Developing Feel

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by SmoothOperator, Dec 12, 2012.

  1. SmoothOperator

    SmoothOperator Mezzo Forte User

    Jul 14, 2010
    Is there a good way to improve my feel for the trumpet. Not feelings like an emo, but feel or touch, or is that something you just have to have? I don't want to a situation where minor changes in muscle tone in my diaphragm effects my tone. I want to be able to focus on the feel to maintain the consistency. Maybe this is more of a mental exercise. Any ideas?
  2. DaTrump

    DaTrump Forte User

    Oct 21, 2011
    Huntsville, Texas
    When you practice, start with something like long tones and try to FEEL what your face is doing, work on isolating the muscles and eventually it'll all become second nature. Don't do it too much or you will drive yourself crazy.
  3. dorkdog

    dorkdog Pianissimo User

    Oct 14, 2012
    Once the mechanical interface is broken in, then it's time to concentrate on how to put that interface to best use. It's hard to feel when you have to think.

    I pick songs with a very easy range, easy rhythms that I know by heart and I play them; no music, no nuthin, just an accompaniment on my tablet. Only then can I concentrate on what is coming out of the horn and forget about what's going into it. As my skills become sharper, I'll be able to do that with more challenging pieces. It's a separate skillset that relies on the first; technical prowess.
  4. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    Yes. After you finish your 10,000th practice session... you will get the feeling that you feel the trumpet. I believe this is THE only way.
  5. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    The "feel" is a byproduct of playing well. Playing by feel, however, is like driving by feel--it can result in disaster.
  6. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Control of emotion is a state that not many reach. I know of no way to "work on it" except to play until something goes "click". Just like an adolescent cannot control when they start behaving in a "mature" way - they stumble through life until the sum of circumstances allows them to "get it".

    Dr. Gary makes an interesting point from the view of a jazz player though. A big part of "feeling" is proper timing/rhythm. That requires an intense amount of preparation as our body does not move "naturally" with groove. Our muscles need to learn patterns, our brains must learn to fire the synapses to make sure that we can play ahead of, on top of or behind the beat - at will!. We must learn to coordinate tongue and fingers.

    Probably the best possibility is to have regular lessons with a player that has these qualities and be one of their top students so that they take you along to gigs where you get to know the "context" of feel.

    To get started, open up a hymnbook and find the tunes with Glory and Power - they seem to be easier to feel for the challenged trumpeter. After a month of that, check out the tunes with Sorrow and Repentance - they seem to be harder for many to "identify with". After a year of that, try forgiveness, steadfastness, love and if you are really motivated, death......
  7. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    I don't think about it, I just reach for the case, open it up, lift out the instrument and get the feeling to put it to my lips and play. I just can't wait more than 27 years or 10,000 daily practice sessions before I get the feeling to happen.
  8. Jfrancis

    Jfrancis Pianissimo User

    Jul 19, 2008
    Hannibal, MO
    I agree with gmonady...the more you keep that thing on your face... the better it'll feel.
  9. SmoothOperator

    SmoothOperator Mezzo Forte User

    Jul 14, 2010
    It seems that my muscle response varies greatly from day to day, morning to night etc, start of practice to end of practice, but if I can coordinate my muscles, with how it feels to have a good sound to come out of the horn, I would be able to be more consistent.
  10. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    We are human. Consistent= machine. Embrace your daily mood, situation and run with it. There are so many BRILLIANT amateur groups out there that are kicking ass WITHOUT 30 years of professional experience. Want some inspiration:

    Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela

    These kids are cleaning up at a VERY early age!

Share This Page