'm 48 now. Play music and make it sound beautiful whatever it is that you're playing.

    Best of luck, and just remember - be a musician, first and foremost.

  2. B15M

    B15M Forte User

    Dec 30, 2003
    Monroe Ct.
    Hi Lou,

    I think as we get older things change. I'm 50 and I have to practice physical things way more to make them happen. Things like range and double tonguing. My eye sight isn't what it used to be.

    on the other hand:

    I now play more musically. I guess it's kind of a trade off.
    You loose a little and gain something else.
    I try to do the best I can with what I have.
    With age and wisdom, you get respect from the younger players.

    All the best,
  3. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

    Jul 20, 2006
    Heart of Dixie
    Yea, right...ROFL
  4. bilboinsa

    bilboinsa Piano User

    Jan 24, 2006
    San Antonio, TX
    16? Tone--weak. Tonguing--weak. Double-tonguing--double-weak. Solo & Ensemble competitions usually garnered II's vs. I's that my buddies got. I am sure it was because of my tone, bc frankly, my mental edge and fingering was pretty good.

    Otherwise, Shari played cornet, Chris, Courtney, Kathy played sax, Debbie played horn, Ann, Jody, Janet and Cindy played flute, Rosie played clarinet, Deana played Oboe, Susan played bass clarinet, etc....
  5. oldlou

    oldlou Forte User

    Aug 28, 2005
    Grand Rapids, Mi.
    On that "melodic" front, the majority of my 2 1/2 hour daily private practice is from one of my hymnals, some played as written and some, transposed into concert pitch. The hymns that I transpose into concert pitch are those that are printed in sharps, thus making my elderly mind work harder. Gentlemen, I sincerely do try to make things as difficult as possible, just to stave off Alzheimers and Dementia. At my advanced age I work hard to remain worthy of my position of principal trumpet in one community concert band and utility trumpet in another.

    My original question is still for anyone that is nearly my age that still plays at a respectable level, and how those 'oldsters' go about maintaining that sharp edge. I am desperate to find out how to go about it, as I am MOST FEARFUL of soon losing it.

  6. Bear

    Bear Forte User

    Apr 30, 2004
    I played in a community band before I moved to where I currently am. I was the youngest of the lot by 50 years. I called up Roger (one in teh trumpet section that I've gotten to know, mowed his lawn a few times, etc) and asked him your question. H's by no means Bud, the Boss, or a worldclass soloist, but he has decent chops and was great in his younger years. He says exactly what Robin said. After his warmup, he'll take studies (like Arbans, Clarke, Schlossberg, even Charlier, etc) and practice them painsakingly slow (quarter = 50 bpm) and in different keys, to make sure everything is still in sync and to give his mind a workout. Then he'll pull out some music he's played for years (Concerto for Cootie, Buglers Holiday, etc) and play through it and see if anything sounds like it needs fixing. After that, he sightreads something everyday! All this takes about an hour and a half he said and ussually by the end he's pooped, but he believes it helps him stay young in the mind. As a sidenote, he said to mention that he also plays chess (and is good, kicked my butt), cards, soduku, etc. "Anything you have a hard time doing mentally... not being insane Tim, quit you get older you ought to do it... like math! Now go mow my yard and while yur at it, wash the truck!!"

    Hope that makes sense and helps. He's not so much physically active as he is a mental machine, always reading, etc.
  7. hornblatt

    hornblatt Pianissimo User

    Jul 30, 2005
    DC area
    I was 16 not that long ago. That was the first year I went to the Chosen Vale international trumpet seminar. I impressed people there enough that I gained a teacher (our own Ed Carroll) and a lot of friends. If there's anything I learned that first year though, it was that age means nothing. I'd won the ITG youth competition when I was 14, been in numerous other competitions/festivals, attended the Juilliard Pre-college for a year, and went to an arts school. I was the youngest one on the course. In the end, than meant nothing. I was treated just the same as the college students, grad students, and the professionals. If people thought of me differently they didn't say much about it. It was an incredible experiance. I've been back twice since and I'm still amazed at how many talented people there are out there. It gives me a goal to drive toward. I know I'll do just fine in school next year because of it.

    The point of all of this is to tell you that it doesn't matter how old you are, people will always be better. You're not going to get a sympathy gig just because you're a kid. So stop worrying about how good other people were at your age and start working toward how much closer you want to be to your own goals next year and the year after that.

    I'm 18 now and I know that I'll only ever have more to learn. I can't wait.
  8. NickD

    NickD Forte User

    First, I would say, NEVER compare yourself to others. We're ALL different and we ALL learn in different ways and at different rates in our on unique way.


    I could play with showy legit technique like a maniac at 16! I had pretty much mastered double and triple tonguing and was memorizing Mendez solos by ear.

    I could NOT play a LICK of jazz and didn't really discover it until I was a freshman in college!

    I could not HIT and HOLD a high C for more than one or two beats. I'm not kidding. I could barely hit a high C. Beyond it was totally out of the question for me. I didn't BEGIN learning to master the range of the horn till my sophomore year in college when I discovered Bill Chase and Maynard Ferguson.

    Virtually all of my jazz/commercial/lead development didn't even begin until I was in my twenties. Now, as to WHY I was such a late bloomer... Well, that's a whole separate story - and kinda long! We can skip that for now.

    So from about age 20 to 27 I was in an intense self-directed training mode firmly embedded in the school of very hard knocks. I managed to get on Maynard's band when I was 27, and I've been studying and learning steadily ever since. I can play 1000's of times better now than I EVER could while on the road. BTW, I was on the road with MF in 1981. You can do the math.

    FWIIW coming from me...

  9. unkleschilke

    unkleschilke New Friend

    Jul 14, 2009
    At 16 I had my 'sound.':play:

    Not MF, not Wynton, not the guy next to me, but me.

    That was the coolest. Took me right thru college, always first or second chair along the way.

    Then I graduated (not a music major), had a family, garnered some responsibility, gradually replaced the trumpet with poopy diapers, family vacations, midnight runs to Wal-Mart for baby fomula, or running a back shift on the steam turbine re-fits...

    Going back once a year for alumni band just couldn't coax the 'sound,' anymore. Oh, I still could play. Range, endurance.. But... something just isn't the same.

    I've been trying to get it back for a while now. Call it nostalgia, or reliving old times... Trying this and that. Have different hardware now than then, but ya know, it's about environment, attitude, ability, etc...

    It's literally not the same time or place anymore, so why should my sound be the same?

    I just wish I didn't sound so 'same.' I missed my uniqueness.

    Wow, what a depressing post. Sorry guys, hopw I didn't bring your down..:duh:
  10. ComeBackKid

    ComeBackKid Fortissimo User

    May 11, 2009
    Yorba Linda, CA
    Very interesting 'stream of consciousness' monologue. I'm not a counselor so I won't try to analyze it but I think it is useful for all of the young people reading to realize that every stage of playing - whether 16 or 66 - is only temporary. Things will change. Life will happen. So just work hard when you have the chance - maybe something great will happen, maybe not. But, later on you will have the character that was built when you set a goal, worked towards it, encouraged others along the way and then accepted with grace the outcome. There are no guarantees - only opportunities.

Share This Page