Want to learn a brass instrument

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by bluebee, Feb 16, 2018.

  1. bluebee

    bluebee New Member

    So, I want to learn to play trumpet.
    The problem here is that I don't have any teachers or anything of that sort in my area, I basically live in a really small city in a 3rd world country. I'm still a minor and can't live anywhere else at the moment, although I plan to in the future.
    How can I learn to play trumpet without anyone around to teach me? Are there any efficient online courses you recommend? And what are some good beginner trumpets I can buy off the internet with a budget of 550$?
    P.S. Doesn't matter if it doesn't have international shipping
  2. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    Sorry, don't have the knowledge to advise about online courses or cheap trumpets. But I wonder if it might help if we knew exactly where you are?
    bluebee likes this.
  3. Slider1

    Slider1 Active Member

    A good Tutor book with accompanying CD should get you up and running.
    Good Luck
    bluebee, Jack E and 2nd tenor like this.
  4. Tom-King

    Tom-King Well-Known Member

    Hi, welcome to the boards!

    I'd echo Dave's question as to where you're from - it might make a difference (especially if it's a country known for producing knock-off instruments to be aware of... Brazil, for instance, though not exactly third-world).

    I presume you mean US dollars?
    $550 is more than enough to get a good instrument, go second-hand and that money will get you a solid instrument that will last you for life as a good backup if you get the right one (you should be able to find a used Getzen 390 or a Yamaha 4335 for that and these are extremely well built instruments that play well by anyone's standards).

    You can get lessons online - but be careful - there are lots of teachers out there who are genuinely excellent (these tend to be well known, in-demand online and expensive!) and there are plenty that are perfectly decent and would serve you fine as a beginner... there are also plenty who are (trying to be as PC as possible) enthusiastic but not much snuff beyond that.
    bluebee, Jack E and 2nd tenor like this.
  5. 2nd tenor

    2nd tenor Well-Known Member

    Self teaching is not that uncommon but it is far from ideal.

    Learning to play by yourself isn’t without value but playing with others is far, far better and in so many ways.

    Does your place of education ( you say that you are a minor) have any form of music programme? Have you any other musical experience?

    Whilst not Brass I do know of someone who gives Music lessons over the web. The weak pound would likely make a teacher based in the U.K. good value. If you go for live and interactive lessons via Skype and the like then please do have an adult with you. The best teacher for a beginner will almost certainly not be the best teacher for an experienced player, select with their experience of teaching beginners in mind.

    Why the Trumpet? There are other good choices too.

    Your budget is generous, some of that kept back for appropriate to you lessons would be wise.

    Good luck.
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2018
    bluebee and Jack E like this.
  6. bluebee

    bluebee New Member


    As for where I live, I prefer not to go into it. I plan on buying an instrument off the internet via Amazon or other sites and not a retail store anyway.

    Thanks for that info. Are there any specific teachers you recommend?
    My place of education doesn't have any form of music programme at all, and that's exactly the problem. I don't have other musical experiences.

    Well, It's for a simple reason, I really like how the Trumpet sounds and I'd love to play it and make the same sounds myself.

    I'll keep that in mind!
  7. 2nd tenor

    2nd tenor Well-Known Member

    Your reluctance to say where you live is understandable. Supplying your Country and region within it (eg. Canada, British Columbia) would help people to help you but still leave you with a large degree of security. If you feel in potential danger as a minor then have your parent or guardian speak either for or with you on here, that’s potentially best all round too.

    Buying new usually does not make financial sense.

    If you have no music experience at school at all - that surprises me - then please consider and discuss the merits of learning how to read music and hear differences in rhythm, pitch and sound intensity by learning the Recorder first as a Gateway Instrument. As a bonus you also learn the basics of breath control needed for progression to Brass. That pathway might not be your idea of cool - most people would think at least twice before accepting the idea - but here in the U.K. our primary school children have, for many many decades, used the humble Recorder as a Gateway Instrument to grander things later: it’s a simple, cheap and proven pathway that has stood the test of time. To my surprise I’ve come across many Brass players - some are really good players too - who also play the recorder in adult Recorder groups / ensembles.

    It’s your choice as to how you start on you musical journey, and of course you don’t have to own up to having ever played a Recorder, but it is an option that would help you later when you will make faster progress because of all that you have learnt playing a rather humble instrument. Why not have a year playing one first? The skill of playing one can be a life long benefit as there’s fancy classical music written for the Recorder (in times long last it was considered to be a serious Adult’s Instrument), they work quite well in ‘folk music’ and they work quite well played without accompaniment too.

    I am biased but, to me, a Trombone is a much nicer sounding and more versatile instrument than a Trumpet, the Trombone is pitched an octave below the Trumpet. If your heart is set on the Trumpet’s higher pitch then the mellower Cornet is, I think, a better choice (than Trumpet) for you to consider.
    Edit. What’s most important though is for you to make a choice that is both very well informed and very considered, take days and maybe weeks to do that, select something that you both can and will want to stick with - if you have a passion for and commitment to something then you will end up being good at it.
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2018
  8. Queeg2000

    Queeg2000 Active Member

    A better second hand instrument is certainly preferable to a cheap new one, though some of the cheap cornets are quite acceptable. A lot of junior bands in the UK use Sonata or Odyssey cornets which are quite cheap. Avoid Tri Star (or triple star, three star) or almost anything from India. These instruments are improving, but still lagging behind the rest of the world. The Chinese stuff is now quite acceptable.

    The bigger instruments seem to be much more susceptible to intonation issues when you buy cheap. I've played several cheap cornets and been impressed with them all, however the same brand in a tenor horn has been awful.

    Don't forget if importing from abroad you may have to pay additional import duty. When a courier has to sort this out at customs, they will also impose an additional fee, so don't be surprised if you get a bill later for as much again in fees as you paid for the instrument.

    There are many YouTube instructional videos on playing brass, but none of the ones I have seen are particularly good.

    Having taught 7 year olds to play, the most common problem is pitching the notes correctly. As several notes can be played using the same valve positions, the note pitch is changing using the lips. This is difficult to teach on a one to one basis, virtually impossible to do in a video.

    I've been thinking about creating my own tutorial series on YouTube recently in the absence of any really good ones. Unfortunately, for the reason above, I'm not convinced I can do any better.

    I'd say a tuner would help check your pitch, though bear in mind tuners are normally configured in concert pitch so a trumpet C would show as an A# or a Bb.
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2018
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