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

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

  1. gbshelbymi

    gbshelbymi Mezzo Piano User

    Jan 3, 2013
    Travelers Rest, SC
    I am 57 and resumed playing about 3.5 years ago, after a 25+ year layoff. I agree with others that if your embouchre is solid and you work diligently on long tones and technical exercise, you can push through the plateau. Good luck and most important, have fun!
  2. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006

    humans work by building patterns for recall. If we struggle trying to go fast, we train tension. There are a couple things that you can try: Practice everything at half speed and softly for the first 3 days. Focus on banging the valves down and having perfect rhythm. After those three days, you have at least the beginnings of a stored pattern. During one practice period see how fast you can go. Then spend the next couple of days going slow again - trying to memorize the patterns.

    The trick is to NEVER train excess tension. That slows you down and haunts you when the going gets tough. Habits are built with hundreds to thousands of repetitions. That is where you need to be.

    Slow down and you will be fine!
  3. BigDub

    BigDub Fortissimo User

    Dec 19, 2009
    Hillsborough, NJ
    Patience, patience, patience. And learn to enjoy every stage, be happy with what you are able to accomplish, and do what rowuk says. Don't stress.
    If you enjoy the stage you are in at any given moment, you will do better at improving than being non content. That's what I think.
  4. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    gbshelbymi and others, I'm a physical "wreck" and I'll be 79 in May and made my comeback in 2006 after a 40+ hiatus and I'll concur with what has been stated and augment it with suggestion to focus on what you can do and do well and slowly do more and do that well also. I'll presume that way when you are 79 that you'll be able to play better than me, but I don't believe you'll enjoy it more than I do, but if you do I don't think I'll be around then to dispute it.
  5. richtom

    richtom Forte User

    Dec 7, 2003
    The great Mendez said "if you want to play fast, learn to play slow first". He also said "if you want to play loud, learn to play soft first". There is much wisdom in those statements. Practice slowly first and get it right. Don't learn mistakes. Correct them immediately.

    I've seen some passing mention of range here. DO NOT fall victim to pursuit of the high register. Range is earned by proper practice of which relaxation, air flow, hearing the actual note before you reach it, and practice. No part of practice has to be "boring". When you are thinking what you are trying to produce, it will not be a bore. The only way to make a weakness a strength is by listening to yourself and learning the proper adjustment to fix it.

    Listen to great players and singers. Emulate the ease at which they produce the sounds you so enjoy. It doesn't come overnight, but you can become a very decent player with hard work and smart practice ethics.

    The trumpet is a bitch to play. The demands it makes on the player can frustrate and actually hurt you. Take it slow and easy.

    Also, please be aware there are some very solid players with years of experience here who know what they are talking about. There are others here who have opinions on trumpet matters who do not really know what they are talking about and spew out information the knowledgeable folks here know is wrong and harmful. An example would be someone telling others how to play in the upper register like they own it and later post they have trouble playing anything above the staff. Learn to know those who know from those who "think" they know.

    Do yourself a favor and don't fall victim to the ridiculous "need plus one" on equipment, either. Stay with what you have for now.

    There is no reason why you can't succeed at having fun with this instrument.

    Rich T.
  6. mhendricks

    mhendricks Pianissimo User

    Others have found that the Give It The 3rd Finger studies really help get the fingers, tongue, and chops working together.

    You can get a free download PDF of the book at this link...

  7. Samurota

    Samurota New Friend

    Feb 6, 2013
    Lots of helpful people here. I am thoroughly enjoying my playing as long as I have the strong 1st and 2nd guys we have now in the band. I play 3rd which mostly accompaniment to the others parts in the band which takes the pressure off me and allows me to play the parts I can and lay out when I can't. I want to get rid of the can't and enjoy it more.
    I have enjoyed almost every gig we have played and it has opened up a whole new area in my life and my Wife's,new friends and experiences.
    Keep the advice coming and I will try to live up to the great help yu guys are giving. Thanks, Mark
  8. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    I don't know who originated it, but it starts with the question "Are Specialists Understandable? I saw this on a badge that read, "I'm an RSU specialist. I can!" It took years for me to understand what the badge meant, and then it dawned on me like a Sherlock Holmes deduction. The word "are" sounds like the letter "R" and "specialists" begins with "S" as does "understandable" begins with "U'. The solution is that the sequential "T' was deleted ... from "Can't" as then became "Can".
  9. Peter McNeill

    Peter McNeill Utimate User

    Jan 30, 2009
    Melbourne Australia
    Hi Samurota (Mark),

    Welcome to TM, and enjoy your time here. It is good to see you are already playing with a group. That was one of the best motivators for me, to sit next to a better player, and then have to work hard to make the band sound as a group.

    The 3rd and 4th parts can be more challenging and rewarding than just playing the Melody - and as you have experienced, you meet like minded people. Enjoy your comeback, and keep us posted of your progress, your gigs, your ups and your downs... and ignore those nasty clarinet players sitting in front of you. :-)
  10. Samurota

    Samurota New Friend

    Feb 6, 2013
    I play with a very good group. Silvio Martinat Swing Band .Great group of people.
    I also play in a concert band Called the Harper band for Capt harper of Lenoir High School band.
    The swing band has no clarinets but a lot of saxes. just 3 trumpets. Can't say enough about these folks they are awesome .

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