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I've bought a trumpet

Piers Plowman 21 Feb 09 - 09:26 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 21 Feb 09 - 09:57 AM
Piers Plowman 21 Feb 09 - 10:15 AM
Midchuck 21 Feb 09 - 10:22 AM
Piers Plowman 21 Feb 09 - 10:24 AM
Ebbie 21 Feb 09 - 10:28 AM
Piers Plowman 21 Feb 09 - 10:37 AM
Rapparee 21 Feb 09 - 10:51 AM
Rapparee 21 Feb 09 - 10:54 AM
Stringsinger 21 Feb 09 - 01:58 PM
Amos 21 Feb 09 - 02:13 PM
Rapparee 21 Feb 09 - 02:29 PM
GUEST,Captain Farrell 21 Feb 09 - 03:28 PM
Weasel 21 Feb 09 - 07:06 PM
Piers Plowman 22 Feb 09 - 01:11 PM
Bonnie Shaljean 22 Feb 09 - 01:23 PM
Piers Plowman 22 Feb 09 - 01:25 PM
Piers Plowman 22 Feb 09 - 01:29 PM
Piers Plowman 22 Feb 09 - 02:08 PM
M.Ted 22 Feb 09 - 03:00 PM
Piers Plowman 22 Feb 09 - 03:00 PM
Weasel 22 Feb 09 - 03:20 PM
Stringsinger 22 Feb 09 - 03:28 PM
Rapparee 22 Feb 09 - 06:52 PM
Rapparee 22 Feb 09 - 06:58 PM
Jack Blandiver 23 Feb 09 - 05:57 AM
Piers Plowman 23 Feb 09 - 06:15 AM
Piers Plowman 23 Feb 09 - 06:35 AM
Piers Plowman 23 Feb 09 - 06:43 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 04 Mar 09 - 04:49 PM
Ron Davies 04 Mar 09 - 10:53 PM
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Subject: I've bought a trumpet
From: Piers Plowman
Date: 21 Feb 09 - 09:26 AM

After much agonising, I've gone and bought a trumpet. So, does anyone here know how to make it work? I've tried blowing into it and buzzing my lips but all to no avail.

I took cornet lessons in grade school for a brief period and I seem to remember being able to produce a sound, so I suppose it is possible without the use of magic.

Any brass players here with useful advice? (I am not keen on music lessons, nor can I afford them, but I would consider looking for a teacher as a last resort.)


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Subject: RE: I've bought a trumpet
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 21 Feb 09 - 09:57 AM

Congratulations! Unfortunately I'm not a brass player so can't offer any useful playing advice, but there's a good music shop near Brighton (UK) that deals online and has a range of tutor books - any good to you?

http://www.netmusicalinstruments.co.uk/acatalog/trumpet_tutors.html

What kind of music are you interested in doing - Jazz? Baroque? Bands? Best of luck -

Bonnie

PS: Ever see the film Brassed Off? It's brilliant -


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Subject: RE: I've bought a trumpet
From: Piers Plowman
Date: 21 Feb 09 - 10:15 AM

Thank you for your answer, Bonnie. Did you get my last PM of some weeks ago?

I wasn't expecting this, but it seems that it will be possible to push down the first valve in a way that doesn't hurt the distal joint of my right index finger, which is one of the ones that hurts. I've been taking Ibuprofen before I play the guitar almost every time, so wanting to find an instrument that hurts less to play is one reason why I bought the trumpet. I can keep playing the guitar, but playing as much as I like to play is probably not a good idea.

I have a pretty broad repertoire. Over the past few years, I've worked mostly on finally learning how to improvise, jazz, baroque or otherwise, and I've made a lot of progress. I play a lot of Latin American music, e.g., tango, bossa nova, son, etc., and show tunes from the 1920s to the 1950s (approx.). I play Renaissance and Baroque lute music transcribed for the guitar. Since I started playing the recorder a couple of months ago, I've accumulated more Baroque music. And I play folksongs of various countries, of course.

I tend to play a lot of vocal music, because I would really like to sing. However, I have finally begun to accept that the physical problems with my voice are going to stay the same or get worse rather than better, so I've decided to concentrate on being an instrumentalist and perhaps an accompanist, if I can find someone to accompany.

