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Anyone play the trumpet here, or know about playing trumpet

bringusingoodale

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I am at my quarter life crisis and I want to learn how to play the trumpet. I've always loved trumpet solos and great jazz with trumpet. Besides picking up a guitar and teaching myself to play as any teenager does, I have no musical experience.

How difficult is it to learn to play the trumpet--will I quit in a month?
Whats the learning curve for playing the trumpet?
Can "anyone" learn to play the trumpet?

What kind of trumpet should I begin with?
What kinds should I stay with if I want to play like Dizzy Gillespie?

Should I just invest my time and money in the lotto or a new sportcoat?

Regards.
 

Makeshift_Robot

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If you're serious about it and put effort into it, you'll do well and learn fast. If you get frustrated easily, then you won't. It's not an exceptionally difficult instrument, but you might be better off learning music reading and theory on a keyboard as well, especially for playing jazz (which requires a very good foundation of theory and a good ear). Buy or rent a cheap trumpet; for several months to several years, your tone and ear will not be good enough to warrant something better, and you don't want to drop 1k on a trumpet only to give it up later. Find a good teacher, work hard and listen to them.

There are lots of dedicated, hardworking players who will never achieve anything like Gillespie's tone, technical ability, or improvisational finesse. If you want to sound like a professional, you have a long road ahead of you.

But, as someone who's put a lot of time into playing a horn (euphonium, not trumpet) and playing jazz (vocal, not instrumental), I'd recommend it. It's incredibly rewarding, even if you aren't at a professional level. Also, girls love it, the jazz music.
 

joelmthw

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i played trumpet for about 4 years and then trumpet in a jazz band for another 2 as well as baritone. its quite hard to pick up playing an instrument in a short amount of time because of all the technicals you need to learn before you play solo jazz well. not trying to be mean but if you get frustrated easily, then you will quit very quickly. if you are serious about it, i would recommend taking lessons from an instructor because bad habits are easily formed and can hinder your ability at jazz and higher level intonation later on.

can you read music written in treble clef well or at all? being able to read music well and quickly is pretty essential for jazz imo and just music in general. so you need to factor in time to learn that as well.

you really need to have the passion and work ethic to do well in playing the trumpet because it is going to be a long road. if that doesnt apply to you, i approve of the new sportcoat route.
 

audiophilia

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Adults learn instruments at a far slower pace than children. Your pace will be decided by your work ethic, ear and talent. Without doubt, the trumpet is the most difficult wind instrument for the first three months, then they're all difficult. If you are serious, call your local Musicians' Union, University or Conservatoire and get a teacher. A good one. They are important for growth on an instrument for children and indispensible for adults. In my experience, it will take many, many hours of practice to gain a footing on the trumpet. Developing classical and jazz skills take a lifetime. And that's if you have the aptitude. Most don't. That said, if you get a teacher, practice regularly, you can produce pleasant sounds quite quickly. As for jamming like Miles or Dizzy?
smile.gif
Good luck. My rec is a student Yamaha. Rent first in case you don't want to continue. Remember, there are no shortcuts. Cheers.
 

musicguy

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Originally Posted by audiophilia
Adults learn instruments at a far slower pace than children. Your pace will be decided by your work ethic, ear and talent. Without doubt, the trumpet is the most difficult wind instrument for the first three months, then they're all difficult. If you are serious, call your local Musicians' Union, University or Conservatoire and get a teacher. A good one. They are important for growth on an instrument for children and indispensible for adults. In my experience, it will take many, many hours of practice to gain a footing on the trumpet. Developing classical and jazz skills take a lifetime. And that's if you have the aptitude. Most don't. That said, if you get a teacher, practice regularly, you can produce pleasant sounds quite quickly. As for jamming like Miles or Dizzy?
smile.gif
Good luck. My rec is a student Yamaha. Rent first in case you don't want to continue. Remember, there are no shortcuts. Cheers.

Great advice, couldn't agree more in all aspects.
 

GoldenTribe

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Originally Posted by Makeshift_Robot
If you're serious about it and put effort into it, you'll do well and learn fast. If you get frustrated easily, then you won't. It's not an exceptionally difficult instrument, but you might be better off learning music reading and theory on a keyboard as well, especially for playing jazz (which requires a very good foundation of theory and/or a good ear). Buy or rent a cheap trumpet; for several months to several years, your tone and ear will not be good enough to warrant something better, and you don't want to drop 1k on a trumpet only to give it up later. Find a good teacher, work hard and listen to them.

FTFY, but solid advice.
 

bringusingoodale

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Thanks guys for the good advice. Much appreciated.

The few research I've done combined with the advice here is telling me to get a teacher or take lessons from an instructor. I wanted to avoid this route because of the expense and potential time constraints, but you are right, there are no shortcuts.

I mentioned Dizzy not necessarily because I want to aspire to that level (yet?) but more so to get advice on the preferred trumpet (key? or style? I don't know...) I suppose this shouldn't be a concern yet, but I'm curious.

