The Shame... (Writing down fingerings)

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Overtones, Dec 5, 2011.

  1. Overtones

    Overtones New Friend

    Oct 24, 2010
    I am a beginner playing the arban's. When I am through for the night struggling to play the next
    exercise I go back to good ol' #6 from the first studies trying to end my disasteress pratice session
    on a good note. I don't look at the music because I know the dynamics by heart. I just look at the
    valve positions there printed for me on the page. I don't know, if the whole book had the music and
    valve positions written for you maybe it would be easier to play from. When I was in school
    and played trombone I wrote the slide positions below the music and I always played better that way
    if I knew how the song went all I needed were the slide positions. Why can't I just play the trumpet the
    same way. I think I would cover more ground faster. I just can't sight read well enough and I never could. No more messing up the fingering and wondering why you suck or long pauses...
    What's that note. What are your thoughts.
  2. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    Rolf Quinque used to write in his fingerings while principal trumpet in Munich. No shame if you can play. Rolf could.
  3. stumac

    stumac Fortissimo User

    Oct 19, 2008
    Flinders Vic Australia
    Playing the trumpet is a learning process and many thousands of repetitions are required to establish the neural pathways in the brain required to co-ordinate the eyes, ears, lips, breath and ears to the point where one can see a printed note, hear its sound in the head and automatically play it.

    When we learned to read in school we firstly learned the alphabet and the sound of the letters and then the words and their sound until we do not have to analyze a word to know its sound. The same with music except there are extra processes to be learned.

    Writing the fingering may be a help in the very beginning but to rely on it is a pretty sure way to inhibit progress. Learn your scales by reading them until it becomes automatic.

    Do you have a teacher? If not then Arban may not be the best without a structured programme of study. My thoughts.

    Regards, Stuart.
  4. kehaulani

    kehaulani Fortissimo User

    May 14, 2011
    Hawaian homey
    Why would he do that? Certainly the kind of music he was playing, the notes would be going by faster than the time it would take to read each written fingering seperately.
  5. MSfortissimo

    MSfortissimo Pianissimo User

    Jul 13, 2011
    SF Bay Area
    Habit? Perhaps it made him feel more solid.
  6. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    Whatever legal means it takes to get the job done is fine!:D No shame in that!
  7. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

    Jul 20, 2006
    Heart of Dixie
    Nothing wrong with making any markings on your music that allow you to play it better. In fact, marking trouble spots, tempo and dynamic changes, and any other preferences of the conductor is the mark of a good musician, not something to be ashamed of. When a conductor says "play that passage a little more marcato", or "begin that crescendo a measure earlier", he wants to see pencils moving.

    Now, as far as marking fingerings for every note, that can be a help for the beginner. never learn to read the music well enough to play it without the fingerings written in will make your life miserable if you plan on playing music other than by ear. You won't always have time to write out fingerings, and when new music is passed out to read, you're up the creek.
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2011
  8. jtpowell

    jtpowell Pianissimo User

    Mar 15, 2011
    This is not to tell anyone want to do just to relate my own experience. When I was a child and took piano, the fingering was written out. I never bothered to learn to read the music because I relied on the numbered fingering. As a child I always said no need to really learn to read I just need the numbers. The numbers were good for a while but relying on them hampered my growth. Guess what happened if someone put some music in front of me without the numbers? I decided early on I wasn't going to let that happen with the trumpet. Do yourself a favor and learn to read the music. The more you do it without relying on written fingerings the better you will get at it. I started slow striving for accuracy and increase speed gradually. You won't likely get better at it while relying on writing out the fingering. The only exception I make for myself for fingering now is alternate fingerings in exercises. There's no shame in doing it if you need to but I wouldn't let me become a crutch.
  9. PatMurphy

    PatMurphy Pianissimo User

    Aug 9, 2009
    Cherry Hill NJ
    Ahaa! Now I know why and how I can play. Not that I am smart. Not that I had the greatest teacher but: I am OLD! That means I have played more scales, slurs, play -alongs and stood up in front of more folks in more dives than most. BTW for you young whipper-snappers, being old is way more fun than being young. My take on it that when I was young I worried what others thought of me. Now I just be satisfied with what I think of myself. This includes my trumpet playing. I know when I am rockin' the house or stinkin' up the joint
    tobylou8 likes this.
  10. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    I do remember writing the fingering some when I began, but thankfully over time it became less and less ... that by the time I was in HS band in the 8th grade I didn't do it anymore. I can't explain why, but an Eb has tripped me now and then on my Bb instrument. The good part is that instantly I know it, and then can subsequently correct it, but as in the above there often isn't that opportunity when handed music just moments before being required to perform it. The good part was I had only such short notice just once on a church gig where a vocal soloist wanted a trumpet intro fanfare and in such there was no Eb. I think I finally got past this hang up during my efforts to transpose what music I then had to the Eb alto saxophone for my daughter. My music is a mix of vocal / piano and Bb. I now pretty much sight read C instrumental music for my Bb instruments as well as I sight read the Bb music, it's just that I'm presently in a recovery mode towards regaining my capability, and I won't deny that such is frequently frustrating and often downright depressive.
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2011

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