I don't mean to....

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Bear, Jan 31, 2005.

  1. Bear

    Bear Forte User

    Apr 30, 2004
    I don't mean to be controversial but something has been weighing on my chest and I thought I might get some of y'all's opinions...

    Maybe I was raised under some weird system but it is my belief that in order to become a sucessful musician (read MUSICIAN, not trpt player) one must wear different hats.. I always see these wars going on in high schools and colleges of classical vs jazz and who is better, blah, blah blah.
    The way I see it is that you MUST be great at both "styles" in order to "make it". I understand different people have different levels of "making it".

    I just don't see how a jazzer can never feel the power of a 60+ member orchestra and the vibrant tone colors that the ensemble can create and the majesty of a trumpet raising above the orchestra... so beautiful... I think it is essential for jazzers to expierence this. To be able to play music metrically and precisely in time with multiple others... etc.

    On the other hand: I fail to see how the orch/wind/symphonic/concert player can not relish in the screamin lead lines of a big band or the intimate passion of a combo. I cannot fathom why classical players do not wish to learn how to color their sound or all the lil nuances/embellishments/etc that arise in jazz. I think it would be an asset to know how to play "out of time" or know how to improv and let your soul be heard... etc...

    There are so many things I can go on and talk about but I think y'all understand what I'm gettin' at. I understand that some people just do not have an affinity for certain types of music and that it totally kewl with me... I dunno folxs, I'm sry. This is kinda long. It all started by me teaching a kid (13) who made several cuts for (state level) auditions (both jazz and legit) and then his high school director told him to pick either one or the other. I thought it was unfair to him and the Art...

    I would rather have a good all around trumpet player who is versatile than one who is spectacular but can only play one type of music. For to my, it is all about the music and there is more than one type of music. Many pro Jazzers I kow can sight read and lay down a lick in classical reperotoire better than the cats who've been playing it for a few yrs. Granted their tone is not all that great comparitivly. Then on the flip side, I've seen classical gurus with technique up the butt lay down lead sheets and heads better than the jazzers... Grrr... I'm rambling again. I quit. To each their own.
  2. wiseone2

    wiseone2 Artitst in Residence Staff Member

    Nov 19, 2003
    To be a pro today you must do it all.
    "The Skies of America" is a work by Ornette Coleman for Symphony.
    It's first note is a pianissimo high G and it goes on from there. Roger Ingram has recorded Stravinsky with Dick Stoltzman. Roger was a member of the Woody Herman band on that occasion.
    John Adams asks his trumpet sections to be big band strong.
    It is a different world today. Mark Gould has a group that uses rappers.
    On a Brooklyn Philharmonic concert we segued from a Virgil Thompson piece that ended on high Gs to La Mer.
    Today players, jazz and classical, are asked to do things unheard of thirty years ago.

  3. miles71

    miles71 Mezzo Piano User

    Nov 8, 2004
    I grew up under the impression you played trumpet, thats it. That ment whatever you had to do, whatever style or gig, you did. Guys like Wynton, Doc, Dimartino, and Vizzutti are good examples. If you wanna eat, you cant turn down a gig.

    In my graduate study I noticed the "specific" players, guys doing just jazz or just legit. I can understand having a specialty, but wish they would have been required to play in different ensembles. I was a band director and would never have told a student to pick a style and not practice the others. Owell, enough ranting.

    I agree, we should all just be trumpet players.
  4. jpkaminga

    jpkaminga Pianissimo User

    Jul 1, 2004
    I definitely agree with what is being said here, musicians should cross any boundaries they can,

    I also think that if you play a melodic instrument then you should have a percussion instrument to mess around with on the side so that you can work with rhythms too, and vice versa for percussionists, pianists seem to have the best of both worlds and they always seem to be really versatile when it comes to styles too
  5. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    I also agree that you need to be able to play whatever style is required. I think you have to in order to be a well rounded musician. I also like the idea of learning percussion/drums. I have been playing drums regularly for a little under a year and a half. I started off playing in a contemporary church worship band doing straight ahead rock. Lately, I have been working to fill in some of the gaps that I have as a drummer by working on different feels and grooves from swing, to rock to shuffles.

    What a bummer that would be if you were in a band and someone wanted to do a particular tune in X style, only to be told by one or more members that they don't play that style.
  6. Bear

    Bear Forte User

    Apr 30, 2004
    Thank the Lord I am not alone!! Thank you TM people! I feel a lot better now.

