5 Tips for trumpet players from Reinhold Friedrich
Reinhold Friedrich is not only a world class trumpet player and teacher, he has a very fun and unconventional teaching method. He was wearing surfing shorts while filming his Play with a Pro lesson. Pretty cool right? Now, let’s get serious. Trumpet playing is serious business and Reinhold Friedrich is one of the top in his field. So, get a glimpse of his thoughts and of his advice for upcoming trumpet players. You can watch the full video with the interview for Free if you go here
1. When you were a student, did you have a clear idea of what you want?
I was quite an innocent young boy when I entered a symphony orchestra in Michigan and this opened my eyes. Before, I was playing the trumpet, I practiced, I loved the music….but then I came to the United States and saw how professional these young people were. That was the first time I felt that I was in real competition, because each week there was a competition for the seat you are sitting on...first, second, third trumpet etc. It was the first time I felt that music making has something to do with fighting.
2. Do you still feel a difference in the sound depending on where you come from?
I always felt that music was an opened world where different traditions crossed each other. What is very nice is that in the whole world the general level of playing is getting higher and higher. I see it in my own class, now the students are playing the works I played after finishing my masters. The works I studies then, my students are playing now, at the beginning of their bachelor's and the level is increasing enormously.
“I always felt that music was an opened world where different traditions crossed each other.“
3.How much you focus on your equipment?
There are some teachers who really tell their students you have to play this instrument. Normally it’s the instrument they have constructed and they get 20% of the sale. I am absolutely not this type of teacher, because I think everyone has to find their own solution. If there is a question, of course I would like to help. I have around 50 trumpets and most of them I bought second hand. Regarding the mouthpieces, I have probably around 100 of them and probably I use only 25. For the normal big instrument I have one mouthpiece which is my favorite. For very special pieces which have both very low and high notes, then I have a mouthpiece which allows me to play higher and lower. I think that if you are in touch with a teacher, he should help you to find the right equipment. It’s a long process.
4. What is the difference for you when you perform in the orchestra and when you perform as a soloist?
I think that as a windplayer you usually play in different worlds. I have always had a relationship to the orchestra, because as a young boy I was always listening to Mahler’s symphony, so it was a dream to play this music, and then I was in the orchestra and recorded a cd with Mahler’s symphonies…. Each time that I practice I see myself in the situation that I am. For example I see myself standing in front of the orchestra. I visualize it. That is also what I tell to my students: see yourself in the situation that you are in. Of course as soloist you have a bigger responsibility to send out some spirit, some creativity. As a soloist in the orchestra you have much more responsibility for the social work... that the group is coming together, that there is a real balance between the groups. It’s talent and training to fit in the group with the ears, with intonation, with timing etc.
“See yourself in the situation that you are in.”
5. How can a musician who has had so many years of experience be still so passionate about playing?
As a musician, you have to keep your child inside awoken, young and fresh. What we have in our profession is music we have been playing for nearly 400 hundred years. Sometimes you play Bach, sometimes you play a piece where the ink is not really dry. It’s amazing when you open your postbox and there is a brand new piece in. You don’t know how it sounds, it can be good or bad. When I approach a new piece of music, first I read it and then I read it once again and then you test some parts and try to put it together. It’s like lego.
“As a musician, you have to keep your child inside awoken, young and fresh.“
Hope these pieces of advice were useful. In case you are getting tired of your usual trumpet warm up, you can watch Reinhold Friedrich’s video on this. It’s free and you can find the full version here here