Questions for "returning" players

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by johnande, Jun 11, 2009.

  1. johnande

    johnande Pianissimo User

    Jun 3, 2009
    western Wyoming
    Question(s) for all you “returning” players…

    As a newcomer to TM, I apologize if these questions has been asked and answered before. I suspect they have but I have not found them… If you have the time and inclination, please share your experiences with the rest of us. Thanks,

    My questions are:
    1) As a returning player, what have been the 2-3 (4?) most difficult playing skills (abilities, techniques) for you to regain after your layoff? (ie, range, breath control, finger dexterity, etc etc)
    2) What exercises have you used to improve these skills? Which worked best for you?
    3) How long was your layoff? How long did you play before the layoff? Comments about your “return” process?
  2. TrumpetMD

    TrumpetMD Fortissimo User

    Oct 22, 2008
    Welcome to TM.

    For me, range and endurance have been the toughest areas.

    This have been an evolving process. I've been doing long tone exercises from Schossberg, lip flexibilities from Collins, and Clarke Technical Study #1 (ala the Adams Routine) for range.

    My layoff was about 15 years. I started playing again about 10 months ago. I'm trying to be patient and to be content with steady progress. About 6 months ago, I started private lessons, which have helped a lot.

  3. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

    Jul 20, 2006
    Heart of Dixie
    To me, range and endurance took the longest to get back. I played about 10 years, then took about 6 years off. I began anew by playing with a local concert band and practicing the Arban book, working on things that looked impossible to play. Since then, I've played continuously for the last 30 years (so I'm not a new comebacker ;-)). I can now play stuff I never dreamed I'd be able to play and am still improving, so hang in there.
  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    I have never taken a break, but have helped enough come-backers after the initial DIY frustration set in.

    The top "challenge" was always endurance. Number 2 was range, #3 the wife not diggin the noise.

    We got endurance under control by setting up a daily 30 minute routine. 10 minutes of long tones (5 on the mouthpiece, 5 on the horn) and 10 minutes of slurs. All of this stuff is played as softly as possible without tonguing - only inhale and exhale. Then comes 10 minutes of easy tunes like out of a hymnbook. This is a daily "pill" and to get technically better, additional time AFTER the routine is required. Within 4-8 weeks we had a very nice reliable, relaxed sound and very clean articulation (if the sound starts cleanly without the tongue, everything works better!)

    Range pretty much followed the routine too, but in many cases additional slurs were necessary once the basics were clean. The Wife generally didn't mind once things started sounding good.

    We are creatures of habit. The sooner we start building them, the sooner we get good.

    Have a great adventure and keep us informed!
  5. BennyBGoode

    BennyBGoode New Friend

    Jun 11, 2009
    I've had an accident and lost three teeths, so I had a 2 month break (it was killing me once my stitches were getting to cicatrice) and the roughest part is the endurance control, like everybody said.
  6. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown

    If we've played long enough, the other skills are "hard-wired," though perhaps rusty. To build endurance, many repetitions at a low degree of difficulty are the trick. If your wife complains invoke the "for better or worse" clause. It will get better!

    Have fun!
  7. EdMann

    EdMann Mezzo Forte User

    Sep 20, 2007
    Los Angeles
    I played for 13 years before laying off, 12 years off and on, and 12-15 completely off. It comes back, it really does, but whew!

  8. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

    Oct 18, 2007
    The Wide Brown Land

    I played as a 12/13/14 yo and was between gigs for 37 years.

    I came back to the instrument via the local Community Concert Band whose BD discovered that I owned an instrument - didn't need an audition - little did he know.

    Biggest hurdles for me were learning to read music, to read ahead, to have faith in myself and recognise that the kids in the band were having as much difficulty (and fun) as I was, that the note I was producing WAS correctly pitched, that a microphone is ALWAYS ON. That Christmas carols are HARD to play. It was all difficult and I took the view that I needed to focus on everything as if I had NEVER played before.

    I have realised that knowing what I know now - if that data had been available to me when I was 14 - I would never have put the trumpet in the cupboard.

    I also realise that, not for a nano second, have I regretted "coming back", best of luck to you, and above ALL ELSE have fun.
  9. johnande

    johnande Pianissimo User

    Jun 3, 2009
    western Wyoming
    To all the above...
    Thanks for your responses, and I hope to get many more. My primary interest in asking the questions was to identify the types of problems and solutions that you, as a comeback player, have had and how you dealt with them. Some of you also expressed support for me, as a comeback player, and I appreciate that very much also. At age 73 and after a half-century layoff I need all the help I can get, but as a footnote my 4 month comeback is going quite well -- range returned quickly (C3 comes easy) but endurance remains a problem, as does breath control. Otherwise I am very comfortable with my progress and I am having a ball... Once again, thanks for your responses and comments. JA

Share This Page