Self Study?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by trumpetseeker, Sep 23, 2012.

  1. odd67ar

    odd67ar Pianissimo User

    Apr 30, 2010
    Oslo, Norway
    Did Harry James ever go to a proper music scool? His father was not a proffesional teacher.Doc´s father was his teacher, he played the violin and was a dentist.
  2. Satchmo Brecker

    Satchmo Brecker Piano User

    Jul 19, 2010
    To me we've got a contradiction going on here. If you read TM for any length of time you see how much diversity of opinion there is even on the so-called basics. Flat out Do A, no no no Do NOT A. And this is from veteran players many of whom are probably teachers as well. So to me it's pot luck on getting a good teacher. You're just as likely to get a Do-A teacher as you are to get a Don't-Do-A teacher, especially if you are an utter beginner who doesn't know enough to judge. For me personally, I think I'm doing just fine without a teacher. I'd definitely like to get a lesson or two in just for corrective action's sake. But all and all I think I've done just fine (using online resources and various forums like TM).
  3. amzi

    amzi Forte User

    Feb 18, 2010
    Northern California
    When I think of "self-taught" I think of a person picking up a horn, a method book and teaching himself (or herself) how to play. I understand this is how Bix Beiderbecke learned to play--with no one to guide him. Bud Herseth learned how to play in a school band program. He never received private instruction, but that is not exactly what I would call self-taught. For me this question is really, can one with a trumpet and a method book or the internet version of the same teach oneself to play trumpet. My answer is, "Probably not." There are so many opportunities for failure, so many opportunities to develop bad habits that undermine progress that trying to learn to play in that environment is a fool's errand.
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2012
  4. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    Going to a proper music school is not the same as having a decent teacher. There are many fine amateur and professional players without music degrees that are fabulous players as a result of having a mentoring teacher.

    When Wynton's band came into Dayton a couple months ago, many of his band came to hear our band play later at Gilly's that night. During that session, Wynton’s band members discussed with us Wynton's rules for being a member in his band. One of his basic rules was that you needed a college degree, not a music degree, but a college degree. His reasoning is that the college experience lead to an approach or understanding of what is needed for advanced learning, and Wynton was instant that his members learn from their experience with him.
  5. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio

    But doing just fine is the enemy to striving to achieve excellence.

    If practice makes perfect, but nobody's perfect, so why practice? The reason is because we should never reach perfect... once a person "thinks" they have reached perfection, the drive to go further has ended. Thus the chance to constantly improve has ended.
  6. bamajazzlady

    bamajazzlady Mezzo Forte User

    May 16, 2011
    Trumpet is a very physically demanding instrument and self teaching is a path to failure.
  7. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    Hmm, who was the 1st trumpet player and who did he/she learn from?? The obvious answer in my mind is, yes, one can be self taught today with all the info out there. Someone eons ago learned to play without any instruction at all. There wasn't even TM!!!! There are world class players who break "the rules" and we are told they are an aberration and not to copy them, yet they are world class. :think::think::think:

    JNINWI Piano User

    Apr 26, 2011
    Gabriel was the first trumpet player and you KNOW who his teacher was…….....................................Maynard…. : )
    tobylou8 likes this.
  9. DiaxII

    DiaxII Pianissimo User

    Oct 22, 2009
    I think it all depends on what one's goals are. If you want to self-study and become a symphony star that's probably unlikely to happen. If you want to self study and become a street trumpet palyer or maybe even a jazz trumpet player at some joint that's quite possible. A jazz trumpet player start? Probably not. Weren't many jazz players self-taught?
    Another consideration is how much natural talent you've got. Those self-taught jazz trumpet players all definitely had a certain degree of talent otherwise they wouldn't get to where they were. It's all general considerations but ain't this applicable to anything in life?
    If you want to learn driving a car on your own you can become a decent amateur driver but will you become a Formula-1 star? Probably not.
    If you want to learn playing trumpet as a hobby and you are not very much concerned about the quality of your playing you can teach yourself. There are millions of self-taught guitarists who can impress their grandmothers and friends with their fret-burning lines but are they up to the top-level players? No. There are so many details in their palying that are not refined.
    However you don't often see this question: 'Can I teach myself to play guitar?'.

    You can teach yourself to do anything but what will be the end result very much depends on a number of factors and most of all your luck. If you are lucky you will understand how to form your embouchure correctly, make it no too tight, how to take a deep breath using your diaphragm, how to start a note correctly, how to... etc. If you don't fail to do all these things in the beginning and manage to retain them in the further course of your studies you are lucky.

    As to your question on the available study material there are some videos on YouTube that actually are shortcuts to teacher's websites. You can get the idea where to start. Get yourself a trumpet studies book for exercises.

    The problem is that you are left on your own and you won't get any feedback that you'd get from your teacher. If you are not lucky you can fail many things and end-up in frustration. You can then overcome a frustration if you are lucky and figure out on your own what was your mistake if you are lucky.
    So it all depends on what you want to do. If you are ready to face a major problem (in case you are not lucky) and spend lot's of time to overcome it if it's possible then you should go for it. If you can't afford yourself to fail you shouldn't.
    It's more or less like roulette: if you know that you can lose but continue to bet deliberately you are prepared to fail (hoping for your luck - why not?).

    Another thing that is specific to trumpet you should practice on a constant basis. If you skip a week you fall back to where you were two months ago. Often in the instructional videos for other instruments, mostly fretted ones like guitar or mandolin, you can hear an instructor advising you to learn playing only when you are having fun and not to study when you are not in the right mood'. For trumpet it doesn't work (see above): you should always be in the right mood or otherwise you won't make any progress when skipping a day, then another day, etc. With guitar you can skip a week and within half an hour regain your finger dexterity. Not so with trumpet.
    Even with saxophone you can leave it for couple months and get back to where you were within next three days (well, almost) but your range won't be affected as much as what you'll experience with trumpet.
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2012
  10. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    Absolutely... if your goals are not to meet you true potential, then a teacher is not right for you. This would unlikely include professional players

    Read Wynton Marasalis's "Moving to Higher Grounds" or other texts written by jazz professionals, and the let me see your answer to this question. These texts provide you with the background of many jazz players. I think you may come away with a different perspective.

    And this IS one of the major factors of "Minimal Structure Theory" that is a REQUIREMENT for professional level jazz improvisation. Professionals learn from feedback. Feedback and response is a major requirement to advance in a profession, jazz musicians [classical musicians] are not the acception. They not only follow the rules, professional musicians mode the rules.

Share This Page