Beginner Range

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Eeviac, Feb 13, 2008.

  1. Eeviac

    Eeviac Piano User

    OK I've been at this 5 weeks now. practicing 30-45 minutes a day, taking a few days off, I have to ask, what's a decent range?

    I can play that low G-flat thing 3 lines below the staff, up to that G that's on the 2nd line up, nice and clear. It gets worse from there up to the C that's third space up in the staff. It gets scratchy or airy sounding or worse! And I have trouble making the notes start crisply.

    Is it just a matter of practice? I'm beginning to be able to play some cool stuff, its just, you know, the more range, the more you can play!

    So am I on the right track? Is this about typical beginner progress? :dontknow:
  2. Forte User

    Jan 27, 2008
    Brisbane, Australia
    It takes weeks and weeks to get that range, if you are just starting out. If you are working out a junior-high type method book (like Best in Class), it takes a whole year for a 7th grader to finish the first book! I remember how proud we were in 8th grade, to go from the black book to the orange one!

    Part of what you get when you take the time is technique. You memorize the fingerings, your muscles memorize the notes.

    A come-backer has some advantage, because even though the muscle TONE may be gone, the muscle MEMORY stays around. You have to build all of that. Take the time! And play music. We used to love to figure stuff out, like the Top Gun anthem and Axel F (from Beverly Hills Cop).
  3. tatakata

    tatakata Mezzo Forte User

    May 29, 2007
    sounds like you are doing fine
  4. Toobz

    Toobz Mezzo Piano User

    Feb 5, 2007
    Progress can be sooooo s l o w sometimes. Other times, progress comes rapidly. Hang in there. Don't press too hard, and let progress come at your own pace.
  5. Eeviac

    Eeviac Piano User

    Sadly, I'm not a come-backer. I took like 2 or 3 lessons with Eric Bolvin a year and a half ago, and sounded like um, shinola. The hour and a half's driving for a half-hour lesson kinda irked me and I quit. I've never had any chops to come back to lol! So, yeah, we're talking pretty raw beginner here hehe.

    The Best In Class books look cool. I'm using the Visual Band Method, by Liedig and Niehaus, 1964. I think it's pretty cool because it starts you from natural C then you go from there. Looks like the highest note is that A that's one line above the staff.

    I'm on the part (Lesson 6) where there's that Bb that's right smack in the middle of the staff.

    Thanks for the encouragement, this sounds like it's just like learning pistol shooting, it takes a while and it takes most people a long while. And you just have to put in the work. I can't tell you how many times I didn't feel that much like going to the range, but went anyway because I had faith in the equation work = results.
  6. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

    Oct 18, 2007
    The Wide Brown Land

    I found the posture discussion on the David Monette website David G. Monette Corporation
    an immense advantage - get it right early. I have a bad back and this "technique" allowed the old body to produce some amazing sounds (from the mouthpiece) even for a comeback player 37 years in the wilderness. I wanted to play - but I wanted to do it easily - no such animal.
    1. Posture, 2. Breathe, 3. Play. 4. Repitition.
    If you get it wrong, practice until you can't (not until you get it right, until you can't get it wrong). Have lot's of fun though.
  7. Eeviac

    Eeviac Piano User

    Damn I usually play slumped in a chair like Chet Baker in the 1970s no kidding. Posture? Maybe I oughta try that.

    PS they took all those cool Chet Baker videos off of YouTube, boooooo!
  8. bigtiny

    bigtiny Mezzo Forte User

    Aug 14, 2005
    To develop range as a beginner, you need to mainly develop in two key areas (that doesn't mean you don't have to work on all of the other stuff!):

    - strengthen the embouchure - for this I would recommend long tones and lip slurs. Do them SLOWLY...concentrate on keeping the corners of your mouth tight (no air escapes)

    - breathing - in order to do ANYTHING on the trumpet you MUST breathe properly. Relax, take full breaths, and support yourself using the muscles from the bottom of your spine, through the back. Keep the throat open and relaxed. As you move up in range, use these muscles for support (as Diz used to say "If your asshole ain't tight, you ain't got it right!)

    For general practice, do long tones and lip slurs. I like to do the long tones on my major and minor scales (kill two birds with one stone). As you feel that you are progressing, just try to add a half step every week or so to the upper limit. Don't think so much about how high you are playing as in keeping a decent sound and breathing and relaxing.

    Oh...and if you are going to self-teach (that's what I did) get an Arban's book. It's got exercises for every aspect of playing technique.

  9. Forte User

    Jan 27, 2008
    Brisbane, Australia
    1. Chet Baker was high most of the 70's if I am not mistaken. :) Plus he already knew how to play, and it seems like you can get away with all kinds of bad technique after you already know what you are doing!

    2. Whatever method book you are using, if it was meant for kids, expect to spend two or three days on every page at first. And go back and play the previous exercises too. You're an adult, so cognitively, you will get things faster. But you can't build muscles any faster than they want to build. So it seems like you should really be moseying along and taking your time.
  10. Eeviac

    Eeviac Piano User

    OK I'll see about getting an Arban's, and I do a bit of long tones but I should probably do more seriously long tones.

    And I agree from my experiences with something else, an elite performer can do what looks like really sloppy technique, like Chet Baker slumping in his chair, but they're either actually using good technique, or their techniqe is so solid that neglecting one factor (like good posture) doesn't cut into the performance that much.

    I agree, on the taking a few days per page in these books. I'm on "Lesson 6" in the Visual Band Method, but that's one lesson per week I think - based on weekly lessons. And that's one lesson per week for a fast student too I bet, I'm thinking a lot of 'em take longer than that.

    Thanks all!

    PS - No air escaping from my mouth corners than I can tell, maybe I should try to check, thanks.

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