Flute and trumpet?

Flute and trumpet?

Hello, all. I know this is a weird kind of post, but I’m hoping someone can help me. You see, many moons ago, I used to play the trumpet and was quite good at it. For reasons too complicated to go into, I had to quit and was without music up until 3 years ago when I started learning ITM on the whistle. Well, now I have a bit of a hankerin’ to learn jazz trumpet again, but I don’t want it to ruin my flute embouchure. I suspect that playing the trumpet will do just that, but a friend of mine said that he knew a guy who was able to play both trumpet and saxophone (which would pose a similar problem, I would think). So, does anybody know of anybody who can play both the trumpet and the flute and do both pretty well? I really don’t want to have to learn jazz on the flute, because, well—I just don’t. Please let me know if you have any thoughts.

Re: Flute and trumpet?

I know that this goes against conventional wisdom, but I think it’s fine to do both.

When I was big into the classical flute-playing game in school, I used to play a bit of trombone (the mouthpiece bit, as it happens). Though it’s a looser embouchure than the trumpet, it still gave my lips a good workout; I used to play about 5 minutes of trombone before going into flute exams, because I felt that it ‘over-prepared’ me to play flute, and playing with a good tone seemed easier for a while after. What I made up in that way was lost in the long haul, however, it had a noticeable effect on my endurance.

So I say go for it - I mean, except for the fact that it’s a brass instrument (ewww!). Just make sure you give your flute embouchure plenty of playing time so that your lips don’t reconfigure themselves entirely.

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Re: Flute and trumpet?

I know a guitar/bouzouki player who is left-handed. He plays the guitar with the plec in his left hand, strings upside down (bass strings closest to feet), but the bouzouki with the plec in his right hand, strings as they are supposed to be (bass strings closest to gob). He is a very accomplished player, so I guess anything is possible…

Snorre

Re: Flute and trumpet?

I would have to say that your guitar/bouzouki player friend is ambidextrous. He may eat and write left handed, but his musical habits indicate what the special ed teachers call "mixed dominance", which I always told my special ed teacher ex-wife was an oxymoron. She told me I was half of that.

Re: Flute and trumpet?

Hey, Whistleman, I am a classical trumpeter in my "day job", so I know a bit about the subject and your concerns thereof (I play guitar and bodhran, so no embouchure issues there). But, it’s interesting to note that one of the top jazz trumpet players here in Philadelphia, Stan Slotter, is also considered one of the top jazz flute players here as well. I know we’re comparing apples and oranges, in a sense, with modern vs. Irish flute, but the embouchure is similar enough that Stan’s superlative ability on both instruments might provide some encouragement for you. Keep ‘em both up!

Re: Flute and trumpet?

Just don’t bring that trumpet to an Irish session ; )

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Re: Flute and trumpet?

Hi, Check out Youenn Le Cam who plays with Breton group Pevar Den. He’s a very nice flute and trumpet player. He plays both on their first album. I heard him play in a fez day in Brittany last year in his own Trio Le Cam (trumpet, accordion and singer) and it was pure wonderful. (I was very disappointed to find that they had no recordings.) If he came to our session in Skerries (Co. Dublin) he’d be very welcome.

Jim

Re: Flute and trumpet?

Oops, should have made it clear that Youenn Le Cam plays wooden, simple system flute. I don’t recall the maker (shame on me, a fluter myself!).

Jim

Re: Flute and trumpet?

interesting, whistleman. i have almost the same story. played trumpet for many many moons, but gave it up, and suddenly whistle/flute filled the void. As suggested already, I’d venture a guess that there be no problem doing both.

I am just going to say in now, and out myself: I’m actually interested in learning afro-cuban jazz on the irish flute. excuse me while i step behind this kevlar shield…

Re: Flute and trumpet?

Excellent stuff, guys. Thanks for the input! I still haven’t made a decision yet, but at least I know it’s possible!

Re: Flute and trumpet?

LOL @ Brendan

- any free-to-web mp3s of afro-cuban jazz flute-playing out there that I can sample? (shift up there, won’t you)

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Re: Flute and trumpet?

eh? Oh, right. Yeah, I’ve totally gone off brass, except maybe the muted trumpet. Possibly the French Horn too.

Euphonium may sound great, but I was attacked by one as a child, so I try never to be in the same room as one these days in case the desire for revenge hits.

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Re: Flute and trumpet?

I hope all you guys are right that the two embouchures don’t break each other. I have been playing trumpet for about seven years now, and have just recently picked up the flute. I am quite an accomplished trumpet player. I hold principal chair in the symphonic band at Weber State University. I don’t mean to brag I’m just giving you a little information about myself. My embouchure on the trumpet is getting better, I’ve been working on it for about four months now, and because of it, I have gone from dead last chair, to principal. I piced up the flute a little before then. My Flute Choir teacher tells me that I play the flute with a lot of tension. That is just natural for from the trumpet. When she can get me to play with a more relaxed embouchure, my sound is just wonderful. She tells me I am excelling faster than enyone she has ever taught. The only problem I’m running into is the fingers on my left hand don’t move as fast as my right hand, so quick things are difficult. But, anyway, I haven’t found much of a problem with either embouchure, other than I play with tension on the flute.

On a side note, all of my trumpet playing friends call me a traitor because I went to the woddwind side of the band. They said it was expecially inexcusabe because I chose the flute. They think it was because the flute players are all cute girls. I tell them no, that is just a benefit. All my flute player friends are telling to quit the trumpet all-together, and play the flute as my sole instrument. I’m not going to listen to either of them. Any ideas for finger dexterity excersises? Any ideas for flute embouchure development?

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I don’t want to get down on you, but I’m going to share what I know. I have only played flute for three years, but I’m considered a great player. I tried to pick trumpet up awhile ago, but after three months of almost no progress I talked with my flute teacher. She said that its very likely that if keep playing trumpet I will hurt my embouchure. The reason why you can play trombone and flute is that the trombones mouth piece is bigger. So I don’t suggest that you play flute and trumpet, but if you want to go ahead. Just be aware that you could injure your embouchure.

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