Date: Tue, 5 Aug 2003 07:11:33 +0200
From: "Emile Meuffels" <>
Subject: Re: [TPIN] beginner questions / advice

I think that the biggest disadvantage you have as a late starter is that your hearing and judgment are developed much more than that of young children. I remember that when I started playing the trumpet at a age of 7, the day after my first lesson (on which I also got my first trumpet) was my mother's birthday. So I played Happy Birthday for her on the trumpet. I thought it sounded great and so did my parents (no doubt encouraring me), but I think now that I probably didn't get a single note right.

You have to realise that it takes a long time to develop a good range and a decent tone. So you have to accept that for (at least) the first months you will not be pleased by how you sound. If you don't realise this, each practise session and each lesson will be a big disappointment to you. In spite of this disappointment, you will have to keep studying every day to get any better.

However, you also have a big advantage. Young children can't be expected to practise lots of technical studies, because these are generally considered boring. But technical studies are the key to rapid development, so if you spend a lot of time doing these, you will develop much faster than young children.

I think that if you want to start playing the trumpet, you first have to answer some questions to yourself. Questions which a teacher also may ask you, so it is good to think about this beforehand.

Why do you want to play the trumpet? What do you want to accomplish by studying the trumpet? The trumpet is used in lots of different kinds of music, which would you like to play? What is your musical background: can you play other instruments, can you read music, etc. Think about practising. How much time do you have available? Are there neighbours which might complain if you take up the trumpet?

After that, the first step you should make is to find a good teacher. I don't know much about the american system of music schools, but you can always try to contact the trumpet players of a local professional symphony orchestra. It is important that you find a trumpet teacher, not a clarinet teacher who tries to make little more money by teaching other instruments.

This teacher can also advise you on which trumpet to buy. Think about the budget you have available. Maybe it is possible to buy a second hand professional model trumpet for the same money as a new student model. If you first find a teacher, he or she can try the trumpet before you buy it and tell you if it is good.

Good luck,


The Netherlands