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Learning To Play The Horn: Miles Davis Re-Born  
User currently offlineAndreas From Germany, joined Oct 2001, 6104 posts, RR: 31
Posted (8 years 1 month 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 2381 times:

Ok, that topic is extremely blasphemous, but nonetheless, since we have lots of musicians here on the a.net, here's what I'd like to know:

I'm big on music, I love music, I've been playing instruments since I was a little kid (started with Eurythmics, then Guitar, some Bass, but, most of all, Drums, since I was 13). All that put aside, there's one instrument that kept fascinating me forever and ever: trumpet, the frigging COOLEST sound there is in music!

I own more that 150 records with trumpet players, be that Miles Davis, the greatest of all, the European ones like Nils Petter Molvaer, Paolo Fressu, Eric Truffaz, Till Broenner, Thomas Siffling...pick your choice.

I ALWAYS wanted to play trumpet, but somehow (well mostly because of my job) never managed to get someone to teach me.

NOW I've reached the point that I really want to do it, I've got the time, fortunately enough money to buy a good instrument and excellent lessons, I've got TONS of ideas what sort music I want to play, I've got the ambition and the surroundings to practice on a daily basis....so here's the question:

HOW long does it take to learn enough so I can actually make music that sounds like music and not like a cancerous frog. How long before I can start realising the sound I have in mind. Remember, I'm not new to music, I've got the discipline to practise, I can read notes, being a drummer, I have an excellent rhythm feeling...so how long?

And what else can you tell me about it that is worth knowing? Whatever it is, I'd like to hear it!

Thanks in advance, and yes...I'm very serious about this!!


I know it's only VfB but I like it!
33 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineNoUFO From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 7958 posts, RR: 12
Reply 1, posted (8 years 1 month 5 days ago) and read 2374 times:

Quoting Andreas (Thread starter):
make music that sounds like music and not like a cancerous frog.

I thought a trumpet always sounds like a cancerous frog?
Seriously, I never particularely liked the sound of a trumpet. Sax ... well ... hmmpfh ... a lot better, but still: no thanks.

I can only get some notes out of Guitars and Basses, love the drums, and if I were you, I would take a closer look at the Chapman Stick.

So no help from me, besides bringing the thread up to the top again. You're welcome. Big grin

Quoting Andreas (Thread starter):
and yes...I'm very serious about this!!

You and serious? That's rare.  Wink



I support the right to arm bears
User currently offlineCastleIsland From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (8 years 1 month 5 days ago) and read 2367 times:

Quoting NoUFO (Reply 1):
if I were you, I would take a closer look at the Chapman Stick.

 Wow! He'd be better off deriving Eintein's theory of relativity using bits of string, a rusty nail, and a styrofoam cup filled with turpentine.

Andreas: I've played in a Symphony Orchestra (Kontrabass, sorry) and many jazz situations, and now a progressive rock band (again, bass) that features trumpet. The biggest challenge is the breaking in of the lip and keeping it that way. I'd recommend breaking it in slowly, but consistently. Having started on clarinet back in 1975, I know about embouchure, and I'd imagine the same term applies to trumpet.

Honestly, time requirements vary, but if you're determined, and the blowing patterns come easily to you (shut up, everyone!  Wink ), you should be putting out smooth tones in a few weeks and go from there.

If you'd like a bit of jazz theory, in terms of scales over changes, and what not, send me an IM. Oh, and BTW, you've got to dig Blue Mitchell. He's my vote for favorite trumpet player.


User currently offlineAndreas From Germany, joined Oct 2001, 6104 posts, RR: 31
Reply 3, posted (8 years 1 month 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 2354 times:

Yes well, Chapman stick, that's Nobby idea of a really good joke, comparable only to an Engerlaender's idea of football Big grin

Ok, first of all, thx for the first replies, that goes to Castle Island (99%) and Nobby (1%). Actually no, I think saxophone sound rather squeaky and my dad WAS a pretty good sax and clarinet player back in the 50ies and the 60ies and I still have his instruments. When I was 16 I tried learning saxophone....and it didn't work out. I just couldn't do it.

As for the guitar, I have one of Frankfurt's best guitar shop just around the corner, and they have a strings school, too, so I started taking guitar lessons to get back again into it, and it goes along pretty well.

