New guy needing advice

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Trumpet_Ian, Feb 28, 2016.

  1. Newell Post

    Newell Post Piano User

    Mar 31, 2014
    Silicon Valley
    Search Trumpet Master for the keyword "comeback". There are many threads by and about comeback players.

    Go with the 3C mouthpiece. That is a "general purpose" mouthpiece that has worked well for many players for many years.
  2. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    I realise that you want notes higher than G, but do you really need them right now?

    There is a natural course of events when starting to play trumpet (again) - especially if your previous habits were not necessarily correct.

    In my opinion, breathing and body use should be the first things to look at. My circle of breath is a simple offering to get that going. You can search for it here. I have posted it many times.

    If you get the maintenance program such as the circle of breath, you discover how little the hardware matters. Granted, I would not play lead trumpet with a 1C, but regardless of mouthpiece, without proper body use and breathing, growth is prevented.
    The pressure backup that you notice is not the horn or the mouthpiece. It is you squeezing the lips off, preventing air from flowing. Using excess arm pressure is normal at the beginning and if you get the maintenance program, it will become more moderate and your air will be free to flow. Patience is a virtue. Get that daily routine and stick to it.
  3. barliman2001

    barliman2001 Fortissimo User

    Jul 5, 2010
    Vienna, Austria, Europe
    And as I've said before, print out rowuk's advice in gold letters and stick it under your pillow at night and read it every morning. You can't get better advice.
  4. larry newman

    larry newman Piano User

    Dec 22, 2005
    North Tonawanda, NY, USA
    Welcome, and look for a community band to sit in with....the weekly rehearsal does wonders, as does the camaraderie.
  5. ChinTurret

    ChinTurret New Friend

    Jun 8, 2015
    Northern Virginia
    Welcome to this great forum and the wealth of knowledge that it holds.

    I am a comeback player with one year of return status. Others here will have viable in put, I can just tell you what my experience has been coming back to the horn after about 25 years of not playing. Some quick thoughts:

    1. Don't expect miracles; practice is your friend.

    2. Seize the opportunity to start over with solid fundamentals. I have found myself really focusing on technique, scales, and good breath control. I look back and really don't remember spending this amount of time on the basis and after a year I am really glad this is where I started.

    3. Get a hold of the Arban book (if you don't have it make sure to get the spiral version), Daily Drills and Technical Studies for Trumpet by Max Schlossberg; and finally Technical Studies for the Cornet by H.L. Clark. These three books have become my best friends in the woodshed. Practice them with concentration and with every attempt try and make the drills musical. Don't be lazy use your time together wisely. Slow, soft and accurate are your friends.

    4. Make sure your horn is in good shape. I was able to give mine a very good cleaning and got it oiled and greased back into good working order.

    5. Set up a convenient practice woodshed. I have a practice area set up with a small table for valve oil, pencil, metronome and spare music; a nice music stand (buy yourself a Manhasset you won't regret it), a timer and a trumpet stand. I keep my trumpet out of it's case, in the stand, and readily available to use. When I am ready to practice I just sit down and all is there. Helps with motivation.

    6. Practice every day and keep a log of your efforts. I have used google sheets to log my playing time and it has been very easy to use, accessible from anywhere including my iPad and iPhone. Every once and a while I'll put a note in there recording what I am working on, what I am having trouble with, how I feel, etc. It has been fun to look back and see my progress. Helps with motivation. When I first started I really only had about 15 minutes of chops that were worth anything. It didn't take long before I was up to 30 minutes; let your body pace you and don't over do it. I am now regularly practicing 60 minutes a day but it took me about four months before I could feel comfortable doing so.

    7. Keep your head down for the first three months. Only a mother will be able to like your sound. Fingering will be difficult, both dexterity and remembering how to make notes. Do lots of slurs and that will help with your stamina and sound. Long tones are good also for daily work. I used the first few pages of the three books I mentioned for practice material. Take it slow and don't expect to play fast. Also play quietly not loud. And lastly don't expect to have any range; that will come back with practice. For me about six months. And even now I am still not back to were I was but it hasn't mattered as I am no heavily into fundamentals and know that range will eventually be a step in my progression.

    8. Start planning your return to public playing. After about four months I was able to sit in with a local community band. I picked a group that was low pressure, all age groups, no audition. This was a big milestone for me. I was surprised at how much I missed band practice, the smells, the comradery, and the goofy geek band humor that only we can understand. I continued to practice every day but this started to get me back in to music work, dynamics, pitch, balance, sight reading, etc.

    9. Read this forum. Nothing like this was available back on my first round with the horn. It gets you back into the swing, starts making you remember stuff, lingo, concepts, etc. One caution, don't get caught up with the accoutrements of the horn and all the new gadgets that are out there. It is so easy to start looking at "armature builders", mutes, other horns, horn bling, etc. At the end of the day it is only you and horn. Concentrate on that.

    10. If you can, look for a trumpet teach that you can take lessons from. I have been able to find a guy I take lessons from once a week for 30 minutes. It has been helpful to bounce ideas off of, validate that I am practicing the right stuff and also to comment on my technique. Even a couple lessons can be valuable especially at the beginning.

    Be patient with yourself, rest as much as you practice, if things are getting frustrating, put the horn down and make sure you pick it up again within 24 hours. Lastly have fun; daily I seem to remember how much I missed playing music. I am grateful that I am able to pick it up again and start enjoying the experience again.
  6. Trumpet_Ian

    Trumpet_Ian New Friend

    Feb 21, 2016
    Justin, TX
    I am SO in the right place. Thank you guys for all the advice thus far.

    What might be best to play starting off? I figure long tones, scales & slip slurs and not much else for about the first six weeks. Figure 20 minutes a day, maybe 5 days a week to start, on the 3C.

    I talked to the guy at my daughter's high school (she plays trumpet as well) who teaches lessons for the district - I'll be looking to book a few with him in the upcoming weeks.

    I'll find the circle of breath and start there, and read the comeback stuff as well. Thanks, guys!
  7. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    If you have access to a hymnal (which denomination is not relative), a hymn a day is good for the lips, eyes, ears, and fingers.
  8. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    The hymnals are great, but they do need transposition from the pitch of C to that of your instrument pitched in Bb. Circumstances forced me to learn this transposition by sight almost 70 years ago. Here in rural Northampton County NC there seem to be only three genres of music: Blue Grass, Country, and Gospel. For certain, brasswinds just don't produce the sound of Bluegrass, nor most of the contemporary Country, so I'm left with Gospel hymns. I've nine hymnals representing several editions of the Baptist, Methodist, and Presbyterian Protestant faiths and I must tell you many of them are the same music albeit the lyrics change a bit. Too, I've a lot of my Mother's, Grandmother's piano music.
  9. SteveRicks

    SteveRicks Fortissimo User

    Aug 15, 2009
    Yes, it is good practice to transpose out of a hymnal. If you are playing with organ, piano etc. accompaniment then you will need to transpose. If it is just practice by yourself, it is fine to play it as written. Reading through a hymn book can help on everything from tone and sight reading to endurance and pitch.
  10. Peter McNeill

    Peter McNeill Utimate User

    Jan 30, 2009
    Melbourne Australia
    Welcome to TM,
    All good advice.

    A G will get you a 4th or even a 3rd chair in a Community Band.

    My only advice is to find a good teacher to ensure you save time, and don't practice bad habits. Not necessary for a weekly lesson, but someone who can help guide you back on the quickest road to get you where you want to be.

    I found my teacher at my first rehearsal with a community band. He has been my regular sounding board ever since, and someone who has similar values and now a long term friend.

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