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.

2 comments:

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.