The trumpet has fascinated me since ages, Davis did produce so unbelievable great songs, in the cool era, and even at the end, the Doobop album.

I'll take a good look at Blue Mitchell, sounds interesting. btw I love that dark melancholic sound of the Flugelhorn even more so...and of course the stuffed trumpet, like Davis did it on the DooBop.

Oh and btw Nobby...when it comes to music I have a lot of fun with it...but I never MAKE fun about it!  Wink



I know it's only VfB but I like it!
User currently offlineMD-90 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 8507 posts, RR: 12
Reply 4, posted (8 years 1 month 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 2350 times:

Quoting Andreas (Thread starter):
HOW long does it take to learn enough so I can actually make music that sounds like music and not like a cancerous frog.

Took me about three weeks, but I'm a clarinetist and a music major. Do your long tones and slurs religiously, and your sound will improve to decent pretty quickly. Stamina, however, takes much longer to build.


User currently offlineAndreas From Germany, joined Oct 2001, 6104 posts, RR: 31
Reply 5, posted (8 years 1 month 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 2348 times:

Quoting MD-90 (Reply 4):

Took me about three weeks, but I'm a clarinetist and a music major. Do your long tones and slurs religiously, and your sound will improve to decent pretty quickly. Stamina, however, takes much longer to build.



Quoting CastleIsland (Reply 2):
you should be putting out smooth tones in a few weeks and go from there.

Now THAT sounds pretty encouraging....knowing myself, I need a quick result, that is, a decent tone, from there onwards I should be able to push myself to practise like crazy...funny, patience was never my second name, only in music!



I know it's only VfB but I like it!
User currently offlineZarniwoop From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2005, 265 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (8 years 1 month 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 2340 times:

As for any musical instrument.... practice, practice, practice.......

Quoting Andreas (Thread starter):
be that Miles Davis, the greatest of all, the European ones like Nils Petter Molvaer, Paolo Fressu, Eric Truffaz, Till Broenner, Thomas Siffling...pick your choice.

You need to add Wynton Marsalis to (the top of) your list  Smile


User currently offlineAndreas From Germany, joined Oct 2001, 6104 posts, RR: 31
Reply 7, posted (8 years 1 month 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 2334 times:

Quoting Zarniwoop (Reply 6):
You need to add Wynton Marsalis to (the top of) your list

Actually no, I won't....sorry! Not THAT guy! He may be brilliant in a technical way, but I don't like his music at all.


btw: Is it true that when playing trumpet you have to practise virtually every day in order to be able to play at all? I heard that rumour that Brass and woodwinds are somewhat different...see, if I don't have the time to play drums for 2 or 3 months, well so be it. After 3 months I sit down, get my sticks, start drumming and in a few minutes it is as if I never stopped. Doesn't seem to work with a trumpet....?



I know it's only VfB but I like it!
User currently offlineSaxdiva From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 2382 posts, RR: 42
Reply 8, posted (8 years 1 month 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 2331 times:

Quoting Andreas (Reply 7):
Is it true that when playing trumpet you have to practise virtually every day in order to be able to play at all? I heard that rumour that Brass and woodwinds are somewhat different.

Since you're building a specific kind of musculature, you'll make faster progress if you play regularly. As a beginner, I'd recommend every-day practice simply because you won't be able to put in as much time in one session as a more experienced player, so you'll need to pick up the horn more frequently. I'm trying to improve my flute chops right now, and I'm finding that if I miss a day, it sets me back a lot farther than missing a day of practicing the sax.

As far as how long it takes to sound good... that's impossble to answer. It depends on the guidance of your teacher, how much time you put in, and how naturally it all comes to you. But if you're going to be serious about the instrument, you might as well plan on this being a lifetime project. After more than twenty years playing woodwinds, I still recognize that what I know is FAR less than what I have to learn.

Good luck and welcome to the super-duper inner circle of geeks... the a.net band.


User currently offlineAndreas From Germany, joined Oct 2001, 6104 posts, RR: 31
Reply 9, posted (8 years 1 month 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 2329 times:

Quoting Saxdiva (Reply 8):
But if you're going to be serious about the instrument, you might as well plan on this being a lifetime project.

