So how did you start out to learn the trumpet?



  • I'm old... 73...so I'm sure what happens now days is probably a lot different. When I was in grade school a guy named Guthrie came along to my school... grades 1st through 8 and said he wanted the school to start a band and he was going to make it happen. Up until then the school had drum and bugle corps but no actual band. He must have been connected to a music store and got some kind of compensation on the instruments sold besides the few dollars a month our parents paid for us to participate. Most started out, like me, on a rented instrument. That guy was a great trumpet player and he could play any instrument in the band. He took a bunch of kids that couldn't play anything out of grades from about 4th up and taught us how to play real instruments. It was a full band with trombones, clarinets, flutes, etc. Looking back, the Music Man had nothing on him.

    Later in high school we wouldn't have been able to join a band without knowing the basics. In high school we were on our own climbing our way through six class levels depending on how we mastered different assigned pages of Arban. The school had a really good band and wasn't short on talent for marching or concert band and you had to work to get a slot. By then we were pretty much on our own as to struggling through those Arban lessons. In High School, being in the band meant that one hour class a day was in the band room hacking away at those Arban book pages with little actual instruction other than when we weren't playing a page right.

    Here is my original grade school book. Looking back, I think I learned more from Mr. Guthrie about a lot of the basic things than I ever learned from anyone else. Learning on my own had it's good and bad aspects I guess. At least I knew enough not to puff my cheeks out like Dizzy.

    cover.jpg

    page.jpg



  • Wow, I played out of that book, too.

    In the seventh grade, I was in Civics one day and the English teacher came in and announced that he was forming a school band and asked who would be interested in playing in it. I sat on my hands. Then he said that whoever played in band got out of P.E. and my hand shot up. I hated P.E..

    So, for a couple of weeks, I played Tonette and then qualified for the band. Played section for the first three months and then first until I graduated. I had a cornet that I had not been playing that was a hand-me-down from my cousin. From then on, the music bug bit me and I've been making music ever since. I'm one of those people that can't not make music.



  • @Kehaulani Getting out of PE was one of the benefits of being in the band in high school wasn't lost on me either. But.. but by the time I got to be a Junior, I had a fix and repair daily car and a part time job. Marching band practice wasn't on my want to do list and conflicted with my part time job. I also discovered girls. Girls liked rock and roll guitar players and not trumpet players. Not that I learned to play guitar....

    Notice that first book might have been only 85 cents. I think the Arban was about $5.



  • Notice that first book might have been only 85 cents. I think the Arban was about $5.

    I Played out of two half sized books, as well. One just of marches, I think the other was mixed. Both might also been Rubank.

    We were lucky in that, just across the parking lot, was an A.F. band and we borrowed a lot of dance band music from them. I still remember playing The Naughty Lady of Shady Lane, LOL.

    BTW, trumpet never hurt me with girls. Different environments, maybe.



  • The director put me on Eb alto horn my first year in Band (7th grade), much to my disappointment, since I had joined in order to play trumpet. He issued me the music folder and a mimeographed fingering chart, along with another mimeographed page or two summarizing note values, rests, and time signatures. Figuring out how which notes correlated to the desired pitch was up to me. The director gave me guidance along the way to make sure I was playing properly, so I wasn't entirely on my own.

    Fingering is the same for the trumpet, so when I switched (much to the director's chagrin and anger) before the next school year, I already knew how to play. As punishment for switching, the band director (a trumpet player himself, BTW) put me in the last chair in the section (didn't bother me; I was thrilled to finally be playing trumpet!), but I worked my way up on a regular basis.

    I know this seems like a crude way to start, but the minimum expectation of the students was excellence, and the director motivated us. As a result we were considered the best junior high school band around.



  • I was all set to learn drums in band, and then heard "Tijuana Taxi" on the car radio. I have been a trumpet enthusiast ever since.



