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Advice on re-learning the trumpet!



 
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dladore
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Joined: 09 Oct 2019
Posts: 25
Location: Ocean Isle Beach, NC

PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2019 4:59 am    Post subject: Advice on re-learning the trumpet! Reply with quote

I’m 64 and haven’t played in about 40 years. I wish I found this site earlier…you all could have helped me in my search for a horn. I played for 5 years in grade school, with 4 years of lessons. Gave it up in Jr. High so I could play football and baseball. I fooled around with the horn from time to time, playing to my Chicago, Blood, Sweat & Tears, Chase and other records.

Got married in 1977 and raised two kids and three brothers. I worked for a major corporation for 39 years and retired at the end of 2017. On a whim I bought a left-handed Little Martin acoustic guitar, mostly because both my daughter and youngest brother played and thought it would be fun. Played with it a little and realized the guitar wasn’t for me.

My wife suggested getting back into the trumpet, especially with our love for the old classic tunes by Chicago and others. Recently started a search for a horn and a few days ago purchased a used Bach TR300h2 with a 7c mouthpiece.

Now the fun begins, however I’ve found it difficult to find personal instructors in my area. We live in a small coastal town in NC. I can probably travel an hour in either direction but would prefer someone a little closer. Are the online instructions any good?
Any books/method recommendations?

Thanks, Dan
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GeorgeB
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Joined: 20 Apr 2016
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Location: New Glasgow, Nova Scotia

PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2019 7:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My situation was a bit similar to yours. I played for 12 years before giving it up due to a career in printing and publishing. I had a good foundation in how to play, first from a conservatory of music and then close to a year with weekly lessons from a professional player.

I came back 50 years later and started to play again ( in 2016 ). What I did was use the text book my pro trumpet teacher had me buy back in 1953. It was a trumpet/cornet tutorial by Everette James ( father of Harry James ). It served me well back then and served me well again during my comeback. I started at the beginning of the book and went through everything all over again and found that much of what I had learned in my youth was coming back quickly. After 7 months in I was playing first trumpet with the local Horizons community orchestra.

Now, nearly 4 years later I am playing with a larger, top notch, 32 member brass and reed band and loving it.
The only help I needed from a local teacher was in choosing a proper mouthpiece. For 12 years in my teens and twenties I used a Bach 10.5 mp and too many things had changed now that I was in my 80s and I now needed a larger mp.

They say that John Mohan here gives great skype lessons. He could be you answer.

ps: since I sold the horn I used 50 years ago, like you I bought a new Bach TR300H2. I recently sold it, but it served me well.
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cheiden
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Joined: 28 Sep 2004
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2019 8:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dig around this site. In addition to John Mohan there are a number of top players giving lessons over the computer or phone. Find one that inspires you.
The technology now lets you get world-class instruction without buying a plane fare, I'd give it a shot. Nothing does more to avoid the high likelihood of endless frustration than a pro-teacher.

Until then I might suggest the book series by Allen Vizzutti. After my 10 year hiatus, I found them particularly helpful.
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theslawdawg
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Joined: 13 Oct 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2019 8:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dan,

For one, those little Martin acoustics are exactly that....LITTLE. I can't play a lick on those things, and can't stay in tune much, either.

Anyway....Welcome! There's plenty of good folks (who should chime in soon) on here that can help with your trumpet adventure, and online is the new face to face. The online instructors will usually have some advice on how to optimize the experience (specifically when it comes to tech stuff). As for books, if you are looking for instruction, I would wait to buy what your teacher tells you to get.

Aloha, and Mahalo!

Jr
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Dayton
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Joined: 24 Mar 2013
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Location: USA

PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2019 1:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Now the fun begins, however I’ve found it difficult to find personal instructors in my area. We live in a small coastal town in NC. I can probably travel an hour in either direction but would prefer someone a little closer. Are the online instructions any good?
Any books/method recommendations?