Well music has become a lifetime project for me when I was 2 or 3 years old, it'll only take another additional shape....a trumpet on top of all those stringy instruments and beating away on my beloved Sonor/Paiste drumset. I love to make music in an ensemble as well as alone at home, using my own little living-room studio (actually a Roland Synthi, 2 more modules and a some software on my PC, but it does the job).

I even have some very decent Trumpet sound samples, but still.........it sounds AND looks so bloody cool watching a guy like Till Broenner leaning at the wall, one foot propped up, playing the blues on a muted trumpet Wink Big grin



I know it's only VfB but I like it!
User currently offlineSaxdiva From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 2382 posts, RR: 42
Reply 10, posted (8 years 1 month 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 2328 times:

Quoting Andreas (Reply 9):
beating away on my beloved Sonor/Paiste drumset

Did I mention I'm married to a percussionist? Plenty of stuff to hit over here. And besides, he just got me my very own Gretsch t-shirt.  cloudnine 


User currently offlineAndreas From Germany, joined Oct 2001, 6104 posts, RR: 31
Reply 11, posted (8 years 1 month 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 2324 times:

Quoting Saxdiva (Reply 10):
Did I mention I'm married to a percussionist?

Well, percussionists/drummers are the coolest cats anyway, anywhere as I know from my own experience (and your husband will agree, I take it?) but you know, I have a feeling I need to expand my coolness, so I decided on the trumpet....I'll have a permanent icecold living room without turning on the aircon  Wink Big grin  silly 

But seriously, life without music just doesn't work in ANY way!!



I know it's only VfB but I like it!
User currently offlineZarniwoop From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2005, 265 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (8 years 1 month 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 2324 times:

Quoting Andreas (Reply 7):
Is it true that when playing trumpet you have to practise virtually every day in order to be able to play at all?

I used to play the trumpet and I used to practice every day. The more you practice, the quicker you will improve. You need to build up the muscle shape and strength and learn all the finger positions (not too bad on a trumpet actually). When I started I had to work on my breathing technique a lot as well. Practice scales, its really boring and tedious but very good practice.

Actually, i really miss playing the trupmet. After leaving school i never really had an opportunity to play in a group so the interest went away. I've still got my first trumpet hidden away somewhere with the hope of getting back to playing one day. I play guitar these days.

Good luck, when you get passed the "pain barrier" of learing scales, etc playing the trumpet will be very enjoyable.

Quoting Andreas (Reply 7):
Quoting Zarniwoop (Reply 6):
You need to add Wynton Marsalis to (the top of) your list

Actually no, I won't....sorry! Not THAT guy! He may be brilliant in a technical way, but I don't like his music at all.

Musically taste is of course personal choice but on pure skill level he is easily the best trumpet player alive today. He does play some more mainstream jazz just not much of it. Do you like his classical stuff? I saw him live once and he was awesome.


User currently offlineSaxdiva From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 2382 posts, RR: 42
Reply 13, posted (8 years 1 month 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 2324 times:

Quoting Andreas (Reply 11):
percussionists/drummers are the coolest cats anyway, anywhere as I know from my own experience (and your husband will agree, I take it?)

Naw... he digs chick sax players.  biggrin 


User currently offlineAndreas From Germany, joined Oct 2001, 6104 posts, RR: 31
Reply 14, posted (8 years 1 month 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 2316 times:

Quoting Saxdiva (Reply 13):
he digs chick sax players.

I have a workmate who plays sax as well...she's not cool at all...she's hot, especially when blowing that instrument of hers...erm, yes...*cough* Big grin

Quoting Zarniwoop (Reply 12):
After leaving school i never really had an opportunity to play in a group so the interest went away.

Yes I know that problem just too well, same here when I started to work, except the interest never went away. Now, after changing the employer, I'm in a position to re-start making music on a more constant basis, and I'm ready to go  Smile.

btw, since you know the instrument, there's that Yamaha thingie called Silent Brass, that enables people to practise in the middle of the night since it is said to mute the horn down to practically zero, re-creating the sound via headphone. Do you have eny experiences with that? I guess it would be a must-have for me!

Quoting Zarniwoop (Reply 12):
Do you like his classical stuff? I saw him live once and he was awesome.

