Breathing.

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by silverstar, May 16, 2005.

  1. silverstar

    silverstar Mezzo Forte User

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    Jan 6, 2005
    Mr. Laureano, here is a post I made on another site, but I would like your input too, please!

    I've been rather frustrated for about 2 years now. I've been stuck in the same place, and not making any progress no matter how much I work at it.

    Everyone tells me it's my breathing. My teacher keeps telling me that I need to put more air through the horn. I'm putting all the air I have through the horn! One of the other trumpet players at my school suggested that I'm not focusing the air.

    I'm kinda stuck in a rut that I can't get out of. My range stops at an A right above the staff. My nice tone stops at about an E in the staff. My low register is very nice (especially since I got the new Xeno). I'm just frustrated.

    I also have a problem with using too much pressure, and that's probably complicating things a great deal. I'm working on it though.

    What happens is that my teacher tells me to say "ahh" when I play low notes and as I get higher to arch my tounge. This creates a faster air flow, but when I do that my throat gets really tense and the air gets choked off. I've tried everything that my teacher has told me to do to keep the air so it isn't constricted, but to no avail.

    Does anyone have any suggestions about breathing exercises or something I can do that will help? I am thinking about switiching teachers, as I think a fresh perspective would be helpful. Until then, is there any hope for me to get this solved?

    Thanks guys, I'm really frustrated and I want to get this right.

    Lara

    (Thank you!)
     
  2. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

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    Sep 29, 2004
    USA
    Lara,

    If you're "nice tone" stops at E and you consciously use tongue arches that tells me that there's a lot of physicality at play and not enough musicality.

    First, I'm not a tongue arch guy. It happens naturally as we ascend but I don't teach it because I like it to remain a natural function and not exaggerated by calling attention to it on a conscious level. I think Tooh on everything no matter the register.

    I would bet good money that you're dealing with a great deal of tightness because you've never been taught about what support really is. It's a natural inward movement of the belly that happens the moment you tongue, not after. You need to fill up with air and then get rid of it. If your belly is stiff when you are playing that's wrong especially since you're not playing in the altissimo register. It's one thing to feel the stiffness up an octave from where you presently play but quite another to feel it in the staff.

    Take a full breath. Quickly let out a fast puff of air as though you were blowing out a match. If you did it properly, there was no stifness and your belly moved in very quickly at the same time you puffed out. That's what trumpet playing should be like. It's a normal human mechanical function like sneezing or coughing.

    Forget the tongue arch for a practice session and focus on ascending while keeping the tone as rich as you can. You must have a clear idea of what you want it to sound like before you play. If not, it's useless and you'll be playing by feel, not preconceived sound. It's the sound in your head that tells the muscles what to do not the muscles dictating your music.

    I'll bet that when you buzz the mouthpiece in a scale, the upper register sounds "mosquito-like" and not a rich, full buzz like when you start. The buzz must be as thick a sound as possible in all registers.

    Well, that's a mouthful. It's a start, anyways. It's hard to teach this stuff online because it's a bit of psychology involved, as well.

    ML
     
  3. silverstar

    silverstar Mezzo Forte User

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    Jan 6, 2005
    Thank you so much!

    I'll try that today when I practice!

    Lara
     
  4. silverstar

    silverstar Mezzo Forte User

    848
    1
    Jan 6, 2005
    Here's an update!

    You all know that I was having problems with my breathing and trumpet playing in general and I posted it about two weeks ago. Well, here's the update...

    I went to get a lesson from another teacher, and within about five minutes of him listening to me, he knew what to do. He told me to tweak this and do that, I did it, and Voila! I instantly had more range and air support than I've had since I started playing. For the first time ever, I hit a high C with almost no effort! It was amazing!

    He also gave me the most feedback I've ever gotten out of a lesson.

    You have no idea how good it felt to come out of a lesson with the idea to practice when I got home. I also was smiling and happy, and I knew what I needed to work on.

    Needless to say, I'm discontinuing lessons with my other teacher and I'm going to be taking lessons from this other guy from now on.

    Woo!

    Lara
     
  5. Musician4077

    Musician4077 New Friend

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    May 23, 2005
    Essexville, MI
    It's great to hear that you resolved your problem, but do you really think that you should switch teachers just on that? I'm not trying to be condescending here, I'm seriously wondering. I currently study with two teachers, one, a local trumpeter of semi-professional status, and the other a professor at an area university (Dr. Dennis Horton, Central Michigan). Since I take weekly lessons from my local teacher, and less frequent ones with Dr. Horton, I highly value the different perspectives I get, and this allows me to choose which I like, or to just do what I think is right. Maybe you would be able to do something like that.
     
  6. silverstar

    silverstar Mezzo Forte User

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    Jan 6, 2005
    That's not the only reason I'm switching teachers. The teacher I have now is very unprofessional in the way he runs his studio. He's always out of town on business and never sends a bill to let us know how much we owe him. He never really gives me feedback either...except for "MORE AIR!!!"

    He's a nice guy and everything, I just need a change and this new teacher is much more professional.

    Lara
     
  7. Musician4077

    Musician4077 New Friend

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    May 23, 2005
    Essexville, MI
    Alright, I gotcha. Then yeah, it'd probably be good to switch.
     

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