Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by anthony, Nov 26, 2009.

  1. anthony

    anthony Mezzo Piano User

    Mar 3, 2009
    What is a good way to learn how to sight transpose music for a comeback trumpet geek like me ,Anthony:play:
  2. Dave Mickley

    Dave Mickley Forte User

    Nov 11, 2005
    grab a church hymnal and just play at home. you know to add two sharps and go up one step.
  3. Phil986

    Phil986 Forte User

    Nov 16, 2009
    Near Portland, OR.
    My first trumpet teacher used to sight transpose all the time, he played all the stuff written for Bb trumpet with a C trumpet, which was his all around instrument. Used to drive me nuts seeing him do that while I could barely read at all. And he could do it the other way, playing concert key stuff at the right height with a Bb flat trumpet too. :shock:

    He said there is no secret or quick trick to it, just learn the C3rd line and C4th line clefs and mentally substitute the one needed to the G2nd clef (and mentally add the necessary key signature as well). I understand that probably won't be very helpful if you're looking for a quick solution.:dontknow:
  4. muchan

    muchan New Friend

    Jul 18, 2009
    I'd suggest taking a beginner book for trumpet, and for each song and lessons,

    1) play as written
    2) play one whole tone higher
    3) play one whole tone lower
    4) play half tone higher
    5) play half tone lower
    6) transpose to any other keys
    when there comes a unplayable note, (too low, or too high for your range)
    just skip the note or play it one octave higher/lower.

    at the end of the book, probably your transposing skill is advanced,
    and probably you make your foundational skills more solid. :)

  5. dhbailey

    dhbailey Piano User

    Jul 28, 2009
    New Hampshire
    I'm always amazed (and angry) at teachers who say such things -- your teacher said there's no secret or trick to it and then he proceeded to explain the secret/trick which he used to do the transposition! What a maroon (to quote Bugs Bunny).

    Of course there's a secret to it, until you are let in on that secret, and then it doesn't seem like a secret at all. And your teacher's method is only one of many which work.

    Some people think in terms of scale degrees -- reading the music in a do-re-mi sort of way and then simply playing the same scale degrees in the appropriate scale/key for the transposition.

    Others do it spatially (that's how I do it) -- for transposing from concert pitch music on a Bb trumpet, just mentally picture the note as the next one higher than what's printed, having adjusted the key appropriately.

    Still others use the clef method as your teacher did.

    They all work, just they don't all work for everybody. I second the suggestions that you work with simple music (hymnbook or easy tunes such as the Tunes for Cornet Technic book 1 from Alfred Publishing). It's great if the tunes are ones you recognize because then you'll know if you mis-transpose along the way. Then once you start to feel comfortable, find a piano player to play the melody on the piano while you play it on the trumpet and they should sound in unison if you're doing it correctly.
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2009
  6. Phil986

    Phil986 Forte User

    Nov 16, 2009
    Near Portland, OR.
    I guess what he meant was that it is no secret to anyone who studied a little theory that there are such things as C3rd and C4th clefs and that they are used for transposition...
  7. R.T. Swing

    R.T. Swing Pianissimo User

    Feb 6, 2007
    Play with a singer, I have trouble remembering when not to transpose.

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