Could the trumpet be THE most demanding instrument when it comes to practice?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by reraom, Oct 28, 2011.

  1. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    As I've said before, I have had the ability to play all the brass horns from piccolo trumpet down to BBb Sousaphone, and many times doubled on trumpet and trombone. However, in my comeback from my medical "mess" my attempt to resume playing the 'bone was horrendous, not because of the mouthpiece but in my slide positions. I put the 'bone away quickly (and am considering forever and liquidating it) and then proceeded to resume playing my euphonium as uses the same 6.5 AL (or 12C) with about as doable results as I've known I could. I just never had a problem with much fall back in only a few days, but a few years during which I was recovering nearly but me back to square one and I presently feel I've forever lost about 20% of my former optimum (my best, not necessarily the best) capability. It will be after Nov 15 that I attempt to resume practice on my picc as has been dormant for going on 3 years other than my maintaining its lubes. It will be a squish to squeeze such in with the load I'm taking on for the Christmas season.
  2. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    C'mon Doc, I know you can spell better (see bold enhanced). Still, I'll agree that double reed instruments could drive me insane if out of tune ... especially bagpipes. Soprano clarinets are close to doing the same to me.
  3. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    Not so much a spelling error as a heavy third finger on the left hand that inadvertently struck the wrong key. This is why I did not go into surgery. My patients are grateful for this!

    NOW with this said, that heavy left 3rd digit was a GREAT asset when chording on the lower level of my Hammond B-3. Nothing like rich chords to accompany a doodling right hand on the upper level.
  4. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    I cannot disagree with this, but the demand placed on the brass player in my experience is less forgiving when related to the embouchure. It never amazes me how a sax player can come in after a week of not playing their instrument, and blow with accuracy and ease as if they had been practicing every day. I cannot say this is the same situation experienced by brass players.

    Again reed instrument players can make it through a 4 hour gig without the slightest mark or indentation on their lips, yet, the embouchure of the brass player feels as if they have taken their fair share of left jabs in a prize fight.

    So from this perspective I do believe that trumpet (and other brass instrument players) may have more demand placed on the embouchure.
  5. michaelbsc

    michaelbsc New Friend

    Oct 19, 2011
    SC weekdays, NC weekends
    Yeah! What he said. Being just a few short days into a come back I'm still trying to figure out where to put the mouth piece on my lips. It used to seems natural decades ago.
  6. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    Slide very small coffee straw, or alternative dry uncooked thin spaghetti, through mouthpiece and through your lips. This will give you beginning placement of mouthpiece. Remove straw / spaghetti and connect mouthpiece to instrument and adjust for comfort. Small mirror held in music lyre helps visualize. Yeah, it was a lot easier when we were young.
  7. BrotherBACH

    BrotherBACH Piano User

    Oct 5, 2010
    Thus far, I think the most difficult thing is how to use the tongue arch to make plying easier and start playing music in the upper register. At present, I feel like I am going through a trail-and-error process of figuring things out. When I get it right I can play a high C like it is a middle C, effortlessly. When I get my tongue position and level wrong, I can’t get past A above the stave without my eyes popping out of their sockets. It is all so subtle and takes constant reinforcement until you get right more often than not. I can only imagine a time in the distant future when I can just place the mouthpiece and play without concentrating on the physical stuff and focus on music.

    I have had the extreme honour to take a day long master class with a retired principle trumpet, who has befriended my teacher and me. We share a love and passion for the trumpet and that is all he requires to give us lessons. This past week I was having difficulty trying to figure out the tongue arch and e-mailed him to see if I was on the right track. Here is his response. He is German and has a familiar no nonsense approach.

    “I am glad to see that you are still fighting the battle to conquer the "beast". Most of the things you are doing are on the right track but a few are not and that screws up what was good. As you have found out there are many physical actions that are involved in playing the trumpet. They must all re-enforce and complement each other. If even one goes in the wrong direction, problems will show up.

    We only had one session together and it is impossible to teach all the physical and mental concepts to a person in one shot. The mental part is easy, but to convert mental images into the correct physical actions in one session is impossible. It takes many actual lessons of corrections and discovery to accomplish this. I am planning to have a follow-up session with you guys sometime soon.

    In the meantime the best way I can help you is for you to phone me some evening to discuss your problems and questions.”

  8. PatMurphy

    PatMurphy Pianissimo User

    Aug 9, 2009
    Cherry Hill NJ
    My experience is that it is just like any muscle building. You must do it every day. If you miss a day or 2-3 you lose a lot.
    That is why I am not so interested in hours of practice but, like shaving, do it every day. What works best for me is 15-20 mintes in the morning. 1-2 minutes of warm up with pedal tones to just get the blood flowing then a short procedure. My practice routine is with music. I am concentrating, mostly on getting the fullest tone. I have a clear sound in my head what I want my tone to be. I am never going to play 50 notes per measure or above high C so I do not worry about it or waste what limited time I have attempting it. I try to do 2 or 3 times later in the day, 15+ minutes each time. If I do that, I can perform in public the way I am satisfied.
    A Vizzuti I am never going to be BUT, I love to hear my horn "sing" the music.
  9. MVF

    MVF Pianissimo User

    Sep 10, 2010
    My teacher (who is a brass professor at a local college) and her husband, who is a trombone player both say the 'bone is easier than the trumpet. They also agree that saxaphone is ridulously easy compared to the trumpet- I guess they didn't realize how tempting they were making it sound!

    BrotherBach- you have expressed my pain so well! One time its wonderful and the next you feel like a beginner trying to figure out what you're doing differently.

    "A Vizzuti I am never going to be BUT, I love to hear my horn "sing" the music." -Well said! My sentiments exactly.
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2011
  10. SteveRicks

    SteveRicks Fortissimo User

    Aug 15, 2009
    I remember back in the early or mid 70's seeing Buddy Rich's band for their first performance after the Christmas holidays. At break, I managed to get back to talk with some of the guys. Most of the trumpet players were whinning about about being dead half way through. Apparently most had taken more of a vacation than they should have. The band played well -didn't show performance wise -but I think the players were hurting more than normal.

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