So definitely going to a good music shop and ask some more advice. I think any student trumpet should do?

fing02[1].gif
 

musicguy

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Originally Posted by bringusingoodale
Thanks guys for the good advice. Much appreciated. The few research I've done combined with the advice here is telling me to get a teacher or take lessons from an instructor. I wanted to avoid this route because of the expense and potential time constraints, but you are right, there are no shortcuts. I mentioned Dizzy not necessarily because I want to aspire to that level (yet?) but more so to get advice on the preferred trumpet (key? or style? I don't know...) I suppose this shouldn't be a concern yet, but I'm curious. So definitely going to a good music shop and ask some more advice. I think any student trumpet should do?
fing02[1].gif

I would try to get a teacher first. He/she would be able to recommend which instrument to purchase. Follow what audiophilia mentioned. Contact the Union asking for a teacher or University Music Department and ask for a faculty member/adjunct professor. It's worth the extra money to take from the best teacher you can find. A lot of the younger professional players (a few years out of college) can also be fantastic and I think a pro trumpeter who's in his/her late 20s/30s is a great option. My 50-60 year old student takes a lesson once a month from me. Then again, he already has a good background in music, but I give him enough to work on for a month. I would try to discourage you from asking the music shop nearby for recommendations on both teachers or instruments. A lot of the time, even the reputable stores have no clue. Aspiring for Dizzy is great. I always aspire to be the best possible player and I try to encourage my students to also. What one man can do another can also! But if you really want to play like him, this is akin to a beginning swimmer wanting to be Michael Phelps. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but it takes years of very hard work, drive and lots of talent. It's possible, but there's a reason why there's only a handful of players in Dizzy's realm (Marsalis/Armstrong/Ferguson, etc)! As a professional oboist, I can make a few recommendations based on my experiences. Yamaha makes the best student instruments I've seen/tried. I wouldn't be surprised if the teacher recommends you get one. Also, you would get a Bb trumpet. If you want a recommendation for a teacher, I know a lot of players around the US. I can try and help you out with a colleague if you PM me your city.
 

Dashaansafin

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Played the trumpet for 4 years way back when. Not the hardest instrument to pick up but it was pretty boring. Its going to take a LONGGG time before you belt out any solo worth hearing. I honestly would stick to the piano depending on your prior music background.
 

pebblegrain

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I would say trumpet is harder to pick up than say, piano, for the following reasons:

you will have to most likely need to read music
the notes are not laid out in front of you in any intuitive way (3 keys to make all notes)
you not only need to learn finger position, but also breath technique to make sounds
it is more tiring than piano (there is no freaking way you can do 5 hours a day as a beginner, where piano sure you can)
 

Ropavejero

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First, I think music is great for people at any age. But I have doubts a trumpet is the best instrument to initially take up as an adult. As an orchestral instrument in the treble cleft range it is paired with other instruments in a jazz combos, bands, and symphony orchestras, who provide background accompaniment for the times when it is featured as a solo instrument. That said, to play a "trumpet solo" (other than Taps for military funeral rites) you are minimally going to have to have a pianist to play along side you, after you have achieved a basic skill level, which takes years to achieve.

The trumpet (or its "little brother" the coronet) is a good instrument for young kids to play in grade school and jr. high band (that is where I played it), since they learn some basic music theory (reading one line of notes on a single staff line) and the instrument fit neatly into little hands, but the draw back for an adult, who will probably never reach the proficiency of Dizzy Gillespie, is that it is not really a fun instrument to play and entertain with in family settings.

You mentioned having taught yourself to play guitar as a teenage. Sorry, I have never played one, but it is one instrument I would highly recommend sticking with and practicing on. It is an instrument you pull out, put together cord progression accompaniment on, and get others around the campfire to chime in and sing melody line for you. Most of us, who are older want to impress our friends with our music and not become a professional.

If you really want to "branch out" a bit I would suggest piano will be more enjoyable than trumpet at your age. Any understanding you have of chord structure from guitar should be helpful in being able to improvise an accompaniment on the piano.

As an adult I enjoy playing the piano much more than I ever did as a child! When very young with parent as teacher I got offered some piano lessons when I showed some interest (first was an attempt to color in the music notes and make corresponding color chart for keys), but interest soon waned. Later the infamous John Thompson instruction books were pulled out, but the music in them is so boring, interest again faded. Later when playing the trumpet again began picking out the piano the melody trumpet carried and later figured out how to follow melody line in simplified "fake books" of favorite pop songs with a simple block cord accompaniment figure (hey, big piano keys aren't well spaced for the hands of little children), or at least to find melody in a maze of notes on the grand staff and improvise with some underlying. Now umpteen years after first lesson I enjoy the challenge of trying to put combination of arpeggios, trills, runs, together with the melody in more complicated selections than I ever thought I could.
 

gsgleason

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I played trumpet for 7 years.

Brass is one of the most difficult musical instrument families to master, and the trumpet is probably the second most difficult, behind the french horn.

Brass, and the trumpet especially, takes a severe amount of specialized muscle strength in the lips/mouth, and years to become mediocre.

The valve combinations also make it difficult, as there is no visual representation of the resulting notes, unlike many woodwinds or strings.

My advice would be to start with a rental, and call a local music school and get lessons from a grad student in trumpet performance.

Trying to learn brass yourself will just cause you to end up with horrible technique which will be VERY difficult to un-learn.
 

divitius

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I played in school and a little in college. In retrospect I might have preferred to learn guitar or piano for reasons mentioned above. Anyway my thoughts are:

1. It doesn't matter what kind you get as a beginner, but Bb is the most common. Get a cheap used one in good condition and clean it well, so if you give it up its no big loss. Get a (new) Bach 7c mouthpiece.

2. Get a mute so you don't annoy your neighbors.
smile.gif


3. Take at least some kind of instruction.

4. Practice your scales until you can play them in your sleep. It really helps when playing actual music.

5. Learning and practicing is REALLY hard on the lips and jaws, especially first and still some thereafter.

6. Squeaking out a double high E for the first time is totally worth the subsequent momentary loss of consciousness
fing02[1].gif


7. Like most instruments, almost anyone can learn to play, very few can learn to play well.
 

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