Welcome back to trumpet playing! The quicker you can start taking lessons from a good teacher the better. Check local community colleges or middle/high schools to see if there is a trumpet player working there who offers lessons.

As far as online lessons go, I recommend Bruce Haag, a longtime student of Claude Gordon, but there are a number of other teachers active on Trumpet Herald who also offer online lessons.

Regarding books/methods, the teacher that you study with will no doubt have some specific recommendations. Until then, the best all-in-one method I have come across is Harold "Pappy" Mitchell's "Mitchell on Trumpet." The method is broken down into 82 comprehensive lessons spread over four volumes. Start with volume I. If your local music store doesn't carry it you can purchase it online from Hickey's Music, Amazon or direct from the publisher (Santorella Publications).

While not as comprehensive as "Mitchell on Trumpet," Bill Knevitt's "The Developing Trumpet Player" is also quite good as a stand-alone method. You can purchase an electronic copy of it from qpress.ca.

Another good option is Claude Gordon's "Physical Approach to Elementary Brass Playing." If you get that you'll also want to purchase St. Jacome's "Grand Method" for trumpet, which Claude Gordon refers to in "Physical Approach." For that matter, I'd also get Lowell Little's "Embouchure Builder" and Getchell's "First Book of Practical Studies" to cover the bases. Your local music store may have some of these books. They can all be purchased online from Hickey's Music or Amazon.

There are many, many other books to recommend, but any of the above options will help you get you off to a good start until you can start working regularly with a teacher.

Good luck, and have fun!
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dladore
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Joined: 09 Oct 2019
Posts: 25
Location: Ocean Isle Beach, NC

PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2019 2:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks all...al lot of great advice! Looking forward to playing regularly again and sharing info and learning from this great group!
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aidenrobert391
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2020 6:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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HERMOKIWI
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2020 9:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My advice is to put "having fun" as your top priority.

ANY type of playing will advance your skills.

Is playing "method" books fun? Maybe for some people but is it fun for you?

It's one thing to aspire to greatness on the trumpet and to have the time to practice the things you need to practice to become a great player. It's quite another thing to just want to have a fun, pleasant and satisfying experience and maybe play in a local amatuer ensemble with other like-minded musicians.

My advice is to evaluate your objectives and match your practice to fulfilling those objectives. That might mean working diligently with "method" books but it might, instead, mean just playing along with those Chicago, Blood Sweat & Tears, Chase and other albums. Maybe it will mean some combination of the two or something else entirely.

Doing what you're "supposed to do" within the academia of trumpet development may not give you what you really want from playing trumpet. It usually takes a long time to develop fluency on trumpet to a level we would all agree is very advanced. Do you have that time and inclination? If so, maybe "method" books are for you. If not, maybe something else is for you. Think about it.
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Wannabe808
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Joined: 22 Apr 2020
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Location: Kailua-Kona, HI

PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2020 4:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Am going down the same bunny trail. Just turned 60 and played over 40 years ago. There are some great teachers out here. I had my first lesson in 45 years from Jeff Lewis. I want to re-learn the trumpet using jazz instead of the classical, Christmas, and marching band tunes as a kid.

Pops has an AWESOME amount of content and a great book he wrote just for comeback players like us: http://www.bbtrumpet.com/the-pops-mclaughlin-trumpet-foundation-page/

He's well respected on these forums as an excellent teacher.

Jeff has a really laid back approach. Here's his site:
www.jefflewistrumpet.com

Before you do, check out his YouTube channel first: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCo8llNAe_UIBU-QFJoU_HBA

Another teacher that has some great content is Charlie Porter:https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBZ6aK5KsHn4locwqAPq2sg

Good luck with your playing.
Have fun like was said.
Mark
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cgaiii
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Joined: 26 Jun 2017
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PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2020 5:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lots of great advice here. I just want to second having fun. Play music in addition to exercises. The music will tell you what you cannot do that you want to do. Record yourself and listen. You'll find what you need to work on.

