Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Double_G, May 5, 2005.

  1. Double_G

    Double_G Pianissimo User

    May 4, 2005
    Gordonsville, TN
    Hey! Well, my real name is Andrew Kennedy and I'm one of Heavens2Kadonka(sp? sorry) or as some may know him, Van. He's a good teaching neveer falling to swear, spit at me, and look me in cages for hours on end until I get something right...hehe. But, I got my braces off about 6 weeks ago and have yet to get my chops back where I want them. As a result my range, endurance, power, and tone are all suffering as well as me because I play 1st trumpet in my high school band and it can be a to demanding for my emouchure right now. And to top it off tomorrow night is our be Spring Festival and I play ride book in jazz band. So, as you can see I need help. I'm not expecting to get my chops back over night but, any helpful exercises you could tell me about would be most appreciated. Van even suggests I change my embouchure once. So, if anyone would like to address that I would be most thankful.

  2. silverstar

    silverstar Mezzo Forte User

    Jan 6, 2005
    Hey Andrew!

    I'm Lara, aka silverstar. Welcome to the forum!
    Ok, introductions address your question.

    I just got my braces off in December. (After 3 years of was about time!) Here's what I have found helpful...

    1.) Take it one day at a time. Don't expect to be back to par for a while. Remember how long it took to adjust to your braces when they went on? It's about the same when they come off.

    2.) Do a lot of warming up before you play. This helps to get your chops to remember what they need to be doing. If you try to play cold, your chops won't be your me on that one!

    3.) Lots of lip slurs and long tones. Try pedal tones too. If you have the "Advanced Lip Flexibilities" book by Chas Colin, play through the first page slowly and accurately.

    4.) Talk to your teacher/director. They are usually rather understanding about braces and things like that. They will probably be the most helpful at your concert tomorrow.

    5.) Keep taking lessons, and don't slack off! Slacking off is probably the worst thing you can do right now.

    6.) Take breaks when you need to. If you're not feeling like things are working out and you've been praticing a lot...don't worry. A day's rest should clear things up.

    7.) Free buzzing and mouthpiece work will strengthen your chops.

    Ok...that's all I can think of for now. I hope it helps! About your concert tomorrow, just talk to your director. If you really feel that uncomfortable playing, you might want to see if there is someone who would be willing to play your part for you just this once. Talk to Van too...and if he threatens to stick you in a cage, he'll have to deal with me! :twisted:

    Welcome to the board!
  3. tpter1

    tpter1 Forte User

    Jan 12, 2005
    Northern New York
    Wow, Lara. Excellent advice.

    My first player has had his off for about a 6 months now. He is finally back and able to get back to leading the ensemble.

    We used more Clarke studies than Colin. They were less demanding on him chopwise and helped him regain strength and flexibility by working in a narrow range.

    Since we don't have but a small trumpet section in our small school, subbing was not an option. Careful selection of repertiore was a necessity.

    I can't stress enough what Lara's most important point is: pace yourself and have patience.
  4. mike ansberry

    mike ansberry Forte User

    Dec 30, 2003
    Clarksville, Tennessee, U
    Ah, grasshopper...some very insightful suggestions from one so young.
  5. silverstar

    silverstar Mezzo Forte User

    Jan 6, 2005
    Just trying to help.

    Now, if I can actually take my own


    Good luck at that concert tonight!

    Lara :cool:
  6. Heavens2kadonka

    Heavens2kadonka Forte User

    Jun 17, 2004
    Lebanon, TN
    Took you long enough to come on board, Andrew!

    Summer is the absolute greatest time to work yourself up. Some people like to kick back, and drink margaritas while getting a tan, watching the grass grow. I prefer to sit in my dungeon practicing Arban. To each his own, I guess.

    Being intellegent, and pacing yourself in home practice is the best way to improve. 30min play, 15min rest, 30min play, 30min rest, 30min play. An hour and a half, spent intellegently, will work wonders. Practicing for two hours straight will hurt you more than help, guaranteed. About repertiore, Arban-Clarke all the way. Its the box I am putting myself in this summer, and it's the box I'm putting you in as well, get ready. :evil:

    Actually, I plan on bringing out Collin later this summer.

    Lip buzzing, I'm not that big on. However, mouthpiece buzzing is very important to me. It trains the player to not rely on the horn to create the pitch. The trumpet really does cheat for the player, sometimes. Mouthpiece buzzing also can do much to help work out issues in an individual's playing. TONGUING, for instance.


    The embochure issue Andrew brings up, is his bottom lip puffs out when playing sometimes. I used to have this issue, except with my upper lip. What this means, is theres air thats not coming through, and swirling around uselessly, interrupting what is flowing through the horn, causing a problem in sound. I worked my puffed-lip issue by focusing on playing into the mouthpiece, aiming for the opening. Mouthpiece buzzing in the mirror could help *AHEM*.

    And Lara, you know I would never cage a student. CANE, maybe. :twisted:

  7. Double_G

    Double_G Pianissimo User

    May 4, 2005
    Gordonsville, TN
    I told you I would get around to this forum, Van. It just took me some time. All this is really helping, but I've tried really hard to get the puffyness in my bottom lip to go down, but nothing I do really seems to work. Like I've tried the mirror, I've tried focusing the air more, I even tried something called the straw technique that Mr. Kurt Ponder told me about and none of them seem to work. Has anybody got some crazy, outta sight, technique from Ghana that nobody has even heard that might help.
  8. silverstar

    silverstar Mezzo Forte User

    Jan 6, 2005
    What do you mean by puffyness?

    If it is caused by swelling, try this:

    After you've played, put some ice on your chops for about 10 seconds. Then, take a washcloth soaked with warm to hot water and hold it on your chops for 10 seconds. Repeat the ice and hot water until the ice is melted or you get bored. This helps to reduce swelling.

    Then, when you are playing, try to set the mouthpiece so that the inside of the rim touches the little dip in your upper lip (where the red part meets your skin.) When you play, push up from the sides of your chops (keep your corners tight) and down from the center (top lip).

    Van mentioned that the puffyness is caused by loose air. That's what happened to're trying to compensate for your braces that aren't there anymore. Try buzzing a low C on the mouthpiece and really focus on where the air is leaking from. When you figure it out, try and see why it is leaking. Then, do what ever you can to make it stop leaking.

    I hope this helps. I had the same problem except with my upper took me a good month and a half to figure out how to fix it.

    Good luck!


    I swear, if you cane the poor lad....I'm going to have to lock you in a cage and then cane you!

    That's no way to treat a student...unless that student slacks off...then, by all means, go for it! :lol: :bleah:

  9. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

    Sep 29, 2004
    Okay, are we talking about swelling or a lower lip air pocket?

  10. silverstar

    silverstar Mezzo Forte User

    Jan 6, 2005
    Ok...Double G, disregard that last post about lip swelling. I missed the second half of Van's post or something.

    Sorry about the confusion!

    Lara :oops:

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