Trumpet-playing in the century of the Interwebs
December 19, 2007 7:41 AM   Subscribe

I haven't played trumpet since I was a senior in high school in 1994. Recently, I picked up a good used student horn on eBay and am excited to start practicing again. Trumpet players of the green, I ask you- what are your favorite websites?

I've done some rudimentary googling, but haven't found anything that exciting. I know there have to be some fabulous resources out there, and I bet that people playing the horn now frequent some of them. If you're one of those people, what advice do you have?

Also, if you're in the same boat (or were), I'd love to hear your advice on picking up an instrument after a long time away. It was incredibly gratifying to unpack the horn and play a scale right off the bat, but I also know I'll need a lot of work to develop. That's why I want to find some good resources online.

Also also, since I can't sign up for high school concert band again, what are the opportunities for adults to play in public? Again, I'm not so much looking for a list (I can find that out myself) but I'm more interested in hearing from folks who are actually doing it.
posted by bobot to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (13 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
I haven't ever really looked for stuff online. Although amazon is an option. You got an Arban's book? That's a great resource. I would think you should be able to put some good stuff together with that maybe some sheet music or a fake book. I've got a few sets that were given to me (that I've never used) that are music with an accompaniment on cd. That would give some variety at least.
posted by ericales at 7:49 AM on December 19, 2007

What sort of music are you interested in playing? You mentioned that you were in concert band, but is that what you want to play now?

I'm much more of a jazz guy than classical, so my advice follows that:

A big part of where to look depends on how proficient you are/were when you were in high school. If you were able to sight-read, and think you could get it back without too much struggle, I'd suggest buying yourself a copy of the Real Book, (an illegal one if possible, ask your local (non-chain) music store if they keep them under the counter) finding a bunch of associated MIDIs, and noodling around that way. Or you could get some Aebersold books.

If you're looking for actual educational resources, I've got nothing.
posted by SpiffyRob at 7:54 AM on December 19, 2007

Response by poster: SpiffyRob:

Good catch. Jazz for myself, but my wife is a classically-trained vocalist so I'm also interested in accompanying her. So, both.
posted by bobot at 7:55 AM on December 19, 2007

So far as playing with real live folks, the places I've lived have had a pretty good community band. Mostly classical but there has been a good presence. I even played with one for a while.
posted by ericales at 8:17 AM on December 19, 2007

I probably shouldn't advise you to do anything illegal, (though I suppose I already did with the Real Book suggestion) but if you know your way around BitTorrent, I've heard tell (and CERTAINLY never experienced myself) that one can procure lots of music, jazz, classical, or whatever else you might be interested in, in PDF format.

If you don't know your way around BitTorrent but would like to, you can MeFi Mail me and I'll be happy to fill you in on what I've heard (but, of course, have never done myself.)

I just realized that Ricci Adams' does have a brass trainer, which could be handy, plus a ton of other good theory resources.
posted by SpiffyRob at 8:24 AM on December 19, 2007 [1 favorite]

in high school, i took lessons and was fairly serious about the trumpet, but my playing declined shortly thereafter.

now, when i want to return to it for a little bit, there are some exercises that i find very helpful to repeat and get into a pattern:

Controlled long notes. Start on a low C at 60 bpm, and play four whole notes with a light tongue attack on each one. aim to play them steadily and quietly. Go up the chromatic scale (C#, D, D#, E, F, F#, G, all the way back up to C).

Slurred half notes, played like the previous exercise. C, G, C, G, C~. move around a little bit, G up to C, up to E, but don't go too high too soon.

I found that the key to these was repetition. Any practice book will help you out, but you've got to pace yourself, go slow, and repeat the really basic exercises for your chops to get back into shape.

Good luck! have fun!
posted by entropone at 8:33 AM on December 19, 2007

Best answer: Jay Lichtmann, principal trumpet of the Hartford Symphony, has a great collection of trumpet PDFs and (even better, for me anyway) MIDI accompaniments ranging from Bordogni vocalises to Arban characteristic studies -- can't tell you how many times I've done last-ditch practicing at midnight, listening to the MIDI through headphones and playing into a practice mute. Jay's site is mostly classically oriented, but ventures at least as far a Paquito d'Rivera. Some of the accompaniments are for transcribed soprano solos, so they might be useful for your wife also.

Joel Eymard has transcribed a pretty ridiculous collection of mostly-Baroque tunes for trumpet. Many of these are probably closer to the Maurice Andre level of difficulty than the just-getting-back-into-it level, but there's probably some stuff you can play right now.

For (legal!) downloadable parts, Sibelius Music does a pretty good job of it, though you need to download their plugin. They have a surprising number of free scores, and whatever's not free is cheap (~ $1/part).

A lot of the nuts and bolts stuff is still on actual bound paper -- if you don't still have a copy of it from way back when, you probably want a copy of Arban's and (even better) a lesson or two with a teacher who can show you how to use it well.

Lots of community colleges have concert bands that anyone can join (tuition-free). You could also check out local listings to see who's playing on the town green on the 4th of July, etc -- you're looking for groups with names like "The [hometown] Community Band". There are tons of groups like this specifically geared to people like you, and once you find one in your area they'll be able to tell you about all the other ones.
posted by range at 9:05 AM on December 19, 2007

... and just looked at your profile and saw that you live about 10 miles away from me.

The Lexington Bicentennial Band and the Cambridge Symphony are the two closest groups that I know of for you. If you're willing to travel, there are a zillion of these bands in the 95/495 area (doughnut? torus?), eg the Nashoba Valley Concert Band. There's a not-comprehensive-but-good-place-to-get-started list at the NECCB site.
posted by range at 9:33 AM on December 19, 2007

I stopped playing in 1991 and picked the horn back up in 1999, so I feel your pain. Start with getting yourself comfortable with the horn again by playing some good old etude books if you have them. If not, the arban's is a great choice.

I found the hardest part wasn't the playing part - that came back easy. The hardest part for me was sight-reading and playing along with others. I took me quite a while (6 months) to re-gain that skill.
posted by internal at 9:43 AM on December 19, 2007

Best answer: I'm not a trumpet player, but is a great place for building your ear, and I think there are trumpet lessons there too.
posted by invitapriore at 11:11 AM on December 19, 2007 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: For any future searchers- through I found a great forum for "comeback" trumpet players-
posted by bobot at 1:42 PM on December 19, 2007

I play alto sax in a community band. We have a lot of members who haven't played for a while - even one guy who hadn't played since the 1960s! This is a pretty good site for finding a group near you.
posted by candyland at 3:03 PM on December 19, 2007

Ahh. I am in the same boat. My two favorites sources are Trumpet Player's International Network, a mailing list with professionals, comebacks, students, hobbyists, etc.. and The Comeback Trumpeters Guide.

There is also an excellent book available on Amazon by Jeanne G. Pocius, Trumpeting By Nature that is all about efficient playing.

Best of Luck!
posted by whoisjustrin at 7:29 PM on December 19, 2007 [1 favorite]

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