A couple of questions.

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Trumpet-Golfer, Mar 25, 2010.

  1. Trumpet-Golfer

    Trumpet-Golfer Pianissimo User

    Dec 9, 2008
    Liverpool, England
    I’m into my 5th year of playing trumpet. My daily practice routine is:
    5 to 10 minutes before leaving for the office.
    20 to 25 minutes at lunch time.
    30 minutes to 90 minutes in the evening.
    My playing range is up to G above the staff on a good day, and I can get the A above this G when playing scales. Although if I’m honest with myself I haven’t got full control of the G in all the dynamics.
    As I’ve increased my range over the years, I’ve always felt I use noticeable mouthpiece pressure when I reach the last couple on notes at the top of my range.
    Is this normal?
    During the last month or two, I’ve noticed that the first note I play easily when starting my practice routine is second line G. Before it was always C below the staff.
    Would it be fair to say that this is a sign of my embouchure becoming stronger?

    Trumpet – golfer.
  2. RichJ

    RichJ Piano User

    Jan 16, 2008
    Northern Virginia
    Could you give more information about how you learned the trumpet? Have you had private lessons? Are you currently working with a teacher?
  3. Trumpet-Golfer

    Trumpet-Golfer Pianissimo User

    Dec 9, 2008
    Liverpool, England
    My Neighbour is a retired teacher, cornetist and conductor, who played in a few top Brass bands.
    He set me on my way when I first broached the subject with him as to whether at my age (I was 55 yrs old at the time) it was a realistic hobby to take up. He’s always available for advice.
    I had some lessons at the beginning from a retired Symphony Trumpeter and teacher. However the journey time to lessons was too much to keep up.
    Up until November last year and for a period of two years I had a lesson about once every three weeks with a local Pro jazz trumpeter.
  4. gbdeamer

    gbdeamer Forte User

    Oct 16, 2008
    Without knowing where you started and hearing what you actually sound like I think it will be difficult for anyone to tell you if you're getting stronger/improving.

    That said, I think it's fair to say that you've described a very good daily practice routine. A good teacher (even if you don't meet regurlarly) could give you a plan on how to best fill that practice time (scales, drills, music, etc., etc.) just to be sure that you're not "wasting" any of it.

    Do you perform at all? I ask because I think that playing outside the practice room is an essential part of being a "trumpet player". I think community bands, churches, combos, etc. are great ways to get involved with other musicians and build skills.
  5. Markie

    Markie Forte User

    Jan 4, 2009
    Clarksburg, WV
    Hi trumpet-golfer,
    Pressure Adapter, horn
    Item #: AXPAH Teaches low-pressure playing. A valve inside the device opens when too much pressure is used, allowing the air to escape before it reaches the instrument. Adjustable.
    Your Price: $145.00 / Each
    Here's The Mouthpiece Pressure Assessment that you might find of use:
    Without a doubt, one of the most common questions Trumpetmaster gets are questions about “PRESSURE”. Hundreds of questions are asked and hundreds of answers are given. This got me to thinking. Why not come up with a way or find a way (or assessment) that a player can use to help determine if they are using too much pressure. Kind of a “home assessment” for the person who isn’t blessed with a good teacher but has a cheap recording device. With relative ease, a person can record themselves and assess the likelihood of using too much pressure. Something they may not be aware of it. The crux of the biscuit is to stress the negative impact of pressure and the importance of a good instructor.
    I wish this was my complete idea but the majority was gleaned from a famous trumpet text (pages 19 &20). I’ll give a bright shiny quarter to anyone who can guess the text(which I highly recommend to any brass player).
    ------------------------Here Goes!!!---------------------------
    The fastest way to obtain a notes on a brass instrument is to adjust the amount of mouthpiece pressure against the lips. Very little pressure for low notes and a lot of pressure for high notes. It makes sense and, it works!
    Since it seems to be human nature to follow the path of least resistance, we find the average brass player (who isn’t blessed with a good instructor) obliged to develop their own PRESSURE SYSTEM of playing. The only advantage of this system is a “quick start”, let me point out the disadvantages of “strong-arm trumpet playing as I have seen them:

    FAULTY INTONATION (playing out of tune)is the most common failing of this method. This type of player tends to move sloppily up and down to notes instead of striking the center of the intended pitch.
    WEAK LOWER REGISTER Continued pressure causes the lips to swell or thicken to the point that they will not vibrate at the low frequency required in the lower register. The tone in this register is usually “windy”.
    COURSE EXECUTION An inability to play delicately. There are short and detached and have a sharp, ragged edge to them instead of being light and round as a bubble
    BLIND NOTES Notes that fail to sound out, often happening in soft passages.
    UNEVEN SLURRING Fails to get a smooth, flowing sound and pitch usually suffers.
    SPLIT NOTES When the player attacks a note, then flies off to the partial above or below the intended note.
    NUMB LIPS This is when the lip become numb from cutting off the circulation. An often asked question on TM.
    DAMAGE TO LIPS After years of playing with extreme pressure the tissue will become damaged not unlike feet after wearing too tight shoes.

