In your opinion (and for comparison's sake)

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

  1. W Scott

    W Scott Piano User

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    Well, I ordered a restored vintage horn that arrived, via the US Post Office, with a bent lead pipe. :( Do I qualify for status as 'good'?

    After reading the responses, I guess there might be some hope for me. After 6 years on the comeback trail I can do most of what TrickG outlined. I even hit 'D' above double 'C' the other night---using my daughters King 603 cornet because my baby is in the shop for valve work.

    So Jim, does a classic horn restored to better than new condition count for two horns? Isn't a Constellation 38B at least as good as a Conn V1? :p

    Bill
     
  2. MUSICandCHARACTER

    MUSICandCHARACTER Forte User

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    That qualifies for at least "good."

    No way. I don't care that even Maynard played a Constellation. That is blasphemy to the idea of owning a modern horn. You must now buy a MONETTE to ever become great! :wink:

    Jim
     
  3. JackD

    JackD Mezzo Forte User

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    A kid turned up to a bigband I play in the other day, and he can't have been older than 13, but he had a big shiny horn (looked like a Bach that had had amados added to it, and about £300 worth of gold trim) and one of those HUGE block mouthpieces.

    I thought 'Wow, I bet that kid must have some chops in order to have all that stuff at his age!' - needless to say, I was wrong :D
     
  4. dizforprez

    dizforprez Forte User

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    Nov 2, 2003
    There are a few ways to get the info you need:

    Talk to colleges and see what the entry requirements are for a trumpet performance majors at the undergrad, masters, and DMA level.

    Also read the bios of famous trumpet players that you like and see where they were at during certain points of their career.

    Just remember that you are always learning, so even if you aren’t where you think you should be remember that you are always making progress.
     
  5. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    Jim, I knew you were joking, still, I wanted to illustrate the point that money can't buy talent or chops - talent you either have or don't, to varying degrees of course, and for the most part, you have to work hard for your chops. Yet it seems that so many people are looking for that magic bullet, that golden ticket that they think is going to be the answer to their playing woes. "My sound and range will be so much better on this (*insert horn or mouthpiece here*)"

    While I agree that bad equipment can hinder and quality equipment can vastly improve some things, the times I can look back and see major breakthroughs in my technical abilities or sound had nothing at all to do with the equipment I was playing, but had everything to do with my spending A LOT more time in the woodshed. Once you hit a certain level of playing and you start focusing on one type of music, then it might be time to start to look into specializing your equipment for the job at hand, but for a High School Senior or Freshman or Sophomore in college, it's my opinion that you should be playing most everything on the same setup. Maybe a lead mouthpiece if you are playing lead in the big band, but otherwise, the best thing that you can do for you playing, in my humble opinion, is to stay on the same setup and get consistent using that.

    Heavens2kadonka, it sounds like you are well on your way to being a "gigging Joe". My list is by no means THE list of things that you "need" to be able to do after 8 years of playing, but I think that it's a good place to start - a measuring stick, if you will.

    One of the best things that happened to me as a trumpet player came in the form of my K-6 grade music teacher, J. Gordon Christensen. Mr. C, as he is known by most everyone, as well as being an elementary music teacher beloved by all in my hometown for over 35 years, is also an accomplished classical pianist and organist, and is the organist and music director at Zion Lutheran Church in Imperial, Nebraska. (He has literally known me my entire life. He remembers the day that my oldest sister Kristeen came to school and told him that she had a new baby brother.) Incidentally, Zion probably has THE biggest pipe organ between Denver and Lincoln in that swath of prairie.

    Anyway, when I was 17 and a Junior in high school J. Gordon, as well as working with me as an accompanist for my contests solos, started asking me to play classical and baroque trumpet music at the church on Sundays. I remember being somewhat frustrated and and annoyed with him on a couple of occasions when he would pick out something for me to play in the middle of the week and want me to have it ready by Sunday. At the time, that was in direct opposition to the high school mentality of taking months to prepare music for performance. Instead of months, or even weeks, he gave me mere days!

