Songs not scales

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by uapiper, Dec 29, 2007.

  1. uapiper

    uapiper Pianissimo User

    Apr 13, 2007
    Hamilton, Canada
    Hello all, I have some questions about learning the different keys. My teacher always has us doing duets and a lot of songs. I want to practice scales so I can hear my notes in an isolated manner.

    I do practice scales at home, when it comes to lessons he prefers play songs which is cool but I don't feel I am getting the theory that I need. So... should I just be content practicing songs or split my time with scales as well.

    I am having trouble remembering all the scales and fingerings that go with. Any ideas and helpful suggestions welcome. I'll even accept sarcasm today. Thanks Mike
  2. Brekelefuw

    Brekelefuw Fortissimo User

    Mar 21, 2006
    To me, playing duets (especially the Amsden book) are what taught me to ply the trumpet. You learn to blend, play musically, listen, read, and you learn scales and stuff because most of the songs don't stray that far from scalar movement.
    Your teacher is doing them with you for a reason, scales can be worked on privately.
  3. Keegan Katastrofee

    Keegan Katastrofee New Friend

    Dec 26, 2007
    My trumpet teacher plays duets with me often, and as the guy above me said, it helps ALOT with many things. However, scales and theory are very important. Ask your teacher to work with you on theory. I've gotten to the point where i can play a scale without knowing it.

    Because i learned the patterns, i.e.

    major scale=wwhwwwh

    whole step
    whole step
    half step
    whole step
    whole step
    whole step
    half step

    little things like that can help you learn scales.

    Its just your personal learning style. If duets help you, play duets, but theory is important.
  4. stchasking

    stchasking Forte User

    Jun 11, 2006
    Take piano lessons from a teacher that will focus on your needs.
    Tell the teacher you want scale theory, chords, and whatever else you can think of.

    You will have to go along with some of the beginner piano books until you are skilled enough to play out of fake books and compilations of jazz standards such as the Dave Brubeck song book, if one exists. Learning to play Chicago tunes with lots of sharps or Blood, Sweat and Tears, Tower of Power will directly help you in playing trumpet. I have a Maynard Ferguson compilation that beats me up whenever I open it.
  5. pipedope

    pipedope Pianissimo User

    Sep 2, 2007
    Trust your teacher to make the best use of your lesson time.
    Duets with your teacher are good for you in so many ways that you should be thankful for as much as you can get.

    Try doing the scales at home.
    Depending on available practice time you might do them all every day or do them in batches so that you get through them all every 3 or 4 days.
    Spend more time on the scales that are not familiar and less on the ones you know.

    Remember to allow yourself time to learn and internalize the new information. There is a difference between having played a scale 10 times and 100 times. Once past 1000 times it is even more wired in.
    Now, if you play each scale every day the 100 times is just over 3 months. 1000 is just under 3 years.

    Let yourself have the time to learn and get good at these things and enjoy the trip.

    I find that keeping a practice log helps me understand how I am improving. If you keep some recordings you can the also hear the difference.

    Remember that it is about the music.
    Keeping a balance of art, fun and work is best for the big picture.
  6. uapiper

    uapiper Pianissimo User

    Apr 13, 2007
    Hamilton, Canada
    Thanks for the comments everyone. I know I should be grateful to have a good teacher and I am. I just thought spending more time with the theory side of learning trumpet would be more beneficial to me.

    I can usually set aside about forty minutes in short bursts to play and more if I use my mute. I know it isn't a lot of time but I use what I can get.
  7. mrmusicnotes

    mrmusicnotes Piano User

    Nov 11, 2007
    Why not use your scales as a warm up,say 10 minutes or so.Duets are great fun,try recording one part and play over it.Good luck
  8. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Play your scales with the mute and the songs without. With your (constructive) attitude, you probably do not need a teacher to monitor your scales.
    You are right, scales are one of the most important building blocks that there are. Playing tunes could presently be more important for your musical development. All my students get at least one scale a week, single and double tongued.
    MJ likes this.
  9. mrtrpt

    mrtrpt New Friend

    Sep 23, 2007
    As an exercise you should just play the scale for whatever key your song is in first. So if the song is in G, play a G scale and maybe arpeggio, then play the song. This is an especially good discipline when working on transposition. Take the same song and play it in different keys, first taking the time to think what the new key is and play the scale for that key to get your brain thinking in that key.

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