Actually so did I, in Berlin, together with some musicians from the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra (best in the world...but then I am a Berliner Big grin) and it was awesome indeed, still, he just doesn't make the music I fancy, I'm more into those new styles of jazz that go cross-border...the players I mentioned above are all doing exactly that...just like Miles *sigh*



I know it's only VfB but I like it!
User currently offlineZarniwoop From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2005, 265 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (8 years 1 month 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 2312 times:

Quoting Andreas (Reply 14):
Yamaha thingie called Silent Brass

I've never seen it but I looked at the webiste

http://www.yamaha-europe.com/yamaha_...t_brass/10_silent_brass/index.html

It seems to be a mute that somehow doesnt restrict the airflow with a microphone. Nice idea for practising while keeping the noise down. I used to use a rag to mute the noise for quiet practice!


User currently offlineNoUFO From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 7958 posts, RR: 12
Reply 16, posted (8 years 1 month 4 days ago) and read 2300 times:

Quoting Andreas (Reply 11):
have a feeling I need to expand my coolness

Definitely. Big grin  Wink

You changed your employer?



I support the right to arm bears
User currently offlineSaxdiva From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 2382 posts, RR: 42
Reply 17, posted (8 years 1 month 4 days ago) and read 2299 times:

Quoting Andreas (Reply 14):
btw, since you know the instrument, there's that Yamaha thingie called Silent Brass, that enables people to practise in the middle of the night since it is said to mute the horn down to practically zero, re-creating the sound via headphone. Do you have eny experiences with that? I guess it would be a must-have for me!

Oh yeah... Mr. Diva also plays trombone and he's got one of these things. It's not totally inaudible, but it's close enough that I can barely hear him from the next room. According to him it makes the horn play sharp, but that's easily adjusted. It also dulls the response a little, he says, which ends up building additional air support. Worth a look.


User currently offlineAndreas From Germany, joined Oct 2001, 6104 posts, RR: 31
Reply 18, posted (8 years 1 month 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 2292 times:

Quoting Saxdiva (Reply 17):
According to him it makes the horn play sharp, but that's easily adjusted. It also dulls the response a little, he says, which ends up building additional air support. Worth a look.

Interesting!! Living in the middle of the city with billions of neighbours I'm afraid I have no choice...I need it or else I need a new flat  Wink Big grin

Quoting NoUFO (Reply 16):
You changed your employer?

Yep, well it's nearly a year now and I'm still doing the same job ....but it got me a huge decrease in working hours that I want to fill doing what I love to do.



I know it's only VfB but I like it!
User currently offlineAsstChiefMark From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (8 years 1 month 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 2283 times:

There are three things that made Miles Davis great:



I like Davis' 1980's music better than his earlier stuff. It had a unique sound that no one could truly duplicate. It's the way he played the trumpet at that time that made his music sound different than previous decades.

As a former trumpet player, I know the way the horn is held affects the sound. In the final stages of his career, Davis held his arms tight to his body and sharply aimed the horn downward, thereby affecting his breathing and air patterns. He also changed his embouchure by tightening his cheeks, protruding his lower jaw, and puffing out his lower lip area. Much different than earlier in his career.



Like the Beatles and others, drugs were ingenuously influencial in Davis' songwriting and performance skills. I honestly don't think his music would have been the same without heroin. He eventually kicked his addiction.

Mark


User currently offlineYYZflyer From Canada, joined Feb 2006, 3643 posts, RR: 4
Reply 20, posted (8 years 1 month 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 2268 times:

Welcome to the a.net group of trumpet players  Wink I play one too. Played it since I was in grade 7, now going into 10. If you're a beginner you should practice everyday. Practice chromatic scales to extend your range. Slurring and long notes are also good. How long it takes to get good sound depends on the person and willingness to learn. But I see you want to. You'll have some days when you can play really well, and some days you can't play at all. (not literally)

I used to suck at playing the trumpet. It took me about 8 1/2 months to learn how to tongue as I was never taught.  irked 

It'd be interesting to have an orchestra made of only a.netters  faint 



Avoid hangovers, stay drunk.
User currently offlineAsstChiefMark From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (8 years 1 month 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 2265 times:

I'd like to start playing again. I think I'd play the piccolo trumpet. You can hear one played during the solo on "Penny Lane" by the Beatles.