    But, time and again, I would crunch through, practicing my butt off to pull it off. What I didn't realize at the time was that this is the way it often is in the "real world" of being a musician and he did more for preparing me for that reality than anyone else ever did. I owe a lot to that man. A strong friendship developed out of those experiences my Junior and Senior years of high school and to this day, he is my mentor and my closest friend. Because of that experience, whenever I see a post where someone is asking about how to get into performing, I always suggest finding a church with a decent organ and organist where you can play special music, or even just play descants to hymns.

    It has long been my opinion that one of the best teachers you can have is experience, that no matter how much time you spend in the practice room and no matter how good you are there, laying it out for a performance is where the rubber really meets the road.

    Just keep practicing and at this point, take every gig opportunity that you can, even if you are playing for $10 worth of free pizza. There may come a day where you are turning down gig opportunities, when you don't have the time or inclination to play everthing that comes your way, but until that day comes, lay it out there as much as you can because the stress and pressure of performance can be the catylist that takes you higher.
     
  6. Heavens2kadonka

    Heavens2kadonka Forte User

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    Dizforprez,
    I looked at the "audition repertoire for a B.M. at MTSU in Mufreesboro, TN" , so here goes:

    Abran: Fantasie Brilliante
    Balay: Petite Piece Concertante
    Barat: Andante and Scherzo
    Clarke: any cornet solo (BRIDE OF THE WAVES, Mwahaha!!)
    Corelli: any sonata
    Goedicke: Concert Etude
    Handel: Aria Con Variazioni
    Haydn: Concerto, 1 movement
    Kennan: Sonata, 1 movement
    Ropartz Andante and Allegro

    Etudes may be chosen from Charlier, Arban, and/or Small studies. If performing an etude, please also play one solo work.
    *Taken from mtsumusic.com*

    Is this about the level expected in Universities around everyone's area? I played Petite Piece Concertante for my audition at TN Tech...

    What's strange is that I've spoken with (who's going to be) my trumpet professor and mentioned the Arutunian Concerto (A Master's level piece according to this list), and he said it was a Bachelor's piece. Maybe thats why I was looking for what is expected of trumpet players nationwide: I don't want to stay in my state as long as I need to (We have a "Roadkill is yours if you hit it" law, for chrissakes! :D ). I was also hoping to steer myself towards the upper-echelon and higher-tier of trumpeters, and not "doom myself to mediocrity (Already accumulating a list of band-director-esque things to say :) ).
     
  7. Heavens2kadonka

    Heavens2kadonka Forte User

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    trickg,

    What if you didn't know there were trumpets of better quality than your 37 until a few months ago. I felt kind of like this:
    Me: "He said it was a MAGICAL trumpet!"
    DM: "He was lying."
    Me: "He said he never TELLS a lie!"
    DM: "He was lying when he said that!"
    Me: "DU-U-U-U-U-U-U-D-E!!"
    .......
    Me: "The funyons are stuck in the machine!!!"
    (I really need to stop...but the moral of the story: Music salesmen, though musicians, are also salesmen...).

    I know that I shouldn't spend a lot of money on miscellaneous things hoping it will make me trumpet-god quick (My H.S. music teacher, a euphonium, always said "Trumpet players and their toys..."). However, I never tried any horns other than the one I've had since I got the Bach as a gift five years ago (my trumpet prior to that was a Holton MF THAT I DIDN'T TRY BEFORE RECIEVING), and an old '94 Bach strad I found a week or two ago (older post) plays 100% better than "Old Faithful". So now, I've gone on a little crusade to find a horn that I like, not one thats given to me. I've to date tried a Getzen (Eterna I think), a Xeno, and a Vintage One (Worst of them all, too hard to play. My normal mf dynamic came out of the V1 as an anemic pp..) I'm getting to try a Kanstul within the next few days (They SAY its express mail..), and will hopefully try out a ZeuS and Blackburn soon, too. (Oh crap, I just realized most of this paragraph was basically another post..) I'll post my review on the Kanstul forum as soon as I get it (I'll include initial reaction to the horn in song if you all would like...The review will be updated for each of the ten days, with an overall at the end.)

