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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Can you give your time to all three equally?

I mean, I play violin and saxophone (sax I'm still a beginner really) and just about to buy a Yamaha trumpet I've found in my local area - and - I'm hesitant.

I practice violin for a couple of hours a day, sometimes four or five, and I alternate these times between it, and my saxophone. I usually play violin for two weeks rarely picking up sax and then vice versa. Of course I lose a bit on each instrument every time the alternate instrument is picked up, ie; embouchure is weaker than before, scales are a little rusty etc etc

I can't imagine what a third instrument will do in this routine and I'm a tad concerned.

Are there any multi-instrumentalists that can share their techniques for disciplining themeselves to share time reasonably equally between their instruments? Because I can't seem to do it.

Thanks
 

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I'm old and I've found that I can keep my chops in shape if I practice everything all in one sitting or breaking the sessions up over the course of the day. Even if it's for only 15-20 minutes each.
I think that more frequent, yet short practice sessions are more benificial to me as a player than less frequent, long sessions.
I know what I need to accomplish with each instrument so I don't waste much time with long tones, scales, what ever it is you do to 'warm up'.
Clarnet has been my primary for 40 years. I can not practice that for MONTHS with no finger/embouchure issues.
Sax takes a minute to work out the left hand fingering issue, and flute... Well, that takes a little longer to get the face to remember what it's supposed to be doing. :)
 

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I have a flute that I'd really like to learn. I only get about an hour a day, sometimes a bit more. So the flute stays in the cupboard and the 90% of my time is tenor, the other 10 Soprano because it's fun.

I think to double properly you'd need to find a lot of hours, well I would anyway.
 

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I played trumpet for a few years many years ago.

My advice is don't do trumpet unless you're prepared to do the time. In MY experience, taking time off from the sax can actually refresh you. But time off from trumpet (and I'm talking days here) is fitness lost.

Remember the "reed" is your lips and the only way you go up through the harmonic series is by stretching them with muscles that weren't meant for that sort of work. Keeping those muscles in shape can only be achieved by playing the trumpet regularly (or buzzing on the mouthpiece). With only occasional work you'll be able to maintain about an octave and a half to two octave range at best. Anything more will require a daily commitment to lip development and fitness.

Having said that, if you find that you've got a half decent tone the trumpet is very seductive for its expressive qualities.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yep. Thanks everyone. I think it's pretty obvious I'm trying to bite off more than I can chew, and especially as I start University early next year. As much as I love trumpet, I'm going to have to be honest with myself and forget it for now. Pat you're right about how seductively expressive it can sound, and that's why I wanted it. Damn. I guess three lifetimes would be nice. I was going to try bandmommy's approach and just do the required amount to keep in shape somewhat, but not sure that would work for me. I'm more inclined to keep going and going with one thing at the expense of everything else and then alternate like that with each. It's not fair to the instruments nor to me.

Thanks people
 

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What do you plan on studying at university? Violin? No one plays violin in our family, so I don't know about that. It takes hours of daily practice from what I've heard to become professional.

You are interested in instruments from completely different families. Most people on these boards play multiple instruments, but normally limited to woodwinds, or brass for example. When you practice a woodwind, for example, it helps you with your other woodwind instruents.

Let me present a different point of view.

Why not play trumpet if you like it? It doesn't cost much to rent one to try it out. My view is that different people learn in different ways and at different rates. I was/am a flute player. I tried alto sax in 10th grade, and I wasn't any good at it. I was a pretty good flute player. Why wasn't I good at sax? Probably because I wasn't motivated. I picked up guitar in college and added to my flute practice. I found it very easy and I learned it quickly. But I was motivated to play something i could sing with.

My daughter is 16 and now plays all the woodwinds. Adding new ones doesn't seem to detract from her main two, oboe and alto sax. This year her goal is to win some concerto competitions on oboe and sax. But she practices a LOT. And she doesn't listen to people who tell her she can't play more than one, nor does she learn a new instrument the way most people attempt to learn. I taught over 100 flute students during my years of teaching, and never had one learn the way my daughter did last night. The first five minutes, she learned the fingerings. Then she went straight to the Chaminade concerto, something she'd heard that she liked. Skipped all the Rubank books and scales. Three hours later, she could play it. It will take her a while to get a really clear sound, but it's not going to take her long. She says the flute is easy, and I guess it is compared to the other woodwinds. Why didn't she learn the flute a year ago when her sax teacher showed her how to play it? Because she wasn't motivated. For some reason, last night she was.

