What's considered a fair attempt?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by codemonkey, Feb 7, 2008.

  1. codemonkey

    codemonkey Guest

    I have recently taken up this challenge of trumpet playing. My goal is to be able to play in public. The chances are good that I will fail. I've been working on it now for 3 months. Now, I know that 3 months is *nothing* and that people have been playing for decades and are still trying to improve. Before you prejudge me, let me say that I'm not after instant gratification. I do have an appreciation of the level of effort it takes to achieve anything (academic, athletic...) worthwhile. Nevertheless, a question still nags at me. How long do I work at this new project before I can conclusively say that I have given it a fair try and I simply will not succeed? Is is a year? Two? No one can tell me long it will take to reach my goal. I want to know how long before I can tell if I should give up? Is that even a fair question?
  2. screamingmorris

    screamingmorris Mezzo Forte User

    Apr 4, 2007
    These are your choices regarding trumpet playing:

    1) Practice hard for several years to reach your goal.

    2) If after practicing a few years you discover that you don't have the inherent talent to reach your original goal, you can:

    a- Completely stop playing trumpet

    b- Continue playing trumpet but change your goal (from playing for a professional orchestra to playing for your local church or just jamming with friends for the sheer pleasure of it)

    I play in my kitchen for the sheer pleasure of it, an opportunity to express myself regardless of what other people think of my playing.
    Not my original goal, but it will do.
  3. omelet

    omelet Pianissimo User

    Oct 13, 2007
    charleston, sc
    If you don't know when you have reached your goal then you have not defined the goal specifically enough. Keep in mind it is important to set realistic goals.
  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    I have two 9 year old girls that started playing in public after their 4th or 5th lesson. You do not believe how even Happy Birthday can be a blessing for the right audience. And there is the key: your first performance should be for a selected audience that knows how much this means to you and who listens "in perspective".
    There is NOTHING to be ashamed about if you give something your best shot - as long as it is in context.
    So pick your audience and get on with it! Post the results! You can't start early enough!
  5. Patric_Bernard

    Patric_Bernard Forte User

    Oct 25, 2007
    Yeah man... Songs dont have to be tough... Mary Had a LIttle lamb is a song. I dont think you have anything to worry about though. Once you start playing more... you'll be hooked.
  6. Eeviac

    Eeviac Piano User

    Codemonkey - Your goal is exactly the same as mine. I've been at it a month. My range is low G to that C that's on the staff. Sometimes the upper end doesn't sound so great. The book I'm working out of is one called the Visual Band Method, from 1964, that I found in a used book store. I'm on pages 12-13 right now. I've only been practicing about 1/2 hour to 45 minutes a day. I'm not taking lessons, although there's a teacher nearby who only charges $20 and I may do so in the future.

    I find I'm improving every time I practice by some small amount, and that's pretty cool. I can also play stuff by ear like "Girl From Ipanema" although not that part where you go up high yet.

    A lot of songs are really simple, "When The Saints Go Marching In" for example. I've not played in public yet and I don't expect to anytime soon. I know if I put in the work I will get the results, and it will come. I'll probably be ready to play in public a bit in the summer, and should be in good shape to play Xmas music when that time comes around.

    This isn't guitar where in a week you're able to play every song Dylan ever wrote, you know.
  7. Firestas'1

    Firestas'1 Piano User

    Dec 21, 2006
    New Jersey
    The whole idea is to enjoy playing. I think I speak for most of us when I say we play for ourselves first, if there happens to be an appreciative audience for us thats great, but we wouldn't stop playing if there wasn't.

    Keep practicing as often as your able. Keep your sessions limited to your comfort level, by this I mean if your chops say to stop after 30 minutes listen to them.

    Gradually try to improve on something each session, always have a goal for each practice session. You will be surprised at what you can acheive if you stay focused.
  8. veery715

    veery715 Utimate User

    Mar 6, 2007
    Ithaca NY
    "I knew some day I'd amount to something, but realize now that I should have been more specific."

    Keep realistic and set attainable short-term goals. Expectations are merely pre-meditated disappointment.

    Too much thinking interferes with progress. Put away the nagging questions and use that energy while you practice. "Tell yourself you are the best trumpet player on earth." (Chase Sanborn) Attitude is EVERYTHING!

    Don't try to improve, just improve.
    You CAN do it.
  9. commakozzi

    commakozzi Pianissimo User

    Oct 30, 2007
    Georgia, USA
    Very well said. Don't even think about how, where, when, or why you might play publicly or otherwise. Just get to be the best you can, and things will fall into place. You'll eventually get to the point that you just HAVE to play for someone because you can't stand the wait any longer!

    As far as what you said: "How long do I work at this new project before I can conclusively say that I have given it a fair try and I simply will not succeed?" Well, I just don't buy into that approach in anything I do and especially not the horn. My opinion is that if you EVER quit then you've not given it a "fair try". Maybe I'm still young and too inexperienced, but I still believe that anyone can be among the best if they have the right attitude and approach to the horn and their music. I hope I never learn to lose that attitude.
  10. codemonkey

    codemonkey Guest

    I'm very thankful for all these thoughtful responses.

    Patric, I feel the hook setting.

    Firestas, you're right about listening to the chops! Sometimes I know I'm overdoing it but I hate giving up. I have to remember that playing a horn has a large phyical component, so like athletics, you get better not when you train, but when you sleep.

    Eeviac, I started with a teacher at 10 weeks. My teacher has forced me to break my bad habits before they became too ingrained. On my own, I had become pretty lax about keeping time. Now I'm forced to practice with a metronome and keep my right hand out of the finger hook. She really takes me out of my comfort zone and that's good.

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