How/why did you start playing trumpet?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by [email protected], Jan 23, 2009.

  1. ca5tr0

    ca5tr0 New Friend

    Feb 28, 2010
    I started in 5th grade. My dad wanted me to learn to play something and he told me that he liked the trumpet and that I should give it a try. My first lesson I picked up my Instuctor's cornet and automaticly had a good tone, for a beginner. I kept with it and even though I hated practicing beacause pokemon was better than practicing, haha, I continued through middle school. My 9th grade year was a good year for me. In my 11th grade year, last year, I truly fell in love with playing. I enjoy anything having to do with it. I am a senior in high school now and I am going to continue through college and after college. My first horn was a 700 dollar E.M. Winston Bostn Bb trumpet. I played on that horn till 10th grade. I then got a Bach strad. s 37. Then, I hit a huge growth spurt my 11th grade year and in the fall of my senior year I purchased my amazing Schilke X3. My first horn was lost. I let a freshman barrow it because his horn was in the shop and he left it on his bus. The horn was not a pretty sight, but it was the memories that made it special. I will never forget that horn.
  2. Gliss Girl

    Gliss Girl Pianissimo User

    Aug 31, 2009
    Portland, MI
    I had started my comeback in 2008 after 25 years on the French Horn, and had been at it for about 8 months. Then, the only trumpeter in our tiny little Orchestral group got high blood pressure, and his doctor told him he had to quit playing trumpet. Since I was the second Horn in the group, I decided on a whim one day in April, 2008 to replace the trumpeter myself, and rented a Yamaha student horn. I practiced half-seriously at it for about 8 months, then I joined the Community Band where I now play. A Maynard Ferguson alumni plays in that group. He takes his example from the Boss, who was his inspiration, and seriously likes to help those who want to improve their playing. I first asked for his advice a year ago, and since then he's mentored me. Now, on my second anniversary since I first started, I practice almost a couple of hours a day, have expanded the music I listen to to encompass more Jazz and Big Band (Ferguson, Chase, Don Ellis, Nucleus, Benny Goodman, Doc Severinsen, Bryan Setzer Orchestra and more) and know more about the trumpet than I ever learned about the French Horn in all of those years of playing that instrument. Since that first Yamaha, I upgraded to a rent-to-own Bach 300 Intermediate horn in June '09. Last month, I traded-in the Bach and bought the professional Bb that should last me a lifetime, a Calicchio 1s/2. I'll soon start formal lessons with my mentor - and see where I'll go from there. The trumpet is way more fun than the French Horn ever was...Maybe I'll get a flugel next, to play whenever I yearn for that mellow sound again.
  3. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    Gliss Girl: For that near to French horn mellow sound, I like the mellophone in F. The one my late brother provided me is a Yammie in marching trumpet configuration and I play it with a Larry Kerchner IYM mpc ... that is ... I'll resume playing it when I get my full upper denture about July 2010. I just wish Yamaha made a Silent Brass mute for it.
  4. Dark Knight

    Dark Knight Pianissimo User

    Apr 7, 2010
    How and why is a convergence of several factors and after reading the posts I am glad to know that my story is "not" unique. First, as a child I went to a grade school (Grace Lutheran, River Forest, IL) where the band was THE thing to do. We routinely lost our basketball games 63 to 6 but won gold in state band competitions. So, I wanted to be where that action was. We could routinely get out of class just to practice if an ensemble leader knocked on the door and said it was time to practice. And, it was serious practice. (Yes, this was only grade school)

    When I entered the grade where the option was given to join the junior band, we literally walked in to a gym with all the instruments displayed on a series of long tables. You went and "just picked on" and arrangements were made to get you a school loaner. I was in fourth grade and literally too young to be inspired by anyone, just totally clueless. I chose the trumpet for one and only reason: my last name is "Gabriel" and it seemed a logical thing too. All my childhood I heard about Gabriel blowing his horn.

