Reply to Thread Bookmark Thread
Posts 1 to 30 of 30
  1. #1

    User Info Menu

    Hi everyone,

    As the title states, I am wondering if I should put the guitar down and pursue another instrument (the trumpet in my case).

    I am hoping that some of you might have at one time been in the same position that I currently find myself in and could tell me what you decided to do. Furthermore, looking back on your decision, if you still stand by it, have any regrets etc. Even if some of you have not found in yourselves in the same position and have anything to offer, please, please feel free to do so, I am all ears.
    I’ll add that I do have an “all in” kind of mindset, I would prefer to only play one instrument so that I could focus all of my time and energy on being the best that I can be on that specific instrument.

    Note: I apologize that the following may sound ridiculous at times as I am confused lol I have tried to organize my thoughts the best I could, I would be happy to further clarify anything if needed. Now for all the details...

    I would like to start off by saying that I love the guitar, and in no way has my love for the instrument ever diminished. I love the guitar, I love its players, I love its application in different genres, styles, etc.

    My favorite artist and musical influence though would have to be Miles Davis. His music speaks deeply to me like no other musician’s does, every single time I listen to him, I wish I played the trumpet (exactly like him I might add).

    If I simply liked the trumpet more than the guitar, I would definitely make the switch. However, I am confused because I do not think that I necessarily do.

    I think I just prefer the sound Miles Davis gets out of his trumpet to the sound that my guitar heroes get out of their guitars.
    Therefor, the whole thought of switching instruments is really just coming from one musician, and the motivation to sound and play like they did.

    I know there was only one Miles Davis and there will always only be one Miles Davis, but I have listened to many trumpet players who could sound very close to Miles, Wallace Roney for example. This is what has really motivated the thought of switching to the trumpet, as I have learned that it is indeed possible to sound like Miles, or close enough.

    If I were to play the trumpet, my goal would be to sound like Miles in the same sort of way that Wallace Roney did (still maintaining your own voice and ideas, but the sound is still very much there). I understand that Wallace was his pupil and certainly has that advantage over everyone lol but I have also heard other players that can get close to Miles’ sound as well, perhaps not as accurately as Wallace could, but still to the point where I would be very happy if I were sound like them.

    In summary, when I am not listening to Miles, I love the guitar, but when I start listening to him I always get the urge to pick up the trumpet. If any of you have found yourselves in similar situations, or just happen to have any thoughts, advice, anything, please feel free to add, again, I am all ears Thank you

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

    User Info Menu

    Hi NG,
    Welcome to the Forum!

    If you look around this Forum, you will see many similar posts, although they may be gear-related. "I want a Gibson; talk me out of buying a Gibson!" and the answer is usually, "Just buy the Gibson!"
    If you like trumpet and want to play trumpet, just buy a trumpet and take lessons -- why not?!

    If you like Miles and want to sound like Miles on the trumpet, however, you may be heading down a dark, lonely path full of disappointment and delusion, IMO. Miles inspires many of us here -- and I would love to phrase like him! -- but that is not my motivation for playing jazz nor music. Being a clone of him, or Metheny, or Kurt, or whomever, though, is a different motivation, and always seems a bit "off" to me.

    In the end, do whatever you want to do, but have fun with it!

    Peace,

    Marc

  4. #3

    User Info Menu

    I too love the trumpet sound the most ....
    It is THE purest sound .... to me
    You can cut anyone with a trumpet
    But also
    you can play THE most beautiful , delicate , sublime thing you ever heard
    (Miles , Chet )

    I once I tried to play trumpet for a short time , ha ha , nope
    Deep respect to those who can do it
    Its an absolute monster to play .... physically to just play it
    I think that's part of why it's so expressive

  5. #4

    User Info Menu

    It is debatable whether this or that group of instruments provides a greater range of expression than others. It should be obvious, however that wind instruments (horns/wood winds) have an intrinsic advantage in using breath to create sound versus mechanical means (plucking, bowing, striking/stroking), thereby bypassing an intermediary step. The instrument is used to shape the sound, rather than the voice box (although interesting results can be obtained by utilizing both); mechanical energy instruments are an interposition between thought/feeling and execution ("the Shadow').

