Air and Endurance (Please Help)

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by john7401, Jun 14, 2010.

  1. Bizsmom

    Bizsmom New Friend

    May 14, 2010
    North Georgia
    Great discussion and fantastic video link: I'm definitely going to have to check out more of those! I am really an amateur musician even though I've been making music all of my life: it wasn't until I started taking voice lessons 2 years ago that I got the whole breathing concept. And even though I haven't played trumpet in many, many years...I'm amazed at how much better a foundation I have NOW for my return to playing than what I did when I first started. Of course, playing the euphonium in the meantime probably didn't hurt, either ;-)

    So...maybe expand your horizons and take a voice lesson or two from an opera teacher...:D
  2. Alex_C

    Alex_C Piano User

    May 30, 2010
    Gilroy, California
    Wow man I"ll have to sooner or later move out of my teeny trailer here and practice in the goose house (now being turned into my bicycle workshop) to practice. I'm keeping my playing "kinda a secret" until I'm good enough to "have something to show" when I admit that yeah, I'm playing trumpet.

    I don't want a little stuffy tone.
  3. Markie

    Markie Forte User

    Jan 4, 2009
    Clarksburg, WV
    john sez:
    My instructor tells me to blow more air to get the high notes out while I'm trying to fix my range. (Because the notes are quiet, not squeeky, quiet) However, when I try it just doesn't work. I have also had problems with tension in the body when I try for high notes which is decently visible in my neck. It doesn't usually but today it hurt a little and made me a little light headed so I decided to try to do something about it.
    It doesn't take a lot of tension and/or air pressure to play the trumpet really well. It does however require a lot of "control"
    When you get the time, you might want to check this out:
    Get on Youtube and watch Alison Balsom, Rapheal Mendez, Wynton Marsalis, and Doc Severensen, and Chris Botti.
    While they all sound great, I want you to pay close attention to their faces.
    What do you see? Almost an emotionless expression when they play.
    You do not see a lot of straining or forceful expressions on their faces. You see no expression but hear beauty. That's control!
    People that play trumpet can generally be put into two categories:
    1)Those who always play blatty, forcefully, do not use dynamics, play too loud, crack notes and basically use the instrument as a musical weapon.
    This is not a necessarily a bad thing since alot of these people get a heck of a lot of enjoyment out of playing the trumpet even if it is in a brutish way.
    2)Those who "sing" through the instrument. These individuals have made the leap from sounding rough, tensed out and brutish(which by the way, is where we all start) to looking controlled and sounding beautiful.
    I would recommend playing your solo page and see how far you can play without tensing up. It will be hard and you will want to tense up but don't. Learn to control the muscles that cause you to tense up. Once you notice you are tensing up (or some area of the body is tensing up), control it by loosening up that area while continuing to play.
    You control your body, your body doesn't control you. Play for as long as you can in one controlled breath and where you stop (run out of air), mark it with a colored pencil. Then try again and this time go a little further but without tensing up. It doesn't take a lot of force to play the trumpet well. It takes a lot of control.
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2010
  4. kcmt01

    kcmt01 Mezzo Forte User

    Sep 25, 2009
    Polson, MT
    This is a very good discussion. I would add just one thing: Don't forget to expel bad air between breaths. It doesn't do any good to have your lungs filled with CO2. This will make you light-headed. (I nearly fainted in church once.) Also, our muscles need oxygen to function.

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