    For the first year, I learned to play completely devoid of any "named" inspiration. Then, I came across and barrowed an album from our local library: "Horn meets the Hornet". I was blown away by Al Hirt and fell in love with the trumpet. I was forever changed. I wanted to "be" Al Hirt. If I could have grown a beard in the fifth grade, I would have. I was also quite chubby back then, and for the first time in my life, I felt like it was OK because I was going to be a trumpet player just like Al Hirt. During that time, I also saw three movies that fed the passion even more: "Young man with a Horn", "The Five Pennies" and "Bell, Book, and Candle" that featured the Candoli brothers.

    Great thread, thanks!

  5. PakWaan

    PakWaan Piano User

    Apr 4, 2010
    Orlando, FL
    Started in 3rd grade when I was 9. Our county had a stage band which was made up of students from 5th-8th grades at all the county schools, playing the "big band" standards. I saw them play and knew I had to be a part of it. I wanted to play the drums, but was disappointed when I learned I had to start with only a snare drum rather than the drum set... so I took up the trumpet.

    After 2 years of lessons and practicing every waking hour when I wasn't in school, I was granted a try-out and made the band. I was the youngest one in the band at 11, playing 3rd trumpet, eventually working up to 2nd.

    By this time, the band had expanded to include high school students and even a couple college players from a local college. We were written up in the New York Times, had a guest appearance on the TV show "To Tell The Truth", and played at events all over the state. We even made two trips to Washington where we played for Congress and at the White House.

    Sadly, a couple years later my family moved to the Boston area. The music program there was nowhere near as challenging, and I found myself playing lead in the orchestra and jazz band with players who were much less advanced. Although I played all through high school and the first couple years of college, the magic just wasn't there and I dropped the horn and took up the guitar.

    Now, 25 years later, I find myself picking the horn back up for my own enjoyment. My chops are slowly coming back, and I now find my interests less along the lines of screaming out the lead parts of "Gonna Fly Now" and more in tune with the darker, more emotional playing of Miles Davis' fusion era, Wynton's jazz ramblings, Roy Hargrove and Chris Botti. While my range is returning, I'm emphasizing tone and subtlety and am, so far, very much enjoying my "old friend" again.
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2010
  6. PWCom

    PWCom New Friend

    Mar 6, 2010
    I played trombone since the 5th grade. While I was in general a fairly pathetic player until my freshman year, I can become very motivated. Something in me told me to become better, better, better, continuing on to this day. After practicing sometimes 3-4 hours a day or even more, I learned to love the music I was playing, be it jazz, classical, rock, or Zelda.

    But something was not right. At times, I had music in my head, and I could not recreate that music. It was too high, too shrill, too fast, and I knew I was betraying my instrument of choice, but that music was the music of a trumpet. So I decided that I should every vehicle through which I could learn music. Suddenly, I had a guitar, 2 new trumpets, and was learning piano. But my 1962 Ambassador was what propelled me. It had been played before by a person who had gone to my high school, but quit the trumpet his sophmore year. Laying in his closet for over 40 years, it was as good as new, and it seems that it had ambitions of its own. You see, at the time I was a Junior in high school. The horn, waiting for 40 years, was about to finish its high school career, and finally continue its life.

    And so, I became a multi-instrumentalist. When I need a sound, I don't need to recreate on any of my instruments, because I know the one that wants to play it. That doesn't mean that they can't adapt, but each has a personality entirely its own. My trombone loves the soft, legato sounds, but also finds life whenever any great emotion wants to be played, whether it be anger, or sadness. My first trumpet also loves legato, but wants to be majestic, soaring over the heads all everyone. My Olds just wants to play, whether its the boppiest bop or the smoothest classical. Even my french horn, piano, guitar, and baritone (though I only play the french horn and baritone, not own them) all have lives of there own.

    So, to summarize: I learned to play trumpet because that was the music that kept me awake at night. Fanfares and Dizzy and Ferguson and more simply begged for me to learn how to play. And so, I did.
  7. guyclark

    guyclark Piano User

    Feb 28, 2008
    Los Gatos, CA
    Hi, Guys!