I bought a good book along with the guitar, and a fingering chart, so I don't really need other books. I appreciate the suggestion and the link anyway, though. I'll have a look through, but I've kind of used up my budget for treats for the next couple of months.

I've never seen the film, but I've read about it in Hoerzu, the German TV guide I buy (for the sake of the radio program). I don't own a TV and haven't had access to one for a couple of years now. I haven't been to a movie in about 5 years, I think.

I think it's just a matter of trying until I get it, but any suggestion would be gratefully received. Unless it's really just a trick and all brass players just have speakers hidden somewhere on their persons.


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Subject: RE: I've bought a trumpet
From: Midchuck
Date: 21 Feb 09 - 10:22 AM

You appear to have misspelled the word...You left off the initial "S."

Peter


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Subject: RE: I've bought a trumpet
From: Piers Plowman
Date: 21 Feb 09 - 10:24 AM

Oh, I should say that I bought it from a reputable dealer and got good advice from the salespeople. I went a couple of times. The saleswoman who actually plays brass instruments wasn't there today and I didn't want to wait until next week.

Bands ... yes, that's another reason I bought it. I would like to start playing music with other people; something I have hardly ever done and always wanted to do. It seems that a trumpet is an instrument that one can play in lots of different kind of groups --- amateur symphony orchestra, big band, military band, Balkan, klezmer, etc. I'd even play music I don't like that much for the sake of playing in a group. Guitar is difficult, because there is usually either no guitar or a single guitar in an orchestra or a band. I wasn 't successful the last time I went looking for people to play with and/or accompany.

I'm working up to going to an open mike night at one of the clubs in the town where I live. Maybe I'll find people with similar interests.


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Subject: RE: I've bought a trumpet
From: Ebbie
Date: 21 Feb 09 - 10:28 AM

Rapaire plays brass. (In addition, he is brassy.) He may be happening by.


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Subject: RE: I've bought a trumpet
From: Piers Plowman
Date: 21 Feb 09 - 10:37 AM

Thanks to all who have replied. I'm off home to make another attempt to get a sound out of it.

Apropos playing with other people: I've got a tentative date to play with one of my best and oldest friends here, whom I've known for nearly 20 years. She plays the piano and I'll play the recorder. She used to organize "house music evenings" where both of us played and accompanied others, but we have never played anything together, probably because of the combination of instruments (piano and guitar). She has three little girls and the oldest is learning the recorder. She thinks it would be good for her to hear someone play it well. (I'm not sure I quite fit that description yet, though.)


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Subject: RE: I've bought a trumpet
From: Rapparee
Date: 21 Feb 09 - 10:51 AM

No, he's out of his mind town.

BUT...if he were to drop by he would suggest that you first take the mouthpiece out and practice "buzzing" into it. To do this, put your lips together and sort gently roll them inwards (not too much) and blow through them. Then try it with the mouthpiece held against your lips (not too tightly now!).

You can take the mouthpiece with you to parties and pubs and practice. This will accomplish a bunch of things: people will think you have gastric distress, they will find you more than a bit odd, and you'll cut way down on your drinking because you'll be blowing instead of sucking. You will also gain a reputation for great wisdom because you won't be making a fool of yourself by talking. You will also keep more friends because you can't sing at the same time.

This is called developing an embouchre, or "pumping up your lip muscles." And by the way, if the mouthpiece isn't working for you try another size (yes, they come in sizes).

When the mouthpiece is on your lips you breath IN through the sides of your mouth and OUT through the mouthpiece. (Asthma doctors like patients who play brass because it helps overcome breathing problems.)

This should amuse you for four to six weeks. Yes, it takes a while, but you knew it would. After about three weeks try it with the mouthpiece in and see what sort of sounds you can make.

Oh yeah, you can also use the mouthpiece as a duck call.

One thing: the mouthpiece is the small bell-shaped part. The other, great big, bell shaped part is called "the bell" and is where the music comes out. Blowing in there wouldn't do much of anything except make you look foolish.


