Here are two things that I messed up big time.
Learn to transpose early on.
Listen to your teacher. The teacher knows more than the other students that say, "he's teaching you the wrong things"
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As instrumental music was an elective for grades, those that dissed the instructor had a choice, withdraw or fail if they stayed and the latter would surely mean they weren't selected for band in high school. Again I'll say my instrumental music instructor was also our high school band director, and my private tutor. His curricula vitae was impressive having played cornet with Sousa and Ringling Brothers and a Doctorate in instrumental music. As he and his wife were family friends, I've never been sure if he was paid for tutoring my brothers and I on our brass instruments, but all three of us were selected for high school band and I was selected while still in 8th grade, giving me the chance to play for two years with one of my older brothers, who just before his death in 2006 gave me a Schilke P5-4 piccolo trumpet so I could transpose the C piccolo part and fully play The Stars and Stripes, Forever!.
1991 King Silver Flair
1953 Olds Super (LA)
1979 King KG1055T (pre UMI) Silver Flair
1940? Olds Ambassador (LA) tenor trombone
I'm not responsible for offending people -- people are responsible for themselves taking offense at me
I took a piano class some years ago, while in my first recording school. During one of my performance tests, while ham-fistedly flubbing my way through (small hands, I can barely span an octave), she looked at me and asked, "....Do you KNOW you are making mistakes?" ....Shocked, I looked back at her. ....I did manage to restrain vast quantities of sarcasm at that moment. I just calmly said...."Yes.....yes I do know that."
I was proud of myself.
Finding the best teacher for yourself is vital - even if it means moving city or country to do it!
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Last edited by Ed Lee; 02-12-2012 at 11:01 PM.
Now, some advice to myself I didn't post earlier (because I have actually done this) is to push yourself. First - when practicing, from the Arban's book for example, don't dwell on the things you can do and the themes/variations you can play. Sure it's a lot of fun to rip through something if you can do it well, but you aren't accomplishing much that way. Pick stuff you can't play, pieces that you can't even hardly read, and work them out. Slowly at first, and then closer to the correct speed. If there are things that give you trouble in the pieces, like intervals or multi-tonguing, work on those things in the process, too.
Second, push yourself in ensemble playing by joining groups that are almost beyond your skill level. You can learn a lot by playing alongside folks who are much better players than you are. Plus, the music they play will be more varied and demanding. Take what you learn there, and what new weaknesses are uncovered by playing music at a steady group tempo, in tune, and work on those areas in your private practice times.
These two things can really improve your playing and sight-reading skills. It's easy to be a trumpet hero in your practice room at home, but after getting the basics down, exposure to the real trumpet-playing world is where the significant progress is made.
For me, I wish I had done the following:
2)Listened to more great music.
3)Started off with lessons right off the bat! Instead of developing bad habits my first two years....
4)Wasted less of my time doing online games.... in general just using my time better for a well-balanced life.
5)Paid far more attention to how the pros sounded, rather than me trying to sound like a "superior" jr. high trumpet player.
6)Practiced smarter and thinking of ways of improving practice rather than just blindly following the gist of what my teacher suggested.
7)Researched my equipment to see if it was effective. My band teacher sold me a trumpet with a Yamaha 14a4a mouthpiece! What was he thinking?! (I had no idea on the diff. types of mouthpieces) Was he dumb, or was he selfish and just wanted to sell the trumpet, nothing more? (even though he was a great director)
Yeah, so basically I was doing practically everything wrong. And I'm still doing lots of things wrong.
Last edited by Haste2; 02-13-2012 at 12:55 PM.
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