Can't Get No Satisfaction -Considering Giving Up the Fight

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by ThinLips, May 19, 2013.

  1. jkfowler3

    jkfowler3 New Friend

    Mar 28, 2013
    Satellite Beach,FL
    Yo dude I'm in the same situation. Was a pretty decent tooter in high school and college, made state band in my senior year and now I'm on the comeback trail after 40 years , that's right 40 years. Have to admit my motivation has been my grandson who decided to pursue the horn and wanting to play along with him. I had problems with embouchure, mouth piece etc, even when I was in high school and back then and my instructors claimed I just had to practice more. But now with the advent of the internet information and the freedom to select my own instructors (mom & dad choose back then), relearning the trumpet has been a real joy. My upper register is not back to where it was and my fingering is still a bit sluggish but after 6 months I can see improvement. The most enlightening internet video's have been those of Charlie Porter. Make sure you see "Straight line approach" and " the three compressions". It may feel like you have to digress a bit to adapt to his method of embouchure formation/development and how to attack range issues but this really worked for me. I only wish one of my instructors back in my youth would have taught me these things. I think if you do, you will see faster improvement. Found out I was using the wrong size mouthpiece (I went from a 10 1/2C to now a 3C) you don't achieve upper register by pulling lip corners etc. Give it try. Hope this helps.
  2. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    Just remember, there isn't any magic in the instrument or mouthpiece, thus a change without a rational reason for such is just fooling around. Succinctly, my motto is "make do" with whatever you have. This said, I am not disagreeing that other equipment upgrades will make the task easier, but then again mostly such change is retrogression where one starts again at the beginning to become accustomed to what is new.
  3. bamajazzlady

    bamajazzlady Mezzo Forte User

    May 16, 2011
    I'm curious as to why you quit and what's behind you saying you are getting nowhere. Where are you from, who's your teacher and what are your goals?
  4. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

    Nov 5, 2003
    Rochester, MN
    I used to think that playing well required many hours per week of practice.
    I recently have changed that view. If you become mentally aware of the physical acts required
    to play well then you can consciously do those things on a gig. Practice, in many cases, is just
    "programming" yourself through repetition to do those physical things that you may not be mentally
    aware of. Become aware of what physical things you do to play well and you can ensure that you
    do those things on a gig without many, many hours of practice per week.
  5. TrumpetMD

    TrumpetMD Fortissimo User

    Oct 22, 2008
    I agree.

    For me, this was a big problem when I started my comeback. Back in college, I was practicing 4+ hours a day, and playing in several bands. I was probably playing too much back then ... at least too much for me. When I started my comeback, I still had a big appetite. And the overplaying resulted in diminishing returns and frustration.

    What you practice and how you practice is more important than how many hours you practice.

  6. jkfowler3

    jkfowler3 New Friend

    Mar 28, 2013
    Satellite Beach,FL
    Once heard it said that you shouldn't expect different results if you keep doing the same wrong thing over and over. I agree there is no magic mouthpiece but if you're not getting proper fitment with your embouchure/aperture (as was my problem), there's no chance of developing good technique. And sometimes you have to take a step back to go forward.
  7. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    Man, that newfangled math always messes with my mind.
  8. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    You forgot Puppy. I mean if you give credit to yourself (Pat), then why not man's best friend?
    Last edited: May 21, 2013
  9. Phil986

    Phil986 Forte User

    Nov 16, 2009
    Near Portland, OR.
    Eradicate all expectations from your mind. Expectations set up us for frustration. You have preconceived how you should sound like and even how you should progress, anything not matching these pre-conceptions will be disappointing. As VB said, be on the receiving end of the trumpet. Blow in the horn, receive what happens, try to shape that into nice sound, enjoy it. Try a little of this, a little of that, see what happens, enjoy it. Don't have too structured a practice program. If something feels good one day, explore it more, forget the stuff you think you should be doing. Time spending to make the lips vibrate is all good, no need to be too regimented about it if you're not going to Julliard or playing pro. Make sure you get plenty of rest. Overpracticing will set you back more surely than anything else and it will do so over and over, leading to an endless plateau.
    tedh1951 likes this.
  10. robrtx

    robrtx Mezzo Forte User

    May 26, 2012
    TMs own Dr. Gary:

    Dog Whisperer
    Jazz Musician

    Healer of people
    Soother of canines
    Swooner of geriatric hipsters


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