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Trumpet Discussion Discuss Did you ever wish... in the General forums; Did you ever look back at how you started playing...with all the newness of the instrument and all the possibilities ...
  1. #1
    Mezzo Forte User
    Join Date
    Jan 2005

    Did you ever wish...

    Did you ever look back at how you started playing...with all the newness of the instrument and all the possibilities it had, and realized it seemed to be much easier back then? I mean, I remember just sitting down and playing...messing around with my embouchure, doing crazy stuff with the horn (like playing on the leadpipe without the mp) and just playing music because it was so much fun to actually be making noise.

    I don't know, I'm not saying that I'm fed up with the horn or anything-far from it! I love it to death! It just seemed that it was easier back when I started up until 7th grade, when my teachers started pushing me to work on range, to focus on my embouchure, and all that kind of stuff...and a heck of a lot easier before I had braces.

    Am I the only one who's done this? (Have I posted this thought-process before? It seems Or, am I just crazy? (Actually, don't answer that one! )


  2. #2
    Forte User bandman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Lafayette, LA, USA
    Keep on playing Lara – it gets better at the end!

    Stages of my playing:

    5th – 6th grades: Playing because it was just fun!

    7th –8th grades: Start to develop as a player –start focusing on excellence.

    9th –12th grades: Time to worry about honor bands, big band festivals, being better than other people, college auditions, decision to be a music major so now you better practice more than ever!

    College year 1: Wow!!! This is cool! No more festivals – wait???? You want to pay me to play my horn!!!!

    College year 2: Okay, time to move up the section and to the top of the studio. Summer playing gigs become a major priority. New attitude: “You want me to play? How much are you willing to pay me? After all, I am a music major!!!”

    College year 3: Wow!!! Some of those freshmen can really play! I better go practice more to stay at the top of the studio. New problem: One of the freshman took a wedding with an organist that always called me during the past two years, and he charges $25 less than I do. Better rethink my price and even practice more. Summer gig comes along: what I need a Bb, C and Piccolo??? I’m never going to make money if I have to keep buying horns.

    College Year 4: Those good freshmen are now amazing sophomores and they are getting pretty close to kicking my tail. My senior recital jury is coming up and my program is driving me crazy! Oh, by the way, I better start applying for jobs as a band director next year. Summer gig: you must be crazy! I spend the entire summer in my new band room.

    Out of college, married and employed as a band director – I really don’t need to play any more and you can forget practicing for a while. Oh wait – Band directors make how much? You have to be kidding! I better get out my horn and gig a lot. I just bought a house and I have bills to pay! Summer gig becomes teaching band camps for 8 weeks.

    10-years into my career – steady work comes my way – playing is now for a check and the money is pretty good! More and more young people are graduating and I find that I practice more now than I ever did. Darn it! Music has become work!

    15-years into my career – My pay as a teacher is now getting pretty good. I get invited to do a summer tour playing in France! Great Pay! My wife is in the group! This is cool!

    20-years into my career – I’m getting pretty financially set. My house is paid off! Wait – I adopted a little girl! Diapers cost how much!!!! Why can’t we just use paper towels??? Better get the gigs going again. Time to go out and kiss the local organists tail ends to play as many weddings as possible.

    26-years into my career – I need a break! I need to put the horn down and go teach something besides band for a year and a half. Get sick – miss the horn – miss the band.

    28-years into my career: Back into the band room and now playing my horn BECAUSE I WANT TO PLAY IT! No more 4-hour dance jobs. No more going out on the road during the summer. Just playing because I want to play. The better I get the more fun it becomes. Hey, now I remember how much I love my horn! You know what? I’ve never stopped loving it. I just never realized how lucky I was to make money doing something that I love.

    Lara – I forgot for a while that I just love to play. I put the focus on all the wrong things. Going to gigs was a drag, when I should have realized that I was going to spend time with my best friends playing music that I love to play AND AT THE END OF THE NIGHT I GOT A CHECK!!! How lucky can you get!?!?!?!?!

    So what I’m trying to tell you is to play because you love it. I tell my students that they need to let me know when I get rough on them and start fussing about excellence. I still get results, but I get it because they are enjoying playing, not because I’m beating it into them.

    We are about to play in a big festival in Orlando. You know what? They will have fun on this trip if we win, if we come in 10th, or if we come in 30th. They have improved 500% since the beginning of the year. And they had fun doing it!

    So yes! We all go through those stages where playing becomes a chore more than fun. That is the fault of those who allow us to lose focus on why we play. Band and music is an enrichment course in school. It is supposed to enrich our lives! Sometimes we need reminders about that.

    In my band room I used to have a sign over the door for the kids to read as they walked out of the room. It read, “Did you improve today?” That sign is gone and it now reads, “Did you have fun today? If not, please see Mr. H. immediately!” The sign still serves as a reminder – but now it’s a reminder for the teacher more than for the students.
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  3. #3
    Fortissimo User
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Yee HAW!
    So what I’m trying to tell you is to play because you love it.
    The single, most important reason to play. If you don't love it, get out of the way for someone who does! You won't be wanting to put in the practice, it won't matter to you if you play your part to the best of your ability, you won't care if you miss rehearsals, you'll do the music (and the rest of the band) a terrible disservice.

    If you DO love it, nothing else matters.

  4. #4
    Utimate User
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    dear Lara,

    Welcome to life.

