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Learning trumpet without lessons


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bent tubing
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PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2023 2:26 pm    Post subject: Learning trumpet without lessons Reply with quote

Hi there I'm a 72 yr old wanting to learn the trumpet and my question is can I learn to play the trumpet without a teacher or private lessons. Is it at all possible or can it not be doable?
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tomba51
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PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2023 2:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's certainly possible, there are tons of self taught players. But progress will probably be faster with a good teacher who can point you in the right direction and prevent you from making basic mistakes in your approach.
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Billy B
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PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2023 2:46 pm    Post subject: Re: Learning trumpet without lessons Reply with quote

bent tubing wrote:
Hi there I'm a 72 yr old wanting to learn the trumpet and my question is can I learn to play the trumpet without a teacher or private lessons. Is it at all possible or can it not be doable?



No
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huntman10
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PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2023 3:27 pm    Post subject: Re: Learning trumpet without lessons Reply with quote

Billy B wrote:
bent tubing wrote:
Hi there I'm a 72 yr old wanting to learn the trumpet and my question is can I learn to play the trumpet without a teacher or private lessons. Is it at all possible or can it not be doable?



No


Agree with Bill, but stranger things have happened.

Do you have any experience playing any wind instrument? That might help a little. Or if you are some kind of savant??

Or know someone who plays and is patient. Of course, not all trumpet players can teach. I have a trumpet degree and music teaching certificate and played for 62 years, and haven't taught in nearly 50 years and I wouldn't recommend me to teach anyone anymore!
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jhatpro
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PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2023 4:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The careers of Buddy Childers, Enrico Rava, Charles Tolliver, Bobby Shew, Dizzy Gillespie, Johnny Coles, Humphrey Lyttleton, Louis Prima - all largely self-taught - suggest you can certainly learn to play the trumpet without taking lessons.

In fact, it would be easier than ever these days with the availability of YouTube and the plethora of trumpet method books not to mention the wealth of info available here on TH.

But it's also true that you would learn faster and avoid bad habits by taking at least some occasional lessons.

Check with local music stores and schools for names of teachers.

Good luck and have fun!
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gwood66
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PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2023 5:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since you have been a TH member since 2005 and have posted over 100 times I would guess you are a slow starter. A teacher may help that out.

8 years ago when I started this habit I thought I would teach myself. 7.5 years ago I figured out that I had a fool for a teacher and found someone else. I vote with Billy B.
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trickg
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PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2023 6:34 pm    Post subject: Re: Learning trumpet without lessons Reply with quote

bent tubing wrote:
Hi there I'm a 72 yr old wanting to learn the trumpet and my question is can I learn to play the trumpet without a teacher or private lessons. Is it at all possible or can it not be doable?

I'll say the same thing I said in your other thread:

IMO you'd be better off getting a teacher - you'll cut to the chase and shave a lot of time off of learning certain concepts that you may fumble around with otherwise.

Taking up trumpet at age 72 is pretty ambitious - it's an instrument where quick success to be able to play well enough to actually make real music isn't the norm. I was a middle of the road player for the first 2-3 years before things started to click, and even then I was a senior in HS before I got to a point where I could really "play," and I wasn't normal - I went on to a career in the Army band program straight out of high school.
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stuartissimo
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PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2023 9:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The real answer is that you need neither our permission nor our approval. It’s definitely not impossible, but it’s also not impossible to win the lottery…yet few people do.

As Patrick points out, a teacher can save you a lot of time (think:years) and grief. This is mainly because with brass instruments, most the sound production is done by the human body and to really grasp how that works takes more time and practice than say, a piano or guitar.

However, if you want to play trumpet, just go for it. Most of us here will probably attest it’s a great way to spend your time .
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Rapier232
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PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2023 10:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is it possible? Absolutely. I’m completely self taught. I bought a trumpet and Tune a Day book 1. No musical knowledge at all. Taught myself to play and read music. Trouble was I didn’t know what I needed to know. I spent ages playing the wrong note, because I didn’t even know that other notes could be played with the same fingering. Took months to even play a simple nursery rhyme. Bought a tuner, which was essential to my progression. Then bought the Arban and tried to work through that.

I was so bad my wife made me practice in my car, in my garage, down the bottom of my garden.

It took years to become average. Now I’m reasonably competent and sometimes even get paid to play in pit bands for musicals. I’m even Principal trumpet in a local wind band, with 6 other trumpets.

Would I recommend self teaching? Absolutely not. The internet didn’t exist when I started, which would have made life so much easier, but now you can have lessons from top professionals from anywhere in the world. Even the free tutorials on line would help greatly.

There are other instruments that are much easier to play, but none that are so satisfying to play (when you get it right).

Go for it, it can be very frustrating, but so much fun.

Oh, and if you do, practice and learn the scales. Something I still regret not doing when I started.
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GeorgeB
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PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2023 2:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Boy, this is a toughie. You may well be able to learn the mechanics of playing the trumpet on your own, but learning music ( it's another language ) and knowing what a G# or a C natural or an Ab sound like in your head is another thing all together, because if you don't know what any particular note sounds like, good luck in playing it.

George
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Croquethed
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PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2023 2:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you had played for a noticeable length of time as a kid and wanted to pick it up again without a teacher, that would be doable.

