Dealing with failures :/

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Cpt.Funk, Dec 4, 2012.

  1. Cpt.Funk

    Cpt.Funk New Friend

    Jul 15, 2012
    Hey TM, I know there's probably a bagillion (approx) of these kind of posts on forums across the board, but I could really use some help.
    Recently, I've undergone an embouchure change that hindered my playing for a few months. After playing in front of my Wind Ensemble class
    a few times with REALLY poor results, having my principle/ section leader say I suck, and dad (get ready for the cliche) saying I should probably
    hang it up due to lack of progress. These events have gotten me into a really low funk recently; I really have a passion for trumpet, but it pains me
    to not excel.
    How can I pull through this a stronger, more confident player?

    P.S.- I've started practicing and taking private lessons for about two years now (now senior in high school)
    Can manage lower grade 5 solos (like Andante et Allegretto by Balay and the like) and am currently pursuing
    grade 7 Credo John Barnes Chance

    Thanks, end sap story**
  2. VetPsychWars

    VetPsychWars Fortissimo User

    Nov 8, 2006
    Greenfield WI
    Your mouthpiece is too big.

    Or something else, really. But YOU are the one with the face and YOU are the one who has to play and YOU are the one to tell someone "your advice sucks, I'm not following it any more."

    Why are you doing all of these solos? Are your fundamentals really that solid?

    Buy this. Balquhidder Music

    Strip away all the everything and just start at the beginning. Put the piece on your face and feel it. Play it. If it doesn't feel right... it's not.

    Go review my "Question Everything" thread.

    Step back.


    Most of all, don't panic.

    DaTrump likes this.
  3. DaTrump

    DaTrump Forte User

    Oct 21, 2011
    Huntsville, Texas
    Use their negative words to fuel your passion from trumpet. At the end of my sophomore I walked out of trumpet class at my high school because my director called me mediocre. What did HE know? A lot apparently, that was what I needed though. I practiced more, played more, did more and became a lot better. Trumpet playing is frustrating for me sometimes, I have to keep a stress ball in my case just because of that. And like you said, you went through an embouchure change, that takes time. I've been on mine for about two months and I'm still about a whole 4th below my old usable range, which wasn't great to start. Be patient.
  4. ultratrumpet

    ultratrumpet Piano User

    Jul 10, 2009
    Old Lyme, Connecticut
    Do the following and you will know all you need to know to develop your playing abilities.

    Read carefully "Brass Playing Is No Harder Than Deep Breathing" and start using,(do exactly as instructed) "Systematic Approach to Daily Practice" by Claude Gordon find them at
    read "The Truth About How To Play Double High C on Trumpet" and listen to Bill's Knevitt's audio recording "The Secret of Becoming A Great Trumpet Player" mp3 download, find them at:

    The key to success is knowing "How To Practice, What To Practice and When To Practice"
    Herbert L. Clarke

    One last thing, stick with the Bach 3C
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2013
  5. Dave Hughes

    Dave Hughes Mezzo Forte User

    Oct 19, 2010
    Rochester, NY
    Be aware of what you're doing. feel the notes form with your lips and pallate. I went from an extreme upstream, to basically (though it never is) down the middle. Just feel the notes, and physically be aware of the change. Think your embouchure.

    Of course I did it first on an extremely large mouthpiece. :dontknow:

    PS: Do it on easy exercises for awhile. The harder stuff is mostly mental, not physical- get the physical first, and then- or also- understand what you're playing.
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2012
  6. VetPsychWars

    VetPsychWars Fortissimo User

    Nov 8, 2006
    Greenfield WI
    If that's what fits your face, then that's great, Dave. I got lizard lips as I got older and everyone told me that I should be able to still play on an average piece but they were full of it.

  7. mike ansberry

    mike ansberry Forte User

    Dec 30, 2003
    Clarksville, Tennessee, U
  8. stumac

    stumac Fortissimo User

    Oct 19, 2008
    Flinders Vic Australia
    +1 for the 19/30s exercise, it also has done wonders for my endurance, having mastered the descending exercise I am now doing the same pattern ascending from the 3rd space C, this is much more challenging to keep relaxed, I am currently at high C. I have to rest at least 20 min. after this.

    Regards, Stuart.
  9. mctrumpet98

    mctrumpet98 Pianissimo User

    Sep 29, 2011
    Down Under
    You want to grow some confidence? Play a few solos in bands. Do an improv solo in jazz band. Project, but blend your sound with the rest of the band (i.e. hear yourself and your sound in the context of the rest of the band). Don't be afraid of going red in the face, just make sure you keep that air going and that sound supported. Show 'em what you've got.

    No doubt your conductor tells you these things all the time, but really you need to be your own critic. Be your own worst enemy. Give yourself a kick up the backside if you aren't playing well (90% of the time it's just in your head) and make sure you use lots and lots of air. You're a trumpet player after all.

    If you're spending the previous 8 bars rest worrying about hitting that high C in the next phrase and you go into it without confidence, chances are you aren't going to get it.

    What will get you the furthest is methodical practice and not being afraid to stick your feet in the deep end and give everything a go to the best of your ability. Don't worry, everybody makes mistakes. What determines how good we are is simply the amount of intelligent effort we put into making sure we don't make those mistakes again.
  10. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    Go back to your original embouchure, and tell the person making you change your embouchure that they need a face lift.

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