Mark

[Edited 2006-08-23 05:27:24]

User currently offlineMD-90 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 8507 posts, RR: 12
Reply 22, posted (8 years 1 month 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 2262 times:

Quoting Andreas (Reply 14):
btw, since you know the instrument, there's that Yamaha thingie called Silent Brass, that enables people to practise in the middle of the night since it is said to mute the horn down to practically zero, re-creating the sound via headphone.

Silent Brass systems do work pretty well.

Take it slow at first. You may only be able to get 5 minutes of good practice each time during the beginning, but you built from there. After playing for a month, I could go well for 20 minutes, then I'd start to get shot.


User currently offlineAndreas From Germany, joined Oct 2001, 6104 posts, RR: 31
Reply 23, posted (8 years 1 month 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 2252 times:

Quoting AsstChiefMark (Reply 19):
like Davis' 1980's music better than his earlier stuff. It had a unique sound that no one could truly duplicate. It's the way he played the trumpet at that time that made his music sound different than previous decades.

That is VERY TRUE!!! Actually same here....I loved his Cool stuff from the fifties, with Gil Evans, that's really hot shit, listen at night, sitting on your balcony with a drink in your hand and watch the lights of the city....feels like being on drugs (well I suppose, I never went beyond alcohol, I have to admit).

But in the 80ies, the man got a second leg as a legend in music, which is what I like about him: His neverending craving to go BEYOND frontiers, to give a wet crap about what the "true believers in Jazz" said, but do, what HE wanted to do. To me, it's the DooBop album that drives me nuts....listen to that stuff, it's so bloody great ("me and the chief are gonna blow...." WOWOW!!!).
I love Miles NOT because of his skills on the trumpet which I cannot judge anyway right now, but his approach to MUSIC!

Quoting YYZflyer (Reply 20):
It'd be interesting to have an orchestra made of only a.netters

Would be indeed!! Big grin And if my playing the horn gets on everybody's nerve I can still switch over to the drumset...now THERE I'm not bad  Wink

Quoting MD-90 (Reply 22):
Silent Brass systems do work pretty well.

Glad to hear it...I couldn't start practising without it. I Know I have a legal right to play loud during daytime without getting arrested...unfortunately I won't be home and ready before 9 or 10 p.m., so I urgently need a system like that. What I like best is the fact that you can mix in another sound source, like a drum and bass pattern form the synthis to make sheer practising and scales-palying more entertaining.

Wow, thanks a lot to everybody, I appreciate what you wrote...and yes, next week I have an appointment at a well-known local music school without a fixed schedule where people like myself can fix their lessons according to their own needs....and then we'll see  Smile  Smile  Smile



I know it's only VfB but I like it!
User currently offlineAndreas From Germany, joined Oct 2001, 6104 posts, RR: 31
Reply 24, posted (8 years 1 month 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 2248 times:

Oh and another question just came up:

This piccolo trumpet, or "Taschentrompete" (pocket trumpet), is on sale everywhere, pretty cheap...what's the point? How does it sound? Or is there a difference between Piccolo and Pocket trumpet?



I know it's only VfB but I like it!
25 YYZflyer : Yes there is. The piccolo has less tubbing and is played for higher parts. While the pocket trumpet is the same as typical trumpet. It has the same a
26 MD-90 : Hope you don't turn out like our trumpet professor at MSU. Unless it's changed since the spring, he's got 34 different trumpets and other trumpet-lik
27 Andreas : Well, at least I have some nice other instruments at home I never learnt to play: My father's clarinets and saxophones that I inherited (and will, of
28 Post contains links AsstChiefMark : Here's a sample mp3 of the piccolo trumpet. http://www.bflatmusic.com/ablassenbbtpt.mp3 Mark
29 Post contains links YYZflyer : It's the same rhythm and pitch but, you can hear a difference in the texture of the sound. This is a typical Bb trumpet. So you can definately tell t
30 MD-90 : Well, I know one thing that's for damn sure: trumpet's a lot easier to learn than flute. Good grief! It looks like there's nothing to it, but I'm taki
31 Vikkyvik : Well I do play trumpet, though I've hardly picked it up in a few years now. I'm planning on restarting one of these days. I imagine that it'll take me
32 Post contains images Andreas : And thx again to all.....this Friday I'll be there and I'll let you know....wouldn't miss the chance to share my frustration
33 CastleIsland : Good luck, Andreas. Remember that the first few days and weeks will be challenging in large part due to the pain associated with building up your lip
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