Holding notes, and being relaxed.

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Mamboman, Dec 25, 2012.

  1. Mamboman

    Mamboman Pianissimo User

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    Dec 28, 2011
    NSW Australia
    Hello everyone of TM!

    Just recently, i was practicing the lead trumpet chart for the song 'killer Joe' (ed wilson arrangement). There are a lot of High C's for long stands, and it is a true chop burner. Anyway, i just realised that i find it really hard to hold notes for a long time (on any level). I dont know whether it is a relaxation problem, or an embouchure problem. It is really a toll on any of my endurance and my playing.

    When i play i have a really stressed looking face looking very similar to this: at 2:34 Lab 2011 HD Video Montage by the One O'Clock Lab Band - YouTube . I dont really know whether it is bad or not.

    I also found out that when tuning my high 'c' (2 ledger lines), it is extremely sharp (almost a C#). I dont know how to bring it back, any tips?

    Thanks a lot everyone for your help.





    Check out this photo, i thought it was hilarious :p

    image_1356228154425967.jpg
     
  2. amzi

    amzi Forte User

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    Northern California
    When you're playing near the top of your range or playing when you're fatigued it is pretty normal to play sharp. Relaxing will help, but it's really endurance and range that you need to build. By the way, I define range as the note you still own at the end of the night--not the highest note you can hit on a good day when you're fresh.
     
  3. BinaryHulledIon

    BinaryHulledIon Piano User

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    Spartanburg, SC
    Diaphragm problem, maybe? I got this lesson both in playing trumpet and in singing: put one hand on your belly while you play a long note. While you're expelling air, push against your hand with your belly. Try to provide only as much air as the note requires to play (so, actually, you're resisting the flow of air rather than pushing it). When I do this, I generally get light-headed long before I run out of air.
     
  4. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    Killer Joe is a chop burner... and a sleeper one at that.. as you don't realize how it has burned you until you are well into playing the song. AND adding the resistance of the Harmon Mute does NOT help. It has gotten much easier to do this now, only because my current band's charts are even more Killers. So with increasing my muscle tone, KIiller Joe now falls into place. It is kind of like running a 5K. If you practice running 10Ks, then go to enter the 5K, you run a good strong race.
     
  5. bigtiny

    bigtiny Mezzo Forte User

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    The problem you are having sounds two fold to me and the two are somewhat related. One of the HARDEST things to do on a trumpet is hold pitch, in tune, for any amount of time. That's why, you got it, one of our best exercises is holding long tones and trying to keep them in tune. Do you practice long tones? You should, and here's how:

    Use any kind of organizational template for these that you want...scales work well. This IS NOT a warmup exercise, so after warming up, start on a medium-low note (something near the bottom of the staff), set a metronome to a medium tempo, blow the note with medium articulation and volume, and hold it as long as you can, as much in tune as you can. Pay particular attention to your air column and embouchure. When these things are working DON"T LET THEM SHIFT! Hold the note until you are shaking. Once you stop, note the time/beats you lasted on the metronome.

    Do this move up through the chromatic scale...remember, last as long as you can, relax, breathe, note the time. Rest plenty in between each scale.

    Repeat this exercise everyday for a week. Note whether you feel stonger at the end of the held note or if you're able to go longer.

    Once you feel that you've stabilized the pitches in the scale you've been practicing, move your starting scale up 1/2 step.

    Don't start in the middle or top of the staff in the beginning! Be patient! Do these a while and get their benefit before you start moving up.

    I also recommend integrating these exercises with lip slurring exercises to build chop strength and flexibility...

    bigtiny
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2012
  6. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

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    Gone for good is my capability to hold notes very long ... no more 8 measure drones on euphonium for sure. The cause is COPD for which there is no recovery. A bad habit will steal your ability away eventually ... as it did mine.
     
  7. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    I can relate... I got a bad habit with women... and they steal your heart...

    SO I use circular breathing to hold out my notes... until I start getting dizzy... that helps me forget.
     
  8. BinaryHulledIon

    BinaryHulledIon Piano User

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    I could never do circular breathing. But I do have some mead that's excellent at helping me forget.
     
  9. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

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    Do you make your own mead? I once did, and it went down the gullet of many at Scottish Highland Games. Honey is getting very expensive now. Honey bees seem to be diminishing. Now I don't need any help forgetting ... I think I've now forgotten 75% of what I once knew.
     
  10. Richard Oliver

    Richard Oliver Forte User

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    Casper, WY
    Yup. And your recommendation is spot on. Funny, when practicing long tones we say I'm practicing long tones. We never think, I'm boning up on Killer Joe.

    I'm glad for the people who went before that wrote these boring, hard, and repetitious method books.
     

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