What do you wish they had told you, when you were a beginner?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by BobMacActual, Jan 17, 2013.

  1. edfitzvb

    edfitzvb Forte User

    Jun 10, 2008
    Woodlawn, VA
    I worked with a sax player once that was a wonderful player. He once told a youngster that was a beginning player who was looking for advice:

    "Your teachers will tell you to practice every day. DON'T DO IT! PLAY every day. Practice is work. The more you play the more fun you have and the more you want to play."

    I thought it was good advice. I was not as motivated as a young player to be interested in scales, arpeggios, Arban's, Clarke, et al
    Light the fire first, the rest will follow
  2. Satchmo Brecker

    Satchmo Brecker Piano User

    Jul 19, 2010
    I'd agree with others, too much for an absolute beginner. I like the last post: "Light the fire and the rest will follow". The other disagreement would be to say practice every single day. I think that's a big mistake. The trumpet IS a physical instrument and in a way that's no different than any other physical activity. So don't make it special. Every runner or weightlifter worth their salt will tell you it's vital to take a day off every X days. Now that doesn't mean on off days the student can't listen to other trumpeters.
  3. bigtiny

    bigtiny Mezzo Forte User

    Aug 14, 2005
    I've commented on your list below but first I'll add a few:

    - get as good an equipment setup as you can, but don't obsess about hardware. Play whatever you can and worry more about practicing than acquiring gear
    - while practicing ALWAYS LISTEN TO YOUR INTONATION. Develop the ability to play in tune (that means with others and in tune with yourself)
    - some time should be spent working on sight reading and rhythmic skills
    - try to get to a piano, take lessons if you can
    - try to get to a set of drums or hand drums; take lessons with you can
    - start working on ear training as early as you can. This doesn't have to be formal classes -- play 'call and response' for a few minutes a day with other musicians, transcribe solos, watch tv or listen to the
    radio and play back snippets that you hear
    - take care of your health...stay fit
    - listen to as much music as possible -- ACTIVE listening, not background music

    - Everything starts with air. Breathe deeply, right down in your stomach. Also, sit up straight. Standing is even better.
    I'd also encourage a bit of meditation with deep breathing everyday to promote good breathing and relaxation.

    - When you practise, play fairly quietly. This will let you practise longer. Warm up with long tones, in an easy register, at an easy volume.
    I'd advise that he put together a standard warm up do be done EVERYDAY before practicing. It should contain more than just long tones (see the myriad
    threads about warmups elsewhere in the forums)

    - While warming up, rest as much as you play.
    I would extend this to all practice.

    - Start the warm up by buzzing the mouthpiece by itself for a minute or two.
    Never saw the need for this...if you're going to buzz, you might as well be making a sound if you have the horn with you.

    - After buzzing the mouthpiece, take out the tuning slide, and try making the nicest sound you can, just on the lead pipe. Do this for a minute.
    See above.....removing slides and 'playing' the horn makes no sense to me, especially as a warmup.

    - Practise at least a little bit every single day.
    Agreed. Try to practice at least an hour a day, but if you can only get 5 or 10 minutes it's better than nothing

    - Use as little pressure as you can. You'll probably have to use some at the start, but don't use more pressure to play higher. As you get stronger, you'll need less pressure.
    Well this is good advice, but is easier said than done. This is where a good teacher comes in....

    - Don't worry about the kid that plays higher and louder than you. He may be progressing faster right now, but you have a long time to catch up.
    Right. Music is not competition. Set reasonable goals with reasonable timeframes. If you feel you're not progressing properly consult a professional

    - Make the prettiest sound you can. Volume and range will come along later.
    Yes! Always listen to your sound. Even if it's not where you want it to be, learn to be very concious of it at all times. Cultivating your sound needn't be antithetical to playing loud or high though...

    - Buzz on the mouthpiece as much as your family can stand.
    Meh......again, I don't see a lot of value here.

    - Lip Slurs are your friend.
    Yes! They should be practiced systematically and constantly. But they need to be practiced correctly!

    - The more you play, the more fun you have.
    I'd probably say 'however much you play, make sure that it's fun. If it's not fun, then something's either wrong with your practice or your expectations.

    These are the things I tell my students,

  4. Churchman

    Churchman Mezzo Piano User

    Apr 26, 2012
    Yup, on the playing side, 'enjoy it' - wish that one came through louder!

    On the practical side, 'keep it clean', and 'get the right mpc'. Wish I'd been told them.
  5. Outkastah

    Outkastah Pianissimo User

    Aug 29, 2009
    Give them a list of awesome trumpet stuff to listen too. I still remember listening to "Masters of the trumpet" and wanting so badly to be able to play like the guys on the recording. As a youngster it was great motivation for me!
  6. whyit

    whyit New Friend

    Aug 12, 2012
    Corona CA
    It was the original album; "Whipped Cream and Other Delights" that motivated me. I would suggest it to any beginner. Oh, and the music on the record wasn't half bad either:D
  7. Brad-K

    Brad-K Piano User

    Jun 18, 2011
    Arban's for a BEGINNER? I don't think so.
  8. Brad-K

    Brad-K Piano User

    Jun 18, 2011
    1. Listen.
    2. Count.
    3. It's all about tone...and fun.
  9. ultratrumpet

    ultratrumpet Piano User

    Jul 10, 2009
    Old Lyme, Connecticut
    Trumpet players are a dime a dozen.
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2013
  10. bigtiny

    bigtiny Mezzo Forte User

    Aug 14, 2005
    Arban's is absolutely appropriate for a beginner. The first section is full of good basic technique and chop building exercises.
    And, as the original poster suggested, it will last a lifetime....


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