Early struggles

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by amuk, Jun 9, 2007.

  1. amuk

    amuk New Friend

    May 22, 2007
    Well, after not playing for many years I've been practicing and gaining a little. I've tried several mouthpieces but I guess I'm sticking (for now) with my 1 1/2C
    At this point, I can choose to get the notes to sound good and articulate properly (more or less) but have no endurance or range---------or I can play with sloppy pitch, off and on bad tone and have a fairly dependable high F above high C and lots of endurance.
    The difference is in the emboucher, so far. If I support with my tongue, channeling the air current where the mouthpiece is I get the range and endurance and sloppy articulation and off-and-on good sound quality.
    If I just play and forget the tongue my range and endurance are in the cellar, the tone is so-so, but it sounds like I'm well schooled.
    I don't know which direction to put more time into, figuring that in the end both might lead to decent playing.
    Should I go with the sloppy sounding approach and good range gradually refining it, or go with the more disciplined approach where everything sounds conservatory-right and hope the range etc. works it's way out?
  2. Richard Oliver

    Richard Oliver Forte User

    Jul 18, 2006
    Casper, WY
    Is there a good teacher within driving distance?
  3. amuk

    amuk New Friend

    May 22, 2007
    Not that I know of but maybe I should look.
  4. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    In general, endurance and range are the last things to come back after a lay off. I like the idea of a teacher, and I like the idea of having sound the number one priority;(articulation is included in the sound package) and musicianship. There are way more un-employed screamers than un-employed solid section players. Way, way more.
  5. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    We are creatures of habit. Players with great sound, range, articulation and the like have built HABITS that allow them to have such things. That should answer your question about sloppy->refined.
    Wanting it all at once is human, but not realistic. You need to set short time goals to keep yourself on track. That is also what a good teacher does - builds the basement and then puts the first floor, then the second....... on top.
    If you want endurance, you will have to earn it. Pull out your hymnbook and play those tunes for an hour (at around mp). They do not wipe your chops out, but give you solid midrange practice which builds strength (and phrasing and sound if you are paying attention) VERY quickly!
    You will also need a good daily routine to cover ALL of the basics: breathing, slurs, articulation. Forget about range for a while. Twisting underdeveloped embouchures around to "get" high notes does NOT help you do the right things for your face!
  6. MrLT

    MrLT Pianissimo User

    Jul 12, 2005
    Manchester UK
    I'd echo the other replies and try to find the best teacher you can - worked wonders for me. From what you describe it sounds as if you are getting something right - ie tongue support. keeping the tongue as high in the mouth as possible all the time is essential imho since that will give you fast air = high notes with good breath support. also means you don't have to blow as hard to play in the low-mid register = better endurance. its probably a matter of practice to get articulation and pitch sorted using that setup thereafter.
  7. amuk

    amuk New Friend

    May 22, 2007
    Good suggestions all. Yes, patience is not a virtue that I have lots of.
    I started playing Concone Studies yesterday and I do find them taxing-----keeping the tone steady, the airflow going, and holding control in general. They're not as much fun as wizzing through more technical stuff but they're obviously the kind to thing that's needed here.
  8. cornetguy

    cornetguy Mezzo Forte User

    Sep 12, 2005
    Saint Paul, MN
    Without hearing you play, always go with the best sound rather then range or endurance. Both will come back with time. Concone are really good for that. don't forget the Getchell Practical Studies even though they are easy they are nice mid range pieces to focus on playing musically and with best sound. (also good for transposition practice too)

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