Trumpet Tuition

Playing the trumpet is such a cool thing to do. I remember as a kid walking home from school with my (then Cornet) case in tow, and other kids made fun of me at the time. (I started out in the local brass band – what a great grounding for theory it was). I persevered and took the jesting on the chin. I am so glad I did, because look at how many opportunities there are today for young horn players – today’s chart music features so many great horn sections, and go to any festival – Glastonbury, V, Southport Weekender, Top nightclubs like Ministry of Sound and Fabric, and you’ll see trumpet, sax and trombone players gracing the stages. It’s cool to play a brass instrument – FULL STOP!

I’m an experienced teacher and can teach Trumpet, Cornet, Flugelhorn, anything with three valves! Young and old alike – any level of skill/ability! I follow the Claude Gordon methods and Clarke studies which cater for the absolute beginner to higher skill levels. I’m available for lessons in the North London, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire areas. I’ll more than likely travel to you if you’re in the near vicinity!

I believe developing the right technique and attitude to playing is key, also to know exactly what you want to get out of playing. What are your aspirations? Do you want to play just for fun or seriously? Our first lesson will include a free consultation and I will run through all these questions with you before I plan any of our lessons. I will cater for groups as well, and can teach in schools – just contact me for a quote. I will travel to you, making the learning experience convenient for you.

I’m an easy going and fun person to learn with – and patient. I realise that you may want to learn at your own pace – and I will accommodate your needs fully.

New To the Trumpet?

Playing the trumpet is rewarding and fun, – and although it takes some dedication, it shouldn’t be a chore. Using bad or cheap and tacky equipment will make it a chore and will affect your enjoyment!

If you’re a complete beginner and really want to know where to get the best trumpet, what equipment you need, and how much to pay, that all depends on what level you want to take it to, and of course your budget.  I would however, offer one piece of advice.

DON’T BUY FROM THE INTERNET!

If you’re a parent wondering what to buy for your child, and are looking online at some of the great deals on eBay, or similar sites, BEWARE! You will come across many listings for brass instruments that are manufactured in China, India, or elsewhere, that are listed at prices that seem too good to be true. They ARE too good to be true! These instruments are made with no regard to playability or quality. They are usually extortionate shipping and tiny prices. You will pay out a lot of money only to find that getting a note out of it is near impossible, and if you can, that the tuning/sound of the note is abysmal! You have been warned!

I would suggest you go to a reputable brass instrument shop like Prozone in Chesham, or Phil Parker in London. There are lots of other great music shops like Hooters, or independents like Dawkes in Maidenhead, Dawsons in Reading, and many others in London and the South East. I would recommend a good quality student model first (Yamaha make a lot of low priced student trumpets and the quality is excellent) or ask your dealer for recommendations. It may be that they have great quality second hand items for sale. Once you get experienced, and if you have cash to spend, there are horns out there that cost thousands – and of course they are outstanding to play.

You don’t want to shell out too much money at first – make sure that it’s something you want to continue with before you spend big money! If you can already get a note out of the trumpet, you always want to play it in store first before handing over your cash, and lots of shops these days offer home trials so you can take it home if you want some more time. You can hire instruments for a month or so from a lot of places. I would say that’s definitely a very good idea before you buy.

What you’ll need:

  • Trumpet (Should come with a case)
  • Mouthpiece
  • Music Stand
  • Trumpet Stand (A good and affordable stand is the K&M Stand)

…And that’s it!

Mouthpieces

Most new student instruments will be supplied with the manufacturer’s own mouthpiece.  However, the mouthpiece supplied with the instrument may not always be the best option for a beginner – I will be able to pick up on this and advise you to buy a more suitable one if you’re struggling more than you should.

Generally, a good student mouthpiece will be designed to produce a full tone easily in the lower and middle registers; a popular example for the trumpet is the Vincent Bach 7C and for the cornet, the Denis Wick 4B, both of which feature a medium depth cup, making them a good all-round choice for the beginner.

As players become more experienced, they will want to use more of the instrument’s range, and may choose a mouthpiece which helps produce a better tone in the middle and upper registers, as they no longer need help to produce a good tone in the lower register.

I could get completely geeky on you now and talk mouthpieces for an hour! But I think that’s as much information as you need in the beginning. If you have any questions on this…