Beginner Range

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

  1. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

    Oct 18, 2007
    The Wide Brown Land

    I agree - I was only kidding about the TV - I lock myself in the practice room and try to minimise all distraction - unfortunately that sometimes HIGHLIGHTS the faults, but at least I have a target and the faults are very immediately apparent.

    Thanks for your ongoing support in all these posts.
  2. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Unfortunately, you missed the point entirely. If someone sneezes in a concert, there is a distraction that lasts a couple of seconds (unless it is the flute during a solo - that could take the band with it). Then everything goes back to normal. In a concert, we also have a stage full of reasonably prepared musicians.
    DURING the preparation cycle (and that includes your practice at home), sneezes also are not of any duration to hurt the development process. The brainless wonders very often referred to in PISA studies or any other analysis of our childrens education are UNANIMOUS in the damnation of 24x7 television and the inability of the human mind to focus over time when "background noise" is present.
    I lead a study for Yamaha in the 80's where we went into schools and tested children for their ability to sing a predefined note. It was a concert G in the staff. More than 90% of the children that COULDN'T repeat the note turned the TV on right after waking up and let it run the whole day. Less than 30% of the children that WERE able to sing the note "survived" under similar conditions. We tested over 1000 children in the department of defense school systems, so I think that the results are not negligible. We chose concert G as in another study, concert F was the tone that was predominantly offered when someone was just asked to sing a note, any note. We wanted to limit the amount of "luck" involved. I am sure that we can defend several positions based on this very rudimentary data, but there is evidence that continuous background noise desensitizes human beings (ever been to a clock collectors house, drives us NUTS but they don't notice anymore!)
    My point is, playing well is not a mechanical operation consisting of strong chops and good breath support. We project a sound into the room and the reflections that come back to our ears, give us clues about how we need to form the note. Anybody in marching band has noticed how difficult it is to play "beautifully" outdoors. That is solely due to the lack of sonic clues for our brains!
    If we have ANY continuous background noise during our practice sessions, our brains are not capable of resolving in adequate detail what is going on. It is MUCH different than conducting a conversation in a loud disco where the only goal is understanding what the other person is saying. There we have no requirement for "beautiful", "artistic" or "inspiring". transmission of the spoken word is the ONLY goal in that case.
    I'll say it again. There is no greater insult to any facet of the human state than ignorance (ignoration?). Ignoring the valuable sonic clues when playing is simply wastes practice time. Ignoring a child does more psychological damage than torturing them.
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2008
  3. Eeviac

    Eeviac Piano User

    Damn, Rowuk, relax. I always close the door in here anyway, chances are "Married With Children" is on and I HATE that show. Or something else equally idiotic. Today's the Daytona 500, talk about moronic.

    I've done a thing I got rather good at, that required the kind of concentration you talk about. You have to get good at getting into your "bubble" and really focusing. The kind of stuff where you learn to deal with distractions is after you're good at the "bubble" lol.
  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    I am almost always relaxed, especially when I am intense. It comes from paying attention to details.
    You wouldn't believe how often this exact situation has come up in my teaching career........................ I send the kids back home without a lesson if they are not properly prepared. I don't waste my time if it is not respected. Generally, this only happens once, then the kids get the message.
 likes this.
  5. Eeviac

    Eeviac Piano User


    My impression is I should worry less about range and just play stuff, and range will come along fine on its own.

    I notice if I'm playing a pice of music out of my book, the range is fine, and I'm on the B on the middle line of the staff, and it all plays just fine as long as I'm not thinking too hard about it.

    I'm also having fun making up little riffs to play.
  6. brunets

    brunets Pianissimo User

    May 28, 2007
    That's exactly my way of thinking! If you are playing well on your present range, you can (and must) have fun. Why every trumpet beginner (me included) focus more on range than music ? Screaming high notes is not the definitive goal of trumpet playing.

    If you look at the "Carnival of Venice" in the Arban method, you'll find that it doesn't go higher than a G or A above the staff. It is though a tough piece to learn. But it's so rewarding to learn it playing well and beautifully (and technically excellent too).

  7. Eeviac

    Eeviac Piano User

    Right on Brunets. That's how I will work and think about it now.
  8. codemonkey

    codemonkey Guest

    Eeviac, My 5 week mark is recent enough in my memory that I can say you're doing fine. I have found that lip flexibility exercises are good for strengthening the embouchure and that will give you a more solid sound in the high end. They may help extend the range too. I had stopped doing them for the last few weeks because I was concentrating on certain pieces for my teacher. That was a mistake. I started them again a few days ago and the improvements were immediate. If you want to improve your sound, you should not neglect the drill work. I don't think playing tunes will do it all. At five weeks, I did not know what lip flexibility exercises were. Just in case you have not heard of them, the idea is to use one fingering and go up and down the staff with it. You really need a book that has them. The brass tactics book at has good exercises, an entertaining DVD, and is a fun read.
  9. Eeviac

    Eeviac Piano User

    OH ok like, going low-G, to low C, then midway up G then C on the staff, up and down with no fingering change.

    Been doing that, in fact I did a ton of that yesterday lol.
  10. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    Gee, there are lots of players that have developed their chops in front of the TV! I knew this one lead player, who played the performances way different than the rehearsals (longer, louder, higher) and when I tried the old secret mobbing trick of pushing in my tuning slide it didn't phase him a bit, because he didn't care about intonation, either!

    If one truly wishes to become a meathead player, regardless of genre, watching TV while practicing can be a great help!

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