In your opinion (and for comparison's sake)

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Heavens2kadonka, Jun 27, 2004.

  1. Heavens2kadonka

    Heavens2kadonka Forte User

    Jun 17, 2004
    Lebanon, TN
    Where should a trumpet player be at proficiency-wise at certain points in his or her playing career? After eight years what should s/he be capable of? At ten, twelve years?
  2. trumpetpimp

    trumpetpimp Piano User

    Dec 6, 2003
    That depends on a lot of things. There is a difference between someone who started in grade 8, played through high school, and is studying music music at university in his third year and a part time amateur player in his fourties who has a full time dental practice that only practices 2 hours a week and plays in a community band. Both could have been playing for the same amount of time but have different plans for their trumpet playing.

    Also, what do you mean by "what should they be capable of"? Do you mean, if you've been playing for 5 years and can't play the Haydn you should pack it in? Surely this isn't a range thing. Is it? I mean, if you've been playing for 5 years and can't play a top line G you've got to reassess your practice but there are lots of brilliant players that only play up to high Eb and get lots of work.

    I'm about to start my eighth year of playing but have been going through some major changes in musical direction, listening practice, practice routine, breathing exercises, and, ahem, equipment. With any luck I'm going to learn more in the next year than I have in the previous 7 and I'm really excited about that.

    Hope that helped. :-)

    MUSICandCHARACTER Forte User

    Jan 31, 2004
    Newburgh, Indiana
    I think you are measured by how many horns you own and mouthpieces!

    You must own:

    1 new horn
    1 classic horn
    1 C trumpet
    1 piccolo trumpet

    Later you must have

    1 Cornet
    1 Eb/D trumpet
    1 Flugelhorn

    Then when you are REALLY complished you need:

    1 Rotary Valve trumpet (unless you live in Vinenna, then you need one "Jazz" trumpet with pistons).
    1 Bass Trumpet

    You must own at least 10 mouthpieces!

    You must either owned or have tried:

    A GR mouthpiece
    A Monette mouthpiece
    A Jet-Tone mouthpiece
    A Kelly Lexan mouthpiece
    Several Bach mouthpieces
    A Schilke mouthpiece
    A Stork mouthpiece
    A Curry mouthpiece
    A Greg Black mouthpiece
    A at least one mouthpiece that is hard to spell or pronounce.

    Add points for trying or owning:

    A Rudy Muck mouthpiece
    A Parduba mouthpiece
    A FoKus mouthpiece
    A CKB Acousti-Balance
    A Bach Megatone mouthpiece
    A Bob Reeves mouthpiece

    When you have done this you have become an accomplished player.

    IF you have played through the Arban's book, WOW, you really are a player

    Also, you must own

    A least one Maynard Ferguson CD
    A recording of Doc
    A recording of Al Hirt
    A recording of Herb Albert
    A recording of of Bill Chase.

    Now that would be an accomplished player. And if you can play above high C, all the better!

    You also must have at least 200 posts on a trumpet discussion forum!

    :D :shock: :lol:

  4. dbacon

    dbacon Mezzo Piano User

    Oct 24, 2003
    Scottsdale, AZ.

    Thanks Jim!
  5. djm6701

    djm6701 Pianissimo User

    Jim, can I trade points for the 'rotary horn' with having 'too many classic horns?' :lol:
  6. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

    Oct 25, 2003
    Yee HAW!
    Can a Dennis Wick mouthpiece weight be considered an acceptable tone intensifier? :lol:
  7. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    And you can own all of that and still suck.

    I once did an Easter gig with a kid (who will remain nameless to protect the "innocent") who had a bunch of equipment there with him in the way of cases, mouthpieces, custom mouthpieces, special engraving and gold plating on his Strad, mutes and on and on. I think he had either another Bb or C trumpet with him, all for a gig that only required a Bb trumpet. Then, during breakfast that morning, he made a point to tell me about all of this other equipment he owned. This C trumpet and that pic trumpet, this flugelhorn and blah blah blah. His equipment list far outstripped my humble Bach Strad Bb, the only horn that I owned at the time. However, his equipment list also far outstripped his ability to play any of it. He was a college music major at the time too.

    I have always been amazed at how much money people will throw at high end equipment, or if not high-end equipment, just a variety of different horns. I can't say that I'm a "pro" level player, because there are hundreds of guys in the area that I live that could eat me for breakfast as a player thanks to the Baltimore and National Orchestras, the premier military bands and the plethora of gigging opportunities. But let me also say the in spite of that, I have never had a problem either getting or holding a gig since I started to gig freelance outside of being an Army Bandsman, beginning around 1997. In that that time, I have owned one trumpet; a LB Bach Strad and most of that time I played on only two mouthpieces - a lead and and a legit piece. Just two years ago I finally broke down and bought my first flugelhorn, after roughly 20 years behind the horn. It's not even what one would consider a "high-end" horn, just a Kanstul CCF 925 - Custom Class with a copper bell. I seem to be able to "get the job done" without too much of a problem on what many would argue to be very humble equipment.

