Endurance and High Notes

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by RichK, Jul 24, 2010.

  1. RichK

    RichK New Friend

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    Apr 30, 2010
    Arvada, Colorado
    I am a "come back" player. However, my skills were only playing in the school band in the 8th/9th grades 50 years ago. I have a horn that I have been playing almost 4 months now.

    My range is from F# below the staff to G above the staff. However the E at the top of the staff is the highest note that I can get reliably.

    When I need to get high notes, I find that I am pressing the horn tighter to my lips. This results in my top lip going numb and then I can hardly blow any notes that sound decent.

    My other problem is endurance. I don't practice every day, but very close. I am retired and I usually play two or three times a day, each time for about 1/2 hour. I usually quit when the lips no longer work.

    So, before someone suggests that I take lessons, that is not in the program. I am playing for myself and when I get brave enough for friends and family. What I would appreciate is a few suggestions. Is the endurance issue something that you all have? Is the numb lip problem common?

    I would also like to note that I am doing much better that I thought I would be doing when I started up again. My music reading skills are decent as I also play the piano. In fact, most of the music I am playing is piano music. I only have one book of music for the trumpet.

    Thanks,

    Rich
     
  2. s.coomer

    s.coomer Forte User

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    Mar 25, 2005
    Indianapolis, In
    I am going to say what you do not want to hear. Even a few lessons with a teacher would help you tremendously. Using so much pressure that your lip becomes numb tells me you are using way too much. If you are going to press then press on the bottom lip not the top. I would be working on playing quietly and working on lip slurs, scales, intervals, etc. If you are going to build endurance then you need to play daily three times a week will only be a very very slow way to get back in shape.
     
  3. EdMann

    EdMann Mezzo Forte User

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    Sep 20, 2007
    Los Angeles
    Tired is one thing. Numb is a bit on the dangerous side. If you're going to go on your own, I'd pick up a Claude Gordon book, or a like method and stick with it. You should really avoid pressure at all costs.

    ed
     
  4. RichK

    RichK New Friend

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    Apr 30, 2010
    Arvada, Colorado
    s.coomer - Please note that I said I am playing three times a day most days. Thursdays I volunteer at the Colorado Railroad Museum and only play once on that day, twice on Wednesdays and three times all the rest of the days of the week. Also, I did look into lessons locally, but what I found was about $75/hr. with a 4 hour minimum. For now, that's more that I want to spend.

    I am currently working on slurs, scales and I play a wide range of music every day. I am afraid that I don't know what intervals are. I appreciate your comments.

    EdMann - I did look at the Claude Gordon website, but there are just a HUGE number of things that they have to offer. Could you be more specific? Here is a link to their site.

    Educational Books

    Regarding pressure on the upper lip, I have a natural overbite, so the mouthpiece contacts the upper lip a little more than the lower lip.

    Also, I don't feel like I am completely on my own as long as I can get some suggestions from other more experienced people. I most certainly appreciate these comments.

    Rich
     
  5. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

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    Aug 9, 2007
    Levittown , NY
    Excessive pressure is what's causing both of your problems,lack of endurance and trouble playing high. First, practice with plenty of rests,never practice until your lips stop working. What you're doing is tearing down your embouchure muscles and not giving them time to rebuild. Secondly try to let your air do the work ,not your biceps.
    Soft long tones,scales,lip slurs,and arpeggios will help to build strength if not played too loudly.
     
  6. Mambo King

    Mambo King Pianissimo User

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    Aug 20, 2009
    London
    Rich,

    As a come back player of just over 12 months i feel your pain and offer the following suggestions:

    Long notes-let your face learn to recognise the feel of the horn RELAXED on your chops.
    Low notes quietly-same as before
    Hymn tunes and slow melodies-you are reinstalling your trumpet operating system and if you don't get the basics right the rest of the program shows 'error' !

    I too have a natural overbite. I find that I have a tendency to 'lose' my lower lip by pressing on the upper when tired so as soon as I feel this tension I stop no matter where in a melody/piece/study/exercise I am.

    Try in one of your half hour slots playing everything, absolutely everything with only a breath attack-don't tongue a single thing and visualise the sound as a big, fat, wide column leaving your body, entering the trumpet and producing this big, beautiful and effortless sound! Do this for a few weeks and focus on staying relaxed-the range and endurance will come but remember, relaxation is the key.

    All the best and we all are instrument geeks here-what trumpet do you play?
     