    I started summer of third grade. I'd been studying piano since I was five years old, and loved music. My parents encouraged me to pick a band instrument so that I could socialize (being an introverted little nerd at the time) with my peers. My dad already owned his late dad's cornet, and a trombone. I tried both and found that I had an affinity for the cornet.

    My dad started me with scales and simple tunes, and my piano teacher took over for a few months until the Jr. High band director took me on as a student. This way I was able to skip beginning band all together, and start out in intermediate band.

    I quickly outgrew the band director's teaching ability and started with Yvonne Harmon, the wife of "Doc" H.D. Harmon of Northeastern Illinois University's music department. She was able to help me advance very rapidly, and went on to being the big fish in a little pond. I continued with her through High School, and joined two youth orchestras along the way.

    At the end of HS, I took lessons with Charles Geyer at his home in Northfield, IL (at the time). I then "took lessons" every time I played with more experienced players in the various adult community orchestras I joined, a practice that I continue to this day.

    The "why" is simple: I love listening to music, but I love making it more!

    Best of all, I'm a much more socially adept introverted big nerd now!! Trumpet was a great way for me to meet girls! I eventually married my brass band stand partner!

    Guy Clark
  8. JazzyTrumpetplayer

    JazzyTrumpetplayer New Friend

    Mar 24, 2010
    My mom wanted me to join band and well, I did. She played the trombone, But she had wanted to play the trumpet, but she couldn't cause of her one tooth being in the way. So I decided I should be a trumpet player. Now I absolutely love playing the trumpet. Before playing the trumpet I confused on life and didn't know what I wanted to be when I grew up like every other 4th/5th grader. Now I know exactly what I want to be an Band Director or Professional Trumpet Player. My inspiration was my band directors and well my mother. My Top 3 Biggest Inspirations now are Allen Vizzutti, Mr. Baird (Dave Baird) and any other band directors, And My mom!

    I started out on a Yamaha Advantage. Amazing horn, still plays on it, wanting to get another instrument sometime.
  9. photosnapper

    photosnapper New Friend

    Jun 26, 2010
    My grandfather, who used to be a soprano cornet player, dragged me along to a local brass band at the tender age of 12 and said 'I want my grandson to learn to play the cornet' It was the best thing that ever happened to me because I took to it like a duck to water, even though in the early years I used to call the cows for milking on our farm, as I could imitate the cry of a new-born calf involuntarily. I'm still playing cornet,trumpet,flugel and tenor horn in various different groups at the age of 72
  10. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    The first horn I picked up was a school Eb mellophone, my oldest brother had brought home. Then my Father was teaching in the local high school and our family was close friends with the Band Director and his wife who were frequent guests for dinner. The Band Director was also the instrumental music instructor in all the elementary schools.

    I'd already learned to sight read music for vocal parts in the church childrens choir, and I studied the beginning book my brother had with the mellophone. One day, while the Band Director was present, and my brother wasn't I pulled out the mellophone and played My Country Tis of Thee. I was then in 2nd grade and I won't say my performance was then anyway near concert quality. This came to an abrupt end when my older brother switched to a baritone and it was years later, when I was in 5th that I took $35 from my paper route and bought a Pitt-American (stencil of Volkweins in Pittsburgh PA) silverplated trumpet from a neighbor on my paper route. The Band Director heard me practicing and not only began tutoring me when he visited, but enrolled me in the school program. Long story shortened, I was then playing in the high school band when I was only in 8th grade, and in the those remaining 5 years learned to play about all the brass instruments in the band, the last two years primarily on my brand new Martin. Both trumpets, were "appropriated" while I was in USAF by my first wife and other than a few "stands" on a special services instrument, I didn't begin playing again until 2006 when I acquired a cornet, trumpet, mellophone in F, trombone, and euphonium and was lent a tuba (it was subsequently given me) as came to an abrupt end in July 2008 due to major dental issues, as subsequently this year became more devastating with heart surgery. Will I play again, God only knows but I Pray that I will. I did sell the tuba recently as I have no aspiration to play in a symphony or marching band. I do want to say that shortly before he died, my late next older brother provided me the Schilke P5-4 picc.

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