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Subject: RE: I've bought a trumpet
From: Rapparee
Date: 21 Feb 09 - 10:54 AM

And by the way...welcome to the extremely small world of folk trumpeters. We're a closely knit community and up to now often bought rounds for the house.

REMEMBER: you always hear about "The Last Trumpet". You never hear about "The Last Bagpipe" or "The Last Ukelele" or "The Last Guitar." This proves that the trumpet is God's Chosen Instrument and all the rest are works of the devil.


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Subject: RE: I've bought a trumpet
From: Stringsinger
Date: 21 Feb 09 - 01:58 PM

There are books on circular breathing which are useful.

Embouchure is everything. As Rapaire says, buzzing on scales is useful.

Learn a harmonic instrument such as piano or guitar to study how to run arpeggiated chords on the horn.

Listen to Wynton Marsalis, Bix Beidebeck, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Armstrong, Chet Baker, Lee Morgan, Bunk Johnson, Joe (King) Oliver, Max Kaminsky, Freddie Keppard, Muggsy Spanier, Harry "Sweets" Edison, Maynard Ferguson, Clark Terry, Kenny Dorham, and don't miss Arturo Sandoval


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Subject: RE: I've bought a trumpet
From: Amos
Date: 21 Feb 09 - 02:13 PM

Well, you need to master the MOST fundamental things before any of that lot will be inspirational. Like (a) making noise through the mouthpiece alone (b) making noise through the trumpet through embouchure, not singing through it (c) improving on said noise until it sounds like a single musical note (d) learning to use valves and lips to make a series of notes such as a scale or tune and (e) repeating all the above hundreds of times to become a master of lots of scales and tunes and (f) learning to do it better, faster, louder, and clearer.

This is a multi-year process, not like a recorder which can be picked up in days.


A


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Subject: RE: I've bought a trumpet
From: Rapparee
Date: 21 Feb 09 - 02:29 PM

Then there's single, double, and triple tonguing. Mastering these can enhance your popularity.


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Subject: RE: I've bought a trumpet
From: GUEST,Captain Farrell
Date: 21 Feb 09 - 03:28 PM

Join a Brass Band free instrument free lessons free uniform Idid 40 yrs. ago now retired but because of that I can play a room full of different instruments and made loads of friends.


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Subject: RE: I've bought a trumpet
From: Weasel
Date: 21 Feb 09 - 07:06 PM

Get lessons


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Subject: RE: I've bought a trumpet
From: Piers Plowman
Date: 22 Feb 09 - 01:11 PM

Thank you all very much for your friendly and helpful answers.

Bonnie, I got your PM. Apparently, my last one got lost. I'll reply to your new one when I've sent this message off, so if you don't get it, please let me know.

I have progressed from getting no sound at all out of the instrument to being able to make dreadful noises fairly consistently. I have titled my first improvisation "The Bull Moose Declares His Love Before Expiring".

Actually, I can get middle C (actually Bb --- whoever came up with the idea of transposing instruments has a great deal to answer for) fairly well and have made fairly passable stabs at D and E.

Done the buzzing thing. You mean I have to keep practicing that for _years_?! At first I was doing what is apparently known as "fluttering", which didn't work at all. My own silly fault for not reading the book properly.

My main instrument is the guitar and I play the piano whenever I have one available, which hasn't been very often during the past 20 years. I have practiced chords, scales and arpeggios lots and lots, so I'm pretty good at them. What's really helped me in recent years is working on playing by ear. Now all the work on scales etc., has started to show results.

Getting the noise out of the recorder is very easy. It took me a couple of weeks to feel secure about the fingerings and I still have blackouts sometimes. The different tunings, C and F, were an additional difficulty, but most of the time I can switch from one to the other without too much trouble. It seems like getting the noise out of the trumpet is significantly more difficult, but having gotten it a few times, I'm sure I'll be able to do it again. Of course, I use far too much breath, but I'm sure I'll learn to play more efficiently.

I've had mostly bad experiences with music lessons and good experiences teaching myself how to play instruments, and I can't really afford lessons. I don't think we have the same sort of brass bands in Germany that they do in Great Britain. They have brass bands in southern Germany that play traditional German folk music, but German folk music is a rather sticky wicket. The genuine article does exist, but mostly what is known as "Volksmusik" is not really traditional and also not really my cup of tea.