    The question becomes one of expression: what do you want to say? And how best to say it. The breath is immediate, pure spirit. The action is demonstrative, descriptive, denotational.

    My path was trumpet/bugle - French Horn - choir - electric bass - guitar. Trumpet or guitar? Why not both?

    Best of luck with your choice!

  6. #5
    Thank you all for the warm welcomes and for being so helpful and supportive in your replies, I appreciate it greatly. Every one of your responses bring up great points, they have definitely evoked a lot of thinking on my part lol This is not easy

  7. #6

    User Info Menu

    I'm not sure I understand the cunundrum?

    I love guitar. It was my first instrument (unless you count banging on a piano while sitting on my grandma's lap while she actually played ragtime). But it is not the only instrument I play...

    Piano, organ/pedals, sax, flute, drum kit, banjo, dobro, lap steel ...these are all in our home and played regularly. And why not?

    Each instrument brings another dimension to music. Each reinforces the other - it's like cross-training - you're better at each activity for having the benefit of experiencing the many elements of music from yet another angle.

    Same reason that, while I love jazz, I can also get weepy listening to classical, rock, klezmer, indian, latin, bluegrass...

    I regard playing multiple instruments much like speaking multiple languages. Who might be better off by limiting themselves to speaking only a single language? No one.

    Grab a trumpet! And then grab yet another instrument, and yet another ... life is too short to wait for folks like me on the internet to give you the motivation you clearly already have. Go play!

  8. #7

    User Info Menu

    Go for it. You can only grow in your appreciation of music as a result. Follow the muse.

  9. #8

    User Info Menu

    I grew up playing trumpet in school bands.
    I took up guitar when I realized that you can’t sit under a tree and serenade your girlfriend with a trumpet!
    Trumpet is not a difficult instrument in terms of learning the fingerings, but it makes some physical demands that you’ll have to work up to.
    You can do both!
    (still have my horn, though the lip is long gone)
    Last edited by Gilpy; 05-01-2020 at 08:12 PM.

  10. #9

    User Info Menu

    One trumpet player I knew told me he had a good trumpet student who switched to guitar.
    He complained about the fact that he couldn't take a day or two off from the guitar like he could with the trumpet, and still have decent chops.

  11. #10

    User Info Menu

    I struggle with being a hack of all trades, and master of none, musically. Trumpet/brass is one of the more demanding instruments to get good at.

  12. #11

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Gilpy
    I grew up playing trumpet in school bands ... I realized that you can’t sit under a tree and serenade your girlfriend with a trumpet!
    That depends on her musical understanding. If you need lyrics with musical accompaniment trumpet may fall short. Considering the practical implications piano players may also be facing some challenges.
    To the OP: In general my experience is that if you have a good understanding of other instruments it might help you find yourself in your main or preferred instrument. And if guitar is where your heart is, then you can develop your technique in a way that gives the expression that you are after. The first time I heard Alan Holdsworth (Bruford) I had to read the cover notes to make shure that he did not play a soprano saxophone.

  13. #12

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by sgcim
    One trumpet player I knew told me he had a good trumpet student who switched to guitar.
    He complained about the fact that he couldn't take a day or two off from the guitar like he could with the trumpet, and still have decent chops.
    isnt that the other way round ?

  14. #13

    User Info Menu

    Everyone’s path is unique. I took up trumpet and flugelhorn about 15 years into playing guitar. (I never studied music formally in school - self taught and private lessons.) I had a great trumpet teacher, and made rapid (beginner’s) progress, then realized that achieving the skill level I aspired to on flugelhorn was going to require single-minded focus on it to the exclusion of guitar, which I couldn’t bear to give up. I eventually sold both horns. Fast forward another 15 years or so and I went way deep down the mandolin rabbit hole. A humbling instrument, but I did achieve some facility on it. It required more focused and nuanced technique to achieve good tone compared to guitar. That experience and the skills I developed on mandolin greatly enhanced my guitar technique when I finally returned to it (literally did not touch my guitars for about five years while I was messing with mandolin). I tried for a time to maintain my chops on both simultaneously (while also adding the bass guitar to my instrument juggling act). And now I am full circle, single-mindedly focused on guitar, trying to finally learn to play with parts of my brain engaged that I typically turned off when playing. I want to strive toward a deeper feeling of control and expressiveness, and I feel the need to focus all my effort on one instrument in order to do that. You may learn more about music, musicianship, and yourself by exploring other instruments. Whatever your decision, enjoy the journey!

