Trouble learning Trumpet

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by RyanN, Jan 10, 2015.

  1. therealnod

    therealnod Pianissimo User

    Dec 30, 2014
    Don't you think it's at least worth considering that the OP has experience playing a musical instrument and has also tried his hand at two brass instruments?
  2. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    Not really. Sure, it is nice being able to read music, but that doesn't help any of the mechanics of playing trumpet, and "tried and failed" doesn't count much for the experience of playing tenor and alto brass instruments.
  3. therealnod

    therealnod Pianissimo User

    Dec 30, 2014
    He didn't indicate that he "tried and failed."

  4. RyanN

    RyanN New Friend

    Jan 9, 2015
    Correct. I didn't try and fail. Played baritone for a solid 2 months, occasionally with a teacher, and then on and off for another 2 months.

    Although I have to agree that baritone hasn't helped me with trumpet that much. To an extent, yes, but they are still somewhat different.
  5. richtom

    richtom Forte User

    Dec 7, 2003
    Let me put it this way and likely ruffle a feather or two - although that is not my intention.
    The trumpet is a VERY difficult instrument to begin to master. It takes at least a year of diligent practice to get out of the beginner category. Lessons are a must.
    Many professional musicians will tell you the trumpet is the most difficult of all brass instruments. The horn is also a tough one to play and has a considerable range to control, but it is not asked to play above its natural top end very often.
    There is no octave key to push. You do it with your air and aperture control. The only way you get proficient on a trumpet or any instrument is practice, practice, and practice properly.
    Good luck and practice.
    Rich T.
  6. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Every life experience helps those that follow in some way. Playing and teaching trumpet for a long time teaches us something else however. Successful playing at any level is a function of the habit building that we acquire through intelligent practice. There IS a certain order to achieving success. The habit building steps are identical for all players, although some will have issues with one aspect or another.

    As far as other wind experience helping, there we have to know the "quality" of the previous experience. If the player built bad habits on those instruments, the experience could even be in the way. On the internet we are VERY quick in offering advice. Most of the time it simply documents our inability to ask the proper questions BEFORE making careful suggestions. Never in history has it been so easy to appear to be something that we are not. What is the consequence of believing someone who has no idea what they are talking about? In my personal opinion the consequence is that we potentially lose a trumpet playing sister or brother due to frustration. We help retailers sell tons of mouthpieces not chosen with any reference to the player and their true needs and we reduce the quality of what this site could stand for. Many that make statements would be far better off asking questions.

    You asked a very important question! Thank you!

  7. jimc

    jimc Mezzo Piano User

    May 21, 2009
    Spokane, WA USA
    Here's one: If you're playing in a concert band on your old high school jazz band Jet-Tone screamer, get something else! :-)
  8. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    So much solid wisdom in just a few succinct sentences.

    I was going to say the same thing as Rowuk - learning to play a brass instrument is not something that occurs in the matter of a few weeks or a couple of months. Some people put in some serious work for years, and even then some only achieve mid levels of proficiency. Some of it lies in the talent inherent in the individual, and some of it may lie in the direction they take in their work toward improvement, but just the same, you can't just jump onto a trumpet and expect to be banging it down in a short amount of time.

    I also generally agree with Rowuk's mouthpiece advice. While I think a person might be able to get an idea of how to tweak their current mouthpiece if they are looking for a small change to what they currently have, you never truly know until you get the mouthpiece on your face whether or not it's going to work with you and the rest of your equipment. I recently made a switch that was based in part on some research I had done online, and it was a successful change, but I'm not exactly an inexperienced player, and I had a pretty specific idea of where I wanted to go based on the mouthpiece I was already playing - it was a slight tweak that I hoped would result in better accuracy and efficiency. Even then I didn't just randomly pick a brand and go with it. Years ago I'd tried a mouthpiece from that company (owned by a friend - I just messed around with it for a couple of days) and knew that it was something I was going to be able to use. EVEN THEN, I didn't just pick a random size. I called the company, spoke with a rep there about what I was looking for, what I currently played, and had them make suggestions based on their years in the field of helping people make good mouthpiece selections. The end result was that I ended up with something slightly different than what I thought I was going to get.

    All of my ramble above aside, I am firmly of the belief that a beginner should be able to have a measure of success with a mid-sized mouthpiece - i.e., 7C, 5C, 3C, etc - provided they are practicing correctly, but as has been stated before, progress is not measured in days or weeks, but rather in months and years.

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