Haven't Played In Years...Where To Start?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by KBoy420, Jun 4, 2012.

  1. KBoy420

    KBoy420 New Friend

    Jun 1, 2012
    Hi All,

    First time poster but looking for some help. Back in the day, I was actually a very good trumpet player. Numerous awards all through high school, district/regional/state concert and jazz band. I actually had a full scholarship to UArts in Philly for jazz performance, but decided to get out of music. Fast-forward about 10 years and I miss playing.

    As I'm sure you all know, the knowledge is all still there, but the chops are shot. I can play for about 10 minutes before my lips give out and my range is shot. I can still barely squeak out high C, but back in high school, I had a solid F/G above that.

    So I'd like to know what you all think would be the best way to start getting my chops back. I've been doing long tones and excercises out of Arbans. It's so frustrating becasue I want to be playing at the level I was, but my lips wont let me. And long tones are borrrring. Any thoughts?


    PS - oh and for my gear, in case some are curious. I play a Bach Strad 172 w/ 3C but also have an old Callet horn and mouthpiece.
  2. D.C. Al fine

    D.C. Al fine Banned

    May 8, 2012
    Take it easy, you will not be like you were in a week or two. You have your copy of the Arbans Technical Studies. That is your bible from now on.

    Also, try to practice for 30 mins a day, and not try to go above the F on top of the staff. Get some solid staff notes before you go higher. You are only hurting yourself.

    PLAY LONG TONES!!! They will help your immensely, trust me. Yes, they are boring but that is how you started playing, correct?

    Best of luck to you!
  3. Pat S

    Pat S Piano User

    Jan 28, 2012
    San Antonio
    Patience and fortitude. And lots and lots of boring long tones. I find myself toying with my high range just a couple of months into my own comeback, but I know that the high notes should not be my focus, so I try to calm down and get back to the basics.
  4. BustedChops

    BustedChops Mezzo Forte User

    Oct 1, 2011
    Bore yourself to death with long tones. The mental anguish of finding sweet spots of notes requires a keen observation of the velocity of air. Sometimes we forget that notes are closer in velocity than we seem.

    To make long tones less boring you could break some glasses :) Just attach a straw in the glass so the it can vibrate at the right frequency...Boom less boring long tones.

    I am willing to bet you can read and play good if you won all those awards. I can read music at a 4th grade level but I can play notes with 30 year old testicular fortitude :)

    Learning to read again has been a great challenge. Get a small ensemble together and play casually for fun...Get a couple of little gigs...You'll get your back. Even if it's a practice gig where there's only three people listening.
  5. trumpetsplus

    trumpetsplus Fortissimo User

    Jun 11, 2006
    South Salem, NY
    Play melodies. They're more interesting than long tones, but include long tones. Be in it for the music, not the technique. Technique and range will come back by themselves, if you are approaching melody with good air support.
  6. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    Long Tones! Sorry. Crescendo from nothing until just before the sound breaks up, decrescendo to nothing and work through the boredom.

    By the way, welcome to TM!
  7. D.C. Al fine

    D.C. Al fine Banned

    May 8, 2012
    I think we have a reached a verdict:

  8. jiarby

    jiarby Fortissimo User

    May 7, 2011
    When I started back I didn't play anything but long tones, clarke #1 & #2, scales, and irons flexibilities for two months.
  9. trumpetsplus

    trumpetsplus Fortissimo User

    Jun 11, 2006
    South Salem, NY
    I have never played "long tones", although much of what I have played and assigned students to play contains long notes.
  10. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
    one day at a time -- DONT GET FRUSTRATED WITH YOURSELF IT TAKES TIME AND DISCIPLINE -- frustration will never help you in this process

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