Trumpet Lessons

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by mrsrt8, Feb 25, 2015.

  1. mrsrt8

    mrsrt8 New Friend

    Aug 6, 2013
    Fort Myers,FL
    Hey all,
    I am kind of stuck between a rock and a hard place with private lessons. My last teacher was a respected trumpet player locally and nationally, but I didnt really seem to fit with him. It was my mistake not to tell him I wasn't going to do lessons with him anymore, and that is over. Now I am trying to find another teacher in the area. I guess the norm is that a teacher asks you to prepare something for him/her so they can see where you are at. I get really nervous here because I dont want them to think that I am wasting there time. I have a real desire to get better , but I have reached a plateau in my playing abilities. I know it isn't easy, but I would like to do my part and more for my Latin band.

    Any help and guidance is greatly appreciated
  2. bumblebee

    bumblebee Fortissimo User

    Jan 21, 2010
    Great Southern Land
    The first thought that came into my mind was that you might not be advised to try and claim some extra skill in an area you actually need some help in. An experienced teacher should be able to see where you're reaching a limit of your current ability, but it would also be good for you to acknowledge that there are aspects you need help with. I would say play to your limit(s) and explain to the new teacher your own assessment of your playing, and outline the areas you think you need to improve in.
    From what you wrote, I am not sure how your relationship with your previous teacher is, but he would hopefully know where you're at and what a new teacher should be aware of. Perhaps he would be open to taking a call from your new teacher to pass on any observations.

    The new teacher may ask you to play some stuff which he or she uses to gauge where a new student's strengths and weaknesses are, and from that work out what to work on with you.

  3. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    How long had you been with your last teacher, mrsrt8? What sorts of things did you learn? What didn't you learn that you wanted to? What was a typical lesson assignment? Please give us more information. :-)
  4. mrsrt8

    mrsrt8 New Friend

    Aug 6, 2013
    Fort Myers,FL
    Thanks bumblebee.

    @Vulgano- I had been with my previous teacher from the period of January to June. I did learn some stuff about scales and chord structures, but Ifeel maybe he was focusing a little bit too much on where I set the mouthpiece on my lips. In all that time we didn't do much of the Arban's , mostly Clark First and second studies. He would assign me his custom routine and maybe one or 2 exercises from the Arbans.
  5. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    Based on what you've posted, I think that maybe you're making too much out of it. A good teacher will want you to play as an assessment of where you are as a player so they can prescribe what you need to work on to improve. Don't get too worried about that part of it.

    And don't worry about bailing out on your last teacher without notice. That stuff happens all the time and it isn't like teachers network to the point where they gossip about their students. Just start doing some asking around to see who might be close and accessible to you who also has an opening in their schedule and go for it.

    One thing to consider though - where you are as a student might determine the kind of teacher to look for. For instance, there are working pros who still take lessons, but they streamline it with someone who can help them work on an aspect of their playing that might be more mental than dealing with a physical chops thing. Neal Peart, famous drummer of the Rock Band Rush, and also known as "The Professor" by those in the drumming community due to his chops and abilities with odd meters, took lessons with jazz drummer and teacher Freddie Gruber, because he felt his playing, while technically correct, was stiff and almost robotic, and he wasn't quite sure how to approach getting it to loosen up - it was a mental thing.

    But with that said, just get on the phone and start calling around to find a teacher, and soon enough you'll be taking lessons again.
  6. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    To a point, as I've stated elsewhere, at the instant you put a mouthpiece to your lips you either have a good and well serving embouchure or you don't. If you don't, such hampers all you want to do and progress slows towards a drag and burden. With varied facial physiology and dental structure determining a good and workable embouchure isn't easy for the instructor or the student. Methinks the student will have difficulty adapting to a different mouthpiece placement suggested by the instructor and that alone can take more than 6 months to become comfortable with ... and still not be tweaked to perfection ... only an improvement.

    Personally, I consider myself well trained to play, yet with all my health issues and old age now, I'm not yet satisfied with my own performance of Arban's variation of Carnival of Venice and hundreds of other songs, millions if one considers what has not yet been set before my eyes. Yes, I would assign one or two exercises in a method book or some of the exercises I've collected for a student to prepare between lessons. It has taken me 68 years to play as well as I do albeit I had a very long hiatus in getting to this point.
  7. mrsrt8

    mrsrt8 New Friend

    Aug 6, 2013
    Fort Myers,FL
    Thanks for the replies. After much thought, I have decided to make amends with my old teacher. It was my fault, my head wasn't screwed in right. Hopefully he accepts me with open arms.

    Thanks again guxs
  8. Ed Kennedy

    Ed Kennedy Forte User

    Nov 18, 2006
    Sounds like you need a "cut to the Chase" (pun intended) chops doc. You might want to contact Chris LaBarbera in the Miami area. He's a great jazz and lead player and a Rinehart specialist:

    Trumpet - Chris LaBarbera

    Warburton could put you in touch.
  9. Michael T. Doublec

    Michael T. Doublec Pianissimo User

    Nov 20, 2014
    I teach trumpet. If you came to me I would immediately recognize your nervousness. It would be one subject of study I would attempt to teach you. Nerves are normal, until the affect your playing in a negative fashion. You must be able to perform under pressure or you will never be any good at it. I would also start with an assessment of your chops, where they are set and how you blow, support and breath. My contention is that no matter how fast your fingers can do scales and such, everything coming out of the bell starts with your ability to buzz the chops properly. Good luck in your search, and I suspect when you find the right teacher you will both know that immediately. Good luck.

    Mike Fesi

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