    But, back to the original question of "where should you be", I would say that after 8 years, depending of course on your personal expectations and whether or not you want to be able to gig:
    You should be able to play comfortably and realiably from low F# to High C.
    You should have a solid, supported sound.
    You should be able to use double tonguing and tripple tonguing in music.
    You should be able to perform music after a short turn-around time from getting the music to performance (none of this taking 4 months to prepare concert music)
    You should be able to play "real" music - music that was written for the sake of music, rather than for something to help a high school band grow. Things that immediately come to mind are "wedding" tunes like The Clarke Trumpet Voluntary and Trumpet Tune. Vivaldi, concerto for two trumpets in C major, Mendelssohn's wedding march (Used in many weddings as a recessional)
    Of course, all of this is going to require that you are technically able to play certain things on the horn.
    You should be able to play comfortably in keys ranging from 4 flats to 4 sharps.

    That should get you started. That's where I was after 8 years of playing, starting from scratch in the 5th grade. Looking back on it, there were MANY things that I could have done to have been even further as a player, but that was far enough to get me going on a career and lifestyle path that has brought me forward to the present, and I gig all the time. I'm certainly not at the pinnacle, but I do think that I have enjoyed a fair amount of success with music and playing my horn.

    Just keep in mind to always try to learn and grow as a musician. Even if your chops aren't what they used to be, it is my opinion that you NEVER stop growing as a musician.
  8. Heavens2kadonka

    Heavens2kadonka Forte User

    Jun 17, 2004
    Lebanon, TN
    Hmm. I have been playing for what will be my ninth year in about a month (started in fifth grade), and I have looked back and realized that I could have done so much better, I guess.
    Of course, I had no plans on continuing my music until a couple of months ago (figured I was going to be either a car salesman or lumberjack..), so I guess I SHOULD say I have really been playing trumpet for about five months :D ?
    Since I've started really practicing and getting some books and started obsessing about trumpets way out of my price range (heh), my range has improved to a max Eb with comfort zone ending at a Bb, a heck of an improvement from max C with comfort zone at F/G!
    I have been thinking of wild things to do with my musical career, and thought of studying abroad, going north and playing in a polka band (Anyone watched "Big Joe Polka" on RFDTV?), and hell, maybe going to Julliard or Northwestern for graduate studies!
    Maybe I should have asked "What should I start working on to get to these levels I have set in my mind?"
  9. Heavens2kadonka

    Heavens2kadonka Forte User

    Jun 17, 2004
    Lebanon, TN
    Trickg, you gave me more of the answer what I had expected. Of course,
    I forget everyone doesn't think like me (my flaw of flaws).

    I can do most of what you said I should be able to do, although my double tonguing leaves a bit to be desired.

    I have played in several gigs, although they weren't exactly high-paying (SOME BASTARD PAYED MY QUINTET IN A $10 PIZZA FOR AN HOUR OF PLAYING, AND IT WASN'T CRACKERJACK MICKEY MOUSE POOP, EITHER! So remember, NEVER let french horn players negotiate payments..).
    I have played taps at the opening of a shooting gallery (I hate my town.), a wedding (played the Imperial March at the recessional, haha), twice at easter mass services at a United Methodist church, played at an African-American church (One of the coolest experiences of my life, the preacher had gold teeth), played a "Ring of Fire" duet with the high school chorus (I HATE MY TOWN), and hell, we even loaded up in a white astro van and drove around Carthage, stopping in front of random people on the street and playing "Just a Closer Walk With Thee" (Scared an old lady in her house, it was great!).

    Maybe the last one wasn't a gig per se, but it was a great experience nonetheless....

    MUSICandCHARACTER Forte User

    Jan 31, 2004
    Newburgh, Indiana
    Ummm ... that was the point .... I think. Humor is SO hard when you cannot see that I am wearing a bowite (or maybe an iBowTie) and tennis shoes!


    And NO, two classic horns does not count toward your accomplishment! You must sell one and buy one from the list below:

    Wild Thing
    Conn V1
    Jupiter XO
    Holton Firebird

    Others will be considered.


    To be really great player, you have to order a new horn and have it delivered via Purolator and find it like Ed did. Now he is a PLAYER!

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