embrochure dilema

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by coolerdave, Apr 15, 2011.

  1. coolerdave

    coolerdave Utimate User

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    VB.. is that a standard thing? I don't think I have consciously done that. I do know when I want to have a more rounded sound I try to bring in the corners.
    thanks.. that is what I am looking for.. some ideas to try and see if it clicks
    so far I have breath attacks.. low staccato notes... and playing in a large room..and now this. Not to mention some of the other ideas I have gotten from links posted here.
    Having alot of fun with it.
     
  2. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    I don't know. Playing into a mic means essentially NO early reflections. That is only half of the story though. The sound that our audience gets has a natural reduction of high frequencies due to the damping that the atmosphere causes. We notice this when going to a parade. The first instruments that we hear are those with the lowest frequencies - tubas and baritone/tenor horns.

    When playing into a microphone, the combination of reflections and natural attenuation of overtones are gone. What does our brain do when the trumpet sound is brighter than it expects? It struggles to dull the sound. A further waste of processing power.

    I also suspect that blowing into the music stand was NOT the reason that your sound got better. That really does not line up with what I have found. What made you better was training the ability to PAY ATTENTION to small details.

    This brings me to another discovery that I made years ago: what works for "beginners" does not necessarily help more advanced players. When we have no experience, many exaggerated concepts can serve to teach us to pay better attention, devote more time to a specific facet of playing, etc. We are young, resilient and essentially indestructable.

    As we get better, the real truths let us home in on developing better consistency, accuracy, musicality. We are in a position to UNDERSTAND a less spectacular approach because we have reached a certain level of development.

    The inverse is also true. If we have NOT paid our basic dues, the simple truths do not always work or provide enough motivation to be patient. That for instance is a problem for DIYers. They buy advanced, conservatory methods and then come here and ask why they don't have any range, endurance or nice sound. The reason is simple. Like babies that still need diapers, they have not learned to "deal with" basic body functions.

    Each stage of being a trumpet player is special in its own right. I have as much fun with my beginning students as with the advanced ones. They get different things spoon fed however.

    How we play is holistic. When we initially push a note into the room, we are on autopilot, there is no acoustic incident for us to work with. When the first sound gets back to our ears, the brain changes (based on our experience) what ever is necessary in anticipation of getting the expected result. If we remove the room, think about what your brain goes through to get a good sound. Listen to a player that you respect AT THE BELL of their horn. See what I mean?
     
  3. coolerdave

    coolerdave Utimate User

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    Robin,
    very interesting ... a lot to digest ..
    I am guessing I am trying to recreate successes of the past with what methods I am familiar with. I believe we are in agreement that each individual benefits differently on any given exercise. The exceptional player gets much more out of a simple scale then perhaps the student who is "checking off the boxes".
    I ask the group for ideas for many different reasons. Since I haven't been active in the trumpet "world" I have missed many advances and concede ignorance in things as simple as mouthpiece and trumpet brands. I also have alot of information that at the time I was playing were mainstream axioms some of which seem to now have been refuted. I love learning and the interaction. I am typing this so you can have a better understanding of who I am as a person and as a musician. I really don't expect any magic bullets here but trying new things does give me something each day to experiement with my horn.
    When I perform (man has that been a long time) I will say I am right with you on all of this... it is more than notes and my tone is an interaction with the environment whether that's an ensemble or a solo in a room. I feel that is what I bring to the table, why listeners seem to enjoy and feel safe in my performances. Practicing to me is another ball of wax . maybe it shouldn't be. I use it to improve my craft, technique, range, and endurance. I will never play a piece where my technical limits my musicality to the detriment of the piece.
    Thanks for taking the time to write that, I will take the time to understand it.
     
  4. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

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    Jason Harrelson's perspective on "climation" with a new horn is to play in a large room until you 'know your trumpet' - at least, I thinks that what he said - it's what I did, and it really worked for me. I guess it would work for any new instrument.
     
  5. coolerdave

    coolerdave Utimate User

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    a very interesting path this thread has taken
     
  6. EdMann

    EdMann Mezzo Forte User

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    I believe one comes to understand their sound over a very long period of time, which includes playing in churches, outdoors, small rooms, etc. You brain can process all of it, almost instantaneously, but only over time can you develop a full picture of what it takes to overcome obstacles, whether it's an airy sound, poor attacks, enduring a long jazz solo or etude, all of it. The great players sound great everywhere, and if you don't have the luxury of an acoustical wonder with space, you do the best you can with what you have.

    For what its worth, I like the tonguing from middle on down. It can really teach you to keep the corners locked down low. Sometimes DIY is all we got, but if you have big ears, you're a step ahead. That's the key.

    ed
     
  7. Jerry Freedman

    Jerry Freedman Piano User

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    This stuff is way to subtle to diagnose and perscribe in text over the internet. You'll save yourself a lot of grief and lost time with a couple of lessons with a good teacher
     
  8. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

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    I wouldn't screw with it, but I would try doing the pencil exercise after you are done for the day. Eric Bolvin has a good you tube vid on how to properly do it.
    YouTube - The Pencil Exercise for trumpet players

    I also do my own variation (endorsed by no one) where I substitute the pencil with as small a straw as possible and blow while doing the exercise. I follow the same "rules" for this exercise. I think ultimately, everyone on occasion leaks. I've seen vids where the player absolutely nails what they are playing yet you can see a mini geyser from the side of their mouth. I wouldn't lose any sleep over it. A good tone is/should be your goal. That only comes from playing.:thumbsup:
     
  9. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    CD,
    the jist of my very long post was just to say that practicing in a "favorable" environment can speed all things up - embouchure included.

    You mentioned not performing - that is a BIG difference in balance compared to what you did in earlier years and perhaps a big part of what is missing.

    The silver bullet is not the right daily routine. It is a balance of many things with and without the trumpet. Things that you will not be able to recreate. Life is different, the ground rules become different. Go find a nice room for 30- 45 minutes per week. Only play tunes there.
     
  10. coolerdave

    coolerdave Utimate User

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    thanks guys.. will let you know how things work out
     

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