Lessons with NON trumpeters

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Alex Yates, Oct 15, 2005.

  1. Alex Yates

    Alex Yates Forte User

    Aug 11, 2005
    Atlanta, GA
    Do any of you take lessons from other instruments?

    I was curious as to how many of you seek out the ears of other instrumentalists to improve your playing and musicianship? Many moons ago, when I was in undergrad, I was always taking lessons from other faculty members simultaneously with my trumpet lessons. (for all of you in school now, it is good to get them while they are so easily accessible to students) I remember taking lessons from a bass trombone teacher to teach me about breathing. It sure worked!!! I came out of my lessons lightheaded many a time. I took a lot of lessons and attended master classes for string instruments. I would actually play as part of the weekly string class and let them rip me to shreds..but I learned a lot....especially about ending notes and phrasing. I would play duets on my piccolo with oboe players. This was very helpful in training my chamber orchestra ears and the repertoire that goes along with it. I would play Arban Characteristic Study No. 6 with a clarinetist if I wanted to get the sound of playing seamlessly across the arpeggios in my head. I guess you can see what I am getting at here. We can all benefit from the experience and musicianship of other instrumentalists, not just trumpeters. I was curious if any of you have tried this or what you think of it? If you have - what other instruments did you seek out?

    A side note related to this point. Speaking specifically of orchestra auditions, there are not only brass players back there listening behind the screen, there are all kinds of musicians back there listening. Once you get a job, this sensitivity to other instruments and listening across the ensemble will be very important as well. ;-)
  2. B15M

    B15M Forte User

    Dec 30, 2003
    Monroe Ct.
    I got help from a vocalist once. It was a completely different perspective from what I was thinking at the time and very helpful.

    When I get lucky enough to sub with the local symphony I always want to ask the conductor for a lesson but I never do. Maybe he wouldn't like the way I play and never ask me back.

    Some day I will ask.
  3. dnlrsnbm

    dnlrsnbm New Friend

    Sep 5, 2005
    Los Angeles, CA
    Personally, I think that lessons with non-trumpet-players is essential to one's development as a complete musician. No matter what your career path or what style of music you play, you'll be playing with non-trumpet-playing musicians, and so having your perspective checked is absolutely necessary.

    I take regular lessons in improvisation with a guy named Vinny Golia (www.ninewinds.com). Firstly, I think this guy is a genious improviser. But one thing that makes him stand out even more is that he plays 58 different wind instruments...that's right 58! And what's more, he plays them all ridiculously well, basically because he doesn't think about what instrument he's playing...just the music he's making. So we get together and just free improvise duos...he'll pull some indigenous flute and ask me to blend with that, and then pull out a bass sax and go buck wild with it...it really keeps me on my toes in a way I'm never asked to do in an orchestral, jazz, or rock setting. Very very enlightening as far as exposing weaknesses is concerned. And it gives you a whole context for trumpet that you generally don't consider in the practice room.

    Anyway, I think that working with wind players, string players, vocalists, pianists, drummers, conductors, composers, etc. are invaluable perspective checks that we can give ourselves. Good thread...

    Dan Rosenboom
  4. Rick Chartrand

    Rick Chartrand Piano User

    Nov 22, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Hey Trompetvrouw

    Great topic! I may be an oddity but this is how my training went. My Aunt
    was a world class pianist working with the Toronto symphony till her death in 1998.

    She always tried to get me into piano but the instrument just didnt speak to me. Then I saw Miles in concert in 1990 and that was it for me. I was dirt poor in those days but scraped enough money together to get a beat up old Conn trumpet. I couldnt afford any lessons from a trumpet player so I got the Harry James method, Arban's and a 'learn the trumpet' video and began to teach myself.

    I took to the trumpet so fast that it wasnt funny! My aunt got wind of what I was doing and took me under her wing and taught me 5 or 6 years worth of Jazz and Classical training from a pianists perspective. She told me almost from day 1 that my ear was exquisit and I was absorbing everything on the trumpet like a sponge. She wanted to pay to get me lessons with a trumpet teacher but I was doing so well that we decided not to go that route. She was an incredible wealth of theorie. Everything else I took care of myself. So I have theorie training from a world class pianist but the technical stuff on the horn I am completly self taught. I guess I did ok cause I always get tons of compliments on any pro gig I play.

    Hey dnlrsnbm

    Your friend Vinny sounds a lot like my aunt. She was not only an incredible pianist, but also a great guitarist, violinist, floutist and harmonica player. We used to do stuff like that all the time, she would teach me advanced theorie and then we'd jam and improvise to the point that I couldnt play anymore that day. And we did this for years :lol: Sweet memories!
    Work hard for what you want, and you’ll get it

    Martin Committee Trumpet, T3467RE
    Holton Heim # 2 Mouthpiece

    Rick AKA Trumpet Man
  5. RoccoNut16v

    RoccoNut16v New Friend

    Oct 11, 2005
    I do something similar to this at my high school. During lunch and opens, a few of us will get together and just practice individually, but listen to each other and advise each other on playing techniques. Usually it's a clarinet player, a tuba player, 2 trombone players, a flute, and a few saxers. Very informative because each player tends to focus on one section of playing as is required by the instrument, so if you approach the sessions right you can pick up a literal ton of information quickly.

    Consiquently we all play extremely well together in ensambles, because we're so used to each other's styles and sounds.

    This is obviously far from regular lessons, but I can pledge that such methods are extremely helpful, atleast in my humble and youthful oppinion :roll:

    Excellent thread!
  6. oj

    oj Pianissimo User

    Sep 9, 2005
    Great tread Alex!

    I play different brass (+ classical guitar and flutes). I love to take lessons and the latest I took from was a french horn player. Unfortunately she has moved so I should perhaps get another one. The lessons were like this: She showed me some of her tricks,etc., then we played duets.

    Also going to different masterclasses can be great. I often get more from french horn, tuba, etc. (than trumpet). I get to hear new music, get other types of ideas etc., etc. Sometimes it can be rather boring to hear 4 or 5 rounds of Honneger's: Intrada at a trumpet masterclass.

    It is also fun to know that there are a lot of other theories about brass playing than the one Farkas developed. Btw, french horn players still tend to be very into that thinking ;-)

    I also love to watch TV where great musicians are teaching/playing - whatever instrument. Two days ago I saw a great program about the incredible singer, Bobby McFerrin (a Canadian documentary)

  7. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

    Sep 29, 2004
    The nice thing about playing for other instumentalists is that they don't particularly care what your specific playing issues are. They just want to hear results based on music and it's your job to deal with the specifics of your instrument to make the music sound in a conscious or sub-conscious way.


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