Help!

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by AnnaMaureen9, Nov 13, 2006.

  1. AnnaMaureen9

    AnnaMaureen9 New Friend

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    Nov 13, 2006
    I'm a 16 year-old trumpet player in my high school band. Here's my story--I started playing the trumpet in 4th grade. I enjoyed it a lot but I got a little lazy with it, I barely ever practiced. My classmates seemed to develop their lips faster than me. Higher notes just never seemed to come. Until one day, I slide my mouthpiece down on my lips and a high note came out. Since then, I've been playing out of the top of my mouthpiece, using just my bottom lip. My range wasn't wonderful, but it was enough. I could play up to a high C on good days. However, I also had my bad days. My director noticed this and suggested that I begin to use both lips. I've been working on this for about a month now and I haven't seen much progress. My range is ridiculous and I pretty much have zero endurance, it's like I just started learning again. I've been buzzing on my mouthpiece and playing long tones to build my lips for hours daily, but it hasn't shown much worth yet. I'm trying to be patient, because I know it will be benificial in the long run, but it's very embarrassing and hard for me right now. I was just wondering if anyone knew of some technique or srategy that could help me keep my head above water while I'm undergoing this embouchure change, or will I be paying for my lazyness in elementary school forever?
     
  2. trumpetnick

    trumpetnick Fortissimo User

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    Changing the embouchure is a tough issue, Anna...Shoul realy keep the work up and use as much patience as you can. Do you have a teacher to work?with you while trying to do this major change in your trumpeter's experience. The risk is that when trying to get your range back you may gradually slip your mouthpiece down till you get to the initial position which can be very disappointing. That's why you need a good brass tutor to control/lead your work on changing the embouchure. Then remember that there is no such thing as perfect position working for everyone...Steven Thomas, for example is playing with a very low embouchure but sounds brilliant....most trumpeter sreccomend 1/3 on the upper lip and 2/3 on the lower one, other 1/2 to 1/2 this can differ from one case to another depending on your facial structure etc. I hope that other trumpeters will intervene and confirm what I just said. Don't neglect the practice in front of a mirror - in your case this is essential. And get a good brass tutor if you don't have one at the moment.
     
  3. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    It is great that you are so open about having made a mistake and wanting to solve it. The best way is to find a real trumpet teacher that will stand by your side during this change!
    You are right about starting again. The fastest way I have found to build up strength is long tones(start softly, crescendo-decrescendo) and slurs. I am not sure that buzzing on your mouthpiece at this stage will help much - it won't hurt, but more time on the trumpet is important
     
  4. Brekelefuw

    Brekelefuw Fortissimo User

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    I can't even imagine how I could make a sound on my horn without both lips in the mouthpiece!
     
  5. Eclipsehornplayer

    Eclipsehornplayer Forte User

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    I second this notion; Wow! :shock:

    IMHO your going to need someone who can work with you one on one. Look around for a local pro or if you live by a University or College contact the Trumpet Instructor and see about a lesson. Maybe they have a grad student you can study with? You definately should be using your upper and lower lip to form your embouchure ideally.

    I really think if you want to progress; a couple of private lessons will be the way for you to go.

    my .02
     
  6. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Hey - it is the difference between a clarinet and an oboe.
    Let's help her become a REAL trumpet player! You know, the woodwind, string-killing kind!
     
  7. Liad Bar-EL

    Liad Bar-EL Forte User

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    AnnaMaureen9,

    If you could tell us where you are living, there could be someone in this forum who might know of a good teacher for you to contact in your area.

    Liad
     
  8. AnnaMaureen9

    AnnaMaureen9 New Friend

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    Nov 13, 2006
    I live in the suburbs north of Pittsburgh.
    Thank you all so much for your advice.
     
  9. tobys346

    tobys346 New Friend

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    Nov 14, 2006
    Hi Anna. I'm from Pittsburgh and attended Duquesne University Conservatory of Music some years ago. I had an embouchure much like yours in highschool. When it finally collapsed on me I had to change. I had a great teacher who rebuilt me but it did take some time. Get a GOOD teacher who knows how to change AND develop a good embouchure. Get a mirror and practice long tones and flexibility excersises in front of it very softly. Rest as much as you play. Be PATIENT and don't give in to the temptation of going back to the old embouchure. This takes time but with proper instruction and PATIENCE you can be playing very well sooner than you think. You will have good and bad days but that is to be expected and it is normal. Hang in there. I had one of the worst ebouchures ever and now my range is consistently the A above high 'C' and when I'm really in shape the double 'C' with power. Don' t neglect your technique either. Practice scales with a metronome and other trumpet studies. These will all help you to develop a usable embouchure as well as good skill sets for being a MUSICIAN as well as a trumpeter. Good luck and hang in there.
     

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