Self-teaching resources?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Fortepiano, Jan 5, 2010.

  1. Carroll W. Schroeder

    Carroll W. Schroeder Pianissimo User

    Nov 3, 2009
    McMinnville, Oregon
    Didn't think I would get so much negative feedback, but its ok. It just goes to show you can leed a horse to water but can't make him drink. CW
  2. crazyandy88

    crazyandy88 Pianissimo User

    Nov 3, 2007
    Fayetteville, AR
    I use the Carl Manous book for rhythm practice. It is like learning to read a language. At first you must sound everything out and after lots of practice you just see patterns as they fly by.
  3. PiperJon

    PiperJon New Friend

    Oct 22, 2009
    Of course, I'd second (and third, fourth, 27th) the call for a teacher, but that's not what you asked about, you asked about resources.

    I love Arban. They're complicated, pretty, and stretch you. Start at the beginning, work to the end. I'm still at the beginning.

    Play anything written by that most wonderful madman of brass, Vladimir Blazhevich. Work it until it sounds beautiful. And I don't mean "acceptable," or "not bad." BEAUTIFUL.

    I also like anything play-along, like Jamie Aebersold's stuff. It's fun and keeps my attention. YMMV.

    I can feel a difference already in my endurance and the solidity of my tone by playing through the Chicowitz Flow Studies every day during practice. Thanks, Chicowitz!

    Record yourself. Play your recordings for others. Listen.

    Particularly if you like jazz, but even if you like other stuff, get a gazillion lead sheets (try Wikifonia | Free download and publishing of lead sheets), learn the basics of a song, and then make yourself transpose that song into different keys on the fly. Pick a different key at random. Better yet, put key sigs on little pieces of paper, and pull them out of a hat, at random. That'll show you very quickly why you need to do scale studies each and every day. And in your sleep. And in the shower.

    Do session work with people. As has been suggested here, play with folks you don't know, and in new venues. Listen more, talk less, and play your best. You still won't know everything, but you'll learn what you don't know, and rapidly. Musicians are not necessarily the most gentle of folks when it comes to their art, but DANG they are honest in what they believe.

    Then play all of it for a competent instructor, or after a session with some of your new buddies. Listen to what they say.

    Do I do all these things? All but the last two, and the first I'll be doing when I feel more confident playing "on the fly." And Mr. Blazhevich and I, well, we're still coming to an understanding...

    And yes, I *am* searching for a tutor, thanks for asking. :-)


    simonstl likes this.
  4. aerotim13

    aerotim13 New Friend

    Apr 24, 2009
    Rolla, Missouri
    I've spent most of my time trying to improve on my own, and what I've noticed is I can get much better using all the resources on this forum, the internet, including lots of listening to good players, listening to recordings of myself, and otherwise; but it only takes me one or two lessons with a GOOD teacher and I make large leaps forward. I think that it is very hard to get better unless SOMEBODY listens to you, and I think that includes yourself. I try to record my own practicing sometimes, I get recordings of our band concerts, and I compare what I sound like to what I think I sound like... sometimes I'm really disappointed, but then I know what I want to do better.

    My most recent teacher kept saying, "if you have sound, you have everything." I agree. Maybe you don't have everything, but you'll sure have a lot.

    It's strange how much different you sound on a good recording than you do behind the bell.

    Anyway, a good teacher will help you because they can listen to you. If taking lessons with your band director didn't help, then try somebody else, and that's okay.
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2010
  5. trpt2345

    trpt2345 Mezzo Forte User

    May 21, 2006
    Morelia, Mexico
    Not really apropos here, he was talking about learning to compose, not to play an instrument. Context, dude. You're not going to learn how to play the trumpet by going to a library.

    The idea you can learn without a teacher is absurd. If the teachers you have are bad, find different teachers. If you have to move to a different city to do so, well, do it. Go find the best trumpet player you can and take lessons from them. There are many really smart people who for centuries have spent their whole lives trying to find out how to most efficiently play the instrument. That is body of knowledge kept alive transferred from teacher to student, master to acolyte. The idea that you can duplicate that body of knowledge on your own is arrogance. It's like saying, I'm going to play in the NFL, but I'm not going to play at the high school or college level, I'm going to learn on my own, go to the library and study. Lots of luck.
  6. trpt2345

    trpt2345 Mezzo Forte User

    May 21, 2006
    Morelia, Mexico
    <<There are a few self-taught pros though.>>

    Name one. In the modern era, meaning alive today.
  7. Bixel

    Bixel Pianissimo User

    Jan 1, 2010
    A professional trumpet player ("pro") to me is a person who makes his/her living by only playing (and maybe teaching) trumpet.
    That doesn't necessarily tell about his/her playing abilities.
    There are hundreds of professional trumpet players around without being well known.
    I myself have been one of those self-taught pros for about twenty years.
    I'm not arrogant enough to believe that I'm the only human being to get that going.

