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Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by barato, Feb 6, 2007.
I got into it all because of marching band and drum corps. I was actually a music ed. major on saxophone. It's been a while since I played a sax with any kind of regularity though!
Holy resurrected threads, Batman! 5+ years between posts - LOVE IT!
I got into playing trumpet because 1.) at that time in my small Southwest Nebraska hometown, when you hit 5th grade, 90% of everyone went out for band, so it was expected that I play something, and although I started off playing saxophone, we traded my sax so my older sister could get an upgrade trumpet, and inhereted the cornet she'd been playing. Of all the instruments I've had over the years, that's the only horn that is off limits to sell - it reminds me where I came from.
I was a middle of the road player until about halfway through 7th grade when an odd turn of events got me into trouble with the band teacher and he had me come in after school. It's a long story, but it's a day that changed my life - after getting some encouragement from him at the end of that day after I had done some playing for him, I started practicing more, and went from a middle of the road player to among the top in the 7th and 8th grade band. The rest is history - I enjoyed the taste of success, continued to work at it, and moving forward to today I spent a decade as an active duty military musician, and have gigged thousands of jobs over the years.
I've nothing as romantic or inspirational as some have written. No musicians in the family to inspire. No musical giants to emulate. Parents/relatives weren't much into music really. In fourth grade we played flutophone---if any of you can remember that far back. I guess that was to weed out those without either talent or perseverance. Then came the fifth grade and truthfully, I don't remember how I 'ended up' with trumpet. I do remember my dad coming home with a pawnshop Boosey and Hawkes large-belled Stratford trumpet with a Conn 7 mouthpiece. Why do I say 'large-belled?' Because it was too large to hold a mute properly---I had to build up the cork on a new mute for it to stay in.
I played trumpet through my sophmore year in HS when the director, Bob Parsons, asked me to play valve-trombone as our small band needed more bottom. I did this through HS. Upon entering Kilgore Jr. College, Wally Reed did not like valve-trombones--though they had one in the instrument room I noticed--and told me to buy a slide one. Needless to say, that was a bit of a handicap, having never played one before. I persevered, more out of stubbornness than anything else, probably. I took lessons and did manage to get to first chair 2nd trombone in a year or so. But I had no real love for the instrument.
In 2010, I bought (won?) an old cornet on shopgoodwill and when I received it, I was surprised that 1. I could still make a decent tone and 2. I remembered fingerings and scales. I now have way too many cornets and trumpets, though I have sold and/or given away a few. Playing is now part of my morning ritual before preparing to go to work, and my evening before retiring. I have played Christmas carols for the school kids where I work, and in several of their talent shows and I try to play cornet when I do, because the cornet has been getting a bad rap of late. I think it sends a positive message.
That's my story, soon to be a major motion picture.
In 3rd grade we had the opportunity to play all the standard band instruments. At the end of each class we'd all play a note on our selected instrument and the teacher would rate our sound. When I played my on the staff G the teacher looked at the supervisor and said "woah look out." To this day, that's my ultimate goal when playing - to make people's jaws drop when they hear me. I wanted to play french horn but the band director told me it was too hard and that I should start on trumpet. I think he just didn't want another french horn in the band.
Now, I realize what an arbitrary way that is to grade students and certainly an odd way to select an instrument....but it worked out well for me.
Have you ever seen 'The Benny Goodman Story'? Just wondered...
There's that scene where his brothers get 'cool' instruments and Benny is given a clarinet and doesn't want it.
Can't say I blame him, after all, it's just a recorder when all's said and done.
LOL, Rankamateur--By the way, I like the Benny Goodman Story too--Gotta love Steve Allen!!
Glenn Miller Story too? Great stuff, even if he does play an oversized slide trumpet.
How about Red Nichols? Long American cornet, but I can forgive him. After all, it's only jazz.
I lurve that Battle Hymn of the Rebublic Dixieland scene in the speakeasy with Louis!
I like all the swing bandleader biopics, although they do require some suspension of disbelief, as typified by the scenes in "The Glenn Miller Story" where Miller, played by James Stewart, repeatedly pawns his trombone because he has no money, gets the horn out of the pawn shop sometime later, and when he plays, he sounds like he never took a day off!! There are lots of things in the plots of these movies that you know couldn't have happened exactly as shown, but they're still cool flicks, and we've probably all heard and/or read the story about how Stewart tried to play trombone for the movie, but did so badly--in fact, the studio musician hired to teach him couldn't take it anymore, so a mouthpiece was made for Stewart with no drill hole. Stewart (one of my favorite actors) joked on "The Tonight Show" that he played so badly, the unfortunate studio trombonist began to hit his wife and kick his dog, which spurred the decision not to allow Stewart to play for real....