  15. #14
    Thank you all so much for sharing. Hearing all of your thoughts have opened my eyes in a number of ways, and I feel inspired by those who shared their own musical journey experiences, thank you all. When I started this thread I mentioned that I would prefer to only play the guitar or trumpet because I thought that the only way to achieve my musical goals on the trumpet would be to do so. This is what stumped me the most because the idea of putting down the guitar just sounds wrong to me. I have decided to continue playing the guitar but I will pick up the trumpet as well.
    I will see how this goes, I’ll see where the journey leads me, maybe I will end up playing the drums at the end of it all lol We’ll see. Thank you everyone for your contributions, hearing all of your thoughts and individual experiences were extremely helpful in guiding my decision, I greatly appreciate itStay safe and well everyone

  16. #15

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by pingu
    isnt that the other way round ?
    This was how he compared his experience to another trumpet player.YMMV...

  17. #16

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by sgcim
    This was how he compared his experience to another trumpet player.YMMV...
    Fair doos

  18. #17

    User Info Menu

    Organist Joey DeFranceso is also a fine trumpeter, which he'll take out and play on gigs.


  19. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by cosmic gumbo
    Organist Joey DeFranceso is also a fine trumpeter, which he'll take out and play on gigs.

    I am so happy that you posted this. If I had any previous reservations about pursuing the trumpet on top of the guitar, this just sealed the deal for me right here. I never knew that Joey DeFrancesco played the trumpet (looks like he plays other horns too)! After watching more videos of his playing on YouTube, I am amazed at how he too is able to sound so much like Miles. This is exactly what I needed to see; a multi-instrumentalist who has the sound on the exact trumpet that I hope to achieve. Looks like I don’t have to put down my guitar after allThis is it, thank you, thank you, thank you!

  20. #19

    User Info Menu

    You can do both. But maybe one will stand out over time.

    I started on saxophone and gigged on it back in the jazz fusion era (70's). I dabbled on guitar because I'm a baby boomer. I put away saxophone when I became an engineer. Woodwinds, and I'm guessing brass, require regular practice just for facility. I kept dabbling on guitar.

    Over decades the guitar was always there. Easy to tinker with while life and career transpired. Saxophone gathered dust. Then recently, I rediscovered saxophone. It's fun. Musical. People love the sound. And the jazz theory I had learned for guitar applied just fine. I'm lucky to have a pretty good tone and knack for improvisation on sax. Non-saxophone players think I'm and OK player. Actual sax players know better.

    Thing is, saxophone isn't guitar and I have not been willing to invest the time to actually get good on it. I'll keep dabbling but it's not where I see going. Being a decent jazz guitar player is what I want. Pretty much what I've always wanted. And it seems there is just so much energy to focus on music though I have plenty of time.

    If you don't know, you don't know. If it were me I would just work extra hard to move both forward until it becomes obvious. It's a pity to lose either and maybe you're one of those individuals that can become a real switch hitter.

  21. #20

    User Info Menu

    I began playing the piano, then switched to bass, drums and then finally ended up with guitar.
    Then got caught up in other things and stopped playing for more than a decade and at an old age took up guitar again

  22. #21

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by ng1
    Hi everyone,

    As the title states, I am wondering if I should put the guitar down and pursue another instrument (the trumpet in my case).

    I am hoping that some of you might have at one time been in the same position that I currently find myself in and could tell me what you decided to do. Furthermore, looking back on your decision, if you still stand by it, have any regrets etc. Even if some of you have not found in yourselves in the same position and have anything to offer, please, please feel free to do so, I am all ears.
    I’ll add that I do have an “all in” kind of mindset, I would prefer to only play one instrument so that I could focus all of my time and energy on being the best that I can be on that specific instrument.

    Note: I apologize that the following may sound ridiculous at times as I am confused lol I have tried to organize my thoughts the best I could, I would be happy to further clarify anything if needed. Now for all the details...

    I would like to start off by saying that I love the guitar, and in no way has my love for the instrument ever diminished. I love the guitar, I love its players, I love its application in different genres, styles, etc.

