If you had to start all over again, what advice would you give yourself?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Beachmystic, Dec 29, 2009.

  1. jonterman

    jonterman Pianissimo User

    Jan 4, 2009
    Hi Beachmystic,

    I am 39 and played Bass for 20 years before picking up the trumpet last year - so I have an idea of where you're coming from. I also was not 'classically' trained but took some lessons at the local music store (and had some great teachers) - I never really learned to read music either.

    - I'll follow on with everyone's advice - I found a great teacher inside 2 months - well worth the time and money.

    - I realized early I needed to be patient. When I learned bass, I was able to plug in the headphones and practice all night - not so with the trumpet. I started practicing 15 min a day - I'm now up to 1 1/2 hrs, my chops just couldn't take it!

    - Take it in slowly, there are many components to playing - breath control, lips, endurance, tone...etc. I'm STILL trying to put it all together!

    - I'm going to get slammed here, but after I realized I wanted to continue - I got the best horn I could afford (Aebersold gives similar advice). Initially it didn't matter when I was leaning to blow (and I don't remember which horn you acquired), but after about 2 - 3 months (of daily practice and lessons) my teacher let me try some of his horns, and I realized it was much easier to play - and I was able to produce better tone. Only you will know what horn that would be - and you need to try a bunch of them. Many here will disagree with me, but this was my experience.

    From one newbie to another, have fun!

  2. Mark Bradley

    Mark Bradley Pianissimo User

    Jan 16, 2007
    Kansas City
    Re: If you had to start all over again, what advice would you give yourself?

    Glue on some fake chest hair and play the Pan Flute.

  3. Pekstrom

    Pekstrom New Friend

    Dec 25, 2009
    You made a point of mentioning that you're 42 years old. Why? I started playing the trumpet at 48. I found myself a retired music teacher, and professional trumpet player to teach me the basics, and I am now playing better today than I ever did when I was a teenager. I've found that middle age has brought me a wonderful gift for music - more time to learn and practice. That almost never happened when I was a high school player. You are at the prime of your life for learning a new instrument. Go for it!
  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    lots of easy tunes like from a hymn book at the beginning. The more tunes, the more the rest becomes logical.
  5. optiguytom

    optiguytom Pianissimo User

    Aug 29, 2009
    Chattanooga, TN
    Gee... I hope 55 is not too old to really start! LOL!!
    I think I've found a really good teacher and I have already decided that I want to get serious about being really good and learning all I can. I have had the great fortune to be exposed to some of the best jazz musicians on the planet through small jazz festivals my dad used to throw...some in our home on the Chesapeake Bay. I am a half-assed drummer, but I have so many tunes in my head I feel a need to let them out. Glad to see this thread has reinforced what I am doing is the right approach.
    I have always been able to pick-up just about any kind of instrument and play a tune. This time I want to sound like Louis, Doc, Harry, Wild Bill, Bobby (H.) and Bix, or any combination!
  6. mattc

    mattc Pianissimo User

    Dec 12, 2009
    This probably doesn't apply to this thread, but--

    I'd tell myself that it is really possible to make it at trumpet. It is possible to go pro. Lot's of work, but it was within my reach.

    When I was in high school I was very serious. I played easily 4-6 hours a day. The band director left the door open so I could practice at lunch. I took from an excellent teacher and was doing well. Shortly after he told me that it was coming time to decide if I should really devote myself or accept trumpet as my second calling, he had a heart attack or something of that nature. Took him out for a long while. It had a big effect on me, that the stress of being a musician could take out someone relatively young.

    I also worked with a number of people who were college band musicians. I saw that most of them were heading towards high school band jobs. Don't get me wrong, it is an honorable job. I just think I would have sucked at it.

    The one guy I knew who was really (REALLY) good was struggling to even get noticed in auditions, flying around the country and all.

    The teacher guy made a recovery and is still teaching and playing, now 30 years later. The really good player...well, he made it to principle in a major orchestra.
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2010
  7. equivariant

    equivariant New Friend

    May 25, 2009
    Hi Beach

    I started playing a year ago in a very similar situation to yourself. Self taught guitarist for 20 years (including some jazz stuff, so I had a little bit of music theory) - a friend gave me the loan of a trumpet after I expressed an interest. I got a teacher after a month or so. That helps a lot for sure, although I think I will change teachers soon.

    Also, as someone else mentioned, patience is important and practise the fundamentals every day. I find that the occasional small steps of progress that I make occur after a few weeks of disciplined practise. I guess that everyone is tempted to see how high they can get every now and again. All I will say is do some proper practise first, before you ruin your chops for the day by trying to screech out a few high notes.

    Good luck with the trumpet.

  8. Markie

    Markie Forte User

    Jan 4, 2009
    Clarksburg, WV
    I would get references and find a good teacher.
  9. TrumpetMonk

    TrumpetMonk Pianissimo User

    Jul 22, 2009
    West virginia
    I would say practice way more. Practically leave the horn out. I practice a good bit, but sometimes I just don't get the horn out.

    And get weekly lessons. That'd be nice.
  10. Rushtucky

    Rushtucky Pianissimo User

    Sep 15, 2008
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    As you have heard throughout this thread, first and foremost, get a GOOD instructor. Then, Practice - Practice - Practice!

    Secondly, check into Smart Music. This is an online course that takes you step by step as an online instructor and assists you at your own pace. It has everything you need from "soup to nuts". It takes you from the most elementary level upward. You can access more than 30,000 scores of music. It has a mode for "Home Student Only" and for "Instructor plus Student" where the instructor will assign music and see and grade you during the week. SmartMusic


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