Lead playing

Discussion in 'Jazz / Commercial' started by Bear, Jun 7, 2005.

  1. Bear

    Bear Forte User

    Apr 30, 2004
    Howdy folxs, I hope all is well w/everyone. I have a problem and just thought I'd pop on here and see what y'all pros have to say. I'm a wannabe lead player. Wannabe as in I have ok chops but no real direction. I got to a school in an area where everything is "if it ain't classical it ain't legit." HAHA, play on words.. Pun intended... lol. Jazz isn't highly regarded here and there isn't really any trumpet players/teachers who play jazz, much less lead. So down to bussiness...

    Over teh past few yrs I've really done some soul searching in figuring out what I want from life. I wish to be a performer, to play trumpet somewhere, preferrably in a jazz-rock/bigband setting but I'm not picky. I hear all these cats that are just "naturals" and amazing players that make it all look so easy. How do I do that, what do I need to be a sucuessful player in this feild. I know this isn't in a format of a question, more of a fustrated guy venting... How do I make it sound hard, look easy, and be so clean. Listen, listen, listen is the answer I forsee coming henceforth, and I know that this isn't makign sense, but hopefully someone will try to help a poor soul and make some sense out of this... Thxs in advance.

    About me: Been playin' since 7th grade. Car wreck in HS took me out of commision for 2 yrs. Never heard/played jazz until senior in HS/freshman in college (ultra conservative family upbringing). Now I'm lead in our top jazz band here and wish to leave some knowledge to the few guys below me who are gonna be takin my place in the next couple yrs as I've had to do everything I know on my own, reading, listening, etc. While equipment helps, I don't think it's the endall of playing and I'm happy with my setup.
  2. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    Bear, in a perfect world, you would leave that college, go somewhere with a really strong Jazz program, and learn from someone who has been there and done that kind of playing in a professional setting.

    Other than that, just do a ton of listening and strive to emulate the pros of the past.

    As for building the kind of chops that it takes to do that, you need advice from someone that knows much more about it than I do.

    Good luck with your quest! :-)
  3. Still Trying

    Still Trying Pianissimo User

    Nov 23, 2003
    Lake Jackson, TX USA

    How close are you to North Texas University in Denton?
  4. Billy B

    Billy B Pianissimo User

    Nov 5, 2004
    Des Moines, IA
    Listening can mean many things. Pat Harbison had a great post on the "other" forum about total immersion. While his post realted to jazz improvisation, I had much the same experience with lead playing. When I graduated from high school I landed a scholarship to a small private school that had a pretty good music department. The scholarship came open very late as the recipent had just been hired by the Don Ellis band and left school. The older guys in the band hammered me pretty hard and made me listen to recordings of all the tunes we were playing plus a lot more. We did this for two hours every night. I had no choice in the matter. I would listen to the recording, play my part, get yelled at, listen again, play again untill I could match every nuance that guys like Snooky Young were putting into the music. It was tough, but I will never forget the lesson and I am forever in debt to those guys who beat me up. I get hired to this day because of the way I stylize the music and my concept of a lead sound.

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