Any help for an Older guy trying to play better??

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Samurota, Feb 21, 2015.

  1. Samurota

    Samurota New Friend

    Feb 6, 2013
    I'm 55 now and picked the horn back up couple of years ago. After I lost my parents a few years back I decided I would pursue some things in my life I enjoy. Kinda don't want to wait too long til its too late. Some of you may relate.
    That's the back story ,Now I play 3rd with a swing band and I really like it a lot. I've been taking lessons and trying to get to a level where I don't struggle so much but I have reached a point where I don't seem to progress in range or in being able to do runs and faster parts. I'm a mechanic so my fingers seem to be tighter and not move as fast or well as some .
    I really want to get past this plateau and progress to a point where I feel comfortable with the higher range and faster parts. I could use some help or is this something I just have to work through??
    Vulgano Brother likes this.
  2. Comeback

    Comeback Forte User

    Jun 22, 2011
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Welcome to TM and active posting! One way or another, you will simply have to work through it. It seems you are doing many of the right things. There are teachers, "chop docs", who might help you with range specifically. Jeanne Pocius, who I know only by reputation, comes to mind. I worked in construction trades for many years and can identify a little with your dexterity issues. Working exercises and tunes with a metronome and gradually increasing tempos, along with learning alternate fingerings, may be helpful as you work to master faster parts. I think plateauing happens to many of us at one time or another, but even during these times there is much opportunity for improvement with aspects of playing other than those we are fixated upon. Also, sometimes more may be less when it comes to practice. Overdoing when chops are tired has not been helpful for me. Good luck!

  3. Dennis78

    Dennis78 Fortissimo User

    Feb 1, 2015
    Be happy where you are at, and just keep doing what you are doing. To help you work with speed just make sure you are counting your music correctly and use a metronome, adjusting a little faster every time. For range I can't speak to for mine isn't the best I only go to high A but that doesn't bother me. I'm a commercial electrician so I relate about slow stiff fingers. Above all just have fun and with effort it will all come in due time
  4. Culbe

    Culbe Forte User

    Jul 25, 2014
    I felt like I stopped making progress (or even declining), but then I got a bigger range, and better technique. I would just push through.
  5. jiarby

    jiarby Fortissimo User

    May 7, 2011
    Practice fundamentals more, Clarke Technical Studies (Rich Willey & Vizzutti too) and scales are great for finger dexterity. Don't just practice your parts for the band, that doesn't help much with overall fundamental skill. A rising tide lifts all boats, so the more you focus practice on your foundation skills then you will become better at everything.
  6. vern

    vern Piano User

    Mar 4, 2008
    I am (or was) in the same situation you are in. Here's what worked for me: 1)Obsess over the fundamentals (Clarke, Schlossberg, Arban) 2) Stick with a good teacher 3) Play with the best ensemble and players available. 8 years later, I can say I've made considerable progress however that progress could not be measured in days or even in a couple months but in YEARS of persistence. You can do it!
  7. Culbe

    Culbe Forte User

    Jul 25, 2014
    I had a great teacher during my "push", and he worked a lot on the clark. It may be boring but it helped.
  8. Churchman

    Churchman Mezzo Piano User

    Apr 26, 2012
    Keep going, as others have said. And enjoy all the stuff you can play - keeping going with that'll pay off in the long run.
  9. jiarby

    jiarby Fortissimo User

    May 7, 2011
    They can be easy & boring if you slop through them mindlessly. You have to go so slow that you play them perfectly. Nice and smooth, fluid easy sounding transition between notes, pitch centers, even tempo.
    Then you you start to think you getting bored you go in all keys (clarke says spend your time on the "hard ones") then start cranking up the metronome. Boom.. then you have to refocus and pay attention again to get faster, but still play them perfectly.

    THEN, when you are really killing them at eye-brow raising tempos, start doing variations (like the Rich Willey book).... He has 24 variations (in the style of Clarke #2) then takes those 24 variations through all 7 modes of the scale. How's your Phrygian Clarke #2 at 180bpm?? Oh yeah... he also does them in two books, one based on Major and one on Minor. Vizzutti also has them in Major, Minor, and Whole Tone.

    Then can be good range strengtheners.... so them soft and slowly in the upper register, always paying attention to where you start to sound strained or start getting LOUD to overcome mpc pressure. I have heard more than one DHC gorilla that sucks playing clarke #2 starting on a high C. Hold yourself to the same musical standard that you do 8vb... smooth, slow, even, pitch centers, focused sound. Higher is not the goal... perfect CONTROL in the higher register is the goal.

    Then you can do them in all the 12 Reinhardt Articulations. It's awesomely frustration when you really think you know something but when you change the articulation it is completely a different exercise!

    I don't know... if you think Clarke is getting boring, then maybe you could be squeezing more out of them. I really look fwd to doing them.
  10. A.N.A. Mendez

    A.N.A. Mendez Utimate User

    Oct 25, 2005
    Sunny Ca.
    Long tones. Everybody forgets them because they are very basic and boring. Nothing gives you better beautiful tone than LONG TONES....

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