Randy Brecker, Chuck Findley, Arturo Sandoval and Byron Stripling CHEROKEE!
When first beginning to play trumpet, your expectations are usually high and the amount of energy spent also indicates your desire to succeed. Unfortunately ones desires and expectations sometimes are higher than ones ability. Too many times we are told, “You can do anything if you try hard enough”, which unfortunately many times is inaccurate. I could try the remainder of my life to be able to fly but “it ain’t going to happen”! Before we begin on your lesson plan, I wanted to say that if you are interested in playing trumpet, I encourage you to begin, and with practice, you will improve. But, if you expect to be an accomplished musician in a short period of time without practicing, you will find that it also “ain’t possible”.
If you are in a school program where you are expected to use a certain book or method, by all means get the material and stay with the assignments your director assigns. Your first responsibility is to your local instructor and any and everything assigned must be practiced and accomplished first before you do any of my assignments.
The best book for beginners I have found is called…….
The reason I favor this method is that it has an excellent use of assignments augmented with audio files which give the student a fine example to emulate. Following the material within its pages will help you to become an accomplished player. If this is not the same method that you are using in your school, I suggest that you buy a copy of the method listed above and begin working in that one as well as your schools required method book.
The reason I am suggesting that you work out of both methods is that you will always need to follow your band director’s instruction, but working in two methods will only improve your playing. Just remember that your director will be expecting you to learn that material he/she has assigned.
You will be expected to practice regularly and there has never been a pill which would eliminate this chore. Notice that I am neither excited nor overjoyed with practicing. I find it boring and uninteresting, but without this quality time dedicated to my instrument, my ability as a performer is lessened. In other words- “there is no other way to accomplish your goal without practicing”!
How much time should I practice each day?
I would suggest that a beginner practice no more or less than 30 minutes six days a week. Having one day off your instrument is needed in order to keep your interest going and missing one day will not effect your improvement. In fact setting your instrument aside one day a week will help improve your embouchure (lip muscles). Which day you rest is not as important as keeping the same schedule every week. It is much better to rest the same day each week for the consistency of your practice will be better if the resting day is the same each week.
Where should I practice?
Being able to practice in an area where you will not be interrupted or distracted is very important. If you practice in your bedroom, be sure to shut the door to help eliminate disturbances. Your family will appreciate the isolation also.
How should I practice?
Your sitting position is more important than most people think for good posture while you practice will improve many things in your playing. The best advice I can give you is to sit on a straight-backed chair and sit far forward on its seat. This position will automatically position you in a way that will improve your breathing as well as your tone quality.
Be sure to have your music well lit and by all means, use a music stand. Propping your music up on your trumpet case sitting on your bed is not the way to get things done. Use a music stand at all times.
Many students believe that you should practice until you get tired. This is incorrect for you should feel good at all times when you practice as well as when you perform. I have advocated the “Rest As Much As You Play” concept most of my life and still continue to practice it myself. By resting as much as you play, you will be able to cover more material and improve your playing much faster than If you play till it hurts.
If you follow the material in the book which I suggested, you should be able to accomplish a great deal of improvement by the time you complete the method and at that point you will be ready for our next post which covers players at the Junior High level.
I have many posts which will be helpful to you as a beginner on this site and I strongly encourage you to read the following-
Start at the top of the list and read one post a day.
So why do I think the combination of my trumpetlessonsonline.com is any better than the others you might ask?
Well I will tell you…..
After playing and teaching trumpet for over seven decades, you’ve got to learn something!
I have tried many concepts, methods, tricks, routines, patterns and methods which have been interesting and sometimes helpful to my trumpet career. But after a considerable amount of contemplation, I was able to limit the material down to two very important and helpful products, i.e. trumpetlessonsonline.com and Claude Gordon’s method, “Systematic Approach to Daily Practice”.
One (Systematic Approach to Daily Practice) gives you everything you need to know to become a proficient player of the trumpet and the other (trumpetlessonsonline.com) gives you the insight into the requirements of a trumpet position in the world of music.
Knowing how to play your instrument is vitally important for you will be expected to perform in a consistently accurate and musical fashion.
In addition to knowing how to play the correct notes, you will also need to know how to get along as a professional musician and Mr. Gordon did not include that important information in his book.
Through the many video lessons at trumpetlessonsonline.com you will be introduced to real life expectations and problem solving information.
To give you a small sample of the practical material in these video lessons, read the following subjects.
Warm Up & Cool Down
Alterations to your Equipment
“And these four examples are even the free lessons available on the site”.
Additional topics illustrated in this series of video lessons are the following-
Cleaning Your Trumpet
Balancing Practice with a Heavy Performance Schedule
Finger and Lip Trills
Holding Your Instrument
Marking Your Music
Picking a School
Playing a Show or Big Band
Playing in a Chamber Ensemble
Playing in an Orchestra
Preparing a Solo
Preparing for an Audition
Proper Horn Angle
Teach or Perform
You have to learn something after playing a trumpet for seven decades!
