Trumpet Discussion Discuss Newbie in the General forums; I really hate to ask this.
I have read all the TH forums, and all the TM forums...which I found ...
I really hate to ask this.
I have read all the TH forums, and all the TM forums...which I found even more informative. I am actually sad when I check for updates and there are none.
But I have found no real help in a pedagogy type of way for an absolute beginner.
I need serious help. I can't afford a private instructor, unfortunately, I wish I could, but because of college and the like... I have a personal allowance of about 50 bucks a month for anything entertainment. I know that is a horrible thing and I should spend every penny on a private teacher, for most points of view, but alas, a fiance and real life kills that pretty quick. Thankfully she is understanding and I even was able to get an engagement ring out of it.
I would love to have some things to get me on the right track. I am going to sign up for "Smartmusic" here next week, when I get paid, and I could only afford a lowly "Brasswind" student trumpet.
I have already found the downfall of a cheap trumpet. It works for now until I can afford something decent, but dang. I can even tell some thing is up with the horn. It hurts. I can tell a world of difference, and part of me thinks it is the mouthpiece. Especially I read quite a bit about Arban and Gordon.
I need some good advice on starting practice routines, but I trust what you say Mr. Laureano. I know it's kind of daunting to have someone say this, but I haven't had faith in any type of musician since Phil Woods was nice enough to give me a lesson without even telling me who he is.
This is a whole new world and all the information in the world doesn't work without some inspiration, and the people here have really given me that. I just need to know where to start on this new world.
Sorry again for the disruption.
When you say you're a rank beginner, what does that really mean? Are you truly someone in college who has just recently picked the horn because of a desire to play or is it a self-effacing remark that is exaggerated?
In either case, the answer is clear to me that you must find your inspiration through enoyable listening. Do you love jazz? is that what got you interested? Do you love fun technical displays a la Rafael Mendez? Tell us more about your self but in the meanwhile listen to records, tapes, CD's, and live performances wherever you can. Don't be the least bit shy about introducing yourself to great players and ask them questions about playing.
Let's hear a bit more about your current journey on the trumpet.
Ok... the story.
I played Jazz as a sax, clarinet, and flute player. Then I played concert, and some symphonic stuff as was required by my HS, College *the first time around* and well it was fun.
I know how to read music, I have played in many a band/orchestra for fun and not much profit. I am a sucker, so to speak. I went for the experience rather than the profit.
I am a rank beginner to the point of, I love the sound of a trumpet. I found it an inspiration in the melodic eloquence that when I was considering a new instrument, I chose the trumpet. I met and got to play once with Jon Fadis and he was my inspiration. However, things have changed. I have gotten more into the classical sense and throughly love some of things I have heard as of late, and really want that sound that can fill up a room and leave people going " wow...."
I know its a stretch, learning at such a late time, but I would enjoy joining a community band to just play with again. It's been 10 years since I played music and I have really been missing it.
I got a C scale down thus far. Amazing...wow.
I can try, I won't be as good as anyone on this board, I know this, but I can try to make music again.
This is how I start kids off from scratch as a volunteer instructor with a Royal British Legion youth band,......One of the top 3 bands on the UK with 57 brass ,..most of whom I started like this;
Do EXACTLY what I outline here...
Keep your teeth apart just enough to let a pencil fit between them......lips gently closed......put mind in corners of lips and squeeze gently....
Put your mind in the very tip of your tongue.....put the tip against the top of your front two upper teeth and 'feel' the 'crack
Now place mouthpiece GENTLY on lips in what seems the most comfortable place for YOU and 'pretend' to spit a tea-leaf off or the tip of your tongue until you produce a 'note'.
For the first few days/weeks ALWAYS use your tongue to articulate/start the note until it becomes an instinctual habit. NEVER, NEVER,PRESS the mouthpiece on the lips......visualize that you play BEHIND the mpc.
When you can make a rough note.......practice 'Knock-on-the-door' by tonguing using the syllables... Ta, Ta.....T'Ta, Ta.........Ta,Ta just like when someone makes that friendly knocking pattern on a door. Make sure you really spit out the notes!!.......so tonguing becomes an instinctual habit.
Every time you pick up the trumpet do above for a couple of minutes then practice breathing like this........
In your minds eye.....pretend you can see the air floating about in the room......give it a colour you like!........start to breathe in SLOWLY and 'see' the air go all the way down to your feet!!......see your feet turn the colour you like.....breathe in some more and watch your legs fill up with coloured air......a little more and 'see' your body half full of coloured air.....now your chest is full ......now you arms......now your head...
Now......RELAX...full of coloured air like a balloon.....don't let your shoulders go up like that!
Now breathe out slowly letting the 'air ' level return to your feet as you empty out........and return to your usual normal self. Practice this a few times and really SEE the coloured air levels in your minds eye.
