Deceptive mind, mouthpieces and valves...

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by trumpetnick, Apr 25, 2011.

  1. trumpetnick

    trumpetnick Fortissimo User

    Nov 16, 2005
    Vidin, Bulgaria
    What I am going to write below doesn't make sense to me, so if it doesn't make sense to you either...we are in the same boat.

    Lately I am not getting as regular and as much practice as I should be, but that is not the point. When I leave my horn for few days without playing, the valves tend to turn luggish, which is nothing out of the ordinary. Which is really weird is linked to me using different mouthpieces (basically I use 2 different mouthpieces - a deep V cup mouthpiece made by Breslmair and a medium shallow double cup made by Dave Harisson, known as wedge line). When I use the shallower mouthpiece:

    1. My slur get less "slurred"
    2. My valves tend to stick more.

    Now, #2 is really weird to me. I can't find any physical reason for, which is why I tend to think that it is just my mind playing games with me :dontknow:
  2. larry tscharner

    larry tscharner Forte User

    Apr 30, 2010
    dubuque iowa
    Nick. I dont have any advice for you, I think I may speak for a lot of us in saying that even on your worst day you could probably play rings around us. That being said, is this the first time your practice routine has been irregular? If not, what happened before? All kinds of squirelly things happen when a hint of rust creeps in. I have to believe you are smart enough and experienced enough to be able to rule out it being a head problem. Is it a new, and substandard bottle of oil? Are you exerting any side pressure on the valve button, how are your hands? All questions I would ask myself. Excuse me if I have suggested anything stupid, its just wierd giving YOU advice like Im smarter than you or something. Best wishes.
  3. trumpetnick

    trumpetnick Fortissimo User

    Nov 16, 2005
    Vidin, Bulgaria
    There is nothing wrong with the oil itself - it is ultra-pure synthetic and my experience tells me that it has nothing to do with it.
  4. stumac

    stumac Fortissimo User

    Oct 19, 2008
    Flinders Vic Australia
    Hi Nick,

    valves getting sluggish after several days is pretty normal no matter what you use.

    As to the other I can understand the slurs changing with the mouthpiece as a different shape will present a different impedance to the lips.

    The apparent effect on the valves I think may be mental, as I dont think it is mechanical, may be the change in sound is throwing you.

    Regards, Stuart.
  5. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    I wanted to answer this last night, but needed to think about it more. The slurring part is clear. The shallower mouthpiece is more efficient and requires more energy to change notes. When you were practicing more, your chops were stronger and you simply didn't notice.

    The second issue is one that I thought I had a couple of years ago. At the end the only thing that I could pin it down on, was body use with the deeper mouthpiece. I seemd to change my hand position when playing "cool" and that seemed to cause the issue. More Clarke technical studies in front of the mirror solved my problem - maybe yours too?
  6. trumpetnick

    trumpetnick Fortissimo User

    Nov 16, 2005
    Vidin, Bulgaria

    All if that makes sense to me. I will check the hand position and will post back.
  7. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
    why not just play everday and alleviate the problems and the confusion???lol
  8. trumpetnick

    trumpetnick Fortissimo User

    Nov 16, 2005
    Vidin, Bulgaria
    I may just had a bad batch of days - I took the horn played with both mouthpieces and everything was normal, though the slurring wasn't absolutely perfect. I guess that irregular practice just reduced the consistency of my playing day to day.

    To KT:

    My present job and duties doesn't allow me to take a practice slot everyday. Hopefully that will change, but another issue is motivation - I don't have any imminent gigs, so I guess that I feel also less compelled to get serious practice every day.

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