Trumpet in C?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by facerunt, Mar 27, 2009.

  1. facerunt

    facerunt New Friend

    Mar 16, 2009
    Hello to everyone!

    First off, I know that this topic must have been discussed a kazillion times before, maybe even more than the "Chicken or the egg" topic.

    I apologise, and I will understand if I'll get deleted or redirected.

    Here's the issue. I've been playing the trumpet for over 11 years now, and no I don't know how to read music. I've always played by ear.

    This has always been a big issue for me, a big obstacle I've never been able to surpass. I know it's all about goodwill and being willing to study a bit. But my question isn't about this.

    My question is, since I want to take trumpet playing seriously, wouldn't it be easier for me to buy a trumpet in C and learn to read just like any other music player?

    Wouldn't it be easier???? Can I still play jazz music with a trumpet in C?

    Thanks y'all for your patience.
  2. Genesis3003

    Genesis3003 Pianissimo User

    Nov 3, 2008
    North Dakota
    you can play jazz with a c, but it won't make reading music any easier. you read it the same way, the only difference is when you think concert pitch or if you are transposing or transcribing something.
  3. tunefultrumpet

    tunefultrumpet Pianissimo User

    Apr 9, 2008
    New Zealand
    Hi. Reading music is the same whether you play on a Bb or C instrument. Most of the time there are parts written specifically for Bb trumpet so you wouldn't be reading a note above (transposing). There are some famous jazz players who weren't great readers, learnt everything by ear, the fact that you can play by ear is a strength. Having said that not being able to read is well is also a big problem. Unfortunately there is no easy way, it is similar to a kid not learning to read written English, you are handicapped without it. You will have to start by learning to read basic tunes, (choose ones that your ear cannot help you with!). Yes you can play jazz on a C trumpet, no worries there.
  4. s.coomer

    s.coomer Forte User

    Mar 25, 2005
    Indianapolis, In
    If you are going to be a serious trumpet player you must learn to read.
  5. Bear

    Bear Forte User

    Apr 30, 2004
    Let me rephrase... If you are going to be a serious trumpet player you MUST learn to read.
  6. Bob Grier

    Bob Grier Forte User

    May 4, 2007
    Greensboro, NC
    I would stay on the Bb. 90% of your music is written for the Bb horn. If you are really serious get a good trumpet teacher.
  7. facerunt

    facerunt New Friend

    Mar 16, 2009
    Thanks for the suggestions guys.
  8. operagost

    operagost Forte User

    Jan 25, 2009
    Spring City, PA, USA
    Transposing and simple sight reading are related but not the same thing. Practice sight-reading some simple tunes for Bb trumpet (those cheesy books with transposed pop songs would be fine for this; they are written for kids) before you try transposing the parts written in fake books.
  9. SpiritDCI08

    SpiritDCI08 Piano User

    Feb 11, 2009
    Fort Campbell, KY
    I had an instuctor who for the longest time only played off of ear. That is not a good thing. He told me he later regretted it :(

    Hit the Books lol...time to study
  10. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    I think that you have reached a very important time in your development. The thoughts about moving forward are to be commended.
    Before jumping on the "get a teacher" bandwagon (which is what I recommend 99% of the time), what triggered the "let's do something about this now"?

    After 11 years on the horn, you can probably get around fairly well. I would start with easy tunes. The biggest collection that I know of is a hymnbook. There are hundreds of well known melodies in there and they are not so technically challenging, so you have plenty of time to "read".

    A C trumpet is an interesting instrument. It generally has a more brilliant sound than a Bb. It is also quite often not in tune with itself. Whether it is a better choice depends on you. It is not limited in any way by type or style of music. I have played lead in a big band with a C (me the dummy forgot my Bb when I went on tour). It works just fine. If you are going to be playing with a local wind band, a Bb may make life easier though.

    If you are having fun, Don't let anything hurt that. Add functionality to your playing in logical bite sized pieces.

    That being said, a decent teacher is a friend for life, good for much more than just some trumpet mechanics. If the chemistry fits, they unlock a world that will change your soul!

    Good luck and keep us informed!

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