Mark B's Comeback Thread

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

  1. Heuy

    Heuy New Friend

    Jun 11, 2010
    Darwin, Australia
    Good on ya Mark B, glad you are enjoying blasting away:play:

    I'm a return to the fold trumpet player after many years break, thought I knew it all.:cool:

    However, booked 1/2 an hour with a Brass teacher to see how well I was going:-)

    Blimey, in that 1/2 hour I learn't so much and now know that I got so much more to learn:oops:
  2. Mark B

    Mark B Pianissimo User

    Aug 20, 2010
    Redlands, CA
    Time for an update.

    I had my tenth lesson last night. I’ve reached a plateau, of sorts, where the progression has slowed down. I’m not discouraged, by any means; I’ve expected this to come, eventually. I continue to put in the practice time, but find I have to focus harder because the repetitions get monotonous. Again, I expected this to become the case, so I have to keep myself focused on the end result and that is just steady progress.

    Part of my slowing in progress is probably my own fault. I was messing with a smaller mouthpiece that seemed to have a negative effect with my range upon returning to my regular mouthpiece. After a week of leaving that mouthpiece alone, I’m getting the flexibility back and getting back on track. My teacher’s final instructions last night were to leave that darned mouthpiece alone. “Yessir!” I have learned my lesson the hard way. He had told me to stick with my mouthpiece until I’ve progressed to a point where mouthpiece selection will be crucial and I’m not there yet. Honestly, he hasn’t sold me a bum steer yet, so I need to continue the faith.

    A recent source of frustration for me is silly blunders in the lesson room. I can rip through the material at home and practice pieces to near perfection, but stumble in front of my teacher. I don’t think it matters that much, he knows I’m practicing. It’s just been frustrating to me that I seem to have difficulties producing in more or less a performance venue what I do in practice. I think I have a tendency to be harder on myself than my teacher is, but still…. I NEED to be able to make that transition from practice to performance eventually and to me; there is no time like the present.

    I bought a copy of Arbans recently and my teacher is now adding exercises from there to my practice routine. I am now to the point where I need to get my music and books better organized and figure a way to carry all that stuff. Geez, you almost need a hand truck to haul Arbans around!

    All in all, it’s going well. Though progress has slowed, I realize that anything you do in life has peaks and valleys. I understand I need to just focus and push right through, remaining vigilant to maintain good practice habits. I am anticipating the day when the next quantum leap comes and you will be the first to hear about it!

  3. ccNochops

    ccNochops Piano User

    Sep 30, 2006
    White Marsh, VA
    I returned to trumpet in Sept of 2006 after 29 years of not playing. Well it has indeed been a trip back, funny you too mentioned plateau as a way of measuring your progress. I have passed so many of them in the last few years, I couldn't begin to count. Mostly I realize I'm on a plateau only to find that I'm really climbing up to the next one already. I found solice in a "cheater pipe" early only to find that it was a mirage of sorts, settled in on a 3c Bach and continued to grow. I'm just now feeing comfortable in reading music again (of sorts :) ), but it is coming back. Best thing of all is this time it's been pure fun, playing just for me. I practice on the average an hour and a half every weekday and 2 or more hours on the weekends, I find I just can't put the horn down anymore. I've played in a funk band, two or three concert bands and now have settled in with a college pep band. Hang in there on your come back, I'm glad I did.......bests, chuck
  4. wolfmann

    wolfmann Pianissimo User

    Aug 19, 2010
    DANG Mark your getting to be a collector of horns there!
    Pitfalls and sometimes taking a step back after 2 steps forward is common,good thing you are not freaking about it.
    Sounds like your teacher wants you to become proficient at the fundamentals before you pick up bad habits that are SO hard to get rid of.
    Also sounds like your collecting a lot of material to study.
    Where to PUT all that stuff?
    I have a double case that holds my Flugel(Getzen Eterna) and Trumpet with a vinyl cover that has a large zippered holder which carry's several books at one time,YES its heavy.
    If you want to ad something for study you might want to get a Thesaurus of Musical Terms which was required to have at all times when I was playing,it is actually very helpful.
    Another thing your going to need is a good gig bag that will hold all your mutes,music stand,trumpet stand etc.
    I didnt want a expensive gig bag so believe it or not i got a old bowling bag for nothing that held everything plus more.
  5. Mark B

    Mark B Pianissimo User

    Aug 20, 2010
    Redlands, CA
    Yeah, but I think I'm about done.:roll: I'll post a thread about the Medalist in the vintage section.

    I can't say I wasn't warned. No need to freak, I was told that would happen. Thankfully, my teacher didn't rub my nose in it. Well, I guess his admonishment at the end of last night's lesson could be considered nose rubbing, huh?