Now,...fill up with your favouite colour air by visualizing the above and put mouthpiece/trumpet on you lips.....play your most easy note and see how long it takes for the coloured air to leave your body and go thru the trumpet........now try again and let less air pass to give a qieter, LONGER note......you should be able to manage about 20 seconds if you are an adult.
Practice all the above for a few minutes a day only for the first week....make sure that 'knock on the Door' is 'clean' and 'crisp', especially in the quick bit! Each day try to extend your long note with 'coloured' air by a couple of seconds by taking in more air and playing quieter and more gently/evenly.
After a week of practice you will need to talk to a trumpet player to correct any fault with your tonguing and articulation etc.,......But.....this is how to start playing the trumpet from scratch.......
Tell me... who are your favorite trumpeters to listen to in all styles, not just one? Who makes you want to pick up the horn and play? For me, it happens to be Doc, Maynard, and Maurice Andre.
I enjoy listening to Fadis, Maynard and Hargrove for jazz; Tower of Power and Blood, Sweat and Tears for the fun funk (what a horn section those guys have, wow);and unfortunately I don't know many players names in the classical sense, but I love listening to the Canadian Brass. They played in our town once a year.
I just really enjoy hearing that sound piercing through emotions and getting to the soul of everything. Just astounding.
Thank you very much for that advice, will have to start trying that here today. It is much appreciated!
Hope things are going well with your trumpet project.
Okay, that's sort of what I was looking for but I'm looking to find out what fuels your musical passion. That's what's going to drive you to really improve: passion. I enjoy a lot of things, too, but what I want to know is what trumpeters make you want to pick up the horn and play. It's listening to those musicians that'll help you find what you want. A beginner needs to be stimulated by sound. You like Canadian Brass? Very well... why? Maybe what you need is to find a buddy to play duets with frequently, preferably someone who plays better than you. You like the fun flashy things in a group setting. Take advantage of that and play with another person with a good sound.
Ok, I'm gonna have to think about a good answer for you. I have a hard time trying to explain the "why" sometimes. So I'll get back to you on this later today =)..
Thanks again for taking the time.
Unfortunately, since having moved a little over a half dozen times in the past 5 years, I have lost all contact with anyone I know that can play .. well anything, other than strings.
That being said, the inspiration that drives me to want to improve and gives me that 'passion.' Well, back in the day, I loved to be apart of a group that just created. Every piece of music is always different everytime it is played. That was one of the driving things for me, and the reason I came back to music. I missed creating the music. I loved solo work, I enjoyed ensemble, and I apologize, but the only bane I had was Marching... meck. Even though I disliked it, the sound we could make on the field was just overwhelming.
I am hoping I can join a community band eventually, and I know I need to find a private teacher, but I will need to see about financials for that.
My passion is creating sound that not only I love, but other people can enjoy as well.
I did an amusing thing with myself over the weekend for old times sake. The two scales I have learned thus far (the fingerings rather) I did in a slow swing and arpeggio at the end. It felt good to do that. Dunno why, but it does.
My first recollection of why I almost switched to Trumpet in HS instead of continuing with the Sax, was listening to our local Air Force Reserve band and just hearing the trumpets come out of no where. Filled up the whole field that they were playing on. Gotta love it.
So, I will see what I can do on finding someone around here to play with, or get lessons from (if anyone can give suggestions in the Evanston area) I know Northwestern has a good music program, but I have found most of the students don't like giving lessons, and I cant afford the professors, heh.
Anyways, there is my passion, there is my drive, and onward with my goal.
PS I only got a B in Modern Philosophy, so my wording on soul searching is inadequate
Ai, why do you say that you hope you can join a community band "eventually"? Why not see if you can find one that has a "beginners'" division? When I started out with trumpet (and could not even READ music without pointing at the lines and spaces and saying "A, B, C....", I got tossed into an intermediate level C.B. They were playing some Gr. 2 music but mostly Gr 3. and there I was... clutching a folder with only 3rd parts in it and wondering how the heck to even COUNT! It was a very "interesting" first four months, to say the least.
BUT I found some folks who were patient and who could help me. The "price was right", the group encouragement just fantastic. Since that time our C.B. ran a beginner division (Gr 1) for a couple of years. We had an influx of a dozen or so who joined up and now are all in the Intermediate Band. We have temporarily folded the beginner group until there is a renewed demand for it (it costs money to run a band, pay a director, etc. and if everyone is past that level then you might as well wait for increased demand).
Lessons need not be expensive. As others have stated, find someone who is interested in helping you out and then... awaaaay you go! Like most things in life, the most difficult step is that first one. You have already taken that one.
You love Canadian Brass? Good! Then go out and buy (order online) some of their "Easy" level books that come with CD and play along with them! There is quite a lot of stuff put out this way (Play-along) by various artists and it really is fun. And it helps out hugely until you can find a group to get with.
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