In my next post I will elaborate on these two very important products and substantiate my claim “trumpetlessonsonline.com and Claude Gordon- All you need to become a professional trumpet player!
Kanstul Musical Instruments, Inc., located one mile east of Disneyland in Anaheim, California manufactures a complete line of brass musical instruments renowned worldwide for their quality and sound. Founded by legendary music executive and artisan Zig Kanstul and managed by his sons Jack and Mark, this family business is an inspirational “Made in America” success story, living up to their company slogan, “Nothing Resonates Like a Kanstul.” For information and factory tours visit www.Kanstul.com
The Kanstul Flugel Horn owned and played by one of the members of my Branson Trumpet Ensemble is the best Flugel I have ever played!
Check out this recent video promo and visit their web site when you have time.
AND IT IS MADE IN THE USA!
To the older players, his work with the New York Brass quintet was the start of brass chamber music as we know it today. The trumpet work of Robert Nagel and Allan J. Dean was an inspiration to all of us at that time and we will forever be indebted to their perseverance and musicianship.
I’m sure many of us have our favorite story about this gentile, soft spoken man but mine will forever be etched in my memory. Many years ago two of my students and I were invited to perform on the Missouri Trumpet Festival for my good friend Betty Scott. The featured performer for that event was Mr Robert Nagel. The opening trumpet quartet on the final concert was one of Mr. Nagel’s transcriptions and I was lucky enough to draw the short straw and play the fourth trumpet part. Usually this is the part most musicians would die for but as I checked out the first four measures, I was not a happy camper. I only had sustained quarter notes but due to the fact that they were all low “G” with the dynamic indication of ppp, and…..I was the only player for the first four measures, coupled with the fact that the tempo was about 60 beats per quartet note, I was more than concerned.
During the rehearsal all went well and moments before we entered the stage to perform for at least 200 trumpet players from Missouri and surrounding states; including David Hickman seated in the front row, Mr. Nagel turned to me and in a very soft voice whispered “Boy, I’m glad I don’t have your part”!
We have lost yet another monster player and the trumpet world has lost one of our most inspirational leaders.
Robert E. Nagel Jr., trumpeter, composer, arranger, founder of the New York Brass Quintet, and founding member of the International Trumpet Guild passed away June 5th at the age of 91. He had an illustrious career as a trumpet player, teacher, composer, conductor, arranger, and was a pioneer of brass chamber music.
Nagel was born in Freeland, Pennsylvania, on September 29, 1924. He began studying the trumpet at the age of 8. As a child prodigy, he was featured on national radio playing a cornet solo with the Armco band conducted by Frank Simon at the age of 13. While in high school he also studied piano and composition. He attended the Juilliard School of Music for one year before entering the army, where he played in the West Point band for 3 years. After returning to Juilliard, he studied composition with Peter Mennin and Vincent Persichetti. For several summers he was a student at Tanglewood where he studied trumpet with George Mager of the Boston Symphony and composition with Aaron Copland.
Upon completing his studies at Juilliard he was appointed first trumpet of the Little Orchestra Society in NYC. This appointment launched a freelance career that lasted over twenty years. During this time he played with conductors Leopold Stokowski, Leonard Bernstein, Pablo Casals, and Igor Stravinsky. He recorded extensively with CBS, RCA Victor, NBC, and MGM. Among these are many iconic recordings, including the 1961 recording of L’Histoire Du Soldat, conducted by Igor Stravinsky, and the Brandenburg no. 2, by J. S. Bach, conducted by Pablo Casals. He performed with the Bach aria group, the Contemporary Chamber Ensemble, the Casals Festival in Puerto Rico, Yale at Norfolk, and the Aspen Music Festival.
Perhaps his most enduring contribution to music was in the area of brass chamber music. He was the founder and director of the New York Brass Quintet. For over thirty years, the NYBQ performed across the US and Europe. He commissioned numerous works for the brass quintet and was a founder of the International Trumpet Guild and recipient of the prestigious ITG Honorary Award. As a composer he has written for orchestra, chamber music, trumpet method books, and arranged solo and ensemble music. To promote brass chamber music he launched his own publishing company, Mentor Music, in 1959.
He served as a faculty member of the Yale School of Music, the New England Conservatory, Juilliard, the Manhattan School of Music, the Hartt School of Music, North Carolina School of the Arts, and Rutgers University. Survivors include his brother Donald Nagel, children Deborah Bolser, Roberta Nagel, Edward Nagel, Heather Nagel, and eight grandchildren.
Funeral services will take place in Forest Hills, Maryland. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Gideons.
Source: Debby Bolser
I think all serous trumpet players will find this interesting.
I did several searches for a list showing the most popular and talked about trumpets on the Internet today and found this one……
The following was taken from one such “Most Popular” on the Internet lists… Hold on to your Bach, Schilke, Benge, Conn, Yamaha.
10 Best Trumpets
60,413 reviews scanned
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And here are the 10 most popular researched trumpets on the internet…..
WHAT HAS OUR TRUMPET WORLD FINALLY COME TO?