    There is a lot of things we learned without teachers: ride a bicycle, walk, climb stairs, speak (at least most part your first language), soccer etc..

    One has to learn how to learn I guess.

    I'm not trying to convince anybody of self-teaching trumpet.
    What I'm saying is: it can be done, if the person and his/her situation fulfill certain conditions.
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2010
  8. equivariant

    equivariant New Friend

    May 25, 2009

    Of course, having a good teacher is the best way to learn anything. However, trying to self teach is not 'arrogant'. What is arrogant is telling someone that if they can't find a good teacher locally, they should move to a new place. What?????? What do you knoe about the OP's life? BTW, Dizzy Gillespie obviously didn't think that self teaching was "absurd" - he could play a bit.

    Also, the OP is specifically not asking about avoiding the 'existing body of knowledge'. He specifically asked for resources (i.e. books, websites) that will allow him to acces this body of knowledge.

    Also, regarding your point about modern day pros that are self taught - I don't think that is necessarily a legitimate point. These days, anyone (in the developed world, at least) with a desire to play trumpet generally has access to a professional teacher. However, in the past that was not necessarily true, and it has been demostrated that it is at least possible (for some people) to reach a professional standard through self teaching.

    I'n not recommending the self teach approach - just pointing out that there is clear evidence that is at least possible.
  9. jdostie

    jdostie Piano User

    Feb 20, 2008
    Wow, this is starting to heat up. Why can't it simply be said that the most tried and true, consistent method that leads to success involves a teacher. Depending on what the persons expectations are, and their aptitudes, they may well be able to have some modicum of success with self teaching - maybe a lot. But, will their progress be as sure and as quick if they don't have a teacher . . .?

    I don't know about the OP, but some people will respond to "you can't do it that way," by setting out to prove that you can. On the other hand, an appeal to their own desires/goals etc, might actually help the person.

    For example, "You want to play for the Bluecoats next year, there is quite a bit of competition at that level. If you really want to make it, there is not a lot of time; you will probably have a higher chance of reaching that goal with a teacher to guide you through over that process."
  10. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    this heats up because everyone has an agenda. This is another reason why it is tough to post any universal advice. The critics tear it up because it doesn't fit their agenda.

    I think if we want to get a handle on DIY, we really have to know the person involved before making any estimates. We can compare the chances for success to dieting, or quitting smoking without guidance. Some manage, most don't. The reason isn't lack of information. Most of the time the DIY approach is not sustainable alone because we have a physical and emotional aspect in dealing with success and failure. There is very often the tendency to practice only what is easy because we "stroke" ourselves for positive reinforcement this way. Overcoming the natural tendency to take the easy way out is the hardest part when "alone".

    I think the semantics game of what finest means, what DIY even is only serve to cloud the issue. If one "wants" to understand, it is easy. If one "wants" to argue, that too is easy. There is nothing wrong with 3rd trumpet. The important part is the self satisfaction. That is in part dependent on what the 1st and 2nd players say about the 3rds playing qualities.......................

    Human beings from birth learn naturally by imitation of people in their immediate reach. Walking, talking, smiling, going to the toilet, manners, dealing with emotions are all part of growing up and are decisively influenced by friends and family behaviour. A one year old watching a DVD of people walking will learn nothing - except how to watch TV. There is no motivation to stand up to get to the mother or father. I believe this is also true when we listen to recordings instead of going to live events. We hear a perfection of tone and technique that is not heathy or realistic. We do not register what happens with the real thing in a real acoustic space.

    I believe the same is true for MOST players. They need a live, accessible role model for the fastest, most natural development. The very beginner that can gain something by intellectualizing the process are few. They don't even know what to listen for. Once a fair amount of practical exerience has been achieved, the chances for improvement alone are greater - we then know what to listen for. The same is true for someone that can play another instrument proficiently. They already can sort out what is required mechanically because the ear and brain have proper connections.

    I do not want people to confuse the issue. The American dream says that you can achieve anything if you want it badly enough. You can travel from New York to Washington DC by traveling north too. It will just take longer and involve considerably more effort. The same is true when playing. If you make a non-valid value judgement, you will end up with a habit to break. Not the end of the world, but a problem in any case. My teaching has had the experience of helping to fix an awful lot of these non-monitored habits. This is why I always try and "push" the concept with the most universal truth.
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