One month so far...

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Alan Dismukes, Dec 17, 2007.

  1. Alan Dismukes

    Alan Dismukes Piano User

    274
    3
    Oct 16, 2007
    Alabama
    I have been on the trumpet comeback trail for one month now. Having not played regularly for about 25 years after stopping in college, I decided I wanted to get serious about practicing and see if I could be more disciplined and become a better player than I was in college. Back then, my lack of progress was discouraging although I always knew it was because I did not practice enough.

    So, having recently gotten turned back on to my horn, I discovered TM and joined. Pretty soon the posts from regular contributors responding to folks not too different from me inspired me to get to work. Among my weaknesses were lack of range (anything above A above the staff is a challenge and virutally impossible after about 5 minutes of playing!), lack of flexibility, lack of technical ability, just to name the most glaring shortcomings.

    Despite having a busy schedule, I have managed to practice at least an hour every day since Nov. 16. My routine has been to warm-up with long tones and slurs for about fifteen minutes, and then spend the next 45 minutes working on the first 3 Clarke technical studies. My fingering is a disgrace, and I have to slow many of the exercises way down in order to execute them accurately.

    On days where I can get more than an hour in, I spend the rest of the time playing and working on tunes in the Arban book, the Hayden and Hummel concertos, and others. I remember my band director in high school trying to get me to play Fantaisie Brilliant, and how I couldn't even begin to do it, but now I am having fun with it. (Gotta include double- and triple-tonguing to my routine in order to do that last variatiion, though!)

    After only a month I have noticed a marked improvement in the accuracy of my fingering and in flexibility. While there has not been any marked improvement in range, there have been tantalizing hints of improvement to come as some days the high notes have slid out surprisingly easily -- no power, but delicate and clear if my set up is just right. Other days it seems like I have made no progress, but I place my hope in those other days when things are working. I am patiently "waiting for the miracle", as Vulgano would say!

    I want to thank everybody on TM. Not having a band to play in, this list has been a huge factor in my progress. It is great to be a part of community that loves the trumpet and is so supportive of hacks like me that are trying to improve. I greatly enjoy reading all of the posts. Without TM I doubt I would have practiced with as much disciplne as I have the last month. I wish I could go back and apologize to my trumpet teachers in college for not practicing then like I should have. I wasn't patient enough the to see any improvement, but I see their words echoed in TM posts.

    I know I need a teacher, but before I run the risk of wasting their time, I want to prove to myself that I can stick to it on my own for a while first. If I maintain my new practicing habit for at least six months, then perhaps I will know I have acquired the necessary discipline. In the meantime, thanks to everybody on TM for your support!
     
  2. tatakata

    tatakata Mezzo Forte User

    957
    5
    May 29, 2007
    The only persons time you are wasting by not getting a teacher asap is your own. You could be trying to reinvent the trumpet wheel with out even knowing it. Get a teacher before you develop bad habits on your own!

     
  3. brem

    brem Mezzo Forte User

    831
    5
    Sep 13, 2007
    Quebec City, QC, Canada
    When is a teacher no longer needed? I see people suggesting a teacher for nearly every question people ask. But when is a 24/7 teacher no longer needed that you can confidently practice on your own?

    I'm just asking, cause it seems to be the universal answer here, for every thing.
     
  4. Miyot

    Miyot Pianissimo User

    170
    1
    Jul 22, 2007
    Alan, I am also a comeback player. 27 yrs off for me. I have been back for 9 months. I bet you make good progress with your range. We are older and smarter. I never practiced either. I average 12 hrs a week now. If you stay with it you will be better than you ever were.
     
  5. brem

    brem Mezzo Forte User

    831
    5
    Sep 13, 2007
    Quebec City, QC, Canada
    I'm a comeback player also, and I've never practiced as much now that I have less free time than when I was young and stupid.

    I already am better than I ever was. :p
     
  6. Miyot

    Miyot Pianissimo User

    170
    1
    Jul 22, 2007
    brem, a teacher is always needed. I don't have a teacher. I think progress would always be quicker with a teacher. We all hit spots where we are not sure which course to follow. A good teacher can usually point the way.

    About a month ago my embouchure had become overworked. I did know I was in trouble. But I wasn't sure just what to do about it. I had a gig coming up. Should I take some time off and rest. Or work harder and push on. I really didn't know what to do.

    I asked rowuk for some help. He advised breaking up my practice into 4 or 5 half hr. sessions instead of my usual 2 hr. solid session. And adding more soft practice time to ease the strain on my chops. It worked. And now a month later I am finally fully recovered. Had I had a good teacher, I bet he would have recognized my problem sooner and averted the whole deal.

    TM is a pretty good place to learn stuff, it has helped me.

    I built a wood boat once. Spending hrs. pondering ways to accomplish an important task. Doing it wrong and pondering some more. A wood working friend stopped over, and looking at the problem said try this. In a few min. the problem is solved. Then he says my dad showed me that. Teachers need teachers. Wish I had one.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2007
  7. brem

    brem Mezzo Forte User

    831
    5
    Sep 13, 2007
    Quebec City, QC, Canada
    Miyot: so TM is a replacement teacher? :)
     
  8. Miyot

    Miyot Pianissimo User

    170
    1
    Jul 22, 2007
    brem, If you can separate the grain from the chaff, TM is a teacher. But will never replace someone who sits next to you. A lot is lost over the internet.
     
  9. et_mike

    et_mike Mezzo Forte User

    Age:
    37
    723
    1
    Oct 16, 2007
    Chesapeake, VA
    I don't believe any of us ever reach a point of not needing help... there may be a point where we no longer need a teacher, but instead need a coach. Tiger Woods still employs a swing coach. Why? Hasn't he proven that he knows what he is doing? The simple answer is, it is much easier for the person sitting next to you to see what you may be doing right or wrong than for you to see it yourself. I only see my instructor once every two weeks for an hour. We play together, he gives me pointers, points out what I'm doing (right and wrong) then helps me develop goals for the next two weeks. If I have any questions between sessions, he is available for consult! The reason "find a teacher" is the answer to all questions, here, is it is extremly difficult to diagnose and solve a problem on-line, with out seeing or hearing the person play; where as a teacher that is in the same room may only take several minutes and be able to offer a simple solution. TM is definately not a "replacement teacher", although it is much cheaper! ;) Simply a great place to share ideas... that you can later bring up and discuss with your teacher! :D
     
  10. brem

    brem Mezzo Forte User

    831
    5
    Sep 13, 2007
    Quebec City, QC, Canada
    Miyot: true, but we can't all afford a teacher. Either cause of money or time constraints. Or geographical location :)
     

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