When I made my introduction back in January, someone suggested I post an update on how I was getting on, so here it is for anyone interested - hopefully not too long-winded.
Bit of background:
A late starter being 63 years old I started playing trumpet about 11 weeks ago in Jan this year
Only prior experience of playing anything was playing the bugle as a boy with a Cadet Corps of Drums (1963-1968)
No prior knowledge whatsoever of music theory - didn't need to know that for bugle, only 5 notes to learn and no valves.
Ambition - to play reasonably well, from music scores and/or by memory, for my own pleasure and maybe entertain family and friends eg at parties. Perhaps join a local band.
I spend about 5 to 8 hours a week practising, an hour or so on most days. I also spend further time using mainly online resources studying music theory. My practice routine includes the following (but not necessarily the same every day):
Warming up, mainly low notes from C below the staff down to F# - a few minutes, seems to get the lips working nicely.
Long notes until I run out of breath - a few minutes.
Learning/playing the basic major scales, up and down, tongued and slurred. So far I only have C & D major in memory but every few days now I set about learning a new one. Later I'll move on to learning the minor scales.
Chromatic scale(Just C at the moment) - so I learn the flats and sharps
A couple of arpeggios - intention to progress with these but not sure what they're all about
Tonguing - some basic double and triple tonguing techniques using a metronome, gradually speeding up the tempo.
A couple of the early practice pieces in my copy of Arbans. Only got this a few days ago (years of work in there!)
Then, for the last 15 or 20 minutes, I learn a simple song from a selection I've downloaded from MusicNotes.com. Got to be some fun in there right? A few examples are:- "My Way", "Somewhere (There's a Place for Us)", "My Heart Goes On", "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star", "Silent Night", "Those Were the Days", "You Raise Me Up", "Il Silenzio" and a few more.
Up to just recently I've been writing the fingerings onto the music score sheets. Just a couple of days ago I started trying to play the songs (above) without this - limited success but early days yet. The fingerings to notes association is slowly beginning to bed in to the little grey cells.
My First Lesson
So, that's what I've been doing. So far so good. Yesterday I had my first lesson with a tutor, which was a good experience and we've booked more sessions together. The tutor is a professional (ex Army Bandmaster) specialising in brass instruments.
We spent over an hour altogether. We talked through my practice routines and then played together, sometimes on my own, some simple tunes, mainly focussing on timing - he spotted my weak spot straight away! He got me demonstrating the scales I've learned and a couple of the songs from my small collection. He was quite astounded when I played him 'Il Silenzio' from memory (and almost without missing a note.) My favourite all time trumpet tune so I had to get that right!
We talked some about embouchure but he commented that I had no problems there and thought I was a strong player and with good tone and a great range already. I can play reasonable quality notes from F# below the staff up to C above the staff (but that C only on a good day!)
Anyway, he's recommended some further learning books and we talked a bit about the ABRSM exams, which I might consider at some point. We've booked our second session a fortnight from now. All in all a good experience although I was a bit nervous. I found it good fun playing with another person.
So that's my little story, thanks if you've read it this far without switching off. I thought it might be mildly interesting and maybe useful for any other members, also new to this game, to see what others do. Anyway, onwards, practice, practice, practice and all that. Cheers ...