A bit of a more personal issue to a common problem..

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Trumpeter114, Oct 10, 2010.

  1. Trumpeter114

    Trumpeter114 New Friend

    Sep 8, 2010
    Hi everyone!

    So I'm a 4-year trumpet player who has currently hit the realization that I have been using wayyy too much pressure and blah blah. I've been feeling extremely discouraged because I loveee to play, but Bob Grier (on this forum) and others have helped to give me warm-ups and tips until I can afford a teacher.

    However, lately I've been playing and I /think/ my lips are relaxed and such (I'm focusing a lot on using the embouchure), although I just CANNOT reach anything above a C on the staff after a couple minutes of playing! (Unless, of course, I revert back to playing with lips & pressure...no embouchure)
    I tried using better air support... but I can use so much and can't inhale enough in time. (If it helps, I was practising Pomp and Circumstance on 2nd)

    Is there anything I can dO? I don't have anyone to tell me if I'm physically doing it correctly, but does this sound familiar to anyone? My lips aren't numb when this happens, but I just feel myself putting all this pressure on BUT refusing to let my embouchure give the work to my lips muscles.

    I'd really appreciate some advice!! Thank you all! :)
  2. ska

    ska Pianissimo User

    Sep 12, 2009
    Uhm staff means 1st octave on the piano right? Ok if you can t reach higher than staff C then smth's out of place, really, really bad.

    Could you illustrate exactly what it is that you try to do when you play? The only way I imagine I couldn't play higher than C is to squeeze my mouth together too much, so there's little room for the air to move or pushing my chops so heavily agianst the mouthpiece so that the lips have no way of vibrating.

    As for the concern of breathing and air support - well, you couldn't walk when you first stood up - don t expect instant results. And don't say you trie"d" - not in past tense - you still will try and you will try more and you will succeed. You just gotta keep at it, you have to have a feeling for such a thing, it's extremely difficult to put in words.

    You know what COULD help illustrate your problem better - a video of you playing, or just buzzing with the mouthpiece, doing breathing etc. if that's possible it would be of much help.
  3. SteveRicks

    SteveRicks Fortissimo User

    Aug 15, 2009
    trumpeter 114 -God made us all a little different so it may be that the "almost no pressure" method may not work for you. Before I went that route however, you really should get a pro to take a look at the chops and see what he/she thinks. With skype, -camera on line -maybe you can find someone who will take a look.

    Bob seems quite knowledgeable so I would have someone take a look before giving up on his recommendations. Know it must be frustrating for you.
  4. VetPsychWars

    VetPsychWars Fortissimo User

    Nov 8, 2006
    Greenfield WI
    Where do you place your mouthpiece? Are you putting it in the natural place for you or where some book says you should? Move it around a bit to where it's in the natural place and then use the big muscles to keep the embouchure in place and use the small muscles to manipulate the pitch. Also, play without music for a while. Sometimes music can be scary. Just slur from the bottom of your range to the top and down and up and next time go another note up, and so forth.

  5. Ed Kennedy

    Ed Kennedy Forte User

    Nov 18, 2006
    I learned a free-buzzing exercise from Bobby Shew that might help:

    Buzz a pitch, any pitch with your lips (no mouthpiece or horn)
    next, buzz the pitch and slur up a 1/2 step or so and hold it .... start again from the new pitch and continue. When you can't go higher, stop and do it again the next day. The buzz should be a small mosquito type buzz in the center of your chops.
  6. Trumpeter114

    Trumpeter114 New Friend

    Sep 8, 2010
    Thanks guys!!

    Mr. Grier has since helped me solve the issue via Skype (turns out I had totally reset my embouchure the wrong way from misunderstanding his written instructions) and he is going to be my teacher. :) I've also moved my mouthpiece down so both my lips are within the inner edge. Thanks for the feedback, everyone! :) Happy trumpeting
  7. Big Daddy

    Big Daddy Mezzo Piano User

    Mar 22, 2009
    Los Angeles, CA
  8. Cloud_Strife

    Cloud_Strife New Friend

    Oct 7, 2010
    I'm a 5 year trumpet player whose kind of like you right now. I'm using air instead of my lips and I can get up to a high F but after that it sounds quiet and stringy. My teacher just gave us some breathing exercises, and it's helping, but you gotta be patient.

    If you've just started caring about your breathing, then it's probably gonna take a little while to get to higher notes. Also a question: When you play high notes, do you "push" the air out from your stomach, or are you just blowing air, not really pushing it out?

    And a video probably would help:)

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