  • I'm in my 80s so the sound of the big bands and jazz from the likes of Satchmo on the radio was a part of my daily life. At the age of 14 or so I saw a movie called Young Man With A Horn. I thought Kirk Douglas, the star of the movie, was a great trumpet player and wanted to be just like him, and later when I learned it was Harry James who was doing all the playing, I was even more determined to be a great trumpet player.



  • When I was in elementary school I heard Buddy Rich and decided I wanted to be a drummer. When I joined our junior high band there were too many kids who wanted to play drums and the band director, Mr. Kilmer, asked me to play trumpet. He said I would love it and he was right. He would stay after school with anyone that wanted extra practice and I stayed almost every day. He's the reason I stayed with it.

    I'm with Kehaulani, trumpet never hurt me with girls either. But I did like PE.



  • I learned to play with that same book! I believe I still have it somewhere. Started in 6th grade on a King Cleveland cornet, though. The junior high band director came to our elementary school and offered to teach anyone who wanted to learn to play an instrument. We met in the lunchroom before school every day. I didn't get a trumpet till about 11th grade, a Conn 6B Victor.



  • @JorgePD said in So how did you start out to learn the trumpet?:

    ... trumpet never hurt me with girls either....

    In high school, trumpet players and majorettes tended to gravitate toward one another. This was in pre-PC times, when appearance was a requirement to be a majorette, so they ranged from cute to unforgettable. Oh, also... if you didn't maintain a "B"/3.0 average in your classes, you couldn't be in Band. That was a win-win for trumpet guys! But I digress....



  • When I was 7, I had a steady monthly gig at a night club in Anderson Township Ohio called the "Golden Roster", run by Ronnie Dale (in the background of the picture below), organist for the Cincinnati Reds.

    Evidence of said night club gig (with subliminal trumpet prop on the organ next to my tip and down a bit from my cigarettes on the other side):
    Me on the B3.jpg

    There were a couple of times that I played there where Ronnie would have a Trumpet player come in and play with him. That is when I fell in love with the Trumpet.

    I then picked up the trumpet after our school system finished our mandatory training on the flutaphone as a recruitment tool for our school system's band program. On successful completion, the band director (Russel Hinkle) would come to each classroom with a band sign up sheet, and I put my name down and next to it, trumpet. And that is how it all started, that I gave up the Hammond B-3 for an Olds Trumpet... I guess you could say it's that Olds Organ Transplant Story!



  • @GeorgeB said in So how did you start out to learn the trumpet?:

    I'm in my 80s so the sound of the big bands and jazz from the likes of Satchmo on the radio was a part of my daily life. At the age of 14 or so I saw a movie called Young Man With A Horn. I thought Kirk Douglas, the star of the movie, was a great trumpet player and wanted to be just like him, and later when I learned it was Harry James who was doing all the playing, I was even more determined to be a great trumpet player.

    Very interesting. When I was a tween, there was a jazz program that came on the radio at midnight, the "bewitching hour", and I will never forget Satchmo playing St. James Infirmary. It raised the hair on the back of my neck.

    Loved Doris Day and Harry James' duets in Young Man With a Horn. Matter of fact, a copy of that film is one of the few I have, still. Kind'a corny in parts, but still an enjoyable trip.



  • @Kehaulani said in So how did you start out to learn the trumpet?:

    @GeorgeB said in So how did you start out to learn the trumpet?:

    I'm in my 80s so the sound of the big bands and jazz from the likes of Satchmo on the radio was a part of my daily life. At the age of 14 or so I saw a movie called Young Man With A Horn. I thought Kirk Douglas, the star of the movie, was a great trumpet player and wanted to be just like him, and later when I learned it was Harry James who was doing all the playing, I was even more determined to be a great trumpet player.

    Very interesting. When I was a tween, there was a jazz program that came on the radio at midnight, the "bewitching hour", and I will never forget Satchmo playing St. James Infirmary. It raised the hair on the back of the neck.

