Help in restrenghtening lips

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by JHSTrumpet, Jun 26, 2012.

  1. JHSTrumpet

    JHSTrumpet New Friend

    May 21, 2011
    School let out about 2 weeks ago, and in those 2 weeks, I've practiced a few days. Well, I took a break the second week, I hardly played if I played at all. So, today I take out my horn to practice a little. I played things with a few notes above the staff, and I realized something. I can barely hit a high G anymore, that is, without it cracking. My lips have weakened. Last year, this thing didn't happen. I did have a problem of feeling my lip out of place, but that's not important at the moment. Can anyone give me some exercises that can strengthen my lips to the way they were before? Band camp is in a month, I think, so I'd have to work pretty hard to reach my goal. Also, I'm most likely going to play first chair, so improving my lips and range would help me so much.
  2. chenzo

    chenzo Piano User

    Jul 18, 2008
    How about a daily Practice .........Not every few days or when you feel like.

    You Might be surprised what can be achieved with a 30 minutes daily practice routine using long tones , scales and slurs.
    Don't try a rush to get the Higher notes to sing it will happen when they are ready
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2012
  3. JHSTrumpet

    JHSTrumpet New Friend

    May 21, 2011
    I know to practice daily, but what exercises do I need to do? Do I just play songs or scales?
  4. chenzo

    chenzo Piano User

    Jul 18, 2008
    This is where a teacher is a must. They would know what is best for you.
    Saying this .....I would say some slow songs Like Hymns would be a good starting point. you can even slur them if you wish.
    Play some long notes say a semi-breve at a tempo set around 50-60ppm start at a point and work up and down from there nothing loud mind you just listen and try to produce the best sound possible.
    And some scales as mentioned before don't have to go at a hundred miles an hour just play what is within your comfy range
  5. AKtrumpet

    AKtrumpet Piano User

    Jun 4, 2010
    Just play and have fun if you ask me. Also important: GET A TEACHER!

    Having short term goals like getting ready to play first chair in band camp is great but remember that REAL development comes over long spans of time (usually).
  6. Jerry Freedman

    Jerry Freedman Piano User

    Mar 4, 2005
    The answer to almost every problem discussed here is Get a Good Teacher
  7. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    Practice every day. From you post information, your basic problem is, you were not playing every day. To tone muscle, ANY MUSCLE, you need to use them at least every other day. It takes up to 6 weeks to get the "memory" into that muscle. It takes a lifetime to improve on the muscle function.

    There is a saying: "Miss one day, I notice, miss two days, the ensemble notices, miss three days, the audience notices." My advice: practice every day.
  8. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    First and foremost, DON"T PANIC!!! Rome wasn't built in a day and neither can your chops be. You must have some type of daily routine so that you are playing SOMETHING. Scales, lip slurs, long tones, single double, triple tonguing, etc. . Play written music and improvise with songs on your iPod. IF YOU PANIC, you will do something stupid like play endlessly for hours and cook your chops. You won't be able to do much the next day and panic will set in again and you will repeat this process until you seriously hurt yourself. Incremental progress should be your goal. Read my signature! You should have a teacher if possible or find some really good posters on this forum and read their past posts. :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:
  9. gbdeamer

    gbdeamer Forte User

    Oct 16, 2008
    Practice everything.

    It's summer break so there's no reason you can't literally spend several hours playing of the course of the day. Follow the Wynton marsalis routine:

    The Marsalis Recommended Recipe for Daily Practice

    by Wynton Marsalis
    BDG Magazine (?)
    May, 1987

    Three hours will allow you to cover all aspects of playing, but 45-60 minutes is enough for one sitting. The quality of the practice is more important than the length of time it takes.

    Practice has several basic objectives: sound, slurring, tonguing (single, double, triple), phrasing. The Arban book [Arban's Complete Conservatory Method for Trumpet (Cornet), published by Carl Fischer, 192.] is set up that way.

    Try to get as rich and pure a sound as you can -- an "unbrassy" sound, the kind with no metal in it. Louis Armstrong is a good example. His sound is really bright, but not brassy. It has a core that is warm.

    Durin the first 15-20 minutes play long tones, soft, from second line G down to low G. For the next 30-45 minutes work with pages 5 and 6 in the Max Schlossberg book [M. Baron, publisher], varying the dynamics and the tempos. Try to play through every slur, getting an even, round sound on every note, and getting over the breaks in the instrument. Also, exercises 59 and 60 in the Schlossberg book are good to strengthen your lips.

    Take a break.

    Use the Second Study (page 8) in the Herbert L. Clarke Technical Studies [Carl Fischer]. Work on velocity, with a metronome, in major and minor keys. Slur some, tongue some, and double tongue some. Also work on the "kah" syllable. Go straight up the scale, starting with the middle C (exercise 32).

    In the Arban book there is a series of exercises to work on your single tongue attack. Number 19 on 28 is especially good. Try to get a nice round attack with some "pop" in it.

    Then you can open an etude book. Theo Charlier: Etudes Transcendantes [Leduc] is good for advanced players, or the Arban book for others. Do some double/triple tonguing exercises. That's another hour on tonguing.

    Take a break.

    Now deal a little more with slurring, but not too much; you don't want to kill yourself. Work out of a book like Advanced Lip Flexibilities [Charles Colin, author and publisher]. Then do some phrasing exercises out of the Arban book.

    Finally, play some characteristic studies from Arban, or etudes from Charlier or Schlossberg. When you play these etudes, or any exercise, always go straight trhrough without a stop the first time. Then go back and practice the places you had difficulty. Play everything -- no matter how trivial or trite it might be -- with dynamics and sound and musical expression.

    If you don't have an Arban's book, get one.

    If the Marsalis routine doesn't suit your fancy then get Eric Bolvin's Arban's manual and it will walk you through the Arban book:

    ::: Eric Bolvin Music Studios - Publications ::: ARBAN MANUAL
  10. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    On days that I don't feel like practicing, I pull out a fake book, real book or hymnbook and play 100 tunes or so.

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