Left-handed little people and trumpets - help please!

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by juliamary, Sep 30, 2011.

  1. juliamary

    juliamary New Friend

    Sep 28, 2011
    Hello again all,

    Thank you so much for the very kind and useful suggestions:
    • I'm going to look at his 'fingering' based on the suggestions mentioned in your replies.
    • I may also approach the school about trying him on the cornet (musn't confuse this with the tuba for him - imagine! :-)). Only issue is he just wants to be like his brother (who's a year older but physically much taller) - and play the same instrument: i.e. trumpet. Also, I did have visions of them being a double-act and making my fortune....ahem....(joke!)
    Also, not sure if good manners to ask another question, but both my boys - including the one who's been learning for a year - go bright red in the face (and I mean beetroot) and bug-eyed when playing. The actual notes and tune are ok (i was quite pleasantly surprised for beginners!) but I am worried that they'll look quite comical when it comes to the music concert at the end of year and I don't want the other kids ignoring the music (which is good) and laughing at the contortions (which are, to be honest, quite funny... bless 'em)

    I've tried telling them that they don't need to use their whole face - the air comes from their lungs and through their lips - but they just seem to want to throw their whole heads and every muscle they've got into the playing. Again, any suggesstions or is this something they'll grow out of?

    Sorry to bombard you - last one I promise!

    Thanks again

  2. Branson

    Branson Piano User

    Jan 16, 2011
    Keep him using the right hand.

    Visit your music store and have them replace the current spring with a lighter set of springs.

    When he feels comfortable with the lighter springs, replace the originals.

    Good luck!
  3. JDay

    JDay Pianissimo User

    Nov 20, 2007
    Wenatchee, WA
    I agree the Cornet idea is a good one. I would look for a good used '60's to early '70s Old's, Conn or Holton and perhaps have the pinky hook removed.

    Another option (more of a last resort really) if the right hand thing is causing too much of an issue is to have a pinky hook installed on the bell of the trumpet / cornet so it can be played left handed. It is not a perfect solution, but is doable: (Photo's by ANA Mendez)



    In this setup you can position the hook closer to the valves to help with finger placement.

    Either way the piano idea is fantastic, and I think it would really help in all areas of his musical development.
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2011
  4. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    There is a saying "I'd give my right arm to be ambidextrous." While meant to be a humorous retort [and you may or may not be aware that I have NEVER been know to convey humor in my posts] there is much truth to this. No matter how seriously left handed an individual may be, the brain has the ability to adjust to this skill. So do give him time to develop, and if after a year or so the little guy still hasn't been successful, then.... OFF WITH HIS LEFT ARM! Thank you.

    To all of you that disagree with this advice, all I can say is LET THEM EAT CAKE!
  5. Dave Mickley

    Dave Mickley Forte User

    Nov 11, 2005
    my wife is left handed and is a very good trumpet player. she started taking lessons when she was 5 and by the 9th grade was playing Arbans Carnival of Venice, Napoli and quite a few other highly technical pieces. When asked about playing with her "off" hand she says she really didn't give it much thought. her teacher showed her how to hold the trumpet and that is the way she learned.
  6. Aydn

    Aydn Pianissimo User

    Jun 13, 2011
    Sunny South Florida
    I bet your older son would love the cornet!! My little guy wants to be just like his big bro. Too. My 14 yr. Old has been playing cornet since he was 7. We tried to transition him to trumpet but he wouldn't have it!! Cornet is a lot of fun, and it looks a lot like a trumpet!!! But much easier for small people to manage. My two have so much fun playing easy duets together, and it sounds so cool! They went to my dads home last weekend and did a mini concert for him as he is unable to leave the house due to Lymphoma. My 14 yr. Old played Carnival Of Venice and my 7yr.old played twinkle twinkle little star with variations, then they played a few easy duets together. Have fun with them at this age make the music fun and exciting. This way they learn to love it not resent it.
    Good Luck have a safe weekend,
  7. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    The bug-eyed red-faced approach to playing is something almost impossible to diagnose with certainty over the internet. A good, live teacher will provide an example for the student to emulate, and then emulate the student to figure out what is going on physiologically.

    While there are some bug-eyed red-faced players that play beautifully, I would strongly suspect too much internal tension, which can be the result of posture or "trying too hard."

    I'll send you a PM with some playing concepts--mostly from me, (hey, I'm a trumpet player!) and others who have posted here.
  8. Buck with a Bach

    Buck with a Bach Fortissimo User

    Dec 29, 2009
    Canton, Ohio
    Jday, that'd be a tough redo on a Recording!:lol:
  9. JDay

    JDay Pianissimo User

    Nov 20, 2007
    Wenatchee, WA
    Why yes it would! :-)
  10. Local 357

    Local 357 Banned

    Jul 1, 2011
    Have him hold the trumpet anyway he wants. Fingering with the left hand is OK. Maybe he'll learn to play it from either side.

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