The Only Sure Way To Learn To Play The Trumpet.

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by dbacon, Feb 15, 2004.

  1. dbacon

    dbacon Mezzo Piano User

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    Oct 24, 2003
    Scottsdale, AZ.
    The only sure way to learn how to play the instrument is to study with a fine professional trumpet player and teacher. The earlier you start, the better chance you have of avoiding playing habits that will slow you down later in your career.
     
  2. Dr G

    Dr G Pianissimo User

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    Nov 9, 2003
    I have often wondered how it is that so many of the early jazz greats made it without having the opportunity to study with the fine players and teachers we have today.
     
  3. dbacon

    dbacon Mezzo Piano User

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    Oct 24, 2003
    Scottsdale, AZ.
    So many Jazz players did study. Lee Morgan, Miles, Kenny Dorham, Freddie Hubbard. Harry James with his father, a very accomplished player. If you look you will see a great many players of all styles have studied trumpet with the best possible teachers. Today, with an emphasis on all styles of playing, there's no market for an untrained player. Read the interview with Tom Harrell in the current ITG Journal.
     
  4. Dr G

    Dr G Pianissimo User

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    Nov 9, 2003
    Please accept my apologies. I was just not aware of the caliber of fine trumpet players and teachers available to the residents of South Carolina orphanages, circa. 1920 (Cat Anderson) or Louisiana reform schools, circa. 1910 (Louis Armstrong), nor that St. Louis, Mo and Austin, Tx high schools of the late 'thirties were singular in having appropriate mentors for Miles Davis and Kenny Dorham respectively.
     
  5. dcstep

    dcstep Mezzo Piano User

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    Nov 27, 2003
    Denver
    Wrong!

    Roy Hargrove is a great modern example that taught himself in his first three years. Bart Marantz "found him" and helped him greatly, but he'd molded himself early on by listening to and emulating his father's records. (At least that's what he has said in the past).

    If you get rid of the absolute "only", then maybe I can agree, but as stated it comes off as pontificating and impossibly narrow. I taught myself for my first four years. I'm no Roy Hargrove, but I didn't gain a whole bunch from the guys that screwed around with my embouchure after I was already first chair in the all-county band.

    My "teacher" was Don Jacoby. He never met me, but I heard him when I was ten-years old (four years before my first "lesson"), from about the tenth row. He was running around the country playing "Ode to Trumpet" with various "honor bands" and I was lucky enough that my parents thought it'd be good for me. (God's hand was there, I believe). I still think of Don's sound almost every time I play.

    Dave
     
  6. dbacon

    dbacon Mezzo Piano User

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    Oct 24, 2003
    Scottsdale, AZ.

    Louis Armstrong studied from Bunk Johnson as well as Peter Davis "who taught the fundamentals of music and deserves the larger share of the credit for setting Louis on the road." From LOUIS, The Armstrong Story by Max Jones and John Chilton. It goes on to discuss the Jones School that Louis attended as well as his later work with King Oliver, a fine cornetist. Pages 50-53. "No, my teaching was in the Home by Mr. Peter Davis, and that was the start of my career." Page 53. "After I got out Papa Joe Oliver took over.."


    Cat took lessons from Costello at one point, I believe when Costello was still with the Philadelphia Orchestra. Cat began playing when he was seven, started on trombone but his arms where too short. The school he attended was run on charity and would send out it's dance bands to make money for the school. " The school specialized in brass, and one very good teacher was Alonzo Mills, a trumpet player. Amos Gilliard was a fantastic trombonist, more of a concert than a jazz player, and he returned and taught at the school for a while." From "The World Of Duke Ellington" by Stanley Dance. Pages 144-153, Cat Anderson. Certainly Cat's talent and intellegence were largely responsible for his own development. Teaching and sharing can often work together. With a great player like Clarke Terry on the Ellington band you'd better believe guys talked about trumpet playing on those long road trips.
     
  7. dbacon

    dbacon Mezzo Piano User

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    Oct 24, 2003
    Scottsdale, AZ.
    Roy Hargrove is a great modern example that taught himself in his first three years. Bart Marantz "found him" and helped him greatly, but he'd molded himself early on by listening to and emulating his father's records. (At least that's what he has said in the past).

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    Roy's lessons with Bart speak for themselves.
     
  8. dcstep

    dcstep Mezzo Piano User

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    Nov 27, 2003
    Denver
    There are no "great" teachers, just "great" students. I just read that in the last few days but I can't remember who said it. It was maybe Van Cliburn, but I can't remember.

    Bart didn't "make" Roy. He may have "saved" Roy, but I don't think he made him. (My oldest daughter went to HS with Roy and my middle daughter studied with Bart, so I heard about lots of little details regarding the relationships down at the school).

    Dave
     
  9. Dr G

    Dr G Pianissimo User

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    Nov 9, 2003
    The following biographical excerpts have been freely plagiarized from http://www.shout.net/~jmh/ (An interesting trumpeter’s site). Perhaps the apprentice aspect of trumpet playing is as important, or maybe more important, than having a fine professional trumpet player and teacher.

    CLARK TERRY — Born on December 14, 1920 in St. Louis, Clark Terry first instrument was a $12.50 trumpet purchased at a local pawn shop. At age 15, while attending Vashon High School, he joined a local drum and bugle corps. After graduating from high school, he played with several bands around the midwest, including Fate Marable (an early mentor of Louis Armstrong).
    In 1942, he joined the Navy, and was stationed at Great Lakes Naval Station in Chicago, and was discharged in 1945.
    For the next three years, Terry played with a variety of professional bands, including those of Lionel Hampton, George Hudson, Charlie Barnet, Eddie Vinson, Charlie Ventura, and Count Basie.
    Barnet recommended Terry to Duke Ellington, who hired him in 1951. Terry remained with the band through 1959, while recording several albums for the Argo and Riverside labels.

