Thursday, 29 July 2010

blowing my own trumpet

There have probably been a dozen or so occasions over the last dozen or so years that I have resolved to get back into playing music.

Throughout primary and high school, I was basically never not involved in some sort of musical group, mostly on trumpet, but with brief forays into french horn and even tuba. I was never going to make a career of it - I was good at some things like sight reading and time, but my tone and range were never up to snuff - but I wasn't bad. Probably my high point was playing Handel's trumpet concerto near the end of high school (although I also have fond memories of my french horn stuff).

Anyway, since then I basically haven't played. Every 6 months or year, I pick up the trumpet and practice, but then I get discouraged by my lack of range and endurance (trumpet is very demanding on the condition of the player's lip), and put it away again.

Well, I practiced Monday, and Tuesday, and again last night, and enjoyed it. I've transcribed a (bad) arrangement of Alfonsina y El Mar, and I've been trying to get that sounding OK. I've been playing lots of scales. I even pulled out my sheets from the Handel concerto and gave that a try, although I'm still a way off having a lip capable of doing it any sort of justice. We'll see if this lasts longer than my previous attempts.


ben said...

What trumpet, or trumpets makes and model do you play? Do you find that different trumpets make a significant difference to your tone/range?

Jim said...

I have a Yamaha that I was given for my 10th birthday. Since then I basically haven't played any other trumpet. I had never really considered the possibility that a different instrument would give a different tone, although I'm sure that's the case.

I suspect the mouthpiece makes a biggest difference for range, rather than the horn itself. I did get a new mouthpiece once (a 3C, which I still have), a long long time ago. I remember going to the store and the salesman asked me if I had considered playing another instrument. By this point I had been playing trumpet for 5 or 6 years, and I was quite offended.