Trumpet: most difficult wind instrument to master?

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

  1. Phil986

    Phil986 Forte User

    Nov 16, 2009
    Near Portland, OR.
    I have a little treaty of organology (the study of music instruments) that covers most of what humans have invented to produce sounds used in music.

    This the verbatim quote from the book (translated, as the book is in French) about the trumpet: "it is one of the most difficult instruments to play" ("elle est, en tout etat de cause, un des instruments les plus difficiles a jouer").

    Matches my experience, although that is limited to some vague guitar playing in high school (I thought I had to do that to get chicks interested in me).
  2. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    I don't know, I tried blowing like hell through that one hole in the middle of the guitar. Couldn't get a dammed sound out of the thing, leading me to the belief that the guitar is the hardist wind instrument I ever played!
    coolerdave likes this.
  3. Satchmo Brecker

    Satchmo Brecker Piano User

    Jul 19, 2010
    I guess it depends on what you mean by "master"? Just playing notes? Trumpet only has three buttons, whereas most wind instruments have many more, plus a bunch of auxillary keys. Violins don't even have that, making them IMHO that much harder. (And trombones seem like the violins of the brass instruments in that regard). And all instruments have notes that need special attention just like trumpet. (Well, I'm judging from my own experience with sax, clarinet, flute, bassoon, trumpet.)

    Producing "passable" sound? Again, trumpet doesn't strike me as that tough. I've heard plenty of so so high schoolers who can produce a very professional sound (though they lack other things musically). Wind instruments and violin on the other hand seems like even top notch high schoolers still sound "off the mark".

    Honestly, I think trumpet's in the middle somewhere. But just like any instrument, even the lowly triangle, it takes years and years to produce that top notch professional quality.
  4. Myszolow

    Myszolow Pianissimo User

    Apr 23, 2011
    I bet you got a nice face full of dust though. ROFL

    I think the answer will be different for different people. I hated the piano because I found it hard to coordinate the left hand with the right. With trumpet, it's only right hand doing the note changing (apart from piccolo). Different people find different things hard. So there's not going to be a "one outcome fits all" answer.
  5. Bernie

    Bernie New Friend

    Apr 26, 2011
    Aren't we all.
  6. coolerdave

    coolerdave Utimate User

    Nov 7, 2009
    San Pedro
    I memorized the introducon to Greg's Piano Concerto in A Minor ... so I could walk up to a piano in a room of people.. play it and then get up and walk away.. always had people looking at me and say "WOW, I never knew you could play the piano" ... try doing that with a trumpet..
    and what's with chicks and the guitar ... so yeah I learned to play the guitar in high school.
  7. jbkirby

    jbkirby Forte User

    Sep 10, 2009
    Dothan, Alabama
    I played french horn for several years and tried to make a comeback on it two years ago, and my observation is that the partials are many and close together on the french horn, requiring a disciplined embouchure and very consistent wind. Since I "grew up" with the french horn, it didn't seem so hard back then, but the trumpet has been a considerable challenge for me. Additionally, music written for trumpet is, generally, much more difficult than french horn parts in symphonic band, with exceptions being pieces like "The American Overture for Band."

    Regarding the oboe: While in high school, I never heard one that didn't sound like the player was castrating a tomcat with a butter knife. :shhh:
  8. leftmid7

    leftmid7 Mezzo Piano User

    Sep 21, 2010
    Franklin, TN
    Seeing as the principal french horn and oboe are the two highest paid positions in an orchestra, that tells you right there.

    you may be able to get a sound easily from a french horn, but accuracy and consistency on that instrument is incredible to master compared to trumpet. the partials are so close together you can slide around all day trying to hit the right note!
  9. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
    thanks - I could only find the woodwinds forum -- now I can be the KING of woodwinds when I play the OBOE
  10. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
    don't worry - I'm not the best YET - you still have time to catch me, ROFL

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