Subject: RE: I've bought a trumpet
From: Rapaire - PM
Date: 21 Feb 09 - 10:51 AM


"(Asthma doctors like patients who play brass because it helps overcome breathing problems.)"

I have had respiratory problems in the past and after giving it a try, I thought it might be good for my breathing. Some of the things in the book are similar to what my former singing teacher said, and also things I learned while practicing tai chi chuan and qi gong (which I used to do).


"One thing: the mouthpiece is the small bell-shaped part. The other, great big, bell shaped part is called "the bell" and is where the music comes out. Blowing in there wouldn't do much of anything except make you look foolish."

Ah. That explains a lot. I will try it the right way around when I get home.

I might try to find a teacher to get me started off and show me how to do things like oil the valves. The description of the "general overhaul" was a bit daunting. I don't think I want to be soaking my trumpet in water overnight without asking someone face-to-face first.

Oh, and is it normal for saliva to dribble out of the holes at the bottom of the valves?

I'd been wanting to play a wind instrument for a long time, but what I didn't think about was how often I would be wiping up spit.


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Subject: RE: I've bought a trumpet
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 22 Feb 09 - 01:23 PM

Yes, I've discovered that PM's don't always get through. Funnily enough, that happened to me just today - after the Cat went back up, so that's not the cause. I was trying to send something to Susan of DT and it took three attempts before it actually made it. I would not have known the first times failed had I not checked my "View Your Sent Messages" list to be sure. (I'm paranoid like that: always have to test doors I have just watched myself lock too. But sometimes it pays off . . .)

Nothing has shown up in my Inbox yet - but it's only been a few minutes!


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Subject: RE: I've bought a trumpet
From: Piers Plowman
Date: 22 Feb 09 - 01:25 PM

Subject: RE: I've bought a trumpet
From: Rapaire - PM
Date: 21 Feb 09 - 10:51 AM

"One thing: the mouthpiece is the small bell-shaped part. The other, great big, bell shaped part is called "the bell" and is where the music comes out. Blowing in there wouldn't do much of anything except make you look foolish."

You mean, you blow in here, the music goes 'round and 'round, then it comes out here?

Subject: RE: I've bought a trumpet
From: Stringsinger - PM
Date: 21 Feb 09 - 01:58 PM

"Listen to Wynton Marsalis, Bix Beidebeck, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Armstrong, Chet Baker, Lee Morgan, Bunk Johnson, Joe (King) Oliver, Max Kaminsky, Freddie Keppard, Muggsy Spanier, Harry "Sweets" Edison, Maynard Ferguson, Clark Terry, Kenny Dorham, and don't miss Arturo Sandoval"

Thank you for the suggestions, Stringsinger. I like most of the trumpeters you've mentioned and there are a couple of names new to me.


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Subject: RE: I've bought a trumpet
From: Piers Plowman
Date: 22 Feb 09 - 01:29 PM

Subject: RE: I've bought a trumpet
From: Bonnie Shaljean - PM
Date: 22 Feb 09 - 01:23 PM

"Nothing has shown up in my Inbox yet - but it's only been a few minutes!"

I just resent my old message. I have to go do something else, but will reply to your latest one today or tomorrow.


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Subject: RE: I've bought a trumpet
From: Piers Plowman
Date: 22 Feb 09 - 02:08 PM

And now I've replied to your last-message-but-one.

Have you ever heard of Ruediger Oppermann?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R%C3%BCdiger_Oppermann

He's a harpist and organizes musical events. I heard an interview with him the other day on the radio.


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Subject: RE: I've bought a trumpet
From: M.Ted
Date: 22 Feb 09 - 03:00 PM

The hard part about playing brass instruments is in learning to make the sound. That's why you need a teacher. Not only can they make a good sound, they can teach others how to do it.