    You know Trickg, you raise an interesting point. I've been practicing some drum rudimentals and noticed it helped with time. I've done the same with a few clarinet/sax doublings and found over time it helped my three trumpet fingers. I've played with baritone and noticed it opened my trumpet sound... Prety neat stuff.
  7. Heavens2kadonka

    Heavens2kadonka Forte User

    Jun 17, 2004
    Lebanon, TN
    I personally am starting to think all music majors should have to take four years of applied voice, piano, AND percussion. They all help with tone, intonation, rythm, and just musicality in general. I'm thinking of taking up piano as a minor now...

    I just wish I had a nicer singing voice, lol.

  8. bandman

    bandman Forte User

    Oct 16, 2004
    Lafayette, LA, USA
    Not sure about 4-years, but I think that all 3 would help with prolonged study. I sang in a choir for years and noticed that my general musicianhship improved more during that time than at any other. My boys in band also like to sing with the choir, and I love it because I find it makes a huge difference in how they play -- and they help the choir sightread because in general band students read much better than vocal students.
  9. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

    Oct 25, 2003
    Yee HAW!
    :thumbsup: Two thumbs up for that suggestion as well. I've seen it in my own family: my daughter started off in 2nd grade with out-of-school piano lessons... 5 years of them. When she got into jr high school she took up French Horn and choir. At the same time she was in a handbell choir (talk about having to count!!). Three consecutive years in Provincial High School honors band. When she got to University there really wasn't much that she wasn't prepared for. Within 3 months of graduation she was teaching music at a conservatory (and represented our province at the National Music Competition two years ago). She can "one-shot" sight read a dang lot faster (and better) than I can "read" with a month of preparation (which has proven very handy when she gets last minute "calls").

    You can't have too much experience, in my opinion.
  10. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    I have always strived to be as well rounded a musician as possible and that includes both vocal and instrumental. Not only do I believe that you should strive to at least try other instruments, but I also think it is a good thing to strive to round yourself out in various styles.

    I have been very fortunate over the years to have had a lot of exposure to different styles and instruments without having to go out of my way to do it. I have always had an interest in drums with the added plus that I have always been able to pick things up fairly quickly, and while I was in high school, I was as good as if not better than any of the other "drummers" in the band. I use that term loosely because the sad truth is I never had a band director that had the capability to play or teach real drumming techniques. Then, while I was in the Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps, I hung out with the snare drummers and learned how to play rudimental snare - a real plus in my opinion because I believe that playing rudiments is becoming a lost art for the most part unless you are fortunate enough to come from a corps-style marching background.

    As a drummer, I cut my teeth playing rudimental snare for a small Fife and Drum Corps out of Baltimore and I have spent the last year and a half defining my kit skills, and trying to refine them to where I can jump in and out of various grooves of differing styles. I also play some auxiliary percussion when gigging out with the Rock Band (Tambourine, cowbell, congas, shakers, etc)

    On trumpet, my first three years as an Army Bandsman had me partaking in the Concert Band, the Big Band, the brass quintet, and I also did a lot of liturgical trumpet playing in that time frame.

    Since then I have gigged Big Band, Latin Band and Rock Band - each for 2+ years.

    As a vocalist, I had the extreme good fortune to have 5 years (8-12) of instruction from Mr. Stamer - currently Doctor Richard Stamer of the University of Texas, Arlington. (He's the guy who teaches teachers how to teach!) In those 5 years, I did show choir, musicals, Madrigal Choir, and small vocal ensembles, most of which was done acapella, singing parts from Tenor 1 to Bass. (note: It's one thing to "do" it, but in four years of high school, our vocal ensembles won every award at contests- literally, we NEVER lost and we were considered one of the best HS vocal departments in the state of Nebraska regardless of school size.) Since that time I have sung bass for a barbershop quartet, sung with church ensembles - both contemporary and traditional, and I currently sing backups and an occasional lead with a party band.

    Oh yeah, I also tickle the ivories a bit, but I have very little formal training there.

    I'm not posting my resume here to try to impress anyone, but rather to show that as a musician, I have always tried to welcome a new opportunity as an opportunity to further my horizons as a musician.

    The one drawback to all of this is that while I can do a lot of things, it seems like I'm not particularly good at any one of them, even though I'm acceptable at all of them. One of my favorite quotes, and one that I think describes me quite nicely is this:

    "A jack of all trades is nothing more than a blunderer with versitility."

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