    There won't be any part of your life that doesn't have this same quality. Athletics, computer science, relationships, the study of history, selecting running shoes... novelty is part of keeping you interested but discipline is what you use to decide whether your passion is strong enough to take you through the lean times, the times where it's hard to motivate yourself to continue a path.

    Nothing is for everybody. We all have passions and we all experience the humdrum of a daily grind. The trumpet is a very jealous boyfriend for you and you may ocasonally resent his constant need for attention. How you deal with that will be a determining factor for how you relate to the needs of the study of the trumpet. Never forget that absence makes the heart grow fonder and there's no law against you taking a little vacation from it once in a while.


  5. #5
    Forte User
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Grand Rapids, Mi.

    Manny's message to Lara

    I don't mean to argue with Manny. I agree with him. My point is that if you decide to take a vacation from the trumpet you should set a date for your return to it and stick to your predetermined date for return. I didn't do this and ended up being away from the horn for 45 years. These were totally wasted years, in my opinion. I could have continued making money with my horn and 'possibly' seen my income increase. I chose a more guaranteed method for making money and I am now upset with myself for doing so.
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  6. #6
    Utimate User A.N.A. Mendez's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Sunny Ca.
    Manny wrote what I was thinking, many things as you get older will look that way when you look back, silly things too like a car, an apartment or house, a boyfriend.Even the town you live in, streets that change over time, friends!
    It's all the extra goodies that make up a good life, enjoy!
    " It's a dog eat dog world out there and I'm wearing Milk-Bone underwear" Norm Peterson "Cheers"

    "No matter how cynical you become, it's never enough to keep up" Lilly Tomlin

  7. #7
    Mezzo Piano User eisprl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Halifax, NS CANADA
    Hello friends

    This post hits home to me. I am preparing for this huge audition on Monday that could set me up for life. It is in these last couple days of my degree that I find myself practicing more than ever before. Already today I practiced 4 hoursl and will again tonight.

    However, I find myself, not so much doubting, but thinking if I am good enough for this group. I DO remember the days when all I had to do was play the trumpet and not think about every little detail. I do still love it (more than ever actually) but my trumpet is a very jealous girlfrind right now and needs every bit of attention I can give her (ref: Manny). I call her Xena (the xeno), Warrior Pricness, and she is kicking my butt.

    Good topic, I think everyone should take time and remember their worry free days. This way, if there is anyone out there who doesn't specifically like playing for a living, they can reflect to what brought them to it in the first place.

    Does anyone else feel like they are visiting a wedding counsellor? ("Now look into each others eyes and look for what brought you two together...")
    Eric Sproul
    Practice is like filling a leaky bucket

    Bb: Paul Mauriat, Yamaha
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  8. #8
    Mezzo Forte User
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    849 trumpet doesn't have eyes. lol.

    Anyway, thanks guys. I don't know...I was just musing over how easy it seemed when I was just starting out compared to today when I have to fight my chops to do anything.

    I'm hoping that BE will help that problem.

    It was probably also due to the fact that today is State Solo/Ensemble contest. My quartet got a div.I rating, I'm pretty sure the brass choir got a div.I, and my solo (which was HORRIBLE in my opinion...but that's another story.) got a div. II rating...which is pretty darn fine with me, considering I screwed up completely.

    I hate playing for judges and no body else. Again, had there been people in the room listening to me, I would have been a lot better off than just me, my piano player, the judge, and his helper.


  9. #9
    Forte User
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    As far as performing in front of people, I took a course in college, and for the life of me I can't remember the name....solo wind literature??

    I do however remember what we did. There were about a dozen or so people in the class, we would pick a new solo a week. Work on it, and perform it in front of the rest of the class. I was a freshman at the time, and if memory serves me correctly most of the principal instrumentalists were in the class from the orchestra (wind sections of course) and some from the band. It was very intimidating.

    It was however probably the single greatest learning experience I had that year. Not only did I get immediate feedback from some outstanding musicians and faculty, but more importantly I was perfoming in front of a critical audience. As the class went on, I found it easier to perform in front of them, which of course translated to my other performances.

    As for the original question, I think Manny hit the nail right on the head. I love playing the trumpet, not as much as I did say in high school or college, but still love to play. Look at the increasing difficulty as increasing the challenge to the musician. What is life w/out a little challenge now and then?

    “If there must be trouble, let it be in my day so that my child may have peace.”

    Thomas Paine 1737-1809

    “That’s all the bullets we had, or we would have shot him more,” Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd

  10. #10
    Utimate User A.N.A. Mendez's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Sunny Ca.
    I remember an audition that was the most important of my life and I was 14 ! I had a one on one in the music studio of the band director for the prep school I had been refered for schoolarship to. I was scared to death. He had me play various pieces by sight, some of which I knew. He then stressed that since this was a military (all male) school marches were very important, "can you play marches?" he asked, "yes, some I guess" I muttered. He pulled out a very difficult one to sight read. I didn't tell him but IT WAS ONE I HAD PRACTICED FOR A BAND COMPETITION! I tried to act concerned, played it and made the audition. I guess it is good we have those things young , I don't know how I would get through something like that now without a major coronary. Great 4 years followed, Big band, dance band, choral, combo, marching band, even had a Tiajuana brass band. Great fun. I allways wondered what would have happened if he had pulled out a march I didn't know........... ''
    " It's a dog eat dog world out there and I'm wearing Milk-Bone underwear" Norm Peterson "Cheers"

    "No matter how cynical you become, it's never enough to keep up" Lilly Tomlin

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