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Trumpet/Learning trumpet as an adult


I'm 55 years old and have always wanted to play the trumpet. I recented purchased a couple of used trumpets at local thrift shops. The horns are a Conn Director and a King Flair; both seem like excellent trumpets in wonderful playing condition. I now always carry the Conn in my car to drop into local community colleges to use their practice rooms when I working and have taken a break from traffic. The King I keep at home to practice when not on the road. I can produce notes and a decent tone without any problems and no problems reading rhythms. My challenge has been learning the notes into muscle memory. Other than playing simple tunes and easy scales, any recommendations to further my ability to learn the notes to convert into muscle memory on fingering on the horn?

Congrats on taking on the trumpet. It sounds like you are on the way.

As for the "muscle memory" you're talking about:

For notes: long tones. Long tones. Long tones. This can be with the horn and ear training with the mouthpiece. There are a few exercises I can advise if you are interested.
Fingers: repetition and sight reading help me a bunch but for a seasoned beginner like yourself your best bet might be to learn your circle of 5ths in order starting with C and go around. Then transfer that into relative minor and chromatic scales.

Let me know what particular questions you have now and I will try to address them more specifically.  


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Gene Ramsay


PLEASE read my instructions to you as a questioner about horns and value, etc. Most of those answers can be found at

I feel confident to answer all questions regarding trumpet and brass performing, practice techniques, and equipment inquiries. We never stop being "students" in music as we strive to grow technically and musically over our lifetime. Music is something that truly individualizes people and I would treat every question based on the individual asking the question.


I have been performing on trumpet for over 30 years. I have taught privately for over 20 years and in the public schools for 5 years. I have taught and performed in drum and bugle corps, bands, ensembles, and solo.

Bugles Across America
International Trumpet Guild
VHHS Alumni Band
University of Montevallo Music Alumni
Madison Scouts Booster Organization

Drum Corps World

Bachelor's Degree from the University of Montevallo in Music Education.
Over 20 years of private instruction (various individuals).
5 years of instructing and performing in drum and bugle corps.

Awards and Honors
Alabama Assistant State Director for Bugles Across America - 2009-2010
Alabama State Director for Bugles Across America - 2010-Present
University of Montevallo Student MENC President - 1991-1992
Principal Trumpet - University of Montevallo - 1990-1992
Nuncie Leberte Music Scholarship - 1987-1988

Past/Present Clients
Vestavia Hills High School
University of Montevallo
Southwind Drum and Bugle Corps
CorpsVets Drum and Bugle Corps

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