I need help please! :)

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by fellowtrumpeter, Nov 13, 2017 at 9:14 PM.

  1. fellowtrumpeter

    fellowtrumpeter New Friend

    3
    1
    Aug 6, 2017
    17163 North 200 West
    So i’ve been playing trumpet for 4 years, (I’m a freshman) i’ve done many things, solos, duets, i’ve gotten 1st finally this year, which is an honor as it is in my opinion. I can usually hit a high D above the staff on a daily. I also recently finished honor band. I got 2nd so I had to play low notes. Before the concert I was worried that i’ve not been playing enough high notes daily like i’ve been doing for a long time, so I went outside to practice and I was still golden, hitting my high D. Now it’s literally the next day and when i went to practice today, 1. My lips were awful, 2. my tone quality wasn’t good. 3. I could barely hit a high A above the staff.

    I’ve worked so hard to be where I was literally just yesterday. Now I feel for no reason iits gone. I guess my question is, did i magically just start to suck or like what’s wrong? My friend said that it could just be “my lips are taking a break” and that “we all have our bad practice days”. Please help!? (Sorry i’m all over the place :)
     
  2. TrumpetMD

    TrumpetMD Fortissimo User

    3,477
    2,269
    Oct 22, 2008
    Maryland
    Welcome to TM, fellowtrumpeter.

    You went out and played a bunch of high notes, and then played in a concert. I wonder if you just played too much yesterday. Today, you need time to rest.

    Mike
     
  3. OldSchoolEuph

    OldSchoolEuph Mezzo Forte User

    719
    1,114
    Apr 1, 2011
    Michigan
    A couple of things you should bear in mind:

    First, all of the notes count. You need to be able to play the low ones well in addition to the high ones. To make an analogy to fitness, you can be obsessed with body-building and over-bulk certain groups until you cant move, but have more muscle than the next guy. Or, you can train both strength and aerobic and develop into a solid athlete. A solid musician is like a solid athlete.

    Second, the analogy above was picked because playing involves a lot of muscles, and how you train them determines how (and if) they will respond from day to day. You indicated a fear of "not playing enough high notes". Well yes, if you normally ramp up 12-10-8 on bench to some absurd weight, and then spend a couple weeks only doing cardio, when you go back to the bench, that ragged-edge limit of your strength will have pulled back and you will be weaker. (but probably more fit) Additionally, you need depth to the manner in which you train with intervals, articulation drills, melodic passages, and time on the horn in general. High note training too often amounts to really short bursts of power, which is no way to train your chops.

    Lastly, there is the issue of strain. When you suddenly demand of the body that which it has not been doing, it is likely that you force - you tense up, you use pressure, you try to "muscle out" the note. In the process, you not only fail, but you put undue stress on all parts of the body and can hurt yourself. If its not there today, its not there. Do what you can do with control and persistence and it will come back. Forcing it will only cause injury and make things worse.

    Remember. Musicianship is about quality, not statistics. So you are a ninth grader who can hit high Ds. Great. But are they clean, clear, full - does the listener enjoy them, or wince? Too often, it is the later, though I have known kids your age who were excellent musicians and you may well be one of those exceptions. But, bottom line: do not become obsessed with high notes. Focus instead on that reaction you get from your audience when your playing moves them inside - being musical. High notes are just one tool in the box.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017 at 5:44 AM
    J. Jericho likes this.
  4. fellowtrumpeter

    fellowtrumpeter New Friend

    3
    1
    Aug 6, 2017
    17163 North 200 West
    Thank you! This helped a lot. I might wanna add though that I was playing nothing but high notes A’s/C’s since July for Marchig Band. Then suddenly I’m playing nothing but lows and my lips might have just adjusted to them. For a while I thought they just magically disappeared and I started to suck lol
     
  5. fellowtrumpeter

    fellowtrumpeter New Friend

    3
    1
    Aug 6, 2017
    17163 North 200 West
    Thank you! :) now that you say that, thats probably it. I got so worried, hopefully for my class today it’ll be better, thanks :)
     
    TrumpetMD likes this.
  6. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    6,751
    3,508
    Oct 26, 2003
    Baltimore/DC
    You're only 4 years into it - you're still developing your embouchure, so there are going to be bad days in there with the good ones. The important thing is that you recognize when you are pushing things too hard so you can back off a bit.

    Do yourself a favor now while you have the time to really dig in, and become the most well-rounded player you can. Your sound is going to be your most valuable asset, not your range. Sound and articulation/attacks are probably the most overlooked aspects of playing by the young trumpet player.

    Keep after it, and good job getting to where you've gotten thus far!
     
    fellowtrumpeter likes this.
  7. vern

    vern Piano User

    265
    102
    Mar 4, 2008
    Michigan
    Fellowtrumpeter, no truer words have ever been written in this forum. Keeping them in mind will point you in the right direction to become a good (maybe great!) trumpet player. Best
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017 at 1:33 PM
    fellowtrumpeter likes this.
  8. kehaulani

    kehaulani Fortissimo User

    3,303
    2,579
    May 14, 2011
    Hawaian homey
    I don't think this has to be complex. Aren't you only talking about one day?
     
    fellowtrumpeter likes this.
  9. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Age:
    61
    16,497
    7,784
    Jun 18, 2006
    Germany
    The consummate trumpeter needs it all and practices all disciplines regardless if they are playing 1st, 2nd or 3rd. A player that just practices a limited skill set is a liability not an asset!
     
    fellowtrumpeter and vern like this.
  10. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    6,751
    3,508
    Oct 26, 2003
    Baltimore/DC
    True - I'm not sure if this is in response to what I wrote about sound or not, but I will say this - if a player has a crappy sound, it doesn't matter how good or bad they are at the other aspects of playing. Conversely, if a player has somewhat limited technique but they have a great sound, provided they don't play things that expose their other technical deficiencies, even a player with limited technique can get by pretty well if they have a good sound.
     
    fellowtrumpeter likes this.

Share This Page