Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Heavens2kadonka, Jul 28, 2004.

  1. Jarrett

    Jarrett Piano User

    Nov 11, 2003
    Richland, MO
    To tell you guys the truth, I've always found my endurance from playing a consistent practice routine everyday. At one point before Iraq I was playing 6 hours a day. Now, I'm playing about 4 hours a day or two on days with gigs. Different Strokes I guess.
    Oh, and if you don't take breaks appropriately, your just burning your chops out early in my experience. If I rest 10-15 minutes an hour I can play MUCH longer.
  2. FlugelFlyer

    FlugelFlyer Piano User

    Dec 15, 2003
    Palos Park, IL

    One thing I've found is the chops themselves are very precise in what they want to do, at least with me, and conciously trying to manipulate them otherwise myself will literally cut my endurance about 90%. I'd recommend anything just to get you playing and focusing on the music and not what the chops are doing. The chops will know what they need to do as long as you're focusing on the greatest sound possible.

    I probably just recycled the same old ideas, but they are what's helped me the most. Best of luck!
  3. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    FF, I used to have that philosophy too, but over time this has not gotten me very far. And I do have a good sound, or at least I have always been told that I do.

    So if your chops aren't doing what they are supposed to be doing, how do you go about retraining them?
  4. dizforprez

    dizforprez Forte User

    Nov 2, 2003
    You have to program them with the correct musical stimulus, unless there is some sort of trauma to the chops they aren’t doing what they should be doing because your mind sent in the wrong signal.
  5. FlugelFlyer

    FlugelFlyer Piano User

    Dec 15, 2003
    Palos Park, IL

    Sorry, should have clarified myself. If you have experience driving a car (I know you do, I'm just being rhetorical), it doesn't make sense to drive it with a massive radiator leak just because the gas pedal works and you're driving straight down the road. Depending on how hot a day it is, your car will break down in perhaps thirty miles from overheat. The same can obviously be said for the chops. If something doesn't feel right, to an extent you have to be your own mechanic and figure out what's wrong.

    On the other hand, I'm prone like a 'holic to tampering with things that work just to see if I can do something better. That's where my endurance suffers, once I start tampering with something that already works. I think that's where the line has to be drawn at least in my experience. I wouldn't attach an NO2 tank to the intake manifold on my truck just to gain performance, the cylinders would probably be thrown through the hood of the car! :shock:

    Hopefully that gave some new breath to my comments.

    ACK!!! Forgot to add that dizforprez pretty much summed up my thoughts in fewer words.
  6. mike ansberry

    mike ansberry Forte User

    Dec 30, 2003
    Clarksville, Tennessee, U
    Jake taught me the single embouchure thing. He said it is much easier to play low on a high embouchure than high on a low embouchure. He had me do lip slurs from the high range to the low range and back up, using the embourchure set from the G above the staff, as many others have said here. Works for me!
  7. FlugelFlyer

    FlugelFlyer Piano User

    Dec 15, 2003
    Palos Park, IL

    At one time, this is what I focused on, and I believe it works because it forces the muscles around the embouchure to remain somewhat flexed once you go low, and the embouchure muscles remaining flexed will allow the lips to remain free to vibrate in a natural way. If you try to play high on a low embouchure, you'll allow your embouchure muscles to become flabby while putting the strain on the lip muscles. All in all, interesting concept, and I don't know who brought it up first in this thread, but thanks for doing so whoever did! :cool:
  8. NickD

    NickD Forte User

    Endurance - long

    For years, endurance was an issue for me. This was exacerbated by the fact that I wanted to learn how to play jazz. All of my sax buddies would sit around and work on changes for hours on end and never worry about "blowing their chops." I really wanted to get there on trumpet.

    Well, I THINK I've pulled it off, finally. I don't mind sitting down before a gig and practicing for 2 or 3 hours, as long as I get a bit of a break before I go to work. Here's what I'm doing in an extreme nutshell.