A good teacher is very valuable and will speed up the process, but it has to be a good match with common interests.
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Rod Haney
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2020 11:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Get on Skype with Bobby Shew 50$ half hr. If he has time. What you get will depend on where you are. He helped me with problems I had, but I dearly wish he had been my 1st teacher. The real deal, pros go to him but he is all about the needed basics.
Rod
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WildWilly
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Joined: 05 Jul 2020
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Location: Iowa next to the Mississippi

PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2020 1:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm 75 and returned to the trumpet after a 65 year layoff. I found a good teacher online and we facetime for 30 minutes once a week. I thought it would be awkward but it now seems natrural. Welcome home.
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Mjack1124
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Location: Cincinnati, Ohio

PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2020 11:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
As far as online lessons go, I recommend Bruce Haag, a longtime student of Claude Gordon, but there are a number of other teachers active on Trumpet Herald who also offer online lessons.


I have to second the recommendation of Bruce Haag. I'm a comeback player after having been off for 16 years. I'm lucky enough to live just a few miles from Bruce. But I believe the majority of lessons he does is over Skype. I just got back on trumpet in July and began lessons with Bruce in September. He has been fantastic in the help he's provided. We're fixing my old embouchure issues (raised it way up from where I was years ago), kept my excitement in check (making sure I'm not doing too much too soon), and is a wonderful source of encouragement. His history with Claude Gordon is incredibly rich. I tried starting with the Systematic Approach but Bruce slowed me down and had me start in Physical Approach. It was necessary.

I highly recommend reading Claude Gordon "Brass Playing is No Harder than Deep Breathing", and working with Bruce or one of the other Claude Gordon teachers here.

One last thing...practice in shorter bursts. I've been doing 15-20 minutes, getting off the horn, and minimum hour later coming back and working on another section of my lesson. This should help with building endurance as well as not reinforcing bad sound or technique by playing when tired.
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Montfitchet
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2020 4:52 pm    Post subject: Thanks for the Encouragement Reply with quote

I just joined TH and it is encouraging to witness others' journey's back to playing. I played through high school (graduating in 1978) and then put the horn down for 17 years. We moved to Australia in the 90s for 4 years and since I had a bit more time on my hands their, decided to pick the trumpet back up and join the local town band. I met a gentleman who was looking for a trumpet player to play in an "Ol Time Dance Band":-). I really struggled for a while but they were patient and after some number of months it became very enjoyable. We played 100s of tunes from the 1920s-1940s from Fake Books the one guy had transcribed). Since then I have played some solos in church (a couple with my daughter on Flugelhorn ... such a special experience that was), in a brass band at work, and as a community member in a local college's Concert Band. I play on a mid 70s Bach 37 and I have a Conn Vintage Flugelhorn. It is funny what a chore it was to practice when I was in high school and now (for the last 10 years at least) I look forward to it every day. Very cathartic. It is like Calgon:-)... it takes me away from everything else going on in life. I am 60 years old and have a dream of, during retirement (3 years from now), being able to play in a small group that just plays jazz standards and the like. Even if it is just for beer I would be happy. So I am beginning to work on chord progressions, 251s etc. I already spend huge amount of time noodling around to R&B and other tunes on YouTube etc. but I really need to learn what is going un underneath it all and become a more complete learned player. I have never had any formal music education and so I am happy to have seen some of the recommendations for online teaching. I think I am ready to invest some time into this. I have had some lessons before but the instructor was always asking me what I wanted and I really didn't know. What I really (in a perfect world) would like is for someone to listen to me (I have reasonable tone at this stage because I play quite a bit, reasonable range I guess (High C/D), all major scales under my fingers, and some reasonable transitions across 251s) and lay out a path to get to my goal of being able to join a few old dodgers and maybe be able to play in a bar for beer one day. I also enjoy playing pieces in church but need to work on techniques for consistency, calm nerves, etc. for solos. God Bless everyone. Any thoughts of course welcome.
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