On my own...

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Johnleopold, Sep 26, 2004.

  1. Heavens2kadonka

    Heavens2kadonka Forte User

    Jun 17, 2004
    Lebanon, TN
    fatpauly, you hit a point I neglected: having a set goal. When you are in a situation where you just HAVE to get better (like having to do your part in a small ensemble), you improve faster.

    I must disagree with that, however. Instruction should go hand in hand with everything else, and should actually be the cornerstone! If you are playing with a group, use your private instructor to give you pointers on how to perform better, how to play certain passages better (fatpauly, you even said the band leader gave you instruction!). You shouldn't use the instructor for just scales and etudes (although at times that is also vital to progress!!).

    I also should go ahead and say that certain instructors are not right for you. Some of their teaching styles, and even their personalities can have a LOT to do with your experience. For instance, last year I was offered a full ride music scholarship to Tennessee Tech (Their trumpets are almost always at national competitions, and the trumpet professor, Dr. Charles Decker, is nationally recognized), but I turned it down.

    Why? I personally liked Alan Suska (Trumpet instructor at Cumberland) better. In fact, he was the only reason I even considered Cumberland University. Though both Mr. Suska and Dr. Decker have VERY similar techniques in teaching (so much so that three years ago, when Decker took a one year sabbatical, he asked Mr. Suska to direct his students for that year!), I found Mr. Suska's personality much more suited for me (I can talk with Mr. Suska!!). Although I am currently still undergoing a complete embochure change (I can now buzz my lips!), I am doing so in complete confidence that the end result will be great! In the lessons since I've started school, I feel that I have definitely improved (as of late, I had felt like I had no real direction, and that I was not improving at a noticeable pace!).

    In conclusion, instructors are a vital tool to self-improvement, and are paramount to improving your skill with the trumpet (And I'm not saying that just because I am a student instuctor! :D )

  2. Johnleopold

    Johnleopold New Friend

    Feb 7, 2004
    Tracy, CA
    Wow... trumpet master.com is turning out to be a GREAT way to learn the horn.

    So its only fair that I add in both more info on my trumpet experience and some other good news stuff.

    So...last year I did take a few lessons... I think I got in about 3-4 and like the prevouis writter stated... time killed that idea for me. And like Pauly said... this particular teacher had a non matching personality, but he was good.

    So, from those lessons and my prior years in high school playing piano badly and these 2 videos by Mark Enui' (sp) that I got from the music store, I've been puffing away.

    Now, as for the working goal theory and the lessons theory, I believe I may have a "best case" opportunity.

    You see I go to a church in San Jose that, well, everyone plays by ear. Hey when people want to give, you let them give how they can. So we have 3 drummers, 2 guys on bass guitar, 1 conga/bongos guy and 2 keyboard guys - one of which is the Senior Pastor. So my goal here is to jump in a help out. Most of the music is gospel i.e. Fred Hammond, Jon P. Key, Dottie peoples.... etc. with a jazzy edge to it... but still worship music.

    Now, our pastor the keyboard player can read music... and one bass player really reads music and plays serveral other instruments. He is guiding me through playing the trumpet even though he doesn't play anymore.

    Today, he told me that if the group is playing concert C. then I need to start off on D.... I think I have that right. Anyway, like you, he said that if I practice my scales from C to C and then work on 1 song, that would be a good start. I've taped the music they play and if I could play my trumpet I can tell where I would jump in while they play to add more depth to the music. The song is by Dottie Peoples ( Gospel singer - "Testimony"
    if you want to hear it ... hear is a link to an MP3 of it on my website....
  3. Johnleopold

    Johnleopold New Friend

    Feb 7, 2004
    Tracy, CA
    Never mind about that site... I have to re-upload it... I can email if you want to hear it...
  4. Johnleopold

    Johnleopold New Friend

    Feb 7, 2004
    Tracy, CA
    Hey Gang...

    Just wanted to send out an update on the playing.

    Man do I love playing. I've been struggling with practice time and being diligent about playing everyday. Usually I get in about 15-25 minutes of playing. I have a few books to use for lessons. The one I use most is the "Standard of Excellence" by Bruce Pearson. So I plug at that for about 10 minutes or so and then I work on scales, fingering and reading the music. I can do C to C but not much past upper C ( I don't know the correct terms for where I am on the scale). For fingering I have Mel Bay's Trumpet Fingering Chart. --- oh its the C major scale... I just looked at the book... after the second C my chops blow out like an old inner Tube...Heck...G was a killer after working on C, D, E and F... G felt like I had to start all over... ( Yes just the single note G not the scale...)
    ( ha ha ha)

    Anyway, you guys are great... I've read all of the replys and I've gleaned alot of good info. Paul, I'm still looking for a group to tag along with -- that seems to meet the economical requirement and the "practical experience" requirement. I've had about 4-5 lessons about a year ago so thats been sticking with me. And then recently I went to listen to a jazz band in Oakland ( live in California) that had a guy playing horn and he's given me some tips on playing too. The one time that I've heard the most is practicing whole notes regularly so that I have good tone -- is this true and do you have any other pointers ?

    I was hoping to find someone who could record themselves with Windows Media Player and then Email me a sample of the scales being played... then I could hear the correct sound and play along --- is there anyone reading this who could do that ? or would do that for me ?

  5. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

    Sep 29, 2004
    "Man do I love playing."

    Everybody, take note of what this gentleman has written. Next time you get bogged down, next time it gets difficult, next time you complain about a colleague...remember those five little words.

    Reading these posts have been humbling to say the least. Makes me remember how I felt when I was a kid starting out.

    God bless and keep at it.

  6. trumpetmike

    trumpetmike Forte User

    Oct 11, 2004
    Farnham (a place too smal
    John - in case you don't know who you have just received praise from - Manny is about as good as they come!

    I would imagine that he, like so many of us, still have much of that desire to play in his heart.

    The day I stop enjoying it, the music and instruments will be put away.

    Keep at it - the more you play, the more enjoyable it gets - good luck

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