How to break a habit?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Mamba21500, Feb 7, 2012.

  1. Mamba21500

    Mamba21500 Piano User

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    Hello all.

    When I ascend above a C, my lips tighten and stretch backward away from the mouthpiece without me thinking about it, even when I try not to do it, it still happens... does anybody have any advice on how to stop this happening?

    Thanks.
     
  2. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

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    Something that worked for me for a different problem, on the advice of my teacher, was to use a MIRROR for a short while, to visually get a look at what I was doing wrong, and how it felt, and how it felt to do it the way I was trying to. I got rid of (entirely) a cheek puffing problem during my 1st year of playing, by using a mirror for about two weeks, while I was practicing. I bought a small one and put it on my music stand. Not only did that help me get rid of the cheek puffing, but my whole face quieted down and now I play with less tension overall.


    Turtle
     
  3. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    You state: "...my lips tighten and stretch backward away from the mouthpiece without me thinking about it, even when I try not to do it, it still happens."

    You have to keep practicing until it stops happening. I don't believe you have given yourself enough time. Learned behavior is harder to break but it can be done. Think relaxation techniques, take in some deep breaths and release slow cleansing breaths before try again. OR it just may be that you need a little more time to get this part of your range "under your belt" until you getr to the point that you "own" this range. But do not say you can't correct this... because if you say you can't... then you won't.
     
  4. LH123

    LH123 Piano User

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    To break a bad habit you must form a good one.
     
  5. Mamba21500

    Mamba21500 Piano User

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    Feb 26, 2009
    Thanks for the tip Turtle, I've been practising in front of the mirror tonight and I think I'm starting to realise what's happening, I'll verify this better before I post what I think though.

    Gmonady, I've been trying relaxation techniques before I play, but that seems to all go out the window as soon as I see a note I find difficult, it's even affecting my euphonium playing where (when I don't worry about the note) I can happily play up to a C above the staff. I highly doubt that it's because I need to spend more time practising in this range to get it under my belt. I'm playing more than ever at the moment, and practising with more focus and control than I used to following the advice posted on a previous thread of mine. I'm not saying that I can't correct this, I'm just asking for some advice :)

    Thank you all.
     
  6. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    Look at what you first posted, then this follow up post. If you doubt you have a problem with range, then I believe it will be hard time overcoming this current problem, because to me, it sounds like you have yet developed the ability to achieve a range above C. I would keep working BELOW this range, build more strength with development excercises and build on the confidence that you have at ranges you currently have. Every several weeks, try range building excercises consisting of scales and slurs leading up to then above this C, and if you fall back to tighten you lips, you still are not ready to work at this range. Wait several more weeks, then try it again.

    I also recommend you get a coach (teacher) to work with you through this time as such feedback will provide the realistic input you need to let you know advancing range is not achieved overnight.
     
  7. Mamba21500

    Mamba21500 Piano User

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    It is easy to confuse information when it is taken out of context. My post said that I can play a high C on the euphonium, not that I can easily play a high C on the trumpet after I just said I find it difficult to go above a C on the trumpet.

    I know full well that range isn't achieved overnight, since my range problems began I've been playing at least an hour a day to try and overcome this issue... that was 16 months ago.
     
  8. codyb226

    codyb226 Banned

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    I use to be like that, I would stretch my lips out and get an airy C. I got it, but not in a musical way. I have learned to open my chest and yada yada, but what I did to stop stretching was..... Push you lips in, dont shove your lips into the mouthpiece but use the outer part of your lips and push towards your mouthpiece. Hope it helps!
     
  9. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    I think that those WITH bad habits more than likely are not going to break them without outside help. I am not even sure that I trust the description. If the players have such a "perfect analysis" one would think that there is no issue. Over the internet we will never know what the real issue is. More often than not, the problem remains because the "expert" only treats the symptom. Internet advice without a proper look at what is really happening is mostly useless.

    If we can get by, the motivation to really clean up is from a different, less urgent perspective. That is the reality that mankind faces.
     
  10. Mamba21500

    Mamba21500 Piano User

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    Suppose for a moment that the analysis is correct, and that I asked for advice to get a wider range of responses, maybe somebody has solved a similar problem in their own career. It might be that such a person could tell me what their experiences were and from that I might be able to find a solution to my own problems. This wouldn't require somebody to have a "proper look" my teacher can do that and, even if I don't fully understand it, I can observe my own playing and by doing so note any inefficiencies or tensions to investigate.
     

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