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Trumpet Discussion Discuss Just started playing again, ADVICE PLEASE!!! in the General forums; Manda, IMO, there is no quick solution to get you up to speed playing with a group that has no ...
  1. #11
    Fortissimo User gzent's Avatar
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    Nov 2003
    Rochester, MN

    Re: Just started playing again, ADVICE PLEASE!!!


    IMO, there is no quick solution to get you up to speed playing with a group that has no music aka playing by ear.

    It takes a combination of natural talent and pactice. The problem, as I see it, is that you really won't know if you have the talent until you spend a considerable amount of time practicing this skill, that is, playing by ear.

    I was fortunate, I guess, to have an older brother whom I admired very much who had this skill mastered in high school. If he knew the melody of a song, he could play along with it on his trumpet with no music. He's 5 years older than me, and so, when I started playing the trumpet at age 10 I just assumed that that was something I needed to learn how to do as well.

    Playing along with the radio in the 70's there were plenty of 'trumpet songs' to practice this with. I must say, he was/is still better at it than I am and it took me several years to get to a point where I could play a song I know without music of any type and not butcher it. Most 'hobby' players never master this skill, so don't feel bad if you aren't able to.

    I'm not sure if you have that amount of patience, but if you have the talent I think playing along with the radio is a great way to find out. Not to mention, if you do master this skill you open up a whole world of playing opportunities.

    Good luck,

    Stop acting like someone shot your dog.

  2. #12
    Forte User stchasking's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006

    Re: Just started playing again, ADVICE PLEASE!!!

    My first C trumpet was a Blessing Pro.
    It didn't cost too much. It worked fine for church.

    As a start, find out what key they are in.
    Learn that key in the blues scale.
    Put the notes of that scale on your music stand.
    Play anything you want within that scale.

    If they want you to play better they'll buy you some music.

    If it sounds bad just tell them you're playing in tongues.
    "I was performing professionally at age 17 and have never had a real job." Allen Vizzutti

  3. #13
    Mezzo Piano User
    Join Date
    Feb 2007

    Re: Just started playing again, ADVICE PLEASE!!!

    If money isn't an issue, buy another horn. Just because you aren't as proficient as a pro doesn't mean you can't play a pro horn. Don't expect the new horn to transform you and instantly take you to the next level, but it probably won't hurt you either. Even though you won't be able to play at a level that will do justice to the better horn, you will still probably enjoy the feel and build quality of a pro horn. If you plan on playing for some time to come, then what are you waiting for. As for the previous comment that a used pro horn is better than a new intermediate horn, I totally agree. Essentially, live for today, enjoy a better horn as soon as you can, what are you waiting for ? If you wait until you play like a master, you may never buy a quality horn. I never regretted any of the 12+ horns I have bought and sold over the 30 + years I've been playing. The only rule I have is simple, CAN I AFFORD IT ? Remember, this should be something you enjoy. If playing a pro horn gives you even the slightest bit of enjoyment, then make the purchase. I still remember how excited I was when I got my first top notch horn. I couldn't wait to play the horn everyday ! I played more in the following three months then I did in the previous year ! Some might say a new horn isn't the right match for you current capabilities ..., well, I've never played a beginner horn that didn't compromise play in some way as well. Don't be afraid to try something different. One other thing to consider, horns usually go up in price. Buying today is usually cheaper than tomorrow.


  4. #14
    Mezzo Piano User
    Join Date
    Feb 2007

    Re: Just started playing again, ADVICE PLEASE!!!

    Just one more thing ! BE PATIENT, wait for the right horn at the right price. I have bought horns on Ebay, yard sales, estate sales, pawn shops, music stores and from other players. Take your time in choosing your next horn, but be ready to buy when you find it. Meantime, study, and if possible, play as many horns as you can. That way, when you find a good deal, you'll know it's a good deal.


  5. #15
    New Friend
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Seattle WA

    Re: Just started playing again, ADVICE PLEASE!!!

    If you can get the music on a CD "Transcribe" is a great program. This allows you to slow the music down while you learn it without changing the pitch. It also allows you to change the key to anything you like. I think you can try for 30 days before you buy.
    I use it to cheat by listening to other players play solos at slow speeds while I play along and steal their ideas. After I have their parts down I can modify them into my own style.

  6. #16
    Pianissimo User
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Niantic, CT

    Re: Just started playing again, ADVICE PLEASE!!!

    I know your predicament exactly. Our praise and worship (Hispanic Baptist church) had no written music until I started playing trumpet (a year and a half ago). Everything was learned by rote from CD and now, YouTube.

    I do just what many have recommended - record the music and transcribe. The benefits are enormous! I use NoteWorthy Composer (shareware) as my notation software and use a keyboard with MIDI cables to input the melody lines from tape to generate lead sheets. We now have a violin and a tenor sax player because we have some written music and my feel for harmony has increased 100fold.

    Persevere, the musical and spiritual benefits are immeasureable! Good Luck.

    Conn V1 Rose brass bell
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  7. #17
    Fortissimo User veery715's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Ithaca NY

    Re: Just started playing again, ADVICE PLEASE!!!

    Playing by ear is a wonderful skill to develop. Put on CDs of music you enjoy and play along. If you do it in private, there is no reason to worry if it doesn't sound good at first. Plug away and you will get the hang of it. I learned to do that on both the piano and guitar, and now do it the on trumpet pretty well. My classically trained professional musician sisters admire my skill at improvisation, a direct outgrowth from playing by ear, as it is something not generally taught to classical musicians.

    BUT! - do not neglect studying from written music, playing scales and excercises, etc, or you may find that your technical skills and reading ability are insufficient to support your needs.

    60 and still growing musically.

  8. #18
    Pianissimo User skankin'dan's Avatar
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    Mar 2007

    Red face Re: Just started playing again, ADVICE PLEASE!!!

    For question one....
    For me, i just listen to the song about 10 or 20 times, then I sit my butt and start figuring things out, and then writing them down on paper.
    For question two....
    beats me

  9. #19
    New Friend
    Join Date
    Dec 2006

    Re: Just started playing again, ADVICE PLEASE!!!

    I have heard the school of the better the instrument the better you will be. True and pro horns are easier to learn on. What it comes down to is if you can afford it and want a better horn buy one. If you are a relitively new player I would recommend a Bb because all the other ones have intonation problems.
    The playing by ear thing is hard to explain. Above all don't be afraid to ask your fellow musicians to go over something one more time if you have an idea for something different. Practice at home to try to find something that will sound good with the music.
    Good luck

  10. #20
    Pianissimo User rdt1959's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003

    Re: Just started playing again, ADVICE PLEASE!!!

    Been there...done that...with our own praise band. Not much I can add to what has already been said except one thing.

    You mentioned the keyboard playing by ear. Do you have a guitar in the band. One of those two will HAVE to be able to tell you what the chords are. Once you know the chords, you should be able to take the recording home and work out the transcription.

    It is a slow process at first, and one that I have not mastered myself yet. But eventually, you will get familiar with the common chords and chord progressions used in your type of music. With many long months of practice with this group, there will come a time when you will be able to play by ear just like they do.

    As for the horn....

    A professional horn can certainly improve playing pleasure. Just be aware that it is YOU that makes horn make the music. In other words, a pro horn costing $$$$$$$ will only go so far to improve your skills. It is still YOU that determines the quality of sound through proper breathing, proper embrouchure contol, etc. etc.

    My opinion is, like others, be patient when looking for a new horn and try to find a used pro horn in good shape that would break the bank!

    Good luck, and keep us posted on your progress!
    Dick Taylor
    Comeback Player
    Benge 65B

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