  7. EdMann

    EdMann Mezzo Forte User

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    Sep 20, 2007
    Los Angeles
    I'm not a devotee, but I subscribe to much of his philosophy if not his daily grind: Systematic Approach is the method. Also, pick up Clarke Technical Studies and play as prescribed, and as prescribed by Mr. Olds fanatic guy (I love my Olds's!!)

    ed
     
  8. Bob Grier

    Bob Grier Forte User

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    Greensboro, NC
    How about $52.00 a lesson no minimum. You would need a web cam. The problem is not knowing how to approch developing yourself on the horn. This is something you must be shown, it can't be just talked about. It is like just describing how to throw a baseball. You have to be shown how. As you will hear often here learning to play the trumpet is not a DIY endevor. It's not something you can just"figure out".You are hurting yourself by playing until your lips are numb. Remember you are training your lips to make the sound. It won't matter what material you play if your approch is wrong.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2010
  9. RichK

    RichK New Friend

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    Apr 30, 2010
    Arvada, Colorado
    Mambo King,

    What do I play? Well, as a "new guy" I am not really into hardware. Not to say that I haven't looked and read a bunch about different horns, but I don't know that the "best" horn in the world would make much difference to me. But, I do have two horns. I have a King 600 that is in real good condition and an Olds Special that is in good operating condition, but it is nickel plated and has a few pits in the surface. Quite frankly, I like the King better and after switching back and forth for a few times I don't think that I can tell much difference. There is a little difference in sound between them and I used SoundForge to analyze the wave form on same notes played on each horn and the King has fewer overtones and an overall cleaner looking sinewave when comparing note to note on each horn. When I did this I tuned both horns with a Korg TM-40 and then watch this and a vu meter to be as sure as I could that I had the exact note and volume on each horn when I did this.

    Regarding your comments about my playing problems. I like your suggestions and will implement them today. I'll let you know how things are going in the next week or so.

    EdMann,

    I will also look into the things that you suggested.

    ---------------------
    After the last round of comments I did a quick search on the internet. This was my search criteria "Lip Pressure playing a trumpet" and this is a piece of what I got.
    Pressure!!!

    Well, here it is - the key to all of this. You may find yourself asking, "Well how much pressure should I use, anyway?" Intense pressure!! Enormous amounts!! AS MUCH AS YOU CAN POSSIBLY INDUCE!!! This is where the visualization of "lip-mashing" really becomes important. Sure, it will be painful for awhile, but the benefits you gain from this will be worth it. It is O.K.. to feel pain. Have you ever exercised? Don't your muscles hurt after you exercise? It is the same thing. In fact, if you are doing it properly your arms should hurt as much as your face does. And of course, one must be logical about the amount of pressure it takes to play different notes. For example, you wouldn't use the same amount of pressure to play a high C than you would to play a low C. (Although, drastic differences in pressure are not encouraged) The higher you go, the more pressure there needs to be exerted. And of course, the lower you go, the less pressure -to a degree- needs to be exerted. Everyone is different, but don't get overconfident. No matter how well of a player you may become, you can always use more pressure.

    -----------------------------------------

    The last sentence says it all.

    Here is where that came from.

    The MOB • The All-Pressure System

    ---------------------------------------------

    One thing that I know for sure is that pressure is not working for me.

    Rich
     
  10. oldlou

    oldlou Forte User

    Age:
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    Aug 28, 2005
    Grand Rapids, Mi.
    ---------------------
    After the last round of comments I did a quick search on the internet. This was my search criteria "Lip Pressure playing a trumpet" and this is a piece of what I got.
    Pressure!!!

    Well, here it is - the key to all of this. You may find yourself asking, "Well how much pressure should I use, anyway?" Intense pressure!! Enormous amounts!! AS MUCH AS YOU CAN POSSIBLY INDUCE!!! This is where the visualization of "lip-mashing" really becomes important. Sure, it will be painful for awhile, but the benefits you gain from this will be worth it. It is O.K.. to feel pain. Have you ever exercised? Don't your muscles hurt after you exercise? It is the same thing. In fact, if you are doing it properly your arms should hurt as much as your face does. And of course, one must be logical about the amount of pressure it takes to play different notes. For example, you wouldn't use the same amount of pressure to play a high C than you would to play a low C. (Although, drastic differences in pressure are not encouraged) The higher you go, the more pressure there needs to be exerted. And of course, the lower you go, the less pressure -to a degree- needs to be exerted. Everyone is different, but don't get overconfident. No matter how well of a player you may become, you can always use more pressure.

    -----------------------------------------

    The last sentence says it all.

    Here is where that came from.

    The MOB • The All-Pressure System

    ---------------------------------------------

    BALDERDASH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    OLDLOU>>
     

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