    I do like the idea of SOFT or softer playing. I don't spend a lot of time playing real loud when I'm running scales and changes. I also do NOT spend a lot of time working on high notes. I might spend 10 minutes - 15 at the absolute max - working my way up to an F over double C. I don't bother workng any higher. Sure there are guys (the Tastee's come to mind) who can player higher, but who the heck cares? I don't mean to diminish those who can do it! I still admire that. It's just that, at my stage, I'm perfectly content with my range as it is. I have NEVER beeen ASKED to play an F over double C - never seen one in music. I'm sure I cold even tell what it was (how many ledger lines is that??). So, anyway, Mf with 10 min max of high notes work in a 2 hour plus practice session.

    Also, take the horn off the lips periodically. I used to advocate a 50/50 duty cycle - ala Calude Gordon, but I don't really do that anymore. As long as I take it off my chops once in a while, I'm cool. I also schedule breaks. I might pracitice for 40 minutes (taking it off my chops periodically, of course) and then a quit playing trumpet and move over to piano or even tenor sax (usually piano these days). I might practice piano for a half hour before I grab my trumpet again.

    In order to solve some problems with my chops about 14 years ago, I began a wierd process of practicing. I wrote about it in my now out of print book, "Embouchure Design." Here's what I did. I trained myself to buzz my lips. After getting some solid advice about pacing with lip buzzing from Bobby Shew I would practice in this fashion. I'd buzz my lips for five to ten minutes. Then, I'd do the same on a ring visualizer. Then BERP. Then Lead pipe only (ala Adams). then false scales on the horn (playing a low C scale all open, for example). I had a whole routine worked out. Then I'd get to work on music. I think this helped me a great deal to learn how to use my chops better, but I don't follow that pattern any more. That's why the book is out of print. I'll be working on a video prject this summer to replace this, but that's the subject of another post.

    Now, I concentrate on finding my minimum mouthpiece pressure set and then working with that throughout my practice session. As long as I keep the playing setup relaxed, I find I don't get to worn out. I'm not mashing up my lips. My biggest problems with endurance could almost all be tied to pressing the mouthpiece to hard into my chops.

    When I work on my jazz stuff, I tend to strive for a cornet like sound. I do this by controlling the aperture. In my mind this is quite important. Playing loud verus soft, low versus high, is, IMHO all about controlling the aperture. In order to do this, you need to NOT press the mouthpiece too hard. In additon to beating your chops up, you pin the aperture down, and you can't adjust it at all. Anyway, by striving for a nice "oooo" sound, I find that I can subtly develop a part of my chops that goes towards playing them high notes! To make a trumpet (think "yyaaaaa" sound) go "oooo" requires that I close the aperture up a bit on the airstream. Well, by doing this in the lower to middle register, I'm cultivation part of the high note thing. Playng notes also requires that one close the aperture up a littel bit to reduce the vibrating lip mass, thus allowing the pitch to go up.

    Finally, the rest of the endurance thing for me has come with a different mental way of looking at trumpet playng. I have made an effort to NOT think of trumpet playing as an athletic event. I don't have to make my lips stronger. I don't have to be able to create a couple hundred pounds of tension in my lips in order to hit high notes. It is ALL about CONTROL and knowing what to do with the chops. Thinking this way has helped me relax and let the "idea" of playing with freedom come out. I've always had a mental concept of what it should feel like to play a double C with least effort required. I had this idea of feeling the air just sipping between my lips at great speed, the mouthpiece anchored fimly, but comfortably on my lower lip, my upper lip holding the position for the pitch. All I had to do was let this idea just come out by not trying to MAKE it happen. I had to LET IT happen. I know this will seem wierd to some, but I am very sincere in closing with this idea. Most of the folks on Trumpet MASTER are god players already. You don't need to lerarn how to PLAY. You might be looking for something to help you play better. I am sincere in response to that idea with this closing paragraph. Ostensibly, all of this is a mental practice.

    Now, this is really a nutshell thing, and this post isn't really organized. It is off the cuff. I plan on going into much more detail this summer. I am looking forward to working on my music this summer. I'm writing the music for a brand new live band CD and this video thing. These in additon to a busy gigging season ought to keep me outta trouble.

    I hope some of these ideas help some folks, though. You might take a look at my post about asymmetrics. I really believe in those things, for those who they might fit.

    Peace, all.

    Nick Drozdoff

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