    To assess yourself, play a scale (two octaves if possible) up and down and ask yourself “am I pressing the mouthpiece hard against my lips as I go up and then ease up on the pressure as I go down?”
    If your notes are dictated by the a gross amount of pressure, then work to reduce the pressure with exercises and while doing this, play close attention to what the lips and mouthpiece are doing. Also, it will take a little mouthpiece pressure to play. Its required to make a seal with the mouthpiece. Just don't eat the mouthpiece!
    Good Luck!!
  6. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    Markie hit the nail on the head! Yes, you need no more pressure than is necessary to make an air seal between your lip and the mpc. More and you cut off circulation and can probably incur ligament damage requiring surgical correction. When you add pressure your lip enters the cup and you often bottom out ... but more you flubber than vibrate.

    Markie, I know Harrison and adjacent Marion counties of WV very well. My parents were wed in Clarksburg and maternal uncle once commanded WVSP on US 19 at Gypsy.
  7. Markie

    Markie Forte User

    Jan 4, 2009
    Clarksburg, WV
    Hi Ed!
    Harrison County is still about the same. Presently I am waiting for Ramps to come up so I can eat them with Tomaro's pepperoni rolls.
    What we lack in culture we make up for in food.
  8. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    Downlanders wouldn't know what ramps are. Well, them that don't wouldn't want one of my (Grandma Hawkin's)soup recipes. We now know where we get the breath to blow brass horns! Durn, my present meds prohibit washing down such food with some mountain brew. At least I finished the last keg of Grandad Hawkin's homemade winter peach brandy.

    IMO Harrison County is not the same. Had I been born in 1773 I would have been born there ... really ... or so the history books say. Well, then it was part of VA and covered about half of the area of present WV extending into the present SW corner of PA. In them days my maternal great, great, great, great Grandfather Levi Douglass and his step-brother (they didn't know this) Sotha Hickman hunted in the area, Levi having been given bounty of 400 acres on the Brushy Fork of Elk Creek by John Murray, Lord Dunmore, the last Royal Governor of VA. Yeah, I was born in present Allegheny County PA, one of 4 Counties taken from Harrison County then VA in 1774. See History of Harrison County VA for more on the capture and escape of Levi and Sotha from the Scioto tribe of the Shawnee Indians. No, I'm not a historian, just a wee bit of a genealogist and so proud of my Scottish family lineage of Douglas that I've the complete Scottish attire vis kilt and all. No bagpipe!

    For a time in the late "50s early "60s, the county was in decay both in economics and infrastructure. The new FBI Center certainly gave it a "kick in the pants" along with I-73 and now the reno of US 19 and other roads. My brothers and I sold the remnant of the Hawkins farm that nested in the valley of Bingamon Creek, about 1 mile E on the road toward Mannington. The bridge over Bingamon Creek along U.S. 19 separates Harrison County from Marion County. Yes, I went to Fairmont State & WVU, but graduated from UMD with additional degrees from AU in DC and another from GW. These and $0.87 will get me a senior cup of coffee at Burger King in Roanoke Rapids, but $0.20 more gets me a bottomless cup here in Jackson NC at the Embassy Cafe served in a ceramic mug.
  9. Markie

    Markie Forte User

    Jan 4, 2009
    Clarksburg, WV
    I stand corrected. You're right, it has changed over the last couple of decades and really changed since 1773. Most of the factory industrial base no longer exists and has made people to either move or be on assistance and/or part-time jobs. Unfortunately it has been that way for quite a while. Thank God for Ramps, pepperoni rolls and great Italian food. It helps lessen the pain.
  10. veery715

    veery715 Utimate User

    Mar 6, 2007
    Ithaca NY
    Well, OK, ramps are wild leeks. nyaah...

    In upstate NY some of us know what nature is.

    G above the staff is good for you so far, T-G. Keep working and be patient.


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