If you're starting from scratch? I think you'd be frustrated pretty quickly.
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Seymor B Fudd
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PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2023 3:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did, But I was 15-16 when I began and I have devoted an enormous time practicing - and- very important - have been playing in bands ever since meaning that I have had to update, learn from all available sources, forever striving towards a distant goal. A very very fertile setting. Remarkable success yes. I played the Hayden, 3rd movement almost impeccable 1974. lead trumpet, Brass band front row most of the time.

Again - a tremendous amount of time spent practicing.

But at 72 after a particularly intense period of practice I finally overdid it. A C middle of staff barely audible.
Then my first lessons ever brought me back on trail. Aging chops revealing important flaws previously disguised behind youthful strength.
The real lift was the discovery of the BE method - maybe another story.
But it has taken me another 7-8 years to finally get that special feeling in your chops signalling "this is how it should be done".

My point is: I sincerely doubt that you will arrive at a level good enough for your satisfaction - with regards to the time you have left walking on this earth. But never say never.

You should, in my opinion ask your self some questions:
1) what is your goal? Playing in a band and if so at what level. Or at home just passing time?
2)how much time are you willing to spend? Garbage in garbage out so quality time!!!
3)how big is your tolerance for irritation?
4)why do you want to do this without the help of a teacher
5)why do you want to play the trumpet (and why now).

What I am aiming it is your motivation, "chuzpah"! Investment resources!
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ECLtmpt2
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PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2023 4:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bent tubing, You have some very good answers to your question. TH is a wealth of knowledge & can be of great assistance to 'us' trumpet players.

However, could you please tell us a little more about you and your goals, it seems you have made similar comments as far back as 2006/2007.

Many here would be more than happy to give you some advice. Perhaps knowing a bit more about where you see yourself going with the trumpet would be helpful.
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trickg
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PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2023 6:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used to say I was self-taught - I never had much in the way of formal lessons at any point, and especially not growing up in a small rural town of 2,000 in Nebraska. I listened to a lot of music, and I worked on things I felt needed to be worked on, so my technique built in a kind of organic way, but no lessons....except....

Because I have been a working musician for so long I've had the opportunity to play with some really fine players. I learned a TON from Tom Strayer working with him for the better part of 2 years in the First Army Band Brass Quintet - every rehearsal with Tom was a lesson in it's own way.

I've gotten so many "lessons" along the way from so many players - suggestions on things to work on, how to work on them, etc. I've also learned a lot from playing alongside other non-trumpet musicians.

The wedding band I played with for 20 years had a couple of really outstanding sax players. I remember the first month or so of playing alongside Barry Caudill thinking, "oh - so THAT'S how that should be phrased!" It wasn't that I wasn't playing well - I was - but those guys brought a whole other dimension to it. I played alongside of Doug Morgan for a couple of years too. He was the former bari-sax player for the Airmen of Note. He could play just a little bit.

Bringing this back to our original poster, those learning opportunities playing alongside of other players are out there, but you have to get good enough to be able to go out and play in some ensembles first, and the quickest path to that IMO is with a teacher and some diligent practice.
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Richard III
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PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2023 6:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you could, you would have already done so. Seriously. When I started they handed me a trumpet and a beginning book. At age nine, within one year I was playing at high school level. I guess there's an aptitude.

After age sixty, I've picked up the french horn, the euphonium and the tuba. Within one year on each, I can pretty much playing anything. Certainly not at professional level, but good enough to play in any band in my area.

So if you haven't got there already, especially after reading all your old posts, it is time for a teacher.
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kehaulani
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PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2023 7:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had similar early success, like Richard but, at the same time, started lessons early. I would think on retrospection that my teacher, while monitoring basic fundamentals, gave me "impose discipline" to practice regularly.

Back story: Similar to Richard, I went from 3rd Cornet to 1st Cornet in three months. OTOH, LOL . . I had a private lesson and remember my teacher answering my parents question, "How did it go?" and he, answering, "if your son doesn't practice more, he's wasting my time and your money". So ne result of my having a private teacher was accountability of regular practice.
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HarvestMoon
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PostPosted: Sat May 13, 2023 12:34 pm    Post subject: trumpet lessons? Reply with quote

It's not a great idea to start playing without a teacher. If you form bad habits they can be hard to break.
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Jaw04
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PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2023 12:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Depends on how you learn and your personality.

Some students I work with need detailed daily systematic practice plans. Other students work better with broad concepts and a more hands off approach.

If you are asking this question I would say you are probably the type of person that would do well with taking structured lessons. Some people just have a knack for learning and figuring things out on their own, and don't ask too many questions like what you proposed.
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stuartissimo
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PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2023 9:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jaw04 wrote:
Depends on how you learn and your personality.

Some students I work with need detailed daily systematic practice plans. Other students work better with broad concepts and a more hands off approach.

Sounds like a good approach to teaching. Would love to find a teacher like that (don’t suppose you live nearby )?
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Seymor B Fudd
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PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2023 2:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sittting here in front of the magic box I miss something - no, somebody - the OP!

Hopefully you didn´t scrap your horn or went out in order to feed local ducks in response to the usual avalanche of supercalifragilisticexpiali - precious advice.

So what´s your reaction? We, I´m sure, have meant well - picking up the noble art of producing music is in itself commendable.
We are all the same but also different with regards to our experiences - hence the various views.

But not all ways lead to Rome!!!
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