What you hear is how you play?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Annie, Aug 25, 2009.

  1. Annie

    Annie Piano User

    Nov 13, 2003
    A thought just sort of ran across me - I was thinking about how I play, and can sound...and I was wondering if it has anything to do with what I grew up listening to live. I was lucky enough that my dad used to be in the Sea Chanters, so I grew up listening to the Navy Band & the Navy Commodores. Anyone think that hearing playing like that at a young age can have an affect on how someone even begins to approach the trumpet?

    I've noticed, in myself and in my students, that trumpet seems to be a very vocal instrument, with many many many different 'accents'. To me, the way someone plays almost seems like different accents of all the same language. I also think this has a lot to do with other instruments as well...it makes a big difference when the students actually hear a real, live professional musician compared to just a recording.

    Just a thought at 3:23 a.m. Couldn't sleep, and thats when I start thinking.
  2. Sofus

    Sofus Forte User

    Jul 26, 2008
    Interresting topic, Annie!

    I once heard someone state (think it was in a post in here)
    that the bassoon and the cello are instruments that come
    closest to the human voice. Since I have studied classical
    singing, to me the lips are more like vocal chords than a
    bassoon reed or a string is, and maybe the most human-voice-like
    instrument after all could be found among brass instruments?

    Someone else once said that when a musician REALLY is making
    MUSIC, he or she will then actually have the way the human woice
    would express itself as a "prototype", maybe without thinking about it.
    The idea doesn´t feel too hard to buy; if we can express something
    with our voices, wouldn´t we try to copy this on our instruments, at
    least when something emotional and meaningful is to be expressed?
    What you say about accents and languages also fits well in here, I think,
    and hearing someone live makes a human connection that also goes well
    with the thought of copying the human voice.

    When the performer of music becomes our "idol", it´s natural to want to
    sound like him or her. Until then, all the things we´ve heard (thanks to our
    parents or others) probably will be our references when playing, and maybe
    many of the performers that our parents help us discover, by taking us to
    concerts, make such an inpact on us when we´re young that we keep those
    as part of our reference for life.

    These were just a few of my thoughts. It´s morning
    now here in Sweden, I´ve had a good nights sleep,
    so I therefore have no good excuse for them . . .:-)
  3. trumpetnick

    trumpetnick Fortissimo User

    Nov 16, 2005
    Vidin, Bulgaria
    Don't think too much or you will never get to sleep :twisted: ROFL

    Great topic, Annie! There is nothing better than seeing and listening to great players "live".
  4. beautgrainger147

    beautgrainger147 Pianissimo User

    Aug 6, 2009
    I have an idea what I sound like from some basic recording but the other day I was out with friends and happened to have the trumpet there and they wanted to have ago, a former brass bander had a go using my normal mouthpiece and it sounded rather different and a lot more like something from a collery band. It definately seems that we're affected by others when it comes to singing.
  5. NickD

    NickD Forte User

    When I was on Maynard's band Serge Yow and I used to talk about the importance of emulating singers in the way we play -whether pop, jazz classical whatever.

    When I went to Chicago area jazz virtuoso, Art Davis and hung some time ago sharing ideas about chops and changes he was emphatic about the importance of scat singing solos BEFORE you played them. I have made an effort to do much more of this, and it is helping a great deal.

    I certainly believe you are onto something.


  6. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    we ARE the sum of all of the parts of our lives. Style tolerant parents are actually a very good role model and help us get the most out of just about anything.

    I agree, we do speak a common language with accents. Those that get the jobs found accents that other people like.

    Live music has the excitement of the moment - something very lacking in recorded music.
  7. Bachstul

    Bachstul Mezzo Forte User

    Jan 25, 2009
    I wonder if personalities of enthusiastic talkers show self evident in their perky improv; and those dull monotone talkers, are their performances a little drone like?

    Those that talk with their hands, well, we know they all become conductors.
  8. Bob Grier

    Bob Grier Forte User

    May 4, 2007
    Greensboro, NC
    While recordings are very important for all musicians to learn how things are supposed to sound, live performances are the most important to hear and see music performed. There is nothing like the live sound that even the highest quality recording can reproduce. My students whose parents listen to high quality music and take them to live performances progress at a rate far faster than the students who aren't regulary exposed to music. The vast majority of students in band programs have never heard much less seen their instrument played. It's no wonder they don't get very far and the dropout rate for middle school band programs are so high.
  9. oldlou

    oldlou Forte User

    Aug 28, 2005
    Grand Rapids, Mi.

    On this 'note', I also believe that those developing musical students that have the oportunity to attend live musical performances, because of the tastes and indulgences of their parents also recieve greater assistances and encouragement from those parents in their musical training. In my experience, those young students that are regularly exposed to fine music by their parents also end up with higher quality instruments, because the parents are cognizent of the value of better quality tools to learn with, and are given more encouragement in their musical training.

  10. hichez

    hichez Pianissimo User

    Jul 13, 2009
    I try to listen to a trumpet player(s) before I start practicing. Its nice for a reference. It helps when performing in band class and when your playing a certain stlye of music you have a reference.

    Just listening to jazz/orchestra music in general helped a little. Can say that anything magical happened to me yet but I the more I listen the more I like it.

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