    My favorite artist and musical influence though would have to be Miles Davis. His music speaks deeply to me like no other musician’s does, every single time I listen to him, I wish I played the trumpet (exactly like him I might add).

    If I simply liked the trumpet more than the guitar, I would definitely make the switch. However, I am confused because I do not think that I necessarily do.

    I think I just prefer the sound Miles Davis gets out of his trumpet to the sound that my guitar heroes get out of their guitars.
    Therefor, the whole thought of switching instruments is really just coming from one musician, and the motivation to sound and play like they did.

    I know there was only one Miles Davis and there will always only be one Miles Davis, but I have listened to many trumpet players who could sound very close to Miles, Wallace Roney for example. This is what has really motivated the thought of switching to the trumpet, as I have learned that it is indeed possible to sound like Miles, or close enough.

    If I were to play the trumpet, my goal would be to sound like Miles in the same sort of way that Wallace Roney did (still maintaining your own voice and ideas, but the sound is still very much there). I understand that Wallace was his pupil and certainly has that advantage over everyone lol but I have also heard other players that can get close to Miles’ sound as well, perhaps not as accurately as Wallace could, but still to the point where I would be very happy if I were sound like them.

    In summary, when I am not listening to Miles, I love the guitar, but when I start listening to him I always get the urge to pick up the trumpet. If any of you have found yourselves in similar situations, or just happen to have any thoughts, advice, anything, please feel free to add, again, I am all ears Thank you
    I've long thought of switching to piano, like for many years.

    I do play piano for hours here and there but nothing like the time I've put in to the guitar.

    My rationale for sticking with guitar at various times is that I like to play rock too (and still do), and that I'm further along with the guitar, so ...

    In retrospect I wish I had played more piano, because my jazz playing still is bad and if I was going to be bad, well I like jazz piano better than guitar. However, I still do like going into Guitar Center and blaring rock licks, so there's that.

    As a generality, I think the further along you are with an instrument with the capability to perform well, the less you should probably switch.

  23. #22

    User Info Menu

    Maybe I missed your age, but you should know that it will take quite some time just to get a decent sound going. Not like piano or guitar.

  24. #23
    Guitarist Joe Cohn is in incredible guitarist, an enviable talent by any metric. Then one day I saw him on the bandstand and he was playing trumpet with every ounce of talent, musicality and expression that I'd assumed was him as a guitarist.
    He did both, because he had the music, the determination to master the instruments and the love that wouldn't let him stop.
    I went to music school in my later years, I had to learn a number of instruments so I took trumpet. It was tough, it really was, but I pushed on, and once I crossed the threshold of physical breath and embrouchure, the joy increased as the control did...daily.

    Discipline. Determination. Love. Something to say. Do you have them? (I'll add a place to practice and patient neighbors)
    If you love the music, don't let the instrument stand in your way. Learning to play is that process and nothing can stand the human will when truly driven to accomplish something.

  25. #24

    User Info Menu

    What an outstanding idea. Trumpet is much easier to study. I began on trumpet, migrated to flugelhorn in the later 70's, being influenced by the sound of Chuck Mangione. Ended up with a Yamaha YFH-731 just like Chuck had.

    But my original influence was Freddie Hubbard. Freddie's First Light Album was my first move to jazz. With George Benson on guitar, Ron Carter on bass, Hubbert Laws on flute, a whose who of the CTI lineup, man what an album.

    So after several decades on trumpet what do I do? Move to piano, of course. I've been playing piano for 3 decades. Life is too short to simply play one instrument. Do I miss the trumpet...yes, but I'd never give up lush piano chords for trumpet tones. Yes there are times I miss playing a smooth vibrato and playing a wind instrument.

    Can you do both? Not faithfully, but I do know of several cats locally who double on both trumpet and saxophone. All the best!


    Last edited by 2bornot2bop; 05-13-2020 at 07:24 PM.

  26. #25

    User Info Menu

    I too dabbled with the trumpet/flugel for a few years. Originally this was because some arm injuries led to me having to lock my guitars away, but later I played both instruments for a while. I even pulled out the trumpet at a gig once! Only once, on a Bb blues, and never again. Anyway, I eventually realized that "life is too short" and that I'd rather just focus on the guitar (at least during my working years). There's just so much to learn on the guitar (or any instrument for that matter).

