A few adult beginner questions on how to...

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by DiaxII, Dec 9, 2009.

  1. DiaxII

    DiaxII Pianissimo User

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    Guys, I feel I'm risking to be flamed or banned on this forum but I dare ask you a few silly (for most of you) questions.
    I got couple of trumpets off eBay, I have patience, I've played woodwinds for 3 years now and I'd like to take up trumpet.

    I can already buzz the MP and I can get more or less consistent middle C. I see no problems with pressing various combinations of three buttons and getting up to next upper "open" partial which is G.

    How do I play that 'G'? I'm sure there is a bunch of methods getting it out, including 11 incorrect and 1 correct. So what is the "ideal way" of blowing that open G?

    When I had problems with the clarion register B on the clarinet my instructor told me: 'You analize too much - just blow and see if you can get it! Many people just don't know, they simply do'. It worked out at some point :)

    Another question is what range should I stay with in the beginning? Should I restrict myself to one octave chromatic scale first (when I nail down all notes above G) and become really good at it?

    I know many will advise me to find a teacher and I agree but I'm so impatient in my desire to demistify what now looks like a mistery to me that I decided to post...
    I'm not sure how strict are moderators in respect to such questions here. I used (and many did and still do) to post such elementary questions on saxontheweb.net forum and people there were always very kind and patient to answer them all.
    Thanks in advance and sorry if I hurt anyone with my 'how to lace my shoes' question.
     
  2. veery715

    veery715 Utimate User

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    Hear the G. Think the G. Play it.

    Folks will tell you to:
    1. Blow harder
    2. Tighten your lips
    3. Raise your tongue.

    No buttons are needed. Your lips will need to vibrate a bit faster, and whatever you do to make that happen will do it. If you start the C with a "ho" sound, try the G with a "Hee".

    Just play the notes which come. Give yourself lots of rest breaks. Get the C, pressdown 1&3 and see if D comes, then 1&2 to try to play E. 1 will take you up a notch to F.

    Don't think too much and just try to get a nice relaxed clear sound where it works.

    veery
     
  3. Blind Bruce

    Blind Bruce Pianissimo User

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    And try to remember that impatience will get you nowhere quickly.
     
  4. dhbailey

    dhbailey Piano User

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    And buy a book with a good fingering chart.
     
  5. veery715

    veery715 Utimate User

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    Ithaca NY
  6. Markie

    Markie Forte User

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    veery715 sez:
    "Hear the G. Think the G. Play it".
    ----------
    That's about the best common sense advice I've heard in months. If you can't hear it in your head, you won't be able to play it.
     
  7. DiaxII

    DiaxII Pianissimo User

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    Thank you for your replies. I see the idea is not much different from the sax, the higher the notes, the more "heeee", including the higher tongue and of course more breath support?

    And probably as much as beginner sax players tighten up when first trying to hit left palm key notes the beginner trumpet players tighten up when it comes to higher partials notes?

    I watched an instructional video by John Thomas and he suggested students to use more air compression for high D (don't remember how high that was) but they played it only once in the beginning of a phrase and it was probably only a quaver. I'm not going to go that high yet so I use it only as an example.

    The different thing is I guess is to start that high D and keep it steady as a long tone. In the first case one can be lucky enough to "cough out" the required compression and in the second case it should be a solid skill.
     
  8. beautgrainger147

    beautgrainger147 Pianissimo User

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    Reaching a higher slot will seem quite difficult at first but give it a month and you might be able to just play an octave. Dont use mouthpiece pressure to reach the higher slot, instead just practice on the notes you can play until you've built up the strength and technique to play higher.
    I decided to teach myself, partly due to the number of teachers locally.. there is a brass band nearby but I was put off by the sort of music they play, needing more practice reading music and at the time not having much range.. I called in one place (as a beginner without trying to play anything) and one woman said to the other in a hopeless manner "he'll need to be able to play a few notes" - I didn't say anything but wasnt impressed after the duration of the conversation.
    In my experience, aiming to play musically and to have a reasonable but not especially high range it's not so bad aslong as you're capable of self analysis, I tend to do a lot of reading from the internet and now listen more to the trumpet parts in music to hear what and how they are played. I practice for between an hour and and an hour and a half, split into 3 sessions because my endurance still has a way to go and from what I've read of the nature of the muscles involved it seems logical to do less, but more often. You would no doubt benefit from a teacher.

    I'm no expert and the above is only my opinion and experience so far
     
  9. DiaxII

    DiaxII Pianissimo User

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    Thank you. That's all usefull information as well.

    Still if someone could answer couple more questions I'd really appreciate that.

    - How much would you recommend me to practice daily for the first month (three months, six months, a year)? Would it be reasonable to limit myself to 20 minutes a day for the first month, including buzzing the mouthpiece, long tones and some scales/arpeggios? For example, 5 minutes to buzz the MP, 5 minutes for long tones and the rest 10 minutes for fingering? I don't want to overdo.

    - How long for is it normal on average to stay within one octave range after it is manageable?

    - On woodwinds it's normal for me (and some other amatures) to have tired chops after playing for an hour and more.
    Is it normal for a trumpet player to have this "BZZZZZ" sensation in lips after playing for half an hour on the trumpet? Will it smooth out and become less noticeable with time?

    - I have a functioning trumpet and a cornet. I noticed that it's easier for me to buzz on the trumpet MP than on the cornet MP. It's easier to get consistent buzz, the buzz is more reacher, fuller. Is this something to do with the MP cup design and the bore diameter? The trumpet MP has larger bore diameter and the cup form is less conical than on the cornet MP. Should I stick with the trumpet first?
     
  10. dhbailey

    dhbailey Piano User

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    How much to practice? When I get beginners I suggest they practice twice a day for 15 to 20 minutes each time. Even for young kids. Once a day for 20 minutes isn't going to get you very far very quickly. And after a couple of weeks I suggest they move to once a day for a minimum of 30 minutes. Anything less and there won't be very much progress. Then after a while I try to assess the student's seriousness and then make suggestions for increasing the amount of practice time. If all you ever practice is 30 minutes a day, then the most you'll ever be able to play is 30 minutes. You should work up to at least an hour's practice every day if you want to make real progress.

    There really isn't any "normal" amount of time to spend doing anything when learning an instrument -- it all depends on how well you have mastered whatever it is you're currently working on before moving onto something new. Using a well-developed method book, such as The Cornet Student, books 1, 2 and 3, published by Alfred, if you work your way through it carefully and realize that each page in book 1 is called "Lesson 1" or "Lesson 16" or whatever because a typical student in private lessons will most likely spend a week practicing what's on that page and then moving onto the next page.

    It shouldn't be "normal" to have tired chops after any particular length of time. You should be able to play your instrument, whatever it is, for a fairly unlimited amount of time. There are exceptions to this, such as when you're playing in the extreme upper limits of your range on a brass instrument, but most woodwind players should be able to play for more than an hour, especially as adults. So if you're limited in the amount of time you can play before becoming too tired to play further, you're not practicing correctly. I've played in or conducted amateur community bands and orchestras all my life, and every one has had at least a 90-minute rehearsal time each week, and nobody ever had to quit playing after an hour because they were too tired.

    The difference between the two mouthpieces may well simply be one of mouthpiece design and not specifically related to the fact that one is a cornet mouthpiece and the other is a trumpet mouthpiece. There really is no "should" in this situation.

    It sounds like you need to find a good local teacher and take at least a few private lessons in order to have a knowledgeable person assess your playing, look at your embouchure formation and discuss the mouthpiece issue, the practice time issue and the course of study you're following with you and offer the suggestions which should fit best with you.

    Good luck to you!
     

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