    I'm going to use a briefcase for the time being, until I see where all the pieces fall. Like you said, I don't want to spend a fortune until I know what I'm going to need on a regular basis. It will come together soon enough!

  6. wolfmann

    wolfmann Pianissimo User

    Aug 19, 2010
    Never a need to go expensive on stuff that is more designed to be cool rather than functional.
    People were like OMG thats SO COOL on my bowling bag.
    Then i told them it was a bowling bagROFL
    Just focus on basics:
    Your Playing
    And actual stuff you will need.
    The thesaurus while not a MUST is SO informative that its a godsend.
    You would be surprised at how many high level instructors referred to me to pull it it out.
    I had a Teacher from the LA Phil that demanded I have it.
    Thanks Bernie,you were right.
  7. Mark B

    Mark B Pianissimo User

    Aug 20, 2010
    Redlands, CA
    Is that one of those roller bags for two balls? If so, I could see that working great!

  8. wolfmann

    wolfmann Pianissimo User

    Aug 19, 2010
    I dont know what kinda bag it is.
    It looks to hold only one ball.
    But it is SO big it holds everything I need for a gig.
    And it was FREE lol.

    Oh yeah its actually LEATHER too.
  9. Mark B

    Mark B Pianissimo User

    Aug 20, 2010
    Redlands, CA
    I realized it's been about a month and time for another update.

    To pick up where I left off; I settled on a laptop bag I found at the local swap meet for five dollars. It's in as new condition, made of a nice material with plenty of pockets and holds all my books just right. I paid a whole five dollars for it and included was a USB mouse. I think I came out OK on that. It has made a big difference in organizing my practice materials.

    Two weeks ago, my son got married and with all the goings on that week, my practice suffered. It kind of showed when I went to my lesson, but I was prepared enough we moved on. I was given some rudimentary double tonguing exercises (that's been a challenge) and my practice routine went through a minor overhaul. This was the Tuesday before Thanksgiving and my throat was just starting to get a little scratchy. By Wednesday night, it was a full on sore throat that got worse. In short, I did not touch the horn the entire long weekend. I finally got a decent practice on Monday, the night before my lesson.

    I didn't think about it being two full weeks of coming to my lesson unprepared and I did my best to explain my illness. Actually, my teacher is probably the one that gave it to me, as he just missed a week of practice, too. Still, I could sense a bit of disappointment in his voice. I went through the motions; did the level best I could and it was alright. My teacher was complimentary. Over complimentary, to tell the truth. It dawned on me that my teacher probably thinks I've lost my enthusiasm and will be short lived as a student if he doesn't do something to rekindle the fire. This isn't the case, of course, but I can see where he might interpret my lack of preperation as such.

    In truth, I'm as enthused as ever. I just ordered some equipment to help me record my playing, to better judge myself and for fun. I'm also planning to do some collaboration efforts, so it should be tons of fun.

    The double tonguing is coming along. I don't recall having learned that before, but I'm almost certain I did. I find that I struggle with it, then discover I'm actually doing it and start analyzing to make sure I am doing it right and not cheating. It's at that time the whole thing goes awry and I'm back to stumbling along. It's like I know how to do it if If I would just not think about it.

    We still haven't taken on much range work. I play a little warmup string that goes to a high C, but that's about the extent of it. Recently, I've been given more low work, so I guess that's where my weakness lies and I would agree with that. I get real ugly below the staff.

    On the horn front; my Olds has seemingly played itself back into shape. The valve issue I was having has seemingly gone away. I still plan to get the dents taken out and having it cleaned. Then, I'm toying with the idea of taking it up to Bob Reeves to do his valve alignment on it.

    The old Getzen I bought got overhauled and the bell straightened on it. It's not perfect, but looks much better. It plays really nice.

    The Reynolds Medalist I most recently purchased cleaned up very nicely. The valves look as new. It's a real good player, too. I'm guessing it didn't see much use by its previous owner.

    Really, that's about it. I'm still just plugging along and learning a few new things. I'm enthused as ever and ever appreciative of the knowledge you all share so freely. Though I might not post a lot, I follow along pretty regular.

  10. MVF

    MVF Pianissimo User

    Sep 10, 2010
    Hey Mark,

    My Olds, a '51 Special always had a sticky third valve. I tried everything I could think of including cleaning it by pulling rags through where I could, etc.

    Since I've picked it back up and decided to get serious again I got one of those flexible plastic brush cleaning kits and gave it a good going over- I could not believe the difference it made! That horn now has the slickest and quickest valves I have ever played, and I've been trying out a lot of high end trumpets lately. Give it a try, it can't hurt and I hope you have as good a result as I did.

    What did you pick up to record yourself with? I've been starting to feel a need to do that.

Share This Page