  27. #26

    User Info Menu

    If you want a multi-instrumentalist to inspire you, take at look at James Morrison
    James Morrison (jazz musician) - Wikipedia
    James Morrison | James Morrison AM - Australian Multi Instrumentalist, Composer, Educator

    Although his main instrument is trumpet, he has also performed on trombone, tuba, euphonium, flugelhorn, saxophone, clarinet, double bass, guitar, and piano.

    Mind you, as a trombone player myself who's dabbled with other brass instruments as well, I'd say that nearly all brass instruments are in essence the same instrument. The instruments with a difference are the French Horn, because that starts up the third or fourth harmonic partial, and the fingered and keyed brass instruments like the cornetto, the serpent, the keyed bugle and the ophicleide, because they start on the pedal, not on the first harmonic partial the way the trumpet, trombone, cornet, flugelhorn (soprano tuba), tenor and baritone horns, euphoniums and tubas do. (I don't know where the keyed trumpet starts: I suspect it's just another trumpet in that regard, starting on the first partial harmonic like all the other trumpets from natural and Baroque to British slide to modern valved trumpets. I could be wrong, though, and welcome corrections.)

  28. #27

    User Info Menu

    I think the piano is the instrument that makes the most sense to double on for most instrumentalists, it's seems all the horn players I've known play at least a little bit of piano.

    Trumpet is a bit like bagpipes I would think. You need a place where you can practice without bothering others.

  29. #28

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Gilpy
    I grew up playing trumpet in school bands.
    I took up guitar when I realized that you can’t sit under a tree and serenade your girlfriend with a trumpet!
    Wait for it... (if you're impatient, start at 1:20)


  30. #29

    User Info Menu

    No need to drop one to pursue the other. I started out self-taught on guitar at age 9, took trumpet lessons and played in marching band (doubling on baritone horn when we needed one) for a few years, took up bass to join a friend's rock band in high school, and studied classic guitar for two years as a music major in college before switching to jazz guitar as my primary instrument. In my freshman year at college, I studied trumpet, double bass, and classic guitar simultaneously, because I loved all three instruments and did not want to quit any of them. Eventually, though, guitar was my true love, the one I wanted to play most often and wanted to make my primary focus. Even then, while a declared guitar major, I still had to learn enough piano to play theory exams. And before I switched to the jazz major, I was on the typical music major track that made you spend a semester or two on every instrument, so I also had about a semester of clarinet. I still played bass and trumpet on the side for years following the switch, but now have not played either of those instruments in decades.

    All of these different instruments taught me things that helped my jazz playing and my musical conception overall. So, play whatever you want to play; in the end, it's all music, and perhaps one of those instruments will stand out as the one on which you want to focus the most attention. Or maybe you will become one of those guys who is a monster player on multiple axes. I was actually a pretty good bassist (gigged professionally quite a bit) and trumpet actually came easily to me. But guitar was always the thing I loved most, and now I'm a much better guitarist than the musician I ever was on all of the other instruments combined. I was never much of a pianist; it's kind of on my bucket list as unfinished business!

    It's interesting to hear others' stories, and I hope my story offered you some perspective.
    Last edited by starjasmine; 06-06-2020 at 06:18 PM.

  31. #30

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by ng1

    If any of you have found yourselves in similar situations, or just happen to have any thoughts, advice, anything, please feel free to add, again, I am all ears Thank you
    If anyone here ever says they never had doubts about their chosen instrument I'd have to be suspect.
    We always juxtapose our playing with whatever inspirations are out there and most times come up short and at times doubtful.

    Far be it from me to suggest one instrument over the other but I'd suggest that your harmonic knowledge will assist your melodic creativity more so then the reverse; as you note that many linear players also studied harmony via piano etc.

    There was a movie called "I Remember Momma" where the mother of the protagonist was trying to determine the probability of her daughter becoming a successful writer so she cornered a professional writer with the question.

    The pro answered with a question,"...well, does your daughter WANT TO BE A WRITER...or DOES SHE WRITE?"

    So find out which instrument you find yourself at...mostly.