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Trying to come back after a Very long absence.



 
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cyberpapa3
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Joined: 06 Feb 2020
Posts: 8
Location: Grand Bay, AL

PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2020 7:45 pm    Post subject: Trying to come back after a Very long absence. Reply with quote

Hi All!
I just joined TH this morning. I have a 1966 Conn Constellation 38B that I bought new while I was in High School. In 1969 Hurricane Camille Hit the MS Gulf Coast and our house was destroyed and my trumpet was under 10' of salt water. The case was intact but was still full of water. I stripped it down, cleaned it and let the case dry.

I joined the US Army soon after and my playing days became few and far between. I played off and on until I retired in 1990. I worked long hours and had little time to play while raising 4 kids. Before I knew it the Grands came along and now the Great Grands. .

The trumpet only came out of the closet once about 15 years ago when I thought my youngest Grandson might be interested in playing. He wasn't. So I played a little, gave it a thorough cleaning and back in the closet it went.

A couple of weeks ago I was talking to a friend who also used to play and I decided I want to play again, and so did he.

I knew I had to get some valve oil and a cleaning kit and bout a new mouthpiece. Today my order came in and I got my horn off the shelf, Opened the case (I was surprised the latches still worked fine) and was shocked at the corrosion that was on it. The valves worked but sluggishly and all the slides were stuck. After applying some WD-40 to the slides the came loose without too much trouble. I stripped it down and spent most of the day cleaning off all the corrosion. When I took the tops of the valves off, the cork and felt under the valve cap came apart and the cork part cracked. I found out the horn wouldn't play at all until I super glued the cork pieces back together and reinstalled them.

The sound coming out of the horn sound like crap! The 1st valve spring was weak but I don't think that was the entire problem. I'm sure it was me! I found a valve rebuild kit for my trumpet and it should be here by next Friday.

I feel like a complete beginner again, accept I can play a couple of notes, but they don't sound right.

I welcome all suggestions to helm me get started on the right track again.

I hope I didn't bore everybody who reads this to death. Sometimes I'm long winded.

Tony
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HERMOKIWI
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Joined: 24 Dec 2008
Posts: 2165

PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2020 9:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If there's a mechanical problem with the horn take it to a qualified tech. That's what techs are for. Trumpet is one of the cheapest instruments to own long term. They are comparatively cheap from the beginning and very durable. Your horn probably just needs a basic tune up (new corks and felts, general cleaning up, etc).

A bad sound usually is the result of the player, not the horn. Get your horn refurbished and then invest time and effort in renewing your skills. Don't beat your head against the wall trying to make a horn that needs maintenance/repair/tune up work in spite of its issues.
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kehaulani
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Joined: 23 Mar 2003
Posts: 4502
Location: Texas, by way of Germany and Hawai'i

PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2020 9:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ditto ^^^

You sound like you know just enough about the horn to have some false confidence, LOL. Take it to a tech. One thing about its getting cleaned up, though, is that it might need a chemical/ ultrasonic cleaning and that might up the total cost, but worth it.

The Connstellation is a good horn, I love them. I had one too and it served me well. Have fun.

BTW, just curious. What size/make mouthpiece did you get?
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Dayton
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Joined: 24 Mar 2013
Posts: 836
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2020 1:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I welcome all suggestions to helm me get started on the right track again.


Welcome back to trumpet playing! Here are a few thoughts for you:

-- As others have suggested, have your horn looked at by a local tech. Playing is enough of a challenge without the horn working against you!

-- Consider taking some lessons; the sooner the better. A teacher can (re)start you playing the trumpet correctly, address bad habits, help instill good habits...and devise a sensible practice routine for you.

-- Until you are able to study with a teacher, Harold "Pappy" Mitchell's "Mitchell on Trumpet" is a terrific all-in-one method -- the best available, in my opinion -- from absolute beginner/comeback player through to a very advanced level. Volume 1 (of 4) will give you at least a year's worth of good practice material.

-- Once you've been playing for a while (3-6 months?) consider joining a community band/orchestra if there is one in your area.

Good luck, and have fun!
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cyberpapa3
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Joined: 06 Feb 2020
Posts: 8
Location: Grand Bay, AL

PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2020 6:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the replies. I don't know how to reply to individual posts on this forum yet so here's to all at once.

HERMOKIWI: I ordered a valve tuneup kit which includes the felts, and corks.

kehaulani: thanks for the ultrasonic cleaning suggestion. I'll have to see if one of the local shops around here can do that. We don't have too many around my area.

I got a new Blessing 3C. I also have the original Connstellation 7B-N that came with my trumpet and a Bach 7C that I bought a few months after I bought the horn. If I remember correctly, I only paid about $10 for the Bach in 1967 dollars. The price on them has really gone up. The outsides of the mouthpieces were corroded but the cups and rims are fine. they cleaned up nicely with a scotchbrite pad.

