Do I have the right chops for trumpet?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by nchsbandrocks10, Sep 21, 2010.

  1. nchsbandrocks10

    nchsbandrocks10 New Friend

    Feb 27, 2009
    Reno, NV
    yes, but it gets very very frustrating when everyone else gets solos and stuff. i have never been offered a solo because everyone knows second/third part doesn't get solos. it's just frustrating and I don't even have an incredible tone.
  2. nchsbandrocks10

    nchsbandrocks10 New Friend

    Feb 27, 2009
    Reno, NV
    would i just want someone at a music store help me or what?
  3. reedy

    reedy Piano User

    Jul 31, 2009
    Wiltshire, UK
    A 3C is a very good MP so dont go changing that instantly thinking itl make you play supper high or anything, if there was a MP that did that everyone would have one!
    if your 3c isnt comfortable then maybe head down to a shop and try some out, you say you think you might be better at lower brass, maybe try a bigger mouthpiece, although this will darken your sound and will more than likely make it harder for you to reach those high notes it might be more comfortable for you, but upto you....

    its probably not your MP but probably more to do with practice! how much you practice and what you practice.

    a practice sesh needs to be structured but needs to contain a warm up, scales, lip slurs, tonguing and studies. Range wont come overnight and is a long and slow but by practising the right things it will increase over time

    oww and get a teacher!
  4. nchsbandrocks10

    nchsbandrocks10 New Friend

    Feb 27, 2009
    Reno, NV
    well i've always liked my 3C when i switched over, so i'm pretty sure my mouthpiece isn't the issue... it's comfortable for me to play on.

    hah, about practicing. when i practice, i practice scales. but i get frustrated because I can't hit the notes so I stop practicing. but i want to get better, so i try again the next day and the same thing happens. it's a never ending loop.

    and i have no money for a teacher. i'm in college...
  5. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

    Aug 9, 2007
    Levittown , NY
    Find a competent teacher, one who understands different embouchure types ,not just the one that works for him/her. It takes technique and coordination with the right instruction to build range, plus learning to practice the correct way. This has nothing to do mouthpiece types or sizes . Most teachers never had any real trouble with embouchure or range,so they really don't know how to show someone who does.
    Good luck,don't give up.
  6. Moshe Mizrachi

    Moshe Mizrachi Pianissimo User

    Feb 17, 2010
    Play the instrument that your heart tells you to play.
    Because if your heart belongs to a particular instrument,
    then your heart will give you the main thing you need to succeed:
    You shouldn't devote yourself to a different instrument if your heart isn't in it.

    Ability to play high notes depends on many things working together:

    You must have the desire, the motivation, the stick-to-it-ive-ness
    to keep trying, working at it day after day, month after month.

    You must use a correct embouchure for the embouchure type that you were born with. That embouchure includes mouthpiece placement.
    Go to
    and halway down the page is "Reinhardt's Embouchure Types".
    No need to know everything there, but you should at least determine if you were born with a downstream embouchure or an upstream embouchure, since that determines which mouthpiece placement works best for you.
    Downstream embouchure uses more upper lip than lower lip in the mouthpiece, and tends to point the trumpet slightly downward.
    Upstream embouchure uses more lower lip than upper lip in the mouthpiece, and tends to point the trumpet slightly upward.

    You must use the right equipment. No cheater mouthpiece is needed.
    But, on the other hand, if you use an extremely deep Wick 2 flugel mouthpiece then it will hinder ability to develop high note ability.

    It doesn't take very much air to play high notes, so taking a huge gulp of air is not necessary, and it can actually cause problems. But it does take greater air compression for the air to get through the embouchure resistance in the upper register.

    Too much mouthpiece pressure actually hurts the ability to develop the upper register, since crushing the lips will bruise them, cut off circulation, make them swell, damage them.
    There is no need to be a fanatic about "no mouthpiece pressure", but you should use "minimum mouthpiece pressure" as recommended by people like Bill Chase, Tomm Turner (who posts here), and Moshe Mizrachi (I hear that he is great :^).

    When trying to extend your range upward, the highest notes of your current range should be played very softly so that your weak embouchure has the ability to keep the embouchure aperture small for the high notes.
    If you try to blast the high notes loudly, that will just blow your embouchure aperture wide open and you will lose the high note (or you will be tempted to mash your lip to maintain the high note, which is bad).
    I don't mean so softly that you have difficulty maintaining a tone, not like you are whispering.
    I mean play softly enough that you are playing gently but firmly while maintaining a pleasant tone.
    So play "p" but not "ppp".
    I believe that playing very softly is also one of the main themes in the book "Casual Double High C" by Bob Odneal who used to play for Maynard Ferguson.

    So let's suppose that top line F is your highest note that you can play with ease.
    Using minimum mouthpiece pressure, play very soft scales up to top line F and back down, as many times as you can in one breath without straining.
    Also play very soft scales up to top line F and back down and then back up and then hold that top line F for as long as you can without straining.
    You can also play whatever songs you might have that go up to top line F, and play whatever written exercises you have that go up to top line F, just as long as you play them very softly.