    CARL SAUNDERS — A superior bop trumpeter inspired by Don Fagerquist and Kenny Dorham, Carl Saunders has long been one of the top jazz soloists based in Los Angeles, but has only recently begun to record as a leader and receive the notoriety he deserves. Saunders was born August 2, 1943 in Las Vegas, Nevada. As a teenager, he played with Stan Kenton and Bobby Sherwood (his uncle). Saunders picked up experience touring with Benny Goodman, Charlie Barnet, Harry James, Buddy Rich, and Maynard Ferguson (1967), and played regularly in show bands in Las Vegas until moving to Los Angeles in 1984.

    “BLUE†MITCHELL — Born Richard Allen Mitchell in Miami on March 13, 1930, "Blue" Mitchell did not begin playing the trumpet until the age of 17, when he began playing in his high school band. Mitchell, exposed early on to the music of Dizzy Gillespie (and probably fellow Floridian Fats Navarro) credited Miami dance band trumpeter Dick Smothers with the concepts of lyrical tone and phrasing which was a hallmark of Mitchell's sound throughout his career. His early jazz fundamentals were honed with a young local group that included bassist Sam Jones; by 1948 he had joined a group which worked in the Tallahassee area, where he would meet future benefactor Julian "Cannonball" Adderley and his brother Nat.
    In 1949 and 1950, Mitchell played with the Frank Brown orchestra; he then joined the Paul Williams band (Detroit?), and by late 1952 had moved to New York City, where he joined Earl Bostic's band (and met tenor saxophonist Benny Golson). Mitchell remained in New York until 1955, departing to tour briefly with the Sarah Vaughan/Al Hibbler road band, and then returning to the Miami area.

    HARRY “SWEETS†EDISON — Harry "Sweets" Edison (1919-1999) is one of the few players in the history of jazz trumpet who could be instantly identified after only a few notes; along with Bobby Hackett, he was acknowledged as one of the few master trumpet accompanists.
    Born in Columbus, Ohio, Edison moved to Louisville, Kentucky to live with his uncle, a coal miner and farmer. It was his uncle who first exposed Edison to music, first teaching him to play a pump organ. Edison later found an old cornet in the house and taught himself scales. He cited early exposure to recordings of Louis Armstrong backing up Bessie Smith as important influences on his playing.
    When he was eleven Edison almost died from typhoid fever. A year later his mother took him back to Columbus, Ohio, and bought a new horn for Edison, at considerable expense. He soon joined a local band led by Earl Hood. In 1933 he joined the Jeter-Pillars Orchestra and moved with the band to St. Louis, where he worked for two years. Tab Smith, A visiting alto player, heard him, and recommended Edison to Lucky Millinder, who led a top rank band in New York. Edison joined Millinder, whose band included trumpet giant Charlie Shavers, pianist Billy Kyle and the tenor saxophonist Don Byas.

    KENNY DORHAM — Overshadowed for most of his career by the likes of Dizzy Gillespie, Fats Navarro, Miles Davis, Clifford Brown, and Lee Morgan, Kenny Dorham's abilities as a composer and unique voice as an advanced bop trumpet player are underrated to this day.
    McKinley Howard Dorham was born on August 30, 1924 on a ranch called Post Oak, near Fairfield, Texas. He attended Anderson High School in Austin, where he began teaching himself to play piano and trumpet, and spending much of his time on the school boxing team. He later enrolled at Wiley College in Marshall, Texas, studying chemistry and minoring in physics. During this time he experimented with arranging, writing for the stage band, where he met such players as Wild Bill Davis, Harold Land, and Roy Porter.

    CHET BAKER — Born Chesney Henry Baker, Jr. in Yale, Oklahoma on December 23, 1929, Chet Baker began his musical career as a child, singing at amateur competitions and in a church choir. His father brought home a trombone for him to play, then replaced it with a trumpet when the larger instrument proved too much for him. His first formal training in music occurred at Glendale Junior High School, but Baker would play mostly by ear for the rest of his life.
    In 1946, at the age of 16, he dropped out of high school and enlisted in the army. He was sent to Berlin, Germany, where he played in the 298th Army Band. After his discharge in 1948, he enrolled at El Camino College in Los Angeles, where he studied theory and harmony while playing in jazz clubs He quit college in the middle of his second year. He re-enlisted in the army in 1950 and became a member of the Sixth Army Band at the Presidio in San Francisco, but began sitting in at clubs like Bop City and the Blackhawk in the city, and soon obtained a second discharge to pursue a career as a professional musician.
     
  10. PH

    PH Mezzo Piano User

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    FWIW, that orphanage in South Carolina also produced Jabbo Smith and Buddy Aiken, two under appreciated jazz trumpet greats in the generation between Armstrong and Cat Anderson...and that's just a couple of names of guys who came out of there and ended up in New York recording with Fletcher Henderson, et al. There were probably lots of others who stayed in the southeast and remain obscure to history.

    Obviously, something was being taught in that orphanage by someone that produced solid young trumpet players. The idea that players are born not made is generally BS. Jazz mythology rears its ugly head.

    Armstrong not only learned a lot from his teachers. He also learned a lot from being "apprenticed" to King Oliver, Kid Rene, etc.
     

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