Comebacker set back

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by gcast, Dec 10, 2009.

  1. gcast

    gcast New Friend

    Apr 12, 2009
    I have been on the comeback trail for 5 months from 25 years off (occassionaly playing with my kids for about 10 minutes and I was done) Things had been coming along pretty well, but I just ran in to a snag for our last performance. Seems that I lost any clearness of tone at g to d in the staff. Got really airy and then nothing. The last 3 days have been similar. Any ideas?
  2. heck99

    heck99 Pianissimo User

    May 29, 2007

    I'm not a seasoned pro, but I can try to give you some help. The problem could be one of a few things:

    1. Your horn: possibly has some blockage or buildup in the horn, I would give it a good cleaning and fresh oiling all around.

    2. You're tired. I'm currently getting myself back into shape to possibly change my major to music after two years of another field of study. I've found that since I don't have the endurance and I'm not used to playing for long periods of time yet, I need some rest time to let my chops recover. Take a day or two off from the horn and do some buzzing on the mouthpiece to stay loose.

    3. Your warmup routine. I usually buzz the mouthpiece and leadpipe before even playing a note on the horn itself. This helps me get relaxed and focused on putting air through the horn while achieving a full sound. This really helps me on off days to get focused on the basics.

    I'm sure you'll recover, just don't think you need to make any huge changes. I've seen guys have bad weeks and start poppin' new mouthpieces like crazy to give them a magic solution, which usually made things worse. I would take a day off, then pick up the horn with a fresh, clear mind. I hope this helped to some degree.


  3. s.coomer

    s.coomer Forte User

    Mar 25, 2005
    Indianapolis, In
    The way to handle your comeback the most efficiently and to fix your problems is finding a good teacher. No one here can give you the information you need without seeing or hearing you play. If they think they can they are most certainly wrong.
  4. mush-mouth

    mush-mouth Pianissimo User

    Aug 3, 2009
    gcast, either mental fatigue, physical fatigue, or some combination of the both. It happens.

    Take some time off. When you come back, come back with things that you think are so simple as to be "beneath you". It happens to all of us come-back players. We all still need to go back to playing "Mary had a Little Lamb" from time to time. It's just part of the process. I mean this literally -- it's important to go back to the most basic tunes, and master them again. It is terrible and terribly humbling, but it is a fact of life for comeback horn players. Don't be too proud. Just start again from the beginning.

    If you have re-learned those skills, then the going will be easy, will it not? But why not start again from the beginning? If you think something is too easy to play, then play it and move on. But whatever you play, play it well.
  5. gcast

    gcast New Friend

    Apr 12, 2009
    Thanks for the pointers. Will give it a whirl back on Saturday. I gues if it was goingto happen, this is the best time as we are on break in the Community band I play in until February.

    Thanks Again Folks
  6. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

    Oct 18, 2007
    The Wide Brown Land
    Just relax - get rid of the stress if you can. bend ze knees (I'm not kidding) - you can do this - trust in self - trust in trumpet. And to support the previous posters (but for a different reason - psychological) give your horn a loving bath, a good lube, and a mouthpiece wash - and it will always play better - even if it's only your perception.

    Mate, it's likely to be in the head - relax, and play beautiful tunes.
  7. The Kraken

    The Kraken Piano User

    Mar 28, 2007
    Gold Coast - 805

    LOL ""Mary had a Little Lamb" I remember that in my song book long........... long............... long............. time ago along with "TWINKLE TWINKLE LITTEL STAR" LOL ROFL
  8. bobd0

    bobd0 Piano User

    Jan 10, 2009
    And don't forget "The Merry Widow Waltz". LOL

    I occasionally get an airy sound but it hasn't been a huge problem. I either adjust my embouchure or mouthpiece placement and it usually clears up. If not, I just switch to a bigger mouthpiece for a little while. That clears up my tone then I can switch back to my regular piece and the problem is solved.
  9. ComeBackKid

    ComeBackKid Fortissimo User

    May 11, 2009
    Yorba Linda, CA
    As a comeback player after 35 years, I find that my tone becomes airy after playing for awhile. I just take a break and then blow long, low tones (below low C) to let my lips cool down - plus eat a popcicle - then things seem to be better (as long as I don't blow popcicle juice into the horn).

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