My personal view on playing trumpet.

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by FutureBC, Sep 26, 2009.

  1. FutureBC

    FutureBC Pianissimo User

    Jul 25, 2009
    Northern Kentucky
    As I was helping some younger players before trying out for a middle school band last week, I had a breakthrough.

    You may not beleive most of this, but this is what I was able to come up with...

    What it takes to become a great trumpet player.

    1. You have to be the standout. There are so many times I am shunned from group because I'm a band nerd. No, I dont like Xbox or whatever other teens are doing these days, but who else gets payed $50-$200 on gigs?

    2. You got to love it.
    Face it, if you dont respect it or enjoy it, you'll suck.

    This is what I think "separates the men from the boys" in trumpet playing, there is a personal take for every trumpet player.

    By the way, I am only 15 and yes, I do make about $50-$200 on playing gigs with a german polka band.

    (Edited out #1. Was unclear of what I meant to say in the first place.)
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2009
  2. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    When I was 15, I probably had a similar view.

    In the mean time, I have come to realize that the great trumpet player does not need to be immensely talented or even invest tons of time.

    The truly great trumpet players are the ones that go home with their audience satisfied. That can happen at high school, college, pro, but even at come-back level.

    Yes, greatness is more of an attitude, an ability to be satisfied with what we have accomplished, rather than blind because we are driven to a fictive level of quality beyond our reach. That attitude is contagious, and one of the most precious gifts passed from one player to the next. Yes, being good enough to satisfy ourselves and being mature to find the good in what we do. That is true greatness!
  3. ComeBackKid

    ComeBackKid Fortissimo User

    May 11, 2009
    Yorba Linda, CA
    I think point number 3 is very significant. That is what separates real accomplishment from fantasy in almost all fields. I play basketball and I can tell you there are a lot of very talented players who do no play as well as some mediocre players because they do not have "the love". They play with no passion or drive. They are no fun to play with or to watch. They do not bring in the crowds and those that do watch leave disappointed. But, those that have the love, play with fire and passion and energy. They may not hit every shot but they play team ball, are fun to be around and the crowd loves them.

    Trumpet playing is entertainment. As Rowuk said, the crowd needs to leave feeling that they would like to come back for more. If you are providing that, then you have what it takes regardless of your level of raw talent. So, keep on going. Trumpet nerds rule!!!
  4. FutureBC

    FutureBC Pianissimo User

    Jul 25, 2009
    Northern Kentucky
    There is a lot of truth in #3.
    Most of those young players i taught didnt care and it was sad. There was a kid there who wanted to make band just so he didnt have to take Spanish as a class. (that seems to be the deal, you make band, it takes the place of spanish on you schedule).

    And about "standing out", you cant be afraid to play. I've wore the nickname of band nerd ever sence 6th grade. I am the guy who stays after school to discuss what I think will make the band better or talk about different trumpets with the band director.
    But, enough about me.
    I dont want this to be a biography.
  5. john7401

    john7401 Pianissimo User

    Jul 3, 2009
    I agree with the first statement too much and that is probably the main reason why I feel I can't make it to a trumpet career. I didn't start out with much of a great unnatural ability when I started...and at this point I'm not sure I'm too much above average anymore. My range doesn't seem to be increasing and even though I'm starting to practice alot more I don't feel like I'm making as much ground as I should be.

    Answer this though...How good do you guys think you would have to be as a senior in high school to have a decent shot at a trumpet career to live off of?
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2009
  6. jonterman

    jonterman Pianissimo User

    Jan 4, 2009
    Well put...put me with the 'mediocre' player with heart any day!
  7. FutureBC

    FutureBC Pianissimo User

    Jul 25, 2009
    Northern Kentucky
    Well, like I said.
    I made it into a German polka band. and I get payed more than most people i know in my classes.

    Just look around, even if you dont get a carrer in trumpet playing, you can get a second job that pulls in a little extra cash.

    And who said you dont have that telent? Usually people who dont have the talent get discouraged and give up. Dont be so hard on yourself.
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2009
  8. RHSbigbluemarchingband

    RHSbigbluemarchingband Mezzo Piano User

    Jan 17, 2009
    I have to agree with number 3, one hundred percent. This year, the ENTIRE trumpet line, is putting in 100% effort (to the point we just came .10th of a point behind a tie between two bands who have been competing for five weeks, and it was our first show). The line sounds great, looks great, but more importantly everyone is enjoying playing nearly 100%. That is why we are unbelievably good this year! Not the range, or tone of the players, but the enthusiasm is noticeable on the field, and in general in concert band, symphonic band, the musical, etc. Its what keeps us on top.
  9. dhbailey

    dhbailey Piano User

    Jul 28, 2009
    New Hampshire
    I totally disagree with number 1 -- there is no need at all for "natural, raw talent." There is a need for hard work, no matter how much "natural, raw talent" you begin with, whether zero or lots.

    As to your being principal chair in middle school without taking lessons for the first two years of your trumpet playing, that may say more about how horrible your classmates were than to how great you are. You sound like a young man well on his way to proving all those trumpet jokes true -- stop it if you want to have any friends. Get some humility and realize that you're in a tiny little pond where it's easy to be a big fish.

    As to making all that money from playing in polka bands, that easy to do when you live in an area where polka dancing is very popular and they love dancing to live bands. That's not true for most of the world, so consider yourself lucky and save up a lot of that money so you can afford to go to college eventually.

    Without hearing you play it's impossible to know how much of what you say is merely the bragging of a 15 year old and how much is true and you really are the next great trumpet player of this young century.

    I think it's great that you're helping with the younger players in your school -- just please please please don't make any of them feel badly if they don't have your "natural, raw talent." They can find a lot of happiness in trumpet playing even without your ability, so please be very encouraging. You never know when even in the lowliest of the trumpet players you work with that little switch will turn on and they may eventually play rings around you.

    Keep on blowing that horn and working hard -- remember that you're only as good as your last performance, so make your next performance even better.

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