Mark B's Comeback Thread

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Mark B, Sep 23, 2010.

  1. Mark B

    Mark B Pianissimo User

    Aug 20, 2010
    Redlands, CA
    I know, I know; who really cares?

    Regardless, this is the continuing saga of my comeback trail that started with this thread: First Lesson

    Things have been going really well and my enthusiasm remains at an all-time high level. I seem to miss one night of practice a week for various reasons, but I think I more than make up for them on the nights I do practice. My teacher has gotten a little perturbed at me because I don’t always practice the drills exactly as he prescribed, but I do practice them and can usually demonstrate that during the lesson. It must be the age thing, because for the life of me, I cannot remember what he said to do with some things when I go to practice them. I have remedied this by recording (with my teacher’s permission, of course) the lessons so I can go back and figure out what it is he wants. The music parts he assigns me to practice are still pretty easy and I always nail those when I play them for him.

    I am having issues with breathing; not taking frequent enough or timely breathes to make it through harder parts. Another issue is over-blowing; my teacher called me on it several times this last lesson. I’m playing too loud, which uses too much air. In thinking about this, I believe toning it down will be a quantum leap for me in both tone and control. It will also remedy my shortness of breath when it comes to harder parts. This is kind of an exciting revelation, to me, but I really had to concentrate during practice last night to keep from over-blowing.

    Despite the issues, my teacher is still excited about my progress and at the end of the day, always compliments me for the work I’m doing. I appreciate his enthusiasm and genuine interest in my progress.

    Folks, I’m having a lot of fun with this and it comes at a time in my life when I really needed something. Financially, I didn’t need to take on lessons and that caused me to question my reasoning for jumping in so hard. I rolled this around in my mind quite a bit and wondered if it really was worth it. My goal is and has been to jump in with the local community band, which mostly exists to play for the city’s big 4th of July celebration every year. I have no preconceived notions that I will ever make a single gigging, so I began to question if spending the money on lessons was really worth it for nothing more than amusement. My answer came as I was driving to my lesson this past Tuesday. On the radio there was an advertisement that stressed the importance of exercising your mind. They offered suggestions like taking a different route to work sometimes so you force yourself to think, learn a new song on the piano, do puzzles, do things you would normally do right handed with your left hand. All these cause you to think and use parts of your brain that are normally just on cruise control. They went on to say all these things help keep you mentally sharp and can aid in slowing Alzheimer’s. There it was! My logical reasoning for jumping into music and spending money that wasn’t necessary to spend. Now, it seems crucial to spend it! That’s all I needed for justification and if I should happen to make money playing somewhere down the line, it will be all gravy.

    I’ll continue to update my progress on this thread. If for no other reason than my own ability to go back and look for inspiration somewhere down the road when practice becomes dreary, or I’m going through a tough spell progressing.

    Thanks for listening (or reading, as the case may be). I’m learning a lot from your posts and gaining a deeper appreciation for the fine art of trumpet playing from all of you.

  2. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Thank you Mark!

    I like your realistic view of things. We are creatures of habit. Learning the right habits from the beginning is the key to extended pleasure later. Good luck!
  3. wolfmann

    wolfmann Pianissimo User

    Aug 19, 2010
    Nice to see you Mark.
    Ill share a little story with you.
    A year or so ago I heard this guy playing a Jazz CD in his car.
    I told him that it was rare to be hearing Jazz nowdays.
    We start talking.
    Come to find out he was the sax player in a band some of you might know called Seawind.
    We shared some storys and talked forever before we had to part ways.
    It was then I realized what was missing in my Life.
    I NEEDED to Play again,even though I knew I could never be what I wanted to be way back when.
    I HAD to have that HORN in my hand again.
    Thank you Ken,I know you wont ever see this but It was something I needed at that time.

    Whats weird is what comes back to you after so many years.
    As my chops start to get stronger I lost some range.
    What did I do?
    YANK that SUCKER IN!
    Without thinking I switched my grip.

    As I got stronger I wanted to project.
    I start getting Blow By on the edge of my lips.
    I backed off and went with tone CONTROL.

    I found a OLD problem of mine.
    Lazy Tongue
    I found the old book.
    Went on youtube to find a master of tonguing,AL Hirt!
    Im still working on that. lol

    I needed to FEEL the beat.
    I looked up Bellson and Rich.
    Yeah I have a story on Louis,but that is for another time.

    Cool to be playing again isnt it ROFL
  4. The Kraken

    The Kraken Piano User

    Mar 28, 2007
    Gold Coast - 805
    Thank you for sharing thus far, what your experiancing sounds so familiar and I'm so glad to be part of your experiance of reading your progress because I'm right there with you as most of us comeback players are.

    Good JOB !!:play:
  5. Mark B

    Mark B Pianissimo User

    Aug 20, 2010
    Redlands, CA
    It's way cool! I can't wait to get home and practice.

    I need to stock up on some Jazz music. I'm a little lacking in that department. I have a little to listen to, just not enough. I have some Louis Armstrong on my ipod and crank it up when one of his tunes is playing. Cool stuff.

  6. Mark B

    Mark B Pianissimo User

    Aug 20, 2010
    Redlands, CA
    Thanks, Rowuk. Keep the good stuff coming!

  7. Asher S

    Asher S Pianissimo User

    Sep 20, 2009
    Suburban Boston
    I know from the 100s of TM-ers you'll get 1000s of suggestions, but here's a sampling of albums I've been finding inspirational lately:
    • Christian Scott: "Live at Newport", and "Yesterday You Said Tomorrow"
    • Liam Sillery: "Phenomenology"
    • Miguel Zenon: "Esta Plena"
    • Joshua Redman: "Passage of Time"
    • Linda Oh: "Entry" (bass/drums/trumpet trio)
  8. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
    Mark, Yes people do care --
    I have problems remembering music -- so I feel for you, thanks for sharing that with us.
    When you get the breathing issues figured out -- be sure to post them -- many people will be interested -- I, for one still sometimes take too much breath or too little,
    AND you really said it all with the last 2 things ---A.) your teacher recognizes that you are progressing, and B.) YOU ARE HAVING FUN
    I encourage you to share the trumpet music and play for others - (friends, family, neighbors) -- pass on the FUN, perhaps you will inspire someone else to reach for a dream, and find it.
  9. mrsemman

    mrsemman Piano User

    Apr 8, 2010

    I too am a comeback player. However, I am on my second comeback. My first being five years ago for about a year. I took lessons and practiced, but after a half hour, I felt spent. I played for about a year then, moving into a new home, being laid off, taking care of elderly parents and their deaths took its toll.

    Six months ago, I started up again. This time, I concentrated on using very little pressure on my lips, and gradually working on my breathing, especially opeing my throat (I just pretended that I was swallowing all my meds at once). After a few months practicing on my own, I felt ready to go back to my teacher. Now I can practice for an hour or so with only short rests in between. My sound is where I want it, and it is backed by more air. When I practice pieces and find my sound withering, I make sure that I mark it for a breath.

    Fortunately, my instructor uses play-along pieces with music. He burns a CD and gives it to me to practice with. Now I play with Count Basie, Miles Davis, Bobby Shew and others.

    If I ever get real good, I could make life size cutout figures and have them as a back up band.
  10. Bob Grier

    Bob Grier Forte User

    May 4, 2007
    Greensboro, NC
    Mark B it's great to hear from someone who isn't too proud to seek out a good teacher. Playing is something you'll enjoy for the rest of your life. One suggestion - I write down all assignments for my students in a notebook I have them bring. Not just for them but so I can remember what/how I told them to do. esp. the how.

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