deteriorating range

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by hhsTrumpet, Jan 27, 2012.

  1. hhsTrumpet

    hhsTrumpet Piano User

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    I have been noticing that my range has gotten way worse from last year. I used to be able to hit high E's above the staff sometimes and C's constantly. (about August/September last year). I switched my mouth piece (7C to equivalent of 1-1/2C) and I was still able to maintain my range. But my range gradually got worse and right now, my highest note is a B above the staff. Does anyone know what's happening? I don't do that much range practice, but that was always the case. But I practice A LOT MORE than I did in August/September.

    *Sorry, I forgot to say that I switched in September.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2012
  2. bach37

    bach37 Pianissimo User

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    Well since no one has chimed in yet... First why did you switch? There's not really any need to. The 7c is a great mouthpiece and many pro players use it. 1 1/2c is a great mouthpiece as well. But it kind of sounds like the same old story I've heard a thousand times. I've got to work on getting to a "bigger mouthpiece" for better tone. Just for the record that is the biggest amount of hogwash I have ever heard. Now if its a comfort thing. Get an assortment of common sizes(don't go crazy) keep in the realm of 1 1/2c-10c put them in a bag. Blindfold yourself and find which is most comfortable for you. Don't worry about what notes you can hit. Just focus on comfort and ease of playing. When you find that "right" one MARRY it and divorce the others.

    Now jumping from 7c to 1 1/2c will limit your range. It takes a good 3 to 6 months for your face to get dialed in to a mouthpiece. Like for me I use a 3c and 3d for lead schtuff. Key is to change the cups not the rim size.

    Also to point out and this is the most important. Mouthpiece isn't the problem on high notes. Tension in the breath is. You have to be completely relaxed and let the air flow from your body. 99% that is the problem. Tension in the breath. Learn to be completly relaxed and let the air flow. Also Rome wasn't built in a day. A 1000 mile trip starts with the first step.

    Best of Luck
    Joshua
     
  3. Bob Grier

    Bob Grier Forte User

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    First how long have you been playing on the new mouthpiece. have to know that before making any comment.
     
  4. SteveRicks

    SteveRicks Fortissimo User

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    I know there are folks here who will say mouthpieces don't affect range. While that may true for them, for some of us, mouthpieces do. A 1 and 1/2 C is a fairly large mouthpiece. 7C is average, if there is such a thing. We are talking 1970 Lincoln to a mid sized Chevy Nova. If a 7C works for you,then stay with it. Just be sure you have given the 1 1/2 enough time to see if you adjust to it. Was there any reason for moving from the 7C?

    Bach 37 above talks about taking time to adjust to the mouthpiece. I think there is a lot of truth in that for many of us. True, some players can jump between mouthpieces easily. Even moving between flugelhorn and trumpet mouthpieces causes me difficulty.
     
  5. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

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    Last edited: Jan 30, 2012
  6. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    I know what is happening. You never really had any "earned" range. C above the staff is something that most of my 10-11 year old students have after a year to 18 months of playing.

    Now you have a bigger mouthpiece and it may or may not be right for you, for the horn or both. You say that you practice more, but I'll bet that what you call practice and what I call it are two VERY different things. It is possible to get to New York from New Jersey by travelling south. The path is just a lot more difficult and you will get wet. Your practice routine appears to be going south.

    I will maintain, if we don't have a medical condition, it is impossible not to get better if we are playing enough of what is good for us. Because many young players in spite of the internet really don't know how things fit together, it is very easy for them to get off track.

    Range always starts with proper breathing. Bad range generally starts with weak breathing followed by twisting the embouchure to compensate for bad breathing. You need lessons from someone that does not tell you what you want to hear, rather what is good for you. I am sure that a decent daily routine can turn your playing around. For that to work, you need face to face lessons.
     
  7. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

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    Last edited: Jan 30, 2012
  8. hhsTrumpet

    hhsTrumpet Piano User

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    Thank you for all the responses. Sorry, I forgot to say that I switched in September, so I had quite a while to get used to it. For the people who were wondering why I switched, one of my friends suggested me to just go try out random mouthpieces. So I did. I tried about 8 different mouthpieces, and I picked the equivalent of 1-1/2C because I just loved the sound and the openness.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2012
  9. bach37

    bach37 Pianissimo User

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    Well it sounds like you like it. So MARRY it and DIVORCE the others. Changing the cup size for lead and jazz is alright. But make sure to keep the 1 1/2 rim size. Keeping the same rim size helps with the transition and you don't have to start all over. As for practice, I don't know how much "a lot more" is but if you are still in high school and are going to pursue a music degree in college. Then 2-4 hrs a day is a minimum. I say again that is a minimum. Now if your not going to major in music. Then 1-2 a hours a day would be good. Any less then you wouldn't really be getting any better. If you want to be great you have to put in the face time to be great. If you want to be mediocre then put in the face time to be mediocre.

    But first thing is first and that is to get an instuctor. Best bet is to contact your local college and talk to the trumpet professor and see if he has any student he deems worthy to give quality lessons. College students always need the money. (Been there done that) Taking from a college student will also save you some dough to.

    He/She will be able to help you with what your questions are. You can't really get anything fixed on an internet forum. Seeing/hearing is key. Match their sound/tone etc. Will make you sound great. You'll understand what a trumpet is supposed to sound like.

    As for practice material you cannot go wrong with Arban, Schlossberg, and Clarke. There are a ton more that are great. But that will keep you busy for a long while and then some.

    Recap:
    Marry the mouthpiece divorce the others.
    Get lessons
    If you want to be great you have to put the time into being great.
    Arban, Schlossberg, Clarke. Are the best there is(there are other greats but start here) and if anyone tells you don't need those they are full of it.

    Good luck,
    Joshua
     
  10. VetPsychWars

    VetPsychWars Fortissimo User

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    Sometimes open is TOO open. Fine when you first play it but hell thereafter. I have a horn like that, was killing me until I put a tighter backbore on it, and I'm thinking of putting a tighter mouthpipe on it too.

    Tom
     
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