Trumpet: most difficult wind instrument to master?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Haste2, May 9, 2011.

  1. coolerdave

    coolerdave Utimate User

    Nov 7, 2009
    San Pedro
    I was just reviewing my thoughts on this and the French Horn is a real bugger... to move around that instrument and not sound like you are playing under water is pretty rough ... but why do all that practice to play up beats and a few glissandos all night..
    I just can't imagine the oboe being as tough as the trumpet to move around across partials in the upper register ,,, then how about just playing half notes up the scale.. is it that hard for an oboe to have a great tone .. while on the trumpet you can die a slow death playing half notes from below the staff even just up to high C,,,,
    my money is still on the brass..
  2. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    Horn players kiss really, really well--at least the women!

    JNINWI Piano User

    Apr 26, 2011
    Plus, as Scott Engelbright has been quoted, "Chicks dig trumpet players, get used to it "
  4. richtom

    richtom Forte User

    Dec 7, 2003
    Jay Friedman would disagree with those who say other instruments are more difficult.
    The following is taken from one of Jay's brilliant articles.
    "First, let me say I think the trumpet is the most difficult of all instruments in the orchestra. The demands placed upon the player are almost super-human. Composers, while writing generally conservatively for trombones and tuba, somehow have no qualms about writing very high, demanding parts for trumpet. Like a great singer, a trumpet player must possess great physical strength as well as several other things that must come together in one person. In addition, it requires an almost perfect embouchure. This is something that a person is born with to a certain extent and then developed. A very small area of the lips must produce a large sound and at the same time play incredibly high. When I was a student I used to think that since the tubing was half as long and half as wide, the trumpet was just a trombone an octave higher, and if you played a middle Bb on trombone and then picked up a trumpet, a high Bb would automatically come out. My teacher, however, correctly pointed out that while the mouthpiece and horn were half the size, the player wasn't, so you actually had to produce those notes; the size of the equipment only being a small aid to that end. I also think the trumpet is the most difficult instrument to play softly. It naturally wants to blare, and it takes a skillful and talented operator to make a beautiful sound in pianissimo."

    There aren't too many folks (there certainly are some) on this site who can go toe to toe with Mr. Friedman on this issue.

    Here is the link to his terrific website.
    Jay Friedman: Principal Trombonist, Chicago Symphony Orchestra

    There is much to learn from his articles.

    Rich T.
  5. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

    Jun 6, 2010
    The trumpet is harder than anything I've ever tried (windwise) except for the Shakuhachi flute. Not as physically demanding, the Shakuhachi is nevertheless insanely difficult. It's far more demanding than the trumpet of finger dexterity, where you need to cover small finger holes only halfway in order to get a full chromatic scale from these flutes, which are in D, A, and etc. (no Bb).

    And I agree with Rowuk, oboe is harder than trumpet. I haven't tried to play one (I know better), but you get nothing to hang onto with your embochure, just a couple of skinny reeds. I don't know how they manage it. Beautiful, haunting sound though. I love the sound of an oboe, when somebody knows how to play it.

  6. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    Too much pressure on an oboe can result in a tonsillectomy!:D
  7. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    Only if you trip and fall while playing the dammed thing.

    Man, Tobylou, I've really been busting your chops today, and now I'm going after your throat. I will show some compassion and try to keep my assaults on you above the belt.
  8. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    Thank you! My nether regions appreciate it! ROFLROFL
  9. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    Tobylou -- You know I love you man!

    Just so were clear on this and you don't get me wrong, believe me your nether regions never crossed my mind and are clearly OFF LIMITS!
  10. flugelgirl

    flugelgirl Forte User

    Jan 20, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    From my own personal experience, trombone is much harder than french horn! On horn, though my tone may not be perfect, I can easily play something that comes close to being musically acceptable. Trombone, however, has been a far different story! It's very difficult for me to get used to the endurance issues, and I consistently try to fix intonation with my chops instead of the slide. Slide positions are very hard to be exact with, especially since they change a little from one model to the next, while valve combinations don't. Every time I play soprano bone I feel like a 10 yr old with good chops, while so much of french horn feels similar to trumpet (though the bell pointing the wrong direction is very frustrating!). I have come to have a lot of respect for good trombonists, especially those that are also skilled on valve instruments!

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