I need help!

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Fredrick, Feb 28, 2007.

  1. Fredrick

    Fredrick New Friend

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    My trumpet playing has gone down the drain lately. It's not just me having a bad couple of days either. My playing sounds horrible and my range is a lot lower than it was.

    I'm guessing it's because I've been practicing my french horn more than trumpet lately. Does anybody have any suggestions as to how I might fix this problem? (and please don't say "ask your teacher," I don't have one, but as for telling me to go get a few lessons, I don't mind)
     
  2. wilcox96

    wilcox96 Mezzo Piano User

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    Well, I have a few questions for you... how are you sounding on French Horn? Is this truly a double you want to maintain?

    If the answers are...you are doing well on French Horn...and yes, to maintaining the double... then perhaps you consider a tpt mpc that has a more conical (or V shaped) cup. ? This way, at least when you switched instruments..you would basically be going from the same shaped cup. If you are sounding and feeling fine on FH.. then maybe that's it.

    I'm not suggesting that's the "only" answer. You certainly could just put some more time in on your tpt. Just know the 2 mpcs are exponentially different and practice to play each one correctly.

    Okay...good luck...
     
  3. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    Michael, while it is true that horn and trumpet are in the same family, so are ticks and scorpions. While many of the same rules apply to horn, trumpet, trombone and tuba, they aren't so easily interchangable as recorders or saxophones. You might want to try the following, however:

    Have one of your horn playing friends play your trumpet, and listen for the differences. One thing you'll most likely notice is the "dull" sound your hornist friend gets. Duplicate it. Ask yourself what you have to do with your lips to get that dull sound. If you then do the opposite, you'll probably get closer to a good trumpet sound.

    As a general rule, hornists roll the lips outward to get a good sound, trumpeters roll inward -- but please remember this "rule" resembles the truth, and ultimately what will be true for you, about as much as a tick resembles a scorpion.

    Try not to let the trumpet destroy whatever, horn skills you have -- it would be better to become a great horn player and a below average trumpeter than to be average at both.

    Have fun!
     
  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    My best advice is to pick the instrument that you want to get good at - and do THAT first. If your chops are not together, switching will not speed up development and will provide plenty of opportunity for frustration.

    I know it is cool to play a lot of instruments (I played trumpet and sousaphone in high school - without stress - I pick the tuba up occasionally still especially after a heavy practice session). It is not cool to be mediocre at what you do.
     
  5. Fredrick

    Fredrick New Friend

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    Jan 1, 2007
    Sounds good, but the question I think I've narrowed it down to is this: Is the mouthpiece on a trumpet supposed to be up or down in relation to your lips? I know on french horn that it's supposed to be farther up than it is down (using your upper lip to "buzz").

    I'm guessing that it's supposed to be down, at about a ratio of 1/3 on the upper lip and about 2/3 on the lower (using your lower lip to "buzz"), I read it somewhere, but I don't know for sure. I was playing my trumpet a bit the other day and tried that, moving the mouthpiece up or down and then playing to see how it sounded, and noticed that the tone was smoother when I moved the mouthpiece down.

    Again, I don't know if this is right or wrong or doesn't matter, I would like to know so that I don't practice wrong and completely ruin my trumpet playing.
     
  6. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Fredrick,
    why do I get the impression that you are not listening??????????????

    I play with the mouthpiece centered, maybe a little more upper lip - I am convinced that is not your problem though.
    Your problem is that your chops and ears are not developed enough to play trumpet AND horn. That takes time and effort and not just moving a mouthpiece up or down. The loop of playing-hearing-adjusting is completely different for those 2 instruments, you can compare it to basketball and swimming - both sports require muscles but that is where the similarities end.
    The horn mouthpiece is deep and provides little back pressure to "support" the lips. The trumpet mouthpiece is shallow in comparison and has back pressure that is compensated for with your breathing habits. The two worlds just do not line up that easily.
    I generally do not thrive on why something doesn't work, unfortunately, in your case, I see no short term solution. If you diligently practice both instruments, you will eventually get better on both unless you quit out of frustration! Most likely both instruments will suffer short-medium term (6 months to 2 years perhaps). THERE IS NO FAST FIX.
    If I was your teacher, you would have to be pretty good at one instrument before I would let you take another one up that hurts the first one. Have you ever thought about tuba?
     
  7. Albert Castillo

    Albert Castillo Pianissimo User

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    ...
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2010
  8. Fredrick

    Fredrick New Friend

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    Rowuk,
    I'm sorry I seemed like I wasn't listening. I'm not trying to be cool by playing umpteen different instruments. I'm a great horn player, especially for a highschool freshman, I even made it first chair for the tri-county honors band the have around here. Several people have told me that I'm pretty good so I don't think I need to worry, just improve every year like I would from just playing the instrument for that period of time.

    I wan't sure if there was a certain way you should play a trumpet so I asked. I didn't know if there was a right or wrong about it, and if there was, I didn't want to be doing it wrong.

    I'm not looking for a quick fix. I was wondering because when I played my trumpet one way, I had decent range (consistent C above the staff for around 1/2 an hour), but when I played it differently, the tone was a lot better and my range shrunk a bit. I was curious becuase the way I was playing it before seemed too easy and the other way I tried to play it was a bit harder but sounded better. So I wasn't sure if I was playing it with the right embouchure to play trumpet well.

    P.S. Just curious, what is triple tonguing? I didn't even know what double tonguing was until this last January. I thought it was pretty interesting, but then I saw that there's a thing called "triple tonguing" and I have no idea what it is. A quick explination from one person would do. The explination that I understood for double tonguing was say "dig a deep ditch" and that your tongue is supposed to move back and forth. I'll probably be able to understand any explination after a while of reading it, but that type of explination works best for me.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2007
  9. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    Double tongue: "too coo" repeat as needed
    Triple tongue: "too too coo" repeat as needed

    The use of "doo" along with "goo" will give a softer attack.
     
  10. Dave

    Dave Guest

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    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 2, 2007

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