Most of the good brass players that I've run across have had good teachers. Learning to play was important enough that they were willing to make sacrifices--Lessons can be very expensive, and you'll have to invest a lot of time, as well. It will be a while before you get to the same level as you are on guitar and piano-it will be worth it, of course--


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Subject: RE: I've bought a trumpet
From: Piers Plowman
Date: 22 Feb 09 - 03:00 PM

(Sorry about this, everyone.)

Something strange happened with the web page (unless it was what was supposed to happen) when I replied to your PM about Ruediger Oppermann, so if you didn't get my reply, please let me know.

Normal programming will now be resumed.


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Subject: RE: I've bought a trumpet
From: Weasel
Date: 22 Feb 09 - 03:20 PM

ALL the good brass players I know had good teachers. You need a good teacher right from the start, even if you only have a couple of lessons to learn the basics. Do it yourself and you could do yourself so much damage that you never succeed.

Those who have succeeded without a teacher have done so despite it, not because of it (and there aren't many of those around. It isn't like some other instruments where you can fiddle around and in time it will work and you'll manage something and may even get good, if you damage your muscles at the start you'll never recover


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Subject: RE: I've bought a trumpet
From: Stringsinger
Date: 22 Feb 09 - 03:28 PM

Rapaire is right. Keep on buzzing. Helps keep the chops in shape.

One thing important. You would do well to practice with other musicians. ex. Bird and Diz practiced together out of music books. Any time you can jam with others, better you'll be.


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Subject: RE: I've bought a trumpet
From: Rapparee
Date: 22 Feb 09 - 06:52 PM

Here's the fingerings; it's in PDF format. It's a very good chart.

Let me know when you can slide (glissando) or slur (slur) from D# below lower C to G two octaves above the staff. Medical science will want to have your lips preserved.

DON'T do as Diz did and blow out your cheeks (the ones by your mouth). It's not considered good form, unless you're Diz, and then it won't matter because a) everyone will be fixated on your weird ax and b) you'll be so good it won't matter and c) you'll have been dead for 16 years.


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Subject: RE: I've bought a trumpet
From: Rapparee
Date: 22 Feb 09 - 06:58 PM

Oh,yeah. That dribbling from the spit valves (yes, that's what they are called).

Put the horn over a waste basket or toilet or something, press the valve lever, and blow the spit out. Do this whenever you wish, but some folks get upset about using the floor or carpet so I suggest the ground, a toilet, a waste basket, or your lap (don't use the lap of the guy next to you unless you're a lot bigger than he is).

If your horn starts to sound like you're playing underwater, bubbling and all, you'd best empty your spit valves.

By the way -- there should be cork or other seals on those valves. If there aren't you should get some put on or you'll dribble all over the place.


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Subject: RE: I've bought a trumpet
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 23 Feb 09 - 05:57 AM

A mute is pretty essential. As a free-folky (pocket) trumpeter (moved by the playing of Don Cherry) I use a Harmon / Wow mute (with and without the wow-tube) which 1) warms up the tone 2) doesn't piss the neighbours off, and 3) helps with the lower registers.

For examples check tracks 4 (Domus Terra) and 6 (Gospa Peregrinus...) at www.myspace.com/sedayne


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Subject: RE: I've bought a trumpet
From: Piers Plowman
Date: 23 Feb 09 - 06:15 AM

By Jove, I think I've got it!

Managed a C scale (Bb scale, really) today. It's not so hard, after all.

Unfortunately, it was after the elderly couple that lives downstairs and across the hall came up and had a go at me for "making noise". They may be elderly, but he can be somewhat aggressive and used to be a martial arts trainer. I've always gotten along with him, but he's told me about his military experiences, so I am somewhat wary of him, although he does not have very kind words for the people who were in charge at the time.

He wasn't physically threatening, but demanded that I stop playing entirely and quoted all sorts of fictional rules "proving" that it's not allowed, e.g., that it would only be allowed if I required it for making my living. I belong to the national tenants' organization, so I happen to know that it is most definitely allowed, and when and how much one can practice. I was extra, extra friendly, but they were apparently not prepared to compromise. Perhaps they'll come around, if I can play more quietly.

For the first couple of years after I moved in, he was constantly renovating and he made lots of noise hammering, sawing, drilling, etc., and also used very smelly adhesives in the basement and didn't air out the stairwell properly. It seems that the people who make the most disturbance themselves are often the least tolerant when someone else makes one.

