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News & Tips for Trumpet & Cornet Students

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Posts Tagged ‘etudes’

New Trumpet Student #56 from Newcastle Is Comeback Player After 42-Year Layoff

Posted by glennled on January 5, 2022

My trumpet student #56 is a 61-year old businessman who got his first trumpet when he was in third grade. His parents gave him a 1961 Conn Constellation. Over the years, he’s accumulated five more trumpets, but he quit playing as a junior in high school. Then, about a year and half ago, he started playing again in earnest when he picked up a 1947 Super Olds for $5.00 at an office rummage sale. It plays well, but his favorite is his 1971 Getzen Eterna Severinsen.

So, for 42 years, he hardly ever played except for the few months in 2003 when he joined the community band, Brass from the Past. They gave him a mellophone for the march in the Seafair Parade. They disbanded that same year, but not before he got to play a few other gigs, too. Besides that, he once played the “Star-Spangled Banner” at a Little League game. That’s all–in 42 years.

It was the Super Olds that got him going again. He thought he should not own such a good horn unless he could play it. So, he started practicing using the Rubank Method Intermediate exercise book. Then he moved on to the Rubank Method Advanced Vol. 1 and went from there to Saint-Jacome’s Grand Method.

That’s when he contacted me for lessons. We had our first one on 1 December 2021. Due to Covid, our lessons are online on Zoom. I found that I had a student who is serious, practices regularly, and is already competent enough to play in another community band. He says he would also enjoy playing in a Big Band dance band. But until he retires, he doesn’t have the time to make all the rehearsals and gigs. That’s when he’ll look around for a group. For now, he tells me he wants to increase his range and endurance. So, we’re doing lots of lip slurs, arpeggios, intervals, scales, and etudes in higher keys. We’re awakening his awareness of his embouchure, tongue, and lip aperture and buzz. I had him buy Earl Irons’ Twenty-Seven Groups of Exercises for Cornet and Trumpet, and he says he wants to master it.

But we musicians practice exercises so that we can play music for ourselves and an audience. He’s got good articulation, so I sent him a copy of “Chicken Reel.” It starts in the key of Bb and switches to Eb. That has him playing lots of 16th notes and takes him up to high Eb above the staff…a fun piece that works his chops and tongue.

Meanwhile, I invited him to sound “Echo Taps” with me at the Wreaths Across America ceremony at Evergreen-Washelli’s Veterans Memorial Park in north Seattle on 18 December (please see my blog post of 31 December). We sounded good together, and he said he was honored to perform at this 13th annual wreath-laying event.

His son, who lives in Portland, Oregon, has played sax and guitar in the past, but Dad recently bought him a Conn Coprion trumpet. Its bell is 100% copper and is seamless. Perhaps they’ll be able to perform duets someday.

His other three trumpets are an FA Reynolds (1944), Jupiter pocket trumpet, and Blessing Standard (1958), which he works on to teach himself how to repair brass horns. He likes vintage trumpets and classic American cars.

He’s doing all this because he enjoys it! Is there any better reason?

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