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Don't get me wrong, I love trumpet playing. Freddie Hubbard, Lee Morgan and Woody Shaw are three of my all-time favorite jazz musicians on any instrument. That said, the truth is that the trumpet is a really loud instrument and being higher-pitched than a sax it can dominate a jam session when played by a hot-shot grand-stander out to outdo any woodwinds around. Up to now I have not had this experience because there are very few trumpet players here to begin with and even fewer who play at blues and rock jams. The few that do have up to now been much mellower and low-key, tending to play in the lower registers and not try and dominate the mix.

Now there is a guy however, who is quite adept at playing high notes and all sorts of splatters and smears and wha-wha sounds because he's a trumpet teacher somewhere and has volume to spare. He is also quite tall and when he plays he aims his horn straight out so that his sound blows right across the stand directly in my face on the other side. As a result I am beginning to get a vexing distaste for the sound of the instrument -- its stridency and in your face tonalities, something not conducive to my love for music.

However I realize that it is his playing of it and not the instrument itself. Hence my Topic line which is really only in jest. Well, maybe only half in jest. Anyone else have similar experiences with the tri-valved bazooka?
 

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Well, I never heard anyone outblow Maynard Ferguson. If the guy is good, you may as well just try to learn how to enjoy his playing.

I actually play with several trumpet players like that, and sometimes the decibel meter does hit “Painful”. Time for the ear plugs. We’re playing, this month, a chart that was written for Bobby Shew, and our lead player is nailin’ it - ouch.


G’luck. And no, don’t try to match them for volume or pitch - it’s not worth it. Let them do what they do.
 

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Normally horn players stand beside each other, and if you stand next to him, his sound will go out to the audience but not directly to you.
 

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Been there - one of the reasons I've back-off attending the local Jam Session. Young guys, lots of chops and volume but trying to play anything subtle on tenor is completely lost and I'm just too old for the faster, louder, higher scene.
 

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Musicians hearing protectors are a good place to start. How do you tell a trumpet player to tone it down? I have no idea: they offend easily.
 

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I feel your pain, but as the Dr said, "If he's good..."

There is of course, a fine line between tasteful and too much. In the heat of the moment it can be easy to cross if you're feeling the music. I was once talking with a player I really respected about another player on the gig. He said, "Man - that cat really likes to hear himself play..."

HE was not being complimentary.

There is a point where even if it's a good lick you're playing, silence may better serve the music.
 

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Many musicians can play a lot of notes. Part of being an excellent musician is knowing when not to play.
 

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I actually don't recall having that problem. If there's a sound system that can make any sax just as loud.

What does get my goat, though, are trumpet players that haven't really studied as much improvisation as sax players seem to do who, when a solo does come, just play high, loud and wiggle their fingers. Anything can come out as long as it's high, fast and loud - and audience-wise, seems to get just as good or better response from the great unwashed.
 

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Ask him politely not to point his bell at you, but to direct it out into the venue. Suggest politely that as an alternative he use a mute.

When this does't work, stand next to him and play straight soprano. Turn his solos into duets, with you playing a lead line — straight melody if you like. With BIG BROAD VIBRATO. Channel Bechet and Wild Bill Davison. Smile when he objects, and say, We have too many solos — we need more co-operation between musoes — duets are the go. Of course you take no solo yourself that night. With any luck he won't turn up next week.
 

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Instructor to tpt section during rehearsal:
"Why are you playing so loud?"

Player's response:
"It says 'Trumpet.'"
 

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FWIW, when you try to be a bigger jerk than the overloud trumpet player, everyone else loses.
 

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I have this theory that different instruments appeal to different types of people. I don’t want to be too specific about the various types and instruments, because I’d like to keep good relations with everybody on the bandstand. But I think it’s true that some instruments appeal to people who just want to fit in, and others appeal to people who like to stand out from the crowd; some instruments appeal to people who like a challenge, and other instruments appeal to people who would rather take it easy, and so on.

Trumpet players are definitely a different breed. I say this with love and respect: my beloved grandfather was great trumpeter, as are two of my best friends. But how shall I put this? Trumpeters are often not the easiest people to get along with.
 

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There are several songs in that our big band plays. On these songs I get a sixteen bar solo where the whole band joins in after 8 bars. On the first run through on these songs I would swear that the solo was over after 8 bars. The trumpets would come in so loud I might as well sit down. What I normally do is go into the upper octave and keep it simple. In a big band I have the help of the conductor to straighten out band on these matters. At a jam session the player most likely feels this is all about him and will likely not change.
 

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It's not the instrument... it's the cat. There is a nice blues jam at a nice dive bar locally every Sunday night. There happens to also be a young enthusiastic tenor player that is always there. Not many horn players show up to this jam, so the organizer basically groups all the horn players into one set. This guy makes it his business to "cut" everyone else. It seems as though he feels the need to best anyone with a horn. Plays over the top of other soloist, plays really loud, dances around in the t shirt that's a size too small, ect. I can't tell you how many times I've seen good horn players step off the stand after just one tune. I almost never take my horn to that jam ... it's just not fun. So, let's not blame the trumpet players. Let's blame the sphincters!
 

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FWIW, when you try to be a bigger jerk than the overloud trumpet player, everyone else loses.
Do you think so ? You're entitled to your opinion, but check out the thread title…
 
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