    I've had plenty of times the quintet (only quintet that I like recollecting, therefore it shall hencefore be refered to as "the quintet") would play a piece they had only practiced on for one or two times the week before (At the African-American church gig, I COMPLETELY boffed up Just a Closer Walk with Thee, and forgot about half the song as lead trumpet. Hows THAT for clambake!! So I always will remember, dirges require a bit more practice than marches, especially if you are processing to it.)
     
  8. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    Heavens2kadonka, I have to be honest with you and say that I'm ALWAYS intrigued by the new horns that are out there - the Lawlers, the V1s, (the ones that I have played were pretty good) the ZueSs, the Kanstuls, etc. What I'm finding however, is that my Bach LB 25 (not a 37, that was my old Strad) compares very nicely to all of them, especially considering the price I paid in comparisson to what I would pay for one of the others. Then again, this particular Strad was hand picked from about 25 different Strads of all bore sizes and configurations.

    I do think that you should play everything that you can get your hands on, but don't let a name or a price tag fool you into what is or isn't a good trumpet.

    As for those pieces of music you listed, I had played and performed the following before I got out of HS:

    Balay: Petite Piece Concertante
    Corelli: any sonata
    Goedicke: Concert Etude
    Haydn: Concerto, 1 movement
    Ropartz Andante and Allegro

    as well as

    Balay: Prelude et Ballade
    and a number of other baroque trumpet solos or sonatas by Purcell, Clarke, Telemann, etc. (again, thanks to J. Gordon Christensen)

    That is about what was expected when I was getting ready to embark on my life as a musician outside of high school. Of course, I didn't go into college, instead I went to be an Army Bandsman where you are forced through a six month music "trade school" and once that is complete, you either sink or swim on your own merits as a player and soldier and the only thing that forces you to get better is you and the music that you are called on to perform.

    Again, you sound like you are well on your way. From what you have described as having played and performed, you have developed a fairly decent level of technique. You also seem to have a fair amount of gig experience for the number of years you have been playing and know what it's like to crash and burn on a gig. That experience in my mind is worth much more than going out on a gig and being successful. I mean, no one wants to go out and totally eat it, but it does happen and you have to know how to handle yourself when it does.

    Good luck to you!
     
  9. dizforprez

    dizforprez Forte User

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    I just want to add that there becomes a real danger in equating difficulty of piece to level of playing skill.

    It can easily become that the piece is just a mountain to climb and that once we summit, no matter how bloody or bruised we might be we have “conquered†the piece. Don’t use the piece it self as the only measurement of ability. The fact that you can play a piece doesn’t really tell us how well you can play a piece. I knew too many people( me included) in college that would think that they were the greatest because they could play such and such a piece, never mind that it sounded like crap.

    In the end it is your sound and musicality that show where you are at.

    I hope my ramblings help.
     
  10. Heavens2kadonka

    Heavens2kadonka Forte User

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    Diz,

    You are right. Though I can play some of those piece I have heard people bragging about ("Dude, I can so own that Clarke solo, eat it, etc. etc."), I would much rather play this Mahler etude (I CAN'T FIND THAT DARNED ETUDE BOOK FOR MYSELF NO MATTER HOW HARD I LOOK!!!!), "Hans und Grete". Its so darned pretty (Like the NBC jingle, but cooler, hehe), AND I can totally rock with my sound when playing it. I don't care if it isn't very showy, and it only goes to a high A, its pretty....

    Would anyone know what the etude book I am speaking of is? It has something like "Mahler Etudes" as the title, with a forest scene on the cover. Its in German? Its sad, I love this etude, but I can only remember the NBC-sounding part (Low C to A in eightes, followed by a half-note F, repeat, then repeat UP AN OCTAVE, played in a slight ritard through the passage. See? Isn't that purdy?).
     

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