    Loved Doris Day and Harry James' duets in Young Man With a Horn. Matter of fact, a copy of that film is one of the few I have, still. Kind'a corny in parts, but still an enjoyable trip.

    Yeah, corny today but at 14 I was mesmerized , not only with the trumpet playing but with Doris Day. I was madly in love with her ☺

    I have the movie in my collection and pull it out and watch it at least once a year.



  • One of the popular tunes when I was learning to play was a Bert Kaempfert tune called Wonderland by Night. It was on the radio all the time ...on the station that played what I'd call, for want of a better name, your mother's kind of desiccated jazz music. The best thing about this tune was that it was pretty simple and straight forward. Trumpet players without much skill could make a reasonable stab at playing it. Looking back ... it was amazing that it attracted any success at all.... other than maybe if you listen to it all the way through, in six or seven hours later your brain will want to regurgitate it and you will be hearing in your head the main theme without at all wanting to. Unfortunately, there are no Rolaids for such music.



  • In 5th grade, the Music Director for our middle school music program came to our school to recruit for next years band. He had taught my brother before me and we still had the old Olds Ambassador at the house, so it was an easy choice.

    He was a great guy and a big influence in my playing. I later learned that he had played trombone with many of the Big Band greats from Artie Shaw's Navy band during the war in the Pacific (with Gozzo and others), to Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey during their "Stage Show" TV program in the 50s (which featured on one program Elvis Presley's TV debut). Good times and learned a lot.



  • @GeorgeB said in So how did you start out to learn the trumpet?:. . . with Doris Day. I was madly in love with her.

    Ever see Calamity Jane? I stopped counting at thirteen times. Still got it.

    My first pop tune, BTW, was Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White, which my teacher wrote out for me.



  • When I was around 40, I went into a music shop and bought a trumpet and Tune a Day book 1. I couldn’t read music. Never had a music lesson and never played any musical instrument. I taught myself to play and read music at the same time. 20 years later I get paid to play in the pit for musicals twice a year. My biggest regret is not being taught properly at a young age. There are so many gaps in my knowledge and ability, but I learn a little more as I go along. Although most weeks I decide to give up, I never do.



  • I was in 5th grade. My dad wanted me to play a baritone. I wanted no parts of it. I started on a cheap Conn Director. Played on that horn for 10 years. Played first chair 2 years in HS and County/District band. Two years first chair in college. Don't let anyone tell you that you cn't do well with a cheap horn.

    My H.S. GF dumped me my 3rd year of college. Stopped playing the horn for 50 years..lol.



  • Seventh grade, first year of Junior High School. I needed an elective and I thought if I took band it might get me out of piano lessons. I knew how to read music and my cousin had started on cornet, but dropped it. (He didn't stick with much of anything.) My Mom gave the relatives $20 for the Besson cornet my cousin had ignored for a couple of years and I got started.

    The Jr Hi actually had two bands: a beginner's band (for people like me) and the "advanced" band for experienced musicians who had been playing since, oh, maybe the fourth grade. When I started eighth grade, the band director told me I could move up to the advanced band if I switched to french horn, but that I could switch back to trumpet (in the advanced band) when I went into ninth grade. Well, who could refuse an offer like that!

    When I moved up to high school, they once again needed french horns, so I played trumpet for marching band but horn for concert band, the first year. After that I was on trumpet except for occasional digressions into horn for things like pit orchestras. I was first chair my senior year and in other groups, including a rock and roll band. I continued playing in college, but as an architecture and engineering student, I didn't have nearly as much involvement as the music majors.

    But the trumpet never got me out of piano lessons...



  • Newell mentioned a rock band, which reminded me of my first rock band. I was in the 9th grade in this photo. This is the Tikis Band. Dig the instrumentation, LOL (although one of the guys on guitar played piano, Jerry Lee Lewis style).

    Tikis.jpg


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