Books on increasing endurance

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Medicine man, May 19, 2007.

  1. Medicine man

    Medicine man New Friend

    May 19, 2007
    Since a few weeks I'm playing in a big band and there's some really high notes in the pieces we're playing. Up to a3 (four lines above the stave). After half an hour of playing in this height, my embouchure is totally exhausted. So I need to improve my endurance.

    What book is recommended on this subject? I've heard good stories about "Fitness For Brass" (though some say it doesn't really focus on endurance) and "Endurance Drills for Performance Skills" (but I'm not sure it gives any advice; isn't it just a book full of scales and chords?). The most important thing for me is that it shouldn't focus on one little thing, e.g. only mouthpiece buzzing, only the 'pencil trick', only playing scales, etc; it should include various methods.
  2. Siegtrmpt

    Siegtrmpt Mezzo Piano User

    Nov 21, 2005
    Spending a hour or so a day with Herbert Clarke and Max Schlossberg ought to do it.
  3. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Medicine Man - you know your medicine! A balanced approach is always key to lasting success.
    As you are not building range for the first time, your situation is a bit different. If your embouchure is "exhausted", you are probably working it too hard. Breath support studies, Irons lip flexibilities, Clarke an octave up are what I use (occasionally Schlossberg and Stamp too).
    Make sure that you are not mashing the mouthpiece into your upper lip. The embouchure muscles have to work MUCH harder that way. If you are doing this, try angling the trumpet a bit down to put less pressure on the top lip. This is hard to get used to if you have been playing with pressure, but it works.
    The BIG RELAXED BREATH should always be the start. When the high notes "float" on air, the chops don't have to work as hard!
  4. mitchota

    mitchota New Friend

    Aug 3, 2006
    Maui, HI
    The relaxed breath and learning to get the pressure off during those breaths while not dropping the support are key things I have found really help to keep your chops from getting too tired. The relaxed but supported airflow is key - once that is in place, your lip doesn't have to work nearly as hard.

    General endurance comes from a balanced approach. I personally switch between Clarke and the Gekker Endurance Drills, played very softly with varied articulations and a very relaxed airflow to make sure the flow and response are there, and I also use the Brandt Orchestral etudes and the Schilke Power Exercise to make sure that I really release my sound on the louder end and not force it out of my horn. To round it out, I use the Bai Lin book or the Irons to keep the lips flexible.

    Doing lots of flexibility work always seemed to help me with staying relaxed on the higher end. Keeping the flow going up there counteracts the need/want to pull the mouthpiece through your face.

    Hope this helps.
  5. cornetguy

    cornetguy Mezzo Forte User

    Sep 12, 2005
    Saint Paul, MN
    all of the above. Another book to look at for upper range playing is Top Tones
  6. wiseone2

    wiseone2 Artitst in Residence Staff Member

    Nov 19, 2003
    The big breath concept of lead playing has always baffled me. Sitting next to some very powerful players has been an education. Most were NOT big breathers, they were very efficient in their use of air. Lammar Wright and Victor Paz were amazing lead players who personified the proper use of air.
    Check out Faddis, he does not take big breaths.

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