Endurance problems

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by greenpeppers, May 19, 2008.

  1. greenpeppers

    greenpeppers New Friend

    34
    5
    Mar 31, 2008
    I've been taking trumpet lessons for around 5 months now and while I'm happy with the progress I've made, I seem to have a problem with endurance. I find that I can only play for 20-25 minutes at a time, sometimes less, before my chops give out. If time allows, I put the horn down for a few hours and try practicing again later on but this is frustrating to me. I'm sure that as time goes on and my muscles become more developed, I'll be able to last longer. Is it normal at this stage of the game to only last this long? I feel like I need trumpet Viagra or something. I've also been a woodwind player for most of my life and therefore am not used to a brass embouchure. Could this also be a factor?
     
  2. Original_Username

    Original_Username Pianissimo User

    87
    1
    Mar 5, 2008
    Beijing, China
    You might need a larger diameter for your mouthpiece or a deeper cup or something along those lines.

    This is probably the best source to getting a new one IF you want to spend money to solve the problem.

    http://www.dallasmusic.org/schilke/How to Select Mouthpiece.html

    On the other hand, I found that I just need to use more air. Do this buy focusing on breathing through your diaphragm or stomach more then your chest. I found that I could improve my diaphragm strength by ONLY using it instead of my chest for an entire week when I first learned about it.
     
  3. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Age:
    61
    16,613
    7,957
    Jun 18, 2006
    Germany
    With under a year of intensive playing, I think 20-25 minutes is fine. When you think about all the pieces that have to fit together and the bodies great resistance to change, I think you need to post again about this in 7-8 months! Building chops requires a routine that does not waste them daily. If you are burned out after less than 30 minutes, your routine is not good. Please post it, maybe we will notice something!
     
  4. commakozzi

    commakozzi Pianissimo User

    218
    1
    Oct 30, 2007
    Georgia, USA
    Well, I'm kind of going through some of the same issues, and I'd like to tell you my experience. I studied trumpet in college, so I had great chops then. I got out of school and took a normal 8-5 job, and gigged for awhile when I could. However, about 2 years ago I moved to another state and stopped playing for about a year. I picked the horn up expecting to get the same results to great disappointment! I had lost my range, endurance and flexibility. So, I've been back on the horn with a consistent practice schedule for over 6 months now. For several months I worked myself to death trying to gain everything back, but this only hurt me. My chops always felt tired and I wasn't really getting anywhere with the range/endurance/flexibility aspect of playing while other areas were improving greatly (scales, tonguing, musicianship, etc.). So, it wasn't a total loss, just that I couldn't play as high and long as I would like based on my past ability. So here we are 6 months on, and what I've learned through this forum, through my lessons, and through practice is that I have to let myself REST!!! LOL So simple, but so true. I've had to learn to be very patient, and to work hard, but also give myself time to heal. I'm not saying that I beat my face up one day and then take a day off, no, I'm saying that I work pretty hard one day and then do a light day. I've found a great happy medium for myself, that I know wouldn't work for everyone, but here's how it goes: Monday (or "easy day") I do my warm-up (Stamp) and then I do Clarkes and maybe a little bit of some music I'm currently working on, but as soon as I feel just a bit tired I put the horn down and make myself walk away and not pick it up for the rest of the day. Tuesday ("hard day") I do everything that I can!!! I still try not to beat myself up, per se, but I come close I think :-p. And so on and so on. I have to play it by ear though, because sometimes I do my warmup and I can tell that I pushed myself too hard the day before and I need more rest, so then I just make that day a light day and the cycle continues. I'm finding that I'm making a lot more progress with this approach!
     
  5. greenpeppers

    greenpeppers New Friend

    34
    5
    Mar 31, 2008
    I try to get practice time in every day. I'll start with scales and lip slurs, and then move to my Rubank book. I then work on a song my teacher has assigned or play something out of my Herb Alpert songbook. I think my range is pretty good for a beginner - I'm able to play up to an A above the staff with relative ease until my chops give out - then nothing comes out right because my lips feel like rubber. Until I tire out, everything seems to go just fine. I want to keep going but I can't. It's frustrating.
     
  6. commakozzi

    commakozzi Pianissimo User

    218
    1
    Oct 30, 2007
    Georgia, USA
    As rowuk and many other guys here will tell you, patience is the key! Push hard, but not too hard, and things will happen. They just take more time than we might want.

    You may find, though, that just one day suddenly a certain aspect of what you're trying to accomplish is suddenly there! And then the next day it's gone :-( Well, keep going and guess what... it'll be there again!!! Oh, but then it's gone the next day... Eventually though, that thing will show up more often until it's just there when you need it. I hate talking about range, because it for me has been one of the most finicky aspects of playing. A lot about it is technique and not power, and we tend to want to muscle it out of ourselves. Anyway, my range showed up in the way that I described above. I had been working on range extension and endurance exercises and one day suddenly I played the E above high C. But then the next day I couldn't do it to save my life. I was trying to muscle it, or I was clenching my throat, etc. etc. But with patience, the E above high C has become a note that I can play great anytime I wish (and I found that I was trying way too hard anyway)! Right now, I'm concerned a little with range because of the Pines excerpts. The first movement excerpt I'm trying to learn has a high D. Well, I feel like my comfortable range should be at least a third above the note I intend to play in a performance. That means that I need a good solid F#. I can play the F#, and I can play a G, but not really PLAY like I can an E. I guess it's kind of mental too, and I guess I've gone on for long enough.

    Patience!!!
     
  7. greenpeppers

    greenpeppers New Friend

    34
    5
    Mar 31, 2008
    I agree that it doesn't make sense to push yourself because you'll just spin your wheels. If I start to feel like I'm straining, i stop. I realize that learning a new instrument takes time and patience. I'm sure it would be equally as frustrating if I were 9 years old and picking up my first instrument, but the fact that I've played music for almost 30 years now and know how to read, to play rhythms, etc. makes it even more frustrating. I've got all the tools I need to play and I know where i need to go, I just need to learn how to operate the vehicle
     
  8. nordlandstrompet

    nordlandstrompet Forte User

    1,839
    221
    Apr 5, 2008
    Norway
    Mick Hesse has some very good ideas about building strength:

    http://web.mac.com/studio1023

    Check out his website, and also have a look at the reviews of his book.
    Then buy the book. It's worth the money!
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2008
  9. sass

    sass New Friend

    24
    0
    Apr 7, 2008
    nelson b.c. canada
    I think it was commakozzi who I saw post about playing softly and getting a nice easy approach to forming the sound that you can then push and still have it easy. It really works. That was a giant step for me. thanks commakozzi.
    It feels weird at first like you are not doing enough and it takes some getting used to but the endurance has gone way up and control is very doable.
     
  10. commakozzi

    commakozzi Pianissimo User

    218
    1
    Oct 30, 2007
    Georgia, USA
    Very cool!!! Yeah, that was advice from Tom Hooten of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and it worked wonders for me as well. I still don't have the endurance I would like to have, but it's getting there!
     

Share This Page