    Your range will gradually increase as your embouchure gradually strengthens and as your embouchure develops proper muscle memory for playing higher.
    Maybe 1 or 2 whole steps higher per month is a good reasonable goal.
    I actually gained half an octave in less than a month when I started playing the highest notes very softly; playing softly allowed me to suddenly break through that difficult ceiling.

    As your range increases, the highest note that you can play loudly gets higher and higher,
    and the highest note that you can play softly gets higher and higher.

    Generally you should be able to play very softly maybe half an octave higher than you can play very loudly.
    (Because I am old and in poor health and I don't practice much, I can play very loud High G's on a Wick 3B, then play softly the rest of the way up to Double High C. But my age and lack of practice means that I don't have much endurance for doing that.)

    What mouthpiece are you using?
    Like I said earlier, no cheater mouthpiece needed, but choosing a huge diameter or extremely deep cup will make the high notes more difficult and definitely hurt endurance.
    For example, a Bach 3C is actually great for upper register playing.
    It is semi-shallow but still deep enough to give a pleasant tone.
    But a Bach 1 will make you work your butt off trying to increase range; it's possible with a Bach 1, but why make it so unnecessarily hard for yourself by trying to do it with a Bach 1?

    Using a smaller diameter mouthpiece will not necessarily help playing high notes.
    Choosing a diameter that fits your particular embouchure is what is important.
    My high notes actually became easier when I switched to a slightly larger diameter simply because it allowed my upper lip to fit in the mouthpiece a little bit better.
    Every player has a different "best diameter", so you should try both larger and smaller diameters to find your "best diameter".

    "and i have no money for a teacher. i'm in college..."

    Darn. I was gonna bill you for the above consultation ;-) :D

    Last edited: Sep 21, 2010
  7. reedy

    reedy Piano User

    Jul 31, 2009
    Wiltshire, UK
    I know how you feel, im skint aswel..... im just greatfull my uni pays for my teacher! invest in some good music books then, the aruban is a must have! colins advanced lip slurs is another good book I use along with a few others.

    ok so weve discovered you dont need a new MP so dont worry about that!

    write down what you usually do and ask other players what they practice and compare it

    personally i play 6 triplest starting on middle G going chromatically down to bottom C then i do some long notes, G, F#,G then G, F#, F, F#, G etc down to bottom C then i do the same but going up from G to middle C, il then do the same starting on C going upto a high G then il do them same triplets starting on a bottom C going down to a bottom F#

    thats the warm up done, then il play loads of excersizes out the arbun, then a few lip slurs, then il have half hour break, then depending on if im practising for lead playing or normal playing, lead playing il work on range, articulation and style but for normal playing il then go onto my scales and stuffs, then some excersizes out of the book pattens for jazz which works on lurning chords etc then il end with some tunes and improv etc

    take other peoples practice and make it your own, think what you need to work on and practice it but make sure your practising everything not just say range.

    with your scales just play them one octive for now, you will soon build up your strength and range to get them upto 2 octives, maybe play F# 2 octives as this is in your range then try G then G# if you cant get there dont worry about it, just keep practising every day and youl soon get there :)
  8. nchsbandrocks10

    nchsbandrocks10 New Friend

    Feb 27, 2009
    Reno, NV
    well, my heart does belong to trumpet. but it's getting really old for me not to be getting first trumpet or the solos. like i have never been offered to play a solo during the music. i know that sounds dumb, but it hurts a little bit.

    and that whole section on working on high notes sounded fantastic. i'll have to try that. i would really like to stick to trumpet if i can. i really liked the way how you explained it. :]

    oh, and I do play on a 3C.

    haha, gee thanks. ;D
  9. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    Go to the link I gave you in an earlier post here. Find out how big or small your lips are.
  10. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    Let's see if I can type faster than the "bump". Haven't read all the replies but I was in your exact spot when I quit playing and when I started back 4 yrs ago. G was a miracle beyond 10 minutes playing. Max Morley wrote an exercise book called Trumpet Quest. The premise is that you develop range endurance and control through chromatic ascent. I bought it because it first was logical and second, it was laid out well. I do not know if it is still in print. Last known address for Max was Stephen F. Austin University. To me it was logical because you cant' play high C until you can play B. you can't play B until you can play Bb and so on. You/we need to be patient with progression. Your frustration with sounding bad only fuels your impatience and that's when you lay the horn down and don't properly practice. I don't know if this has been suggested, but it falls in line with what I learned from the book. Start at F#, below low C, and play chromatically until you get to a note where you sound good and hold it. Do this several times, say five, and on the fifth run go 1 half step higher than the note you had been holding. This is a progressive exercise so I hope you get my point. When you get to feeling tired, simply rest 3-5 minutes. Take each half step without excessive pressure ( if you lip is purple, back off). This really boring work but it works.Regards.

Share This Page