Nonetheless, I am on my way to buy a practice mute and will try to keep the amount of noise down. Ironically, after we'd had our little discussion, I found I was able to make more controlled sounds and play more quietly.

I can see that the embouchure will require some considerable work and I will need to develop my mouth musculature.

I knew about the not puffing out the cheeks part. I took cornet lessons briefly in grade school.

The points about the teacher are well-taken. I've argued about this topic on another message board, and I know I'm in the minority and don't expect to convince anyone. If I think I'm damaging myself, I'll stop. I _like_ trying to figure out how to play an instrument myself. It's fun for me. I really, genuinely can't afford regular private lessons and I absolutely _hate_ group lessons. I thought about it for quite awhile before I finally decided to buy the trumpet. I might look into going to someone for a couple of lessons.

The spit valves aren't dribbling and they've got seals. It's the holes at the bottom of the valves one presses, and they don't dribble, they leak out when held against my shirt (which I will try not to do).

I don't mind to much about spit on my (wooden) floor. I try to get it onto a rag, but I just wipe it up if I miss. The recorders leak, too.


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Subject: RE: I've bought a trumpet
From: Piers Plowman
Date: 23 Feb 09 - 06:35 AM

Subject: RE: I've bought a trumpet
From: Insane Beard - PM
Date: 23 Feb 09 - 05:57 AM

"A mute is pretty essential. As a free-folky (pocket) trumpeter (moved by the playing of Don Cherry) I use a Harmon / Wow mute (with and without the wow-tube) which 1) warms up the tone 2) doesn't piss the neighbours off, and 3) helps with the lower registers."

I wanted a straight mute, but they didn't have one in stock, so I bought a buzz-wow mute. I tried it, but I was still having trouble producing a tone at all at the time (yesterday or the day before) and haven't tried since. I've decided to buy a new case for my guitar, anyway, so I'll ask about the practice mute when I'm there.

"For examples check tracks 4 (Domus Terra) and 6 (Gospa Peregrinus...) at www.myspace.com/sedayne"

Thank you for the link; that's you, I take it? I'll have a listen as soon as I get a chance.

I've liked some of what I've heard of Don Cherry's music. I like some of the music of Don Cherry, Ornette Coleman, The Art Ensemble of Chicago, Anthony Braxton, etc., but not all of it. I mostly loathe free improvisation, so I hesitate to buy CDs of these musicians.


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Subject: RE: I've bought a trumpet
From: Piers Plowman
Date: 23 Feb 09 - 06:43 AM

Subject: RE: I've bought a trumpet
From: Rapaire - PM
Date: 22 Feb 09 - 06:52 PM

"Here's the fingerings; it's in PDF format. It's a very good chart."

I did actually bought a chart when I bought the trumpet, but thank you very much all the same, Rapaire.

"DON'T do as Diz did and blow out your cheeks (the ones by your mouth). It's not considered good form, unless you're Diz, and then it won't matter because a) everyone will be fixated on your weird ax and b) you'll be so good it won't matter and c) you'll have been dead for 16 years."

I like his playing but hate watching him play. I'm sure it wasn't healthy. As far as tone quality is concerned, he's not my favorite trumpeter. For myself, I try to achieve very clean intonation on all instruments at all times. I do admire Dizzy Gillespie very much as a musician, though, and would like to hear more of his music as a leader of a big band.


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Subject: RE: I've bought a trumpet
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 04 Mar 09 - 04:49 PM

Found this when surfing around for something else. Haven't explored it, but it might be worth taking a look at:

http://www.8notes.com/trumpet/


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Subject: RE: I've bought a trumpet
From: Ron Davies
Date: 04 Mar 09 - 10:53 PM

"Remember, you always hear about "The Last Trumpet"....God's chosen instrument".   Yes, Rapaire, but according to Garrison Keillor- (who admittedly was rather hard on most instruments in the Young Lutheran's Guide to the Orchestra)- most audience members who perished at concerts were killed by long trumpet solos--"and they were glad to go".


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