As far as dividing her time, she generally alternates days practicing sax or oboe, several hours each day. But she's been playing both for over 6 years, so she has a solid embouchure and playing style. She added clarinet about two years ago. Her motivation then was to be able to play in pit orchestras for musicals. So she learned the clarinet in about two months. When she practices clarinet, it helps her sax playing so she can do that less. Then she studied the bassoon seriously shortly afterwards. She doesn't practice that much now, but seems to be able to pick it up quite well with a half hour practice. I think the oboe embouchure makes it much easier for her to do that than for someone who doesn't play oboe. When she has a musical coming up, she'll practice the clarinet a lot, but in between she'll let it go for weeks. Her sax teacher says her regular soprano sax playing allows her to play the clarinet well. She tries to get to her other instruments once every week or so ( baritone sax, English horn, bassoon, Eb clarinet, and now piccolo). If she wasn't a full-time high school student, she'd practice them more.

People who play trumpet can give you better advice, but my guess is that you would have to play it regularly to play it well, because you don't have another way to keep up your embouchure. But are you trying to become a professional trumpet player, or do you just want to be able to play it? If more for fun, why not just try it? There are people on this board who play all kinds of combinations of woodwind, brass, string and more. They must be able to maintain them somehow. What I see with my daughter is that she practices her "extras" when she's tired of playing her main instruments. She uses time that she wouldn't have used anyway to practice her main ones, so she isn't taking away practice time by learning new instruments.
 

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Steven, Ornette Coleman performed with alto sax, violin, and trumpet as well.
You could tell which instrument he was serious on.....lol....The other two (violin, trumpet) he picked up because he enjoyed toying around with them.

It was more about the sounds he could make with them which was important to him. I say go ahead and get yourself a trumpet. Who gives a f uck about learning
how to traditionally play them. They all make sounds and when left up to our imagination those sounds could bring you a lot of inspiration!

Have fun with it, along with your sax and violin! Life's short and if you have a genuine desire to get a trumpet, then do it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
You make some good points Mike. I could do that. But then maybe not. I'm the kind of guy that has to be good at what they do. I get obsessed. But still, maybe if I could somehow keep it low-key, I could almost get away with having a trumpet in my arsenal of instruments.

I didn't know Ornette Coleman played trumpet as well. I knew about the violin 'cause I have a copy of "Sound Grammar" and it's great. Whaddya know? Me and Ornette.
 

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Well, if you're the type that gets obsessed then somehow you will be able to squeeze all three instruments into your routine. That is if the love you think you have for trumpet is genuine. I guess after you were to get a hold of a trumpet and start learning it, you will know in about a month if it's worth the effort to continue.

I remember Miles Davis once replied that Ornette shouldn't be playing trumpet because he was just making sounds with it. I don't respect Miles opinion because that's just being territorial and pompous.
Sure, Miles has the right to his opinion, but it had nothing to do with Miles Davis. It had everything to do with Ornette Coleman!

If you were to take it along on a gig and use it as a 'prop' then I for one wouldn't see anything at all wrong with that. The rudiments don't have to come out but if I understood the intention of why you took it out then hey, I think that's great! It could still mean something in a musical way.

Yeah...You and Ornette...You're in good company...Possibly you could check out how he chose to implement these three instruments into his own work. Could help inspire you....
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
FWIW I think I can understand Miles poo pooing Ornette's trumpet work. If I were Miles, and standing amongst the shadows at the back of a gig with a Kent hanging on my lips and watching Ornette blowing a trumpet, I think I'd mumble something as well. Yeah, but I dislike sniping amongst musicians too. A decent criticism though, that's valid. I doubt Ornette was too concerned though, after all he'd been kicked out of many a gig for saxophone offences in the initial stages of his career. He knew what he was doing, and of course he's been vindicated many times over.

Hmm, trumpet beckons, can't help it. I'll get some lessons initially, just for the basics, then learn two octave scales and go from there. Shouldn't take me long to achieve mastery.
 
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