Rating my trumpet progress

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by steevywonder, May 13, 2009.

  1. steevywonder

    steevywonder New Friend

    Mar 4, 2009
    I've just started the trumpet in my later years (56), having taken lessons for about 2 and a half months now and away from music for 40 years (recorders in chamber music group when I was young). Challenging to say the least but really enjoying it. I'd like to calibrate my progress, never having realized beforehand that going up the staff is a climb. I am fairly comfortable at this stage up to "C" on the staff, up to "B" on the staff is very solid, and can hit "D" on a good day when my chops aren't too fatigued. I have no feel for how I'm doing in my two month "journey", except my trumpet teacher says I am doing very well, with steadily improving, consistent tone. Any thoughts from all you "pro's" would be appreciated.
  2. Markie

    Markie Forte User

    Jan 4, 2009
    Clarksburg, WV
    Hi Steevy,
    Yes you are on a journey and even if you don't end up sounding like Al Hirt, it will not be a journey wasted. I would recommend a book(paperback) by Rafael Mendez on trumpet playing. There's a ton of knowledge in it. However,the one thing you have to remember is that when you read something in the book, you might not "get it" until months later.
    The time between when instruction is given and when that advice or instruction is appriciated is often profound.
    Don't forget to practice your scales and do bugle slurs using all 7 valve combinations.
  3. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Steevy, the joy that you harvest yourself and bring to the people around you are what determines the level of your progress. Nothing else.
    You know very well that there is always room for improvement and that even the best are not "complete". In that relation, I would say that you are VERY successful! Start playing tunes, music is what this is all about!
  4. steevywonder

    steevywonder New Friend

    Mar 4, 2009
    Just wanted to say, "Many thanks" to you.
  5. Snorglorf

    Snorglorf Pianissimo User

    Nov 13, 2008
    Remember that range is not a measurement of your progress. In my opinion, that's like measuring how good of a driver you are by how fast you can go.
  6. Darthsunshine

    Darthsunshine Mezzo Forte User

    Jul 19, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    I'd agree that focusing on range is often unproductive as a measurement of progress. Hard work done properly, with the guidance of your instructor, will have the happy side-effect of improving range and endurance without actually aiming to improve it. It's a never ending journey, but a fun one. Enjoy :D
  7. oldlou

    oldlou Forte User

    Aug 28, 2005
    Grand Rapids, Mi.
    In addition to all of the above; find and join a local community band or orchestra. Playing along with other musicians is of value unmeasurable. One of the main things that you will learn quite quickly is to count every note and every rest. I am an elderly guy who was away from the horns for over 45 years, and now I am principal trumpet in one band and utility trumpet in another, in two community bands. What I see and hear most in these bands, from 'newbees' is a problem with counting. They soon catch on that at the end of a phrase, when going into a rest that they must start counting immediately to be able to come back in at the proper time. Intonation training of their ears also happens fast.

    Go out and have fun with your music.


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