This week I have been chatting with Matt Tubman, a Temby Australia trumpet artist based in Melbourne. He is a session player best known for his high range and lead trumpet playing.
Tell us where it all began for you.
“I grew up in Orange where there was a thriving school music program. Most of the primary schools had music programs thanks to a special music teacher, Chris Mickle. When I was put on trumpet I was promised that I would be able swap to the saxophone, which everyone desperately wanted to play at the time, but only if I worked on the trumpet for a year.”
It didn’t take Matt very long to work out he quite liked the trumpet and he had lots of help along the way. When he had just started out his parents took him along to the local brass band where he studied cornet, and he also played in the Police Citizens Youth Club Band under the direction of Harry Sloggett for the next 5 years. Matt spent quite a few years in the Royal Australian Navy band as their lead trumpet player, a path possibly laid before him “when I was 11 the Royal Australian Navy Band toured through Orange on Australia Day and they gave me the chance to sit in with them during a performance, it was then I discovered it was possible to make a career from playing music and that’s what I was going to do.”
What would you say is your favourite type of gig?
Though mostly known for his high note trumpet playing in big bands and commercial music, Matt sees himself as a versatile player and feels it an essential attribute if you want to be a freelance musician. “It’s not uncommon for me to be playing with a big band one week, then a corporate or rock band the next and every so often I will be asked to play in a full Orchestra. Overall I would say I am most at home when I’m performing in the pit for musical theatre shows. It gives me the chance to play a variety of different styles and work on being as consistent as possible.”
What gear do you play on?
When we asked Matt what instrument he was playing on his face lit up as he told us “I play a custom Temby Bb Trumpet called the ‘TUBSTAR’ which was designed and hand assembled by David Temby” from Temby Australia an instrument designer/technician in Melbourne, Australia.
“The mouthpieces I play are quite shallow and most people would struggle to play on them.” He plays on an AR Resonance VS Lead 40 with a 40-4 shank made from Phosphor Bronze and a Warburton WCC (Bill Carmichael) top with a 4* or NY shank.
I guess you would say if the instrument was created for you and at the specs you wanted it would make it the right one for you?
“Yes I was so fortunate to have David design a horn that screams into the upper register when I am playing lead trumpet, but one that would also blend beautifully when I’m playing in a section, be it a big band or an orchestra. It allows me to express my own character through it more than any other trumpet I have played.”
What do we need to do as players, to ensure the baton is passed on?
“To me, being approachable and humble whilst striving to be the best we can be is a good place to start.” Matt is always looking for opportunities to continually improve his skills and widen his musical knowledge so that he can pass that knowledge onto others. “Being able to play with versatility is a really good thing for other musicians to see. I strive to always be kind, to ourselves and those around us. Always do a little more than you feel you should and leave some space for those around you to thrive as well.”
You can read more about what Matt is up to or contact him at his website.