Dayton: I will check into Harold "Pappy" Mitchell's method. Thanks for pointing me to it. I'll have to see if I can find a teacher around my area.
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Dayton
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Joined: 24 Mar 2013
Posts: 836
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2020 7:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Dayton: I will check into Harold "Pappy" Mitchell's method. Thanks for pointing me to it. I'll have to see if I can find a teacher around my area.


You might be able to find "Mitchell on Trumpet" at your local music store. If not, is available in print from Amazon.com and as an electronic copy from qpress.ca.

Regarding teachers, in person lessons are best, but if you have a hard time finding someone you might give online lessons a try.

Good luck!
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cyberpapa3
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Joined: 06 Feb 2020
Posts: 8
Location: Grand Bay, AL

PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2020 7:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good suggestions. Thank you again.
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kehaulani
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Joined: 23 Mar 2003
Posts: 4502
Location: Texas, by way of Germany and Hawai'i

PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2020 8:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Regarding Mitchell on Trumpet, while it is an outstanding series of self-contained books, I personally found in my comeback that they assumed a little too much at the beginning.

I don't know how you're fixed for money, but you could buy a used copy off of eBay and if it assumes a little too much, there are excellent books by other authors that begin a little more slowly that you could then get.

There are books by Bill Knevitt and David Hickman that are specifically written for comeback players you could then explore.
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"If you don't live it, it won't come out of your horn." Charlie Parker
"Even if I could play like Wynton Marsalis, I wouldn't play like Wynton Marsalis."
Chet Baker
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cyberpapa3
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Joined: 06 Feb 2020
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Location: Grand Bay, AL

PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2020 8:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good suggestions. Thank you again.
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cgaiii
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Joined: 26 Jun 2017
Posts: 577
Location: Virginia USA

PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2020 11:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks like you are well on your way to getting good suggestions for dealing with your horn. A good tech is really your best bet as others have said. If you really want to go for it, you could get the valves aligned and synthetic felts put in.
My only addition is to start slow and enjoy yourself.
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JetJaguar
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Joined: 20 Nov 2006
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Location: Vancouver, BC

PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2020 11:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

cyberpapa3 wrote:
I also have the original Connstellation 7B-N that came with my trumpet


I'm planning on having Jim New make a copy of a 7B-N for me.
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cyberpapa3
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Joined: 06 Feb 2020
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Location: Grand Bay, AL

PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2020 4:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's great! I didn't know it was possible to get a mouthpiece custom made. Do you have any idea what the "N" stands for?
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John Mohan
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Joined: 13 Nov 2001
Posts: 9759
Location: Chicago, Illinois

PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2020 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome back!
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cyberpapa3
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Joined: 06 Feb 2020
Posts: 8
Location: Grand Bay, AL

PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2020 7:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you!
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EricV
Veteran Member


Joined: 28 Jul 2011
Posts: 214
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2020 4:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good luck with the comeback !

I started playing again after nearly 30 years off the horn about 9 years ago and if i could offer one piece of advice it would be contact John Mohan above, and take a couple (or more) of on line lessons, John will provide you with a practice routine that will have you feeling good in no time at all at a very reasonable cost.

You wont regret it it will save you time and energy in trying to figure out what, when and how to practice.

Cheers

EricV
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cyberpapa3
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Joined: 06 Feb 2020
Posts: 8
Location: Grand Bay, AL

PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2020 5:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for the advice, Eric. I'll check it out later this week after I install the new springs, corks and felts I ordered. They are "in the mail".
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jhatpro
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Joined: 17 Mar 2002
Posts: 9351
Location: Chicago area

PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2020 10:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My comeback recipe:

Start every day playing something as softly as you can. Scales are good because you’ll need them eventually but also play music.

Play a minute, rest a minute. Keep your total play-rest sessions short at first - no more than ten minutes several times a day.

Memorize melodies in all keys. Start with Happy Birthday and the Star Spangled Banner. Play with the most beautiful sound you can make.

Take full breaths.Keep your mouth corners firm and the center small. Play with as little pressure as you can and still make a rich, full sound.

Every day try playing something a half step higher than you are used to but only three times. Don’t go higher until this note becomes part of your range meaning you can play it and not just hit it.

Join a band.

Be patient.

Have fun!
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"Music is not notes. Music is what notes do." David McGill
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cyberpapa3
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Joined: 06 Feb 2020
Posts: 8
Location: Grand Bay, AL

PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2020 6:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for the advise, Jim! Y'all are a wealth of information and help. I's amazing how much one forgets after not playing for over 30 years!
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