The Basics - What is Most Important?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Jack C., Oct 15, 2009.

  1. Jack C.

    Jack C. New Friend

    Aug 20, 2009
    North-Central Illinois
    I would be interested in what you think is the relative importance for each of these basics of trumpet performance. Which of the following aspects of trumpet performance is the most important?

    good sound (tone quality)

    technical skills (articulation(s), dexterity)


    playing high range

    music interpretation


    quality of equipment

    blending in the section and ensemble


    What would you add to this list?
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2009
  2. veery715

    veery715 Utimate User

    Mar 6, 2007
    Ithaca NY


    1. good sound (tone quality)

    2. technical skills (articulation(s), dexterity)

    2. consistency

    6. playing high range

    2. music interpretation

    2. intonation

    quality of equipment: not a part of performance

    standing out in the section or ensemble, (when not lead player or doing solo): bad

    blending in the section and ensemble: good

    competition: useful only in the audition/hiring/academic placement process. Not a part of performing.

    3. cooperation

    1.5 LISTENING (while performing/rehearsing)

    The ability to communicate emotions through performance is critical. And to keep the ego out of it.

  3. simonstl

    simonstl Pianissimo User

    Nov 25, 2008
    Dryden/Ithaca, NY
    One thing I don't see there - and I'm glad not to see there - is sight-reading skill.

    It's always been fun for me to pick up music and do okay the first time through, but the rest of these seem more likely to reinforce each other, while sight-reading makes it easier to practice less.

    I'm not positive what you mean by competition, though.
  4. Pedal C

    Pedal C Mezzo Forte User

    Jan 24, 2005
    I would add good time and rhythm. If you can play in time, in tune and phrase well, you can give a good performance.
  5. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    There is no order. If you are missing anything you are undesirable. If you are not working on everything needed, you are on a path to nowhere.

    Very popular: Big Mouth, great sound, no timing = useless.

    The most important part is being a good colleague, always prepared, always in a good mood, always supportive, no communicable diseases.

    A more significant question would be: what valve should I keep most oiled.
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2009
  6. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    I would suggest the most important thing at first is to let the trumpet make its own sound. Learn to let the horn resonate--if a Getzen, let it sound like a Getzen; if an Olds, let it sound like an Olds; if a Schilke, let it sound like a Schilke, etc. After this skill is learned we can also learn to manipulate our sound, but at the beginning, if we try to sound like Bud or Maynard using a 14A4a and a Getzen 300, we'll just mess up our playing. If we can get the trumpet to sound (hmm, maybe there's a song title in that) all the other stuff becomes a simple case of dropping the right note in the right space the right way.
  7. hichez

    hichez Pianissimo User

    Jul 13, 2009
    Ive never of heard of that but I guess it makes sense. But how will we know when we are making the right fundamental sound for the brand of instrument we are using? Or is it just one of those intuition things(I really hope note lol).
  8. dhbailey

    dhbailey Piano User

    Jul 28, 2009
    New Hampshire
    All things are equally important -- just as it is important that even if we are trying to work to improve one certain aspect of trumpet playing we need to keep thinking about all the aspects of playing the trumpet.

    One thing not on the list but without which we can't play the trumpet and when done improperly forces us to play the trumpet poorly -- breathing.
  9. Pedal C

    Pedal C Mezzo Forte User

    Jan 24, 2005
    That's cool...I haven't really thought of it like that. If you let a horn sing that way, it would make it easier to find a horn that works for you. Listen to the sound the horn is giving you, and decide if it's what you want. Simple.
  10. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    When the horn resonates--when playing a long tone you can hear the different harmonics/partials stacking up in the room, then you've found the trumpet's sound.

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