What age did you start playing trumpet?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by RHSbigbluemarchingband, Apr 22, 2009.

  1. Ocdlaw

    Ocdlaw New Friend

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    Jul 13, 2015
    Rancho Santa Margarita CA
    Well, I'll be 60 years old on 9-17 and I started 8 weeks ago. This is my first post so it's an introduction, I suppose, as well. Sort of a weird story. I played the French Horn in H.S. and the first 2 years of college. I was pretty advanced on the horn at that time but just was interested in too many things. I switched my major from music to animal science and joined the rodeo team at Cal Poly. A lifetime, three careers and two marriages later, my current wife took me to a pentecostal church, which I attended under protest but these days I think whatever the wife is, you are, so I went. I told her I didn't want to get involved in the gossip, the cliques or whatever but I'd go. We walk in, sit down and just as things started some lady stood up and blasted what a later learned is a shofar. I was like, "what the heck is that thing!" I turned to my wife and said: "If somebody brings out a snake, I'm out of here!" We were training a service dog at the time and I was so good at not getting involved that a year later I found out that everybody in the church thought I was blind and they were all praying for me and stuff.

    Anyway, after a while, I was like: "that lady that blows the shofar sucks, I bet I could do better." So I got one and sure enough, my french horn days came back and I could play more notes on the thing than they'd ever heard. Tuns out, though I was born and raised Catholic, I was born on Rosh Hashanah in 1955 in a Jewish hospital. That's the day they blow the shofar in the Jewish temples. It's called "festival of the trumpets" in christian churches. And it's only fallen on my birthday 3 times in 60 years including the day I was born. So maybe it was meant to be.

    In any event, one day the church said they needed a trumpet for some of the music they do on Sunday. So I rented a trumpet two months ago and started taking lessons. I could already read music and transpose in my head from my horn days but the trumpet is way different from the horn. One of the things I learned blowing the shofar was that I could reach much higher notes of I placed the mouthpiece lower on my mouth. When I played the horn, my teacher was super strict about the whole 2/3 upper, 1/3 lower thing and I always struggled with the upper register on the horn. When I picked up the trumpet, I started playing wherever the mouthpiece felt right (didn't have a lesson yet) and I found that the upper register (not extreme, just to high C) was much easier with the mouthpiece placed far lower, maybe 1/3 or even 1/4 upper and 2/3 or 3/4 lower. So I took my first lesson and my teacher said that I was really lucky that the higher notes were so easy for me. And, I supposed, had no idea what that they were supposed to be hard because I thought the upper register was above high C. After 8 weeks I can usefully use the notes up to about E above high C and can hit, but not use a double high C.

    What I am struggling with is tone. My teacher says it's good for my level but maybe I"m used to the horn's mello sound and I'm not at all happy with the sound I"m getting. I've been listening to players like Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis, Clifford Brown, Arturo Sandoval, Wynton Marsalis and Chris Botti. I love Botti's lyrical, mellow sound, but I cannot emulate, though I'm trying. I'm playing on a Schilke S32 with a Yamaha 154b. I also have a C.G. Personal that has a much deeper cup that I picked up at Kanstul (if you are ever in Anaheim, check the place out, it's spectacular) but it doesn't get the sound I'm looking for either.

    I realize I've only been playing 8 weeks, but I have a good ear, I practice a couple of hours a day (I practiced the horn 4 or more hours a day but I was younger and didn't have a job then). I play all the fundamentals (Clarke, Arban, etc.) for structure, I record myself to get a perspective on my sound. I love having brass back in my life. Any tips would certainly be appreciated.

    I'm glad to be here! Please forgive any typos.

    Bob
     
  2. Ryan in Texas

    Ryan in Texas Pianissimo User

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    Aug 12, 2015
    San Antonio
    I was 39. That was two weeks ago. I have a 1924 Conn Opera Grand 25b. Going well, so far!
     
  3. Ryan in Texas

    Ryan in Texas Pianissimo User

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    46
    Aug 12, 2015
    San Antonio
    Dude!!! That's one heck of a story!!!! Best of luck!!! Seem like you're doing well shofar...........ROFL
     
  4. cb5270

    cb5270 Pianissimo User

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    Jul 20, 2013
    Age 8 on an Olds Ambassador. In HS the band director convinced my dad to trade up to a Bach Strad (Mt Vernon) which I still play. My first teacher was a string player with a sour grapes attitude, told me I would never be good because of an overbite. It's a wonder I didn't give up.
    Never good enough to make All State (NY) but I did well enough. HS band, orchestra, "dance band" and some dance gigs on the side, back when people still danced to that kind of music.
    Everything in high school was about band but in my senior year I had a revelation about orchestra. Our HS director was principal trumpet with the Albany Symphony and tapped me to play when they needed a 4th chair. Then was selected to play first chair in the All (Albany,NY) County Orchestra. I loved that challenge as you were alone, whatever part you played, no one there to hide behind like in a band.
    Unfortunately after playing for a year in college, first chair freshman band, I was overwhelmed with classes and a job and music had to go. Then "life got in the way".
    Now at 74 I've been playing for 2 years in 3 community bands just for fun. Asked to move up to first in one but wasn't really quite up to it, and that took the fun out of it. Maybe next year. If I have a day without being able to practice it's always a downer.
    Sorry to ramble in answer to a simple question, indulge me.
     
  5. Ocdlaw

    Ocdlaw New Friend

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    Jul 13, 2015
    Rancho Santa Margarita CA
    I've been a little down with my 60th coming up in two weeks. Though I don't feel it physically, I've had in my head that 60 is the mark at which I officially become "elderly." It makes me feel better to hear that you're still playing at 74. Thanks for that.
     
    bumblebee likes this.
  6. cb5270

    cb5270 Pianissimo User

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    Jul 20, 2013
    Ocd, I advise ignoring the chronological age bit. Just think Doc still blowing the roof off in his eighties. At a concert in 2013 he stated "I do not intend to 'go gentle into that good night' ", placed his horn on his chops and WHAM! We will never be Doc but we can still still have that attitude.
     
  7. Raider Rudy

    Raider Rudy New Friend

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    Jul 30, 2015
    So Cal
    I started when I was 11yrs old & played for 5 yrs. During that time I also played the sousaphone, tuba & baritone. I quit during high school because of football & other things. A big regret of mine! I was a cop for 32 yrs & retired at 55. Now 4 yrs later I picked it back up & have been playing all summer, usually 5 days a week. I love it!
     
  8. wfrayer46

    wfrayer46 New Friend

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    May 16, 2013
    Lorain, OH
    I started at age 9 (60 years ago!) My twin and I went to a band meeting. He wanted to play the clarinet...I took one look at all those buttons and then the 3 buttons on a trumpet. I was sold... ;-)

    Best regards,
    Bill
     
  9. Raider Rudy

    Raider Rudy New Friend

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    Jul 30, 2015
    So Cal
    I like your logic! I too am a twin, maybe we should start a trumpet players with twins group huh? Lol! I am 59 yrs old but since I started playing again I feel younger!
     
  10. saxophonist56

    saxophonist56 Piano User

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    Apr 12, 2013
    modesto ca 95350
    i started playing a couple years ago seriously when my daughter starting taking lessons. now her instructor who is a disciple of mic gillette is my instructor and she gave up playing a couple months ago.....even tho she was lead trumpet in her high school as a freshman. i'm old
     

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