College student suffering severe range & buzzing issues - help!!!!!!!

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Jason R., Jun 17, 2010.

  1. Jason R.

    Jason R. New Friend

    Jun 16, 2010
    New York
    Okay, wow. I'm sorry I haven't been on the site in a little while, and I clearly missed a lot of your comments. I apologize for that.\

    I also apologize for clearly misleading a lot of you. I CAN play higher than a G- I can play up to high C or D sometimes. It's the consistency of tone quality and production that has me somewhat worried above G or A.

    Once again, I CAN, and DO, play up to a high C or D. I made it sound like I couldn't play anything above a G, and for that, I'm sorry.

    10 years of lessons were not for naught, so do not worry. I have many of the mechanics down somewhat better than my classmates, and I constantly stress the importance of tone quality over arbitrary range. Yes, it's great if you can hit high notes, but if it sounds like crap, what's the point?

    Which is why I made this post- It's the tone quality and consistency that I'm worried about. I am certainly practicing more now and in the last year, both out of common sense and out of all of your and many others' advice. I have a regular routine. In reference to several of your posts (forgive me for not being specific), one of the biggest things I HAVEN'T been doing in my practice is getting the trumpet off my face, to give my lips a breather. Looking back at how I've been practicing, it seems exactly like an etude- lots of playing and technical stuff, but no rest for my lips, which is surely killing my endurance, which leads to things falling apart quicker than they should (i.e. Upper Range).

    Now, I realize many of you simply came to my post in hopes of helping me, and I thank you very much for that. However, I created this post to try and seek help, not create a debate over different theories and methods. This isn't the place for that. I think we can all agree to disagree, but that doesn't mean turning it into a debate, especially the unhealthy kind that this seems to be growing into.

    I just ask that you ONLY comment on the original post, or if you must comment on another's post, do so respectfully, by acknowledging the potential validity of their point of view and presenting their own.

    Once again, I CAN & DO PLAY UP TO HIGH C OR D REGULARLY, JUST NOT WITH CONSISTENT QUALITY. I am not some 4th-grade level player who miraculously made it into college. I have a host of expert professional teachers to whom I can talk at anytime, and they have all addressed the problems many of you think they haven't. It's the effort to change bad habits on my part that needs an overhaul.

    Thank you again for all of your help. I apologize for the rant, but I needed to clear a few things up so I don't get irrelevant help.
  2. Jason R.

    Jason R. New Friend

    Jun 16, 2010
    New York

    Thank you for all of the REAL advice you have given me, and so many other posters. Much of the things you have suggested have been suggested to me by all of my teachers, and I try to make a habit of including them into daily practice everyday.

    And like you say, my teachers and I approach trumpet playing with the whole body in mind, but we don't dwell on analyzing every minute detail. As you said, that's what you do when you have had everything down pat for a long time. Over-analyzing really only seems to be detrimental to success, as you said.

    In terms of what I'm doing this summer, I don't have any gigs of any kind, nor would I ordinarily. I am taking the entire summer to take in all that I have learned and actually put it all fully to work.

    All of the advice you gave in your next-to-last paragraph, I have been doing for a while now, and I regret not making that clear in the original post. I agree entirely with you, but I'm not so far behind as I came across as in the original post. Read my most recent post, and that should clear up a few things. Thank you again for all of your TRUE help, though, unlike a great deal of the debating and such that seems to have swamped my post. While I appreciate people offering advice, I didn't this to be a war of opposing theories, as you said. So, I thank you for also trying to reel the conversation back into its original topic. =)
  3. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    So which story are we to believe? These:

    Or, are we to believe what you just posted above? They don't really meet in the middle.

    Based on what you said, you really can't play anything above F or G - to play it means to have it consistently, and you were fairly descriptive of what your current abilities on the horn are.

    You said that all of the fundamental things I mentioned to you have been covered by your college teachers. If that's the case, I suggest you go to them and see if they can help you with your approach to the lessons they have given you. Simply pounding through exericises is not always the answer, even if the exercises are good.

    Good luck. At this point I'm out of this thread.
  4. samsplace

    samsplace New Friend

    Jul 9, 2009
    Jason, as a mom, I would be proud to have any of my children grow up to show the willingness to learn, humility and graciousness that you have demonstrated on this thread. With those attributes and new-found willingness to put in the hard practice hours, you will go far in whatever you do!

    I find that internet forums such as this are a wonderful resource to exhaust all options and make sure that you have explored every option. Rather like the story I once heard of a woman who always cut a chunk out of a ham before baking it because that is what her mother had always done. When she questioned her mother on the purpose of this ritual, the mother told her it was what her mother had always done. When grandma was asked of the purpose, she told them it was because her pan was too small to fit the entire ham, therefore she had to trim before baking.

    I am sure there have been many "kids" that have mis-used the generosity of wisdom of seasoned players on this board, but it was clear from your well written, initial post that did not seem to be your intention. When an entire world of experience is at your fingertips, why not question as you did to be sure that isn't something in your local circle of instruction might have been missed. Certainly an internet forum can never substitute for proper instruction, but what is the point of having a trumpet forum if one should not be allow to ask for input on ways to improve. Sorry, I probably should have left it with my first paragraph, but the momma bear in me got a little defensive as I followed this thread turn in all sorts of directions.

    Good luck!
  5. Markie

    Markie Forte User

    Jan 4, 2009
    Clarksburg, WV
    Damned, I was ready to throw trickg to the bone pile but he's right when he says "which story do we believe". I think the operative word here is "story".
    I'm outta this thread. Good work trickg.
  6. veery715

    veery715 Utimate User

    Mar 6, 2007
    Ithaca NY
    What samsplace said! A good attitude is crucial.

    Plus, just dig in and do the hard work this summer. Try to get in 90 minutes to 2 hours a day, and spend about half of it on fundamentals. Remember to be really, really, focused during your sessions. What is difficult will become easier if you concentrate on it. What's easy you don't need to work much on, but give yourself some time playing music you like, and play it with all the heart you can muster.

    You might benefit from logging your practice times. If you do that and then look back on a couple of weeks in which you have managed to to a consistent amount of focused practice, I am willing to bet that you will be able to discern real improvement.

    It is good to gather ideas online, but there are as many as there are posters, so temper that process with paying real attention to what you feel you need to work on, and then, as I wrote above, DO THE WORK.

  7. The Kraken

    The Kraken Piano User

    Mar 28, 2007
    Gold Coast - 805
    WOW !! What a Thread !!
  8. jessman

    jessman Pianissimo User

    Jul 3, 2009
    Corpus Christi Texas
    As a come back player I discovered that I could not buzz without my mouthpiece to save my life. Along with that I put way too much pressure on my lips. My teacher had me focus on relieving the pressure and also to do buzzing. Since I have a good commute to work, I saw it as an opportunity to buzz. It improved my tone and range. Here recently I starting using a P.E.T.E.. It is also supposed to help with range. Has it? Too early to tell. I am interested if any of you think that it might be helpful in the problems noted.
  9. mrdave

    mrdave New Friend

    May 13, 2010
    i tried several different things for the first 8 months or so of my return to playing trumpet, including use of the P.E.T.E and various other things off the trumpet (lip/mouthpiece buzzing, pencil exercise, ready/studying, etc.) ultimately the *only* thing that has had significant impact on my progress is practicing fundamentals on the horn as much as i can.

    i'm not saying other things can't help, just that they don't help nearly as much.
  10. jessman

    jessman Pianissimo User

    Jul 3, 2009
    Corpus Christi Texas
    No doubt mrdave, practice and more practice...

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