I need stronger chops!!

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by THEryleMARCHER, May 31, 2009.


    THEryleMARCHER New Friend

    Apr 13, 2009
    Hey everybody, I am a freshman in high school and I have a serious issue with my chops....

    My band director chose a original piece for marching band and I have to hold a high E for about 12 beats and immediately to a solo during our second movement.

    I have been very good in the past year and went to the Kentucky honor concert band and was 6th chair and at the Northern Kentucky jazz festival, i was first chair.

    But I cant do it without the equipment, anybody have any chop saver tips?

    Or anybody selling a really tight mouthpiece cheap?
  2. Solar Bell

    Solar Bell Moderator Staff Member

    May 11, 2005
    Metro Detroit
    If you are a freshman (9th grade?) and you are playing in the KY Honors band and in the Jazz Festival you are on the right track.

    At your age, 13? 14? you are doing alright.

    A new "tighter mouthpiece" is not the answer.

    Are you talking about an E above high C? Three ledger lines up?

    And what does twelve beats mean? WHat is the tempo? How many seconds do you have to hold it.

    Need more infomation, and you need to realize that without seeing you play in person, we will not be able to help you here.

    Some guys will tell you to a get a screamer mouthpiece...that won't work.

    Some people will tell you to get a Schilke 14A4a mouthpice which is a lead mouthpice.....it ain't.

    Some people will tell you to practice those high note very softly.

    Some people will tell you to play those notes as loud as you can to build endurance.

    Some people will tell to to practice slurs....quietly or....loudly.

    Some people will tell you to play long tones.

    I think you need to find the best private teacher you can and let him have at you.

    Anyone else want to add something not here?
  3. oldlou

    oldlou Forte User

    Aug 28, 2005
    Grand Rapids, Mi.
    The ONLY WAY that you will build up your chops is by properly using them. No hardware on earth can do it for you if your practice sessions are not adequate or are improper. This will not be accomplished overnight. It takes time to build muscle and gain control of those muscles.

    Start with low tones played for as long as you can force yourself to hold them, playing as softly as possible and, being careful not to allow any variance in volume and intonation. When this becomes comfortable, play scales, again VERY SOFTLY. I reccomend that this exercise be done for about 15-20 minutes, followed by a rest period of that same length. Then, play whatever you are required to play by your band director. This will build controlled muscle in your chops and teach you to play with minimal mouthpiece pressure.

    If you doubt any of this, check with what Raphael Mendez has to say in his youtube instructions and in his writings. It is all classic in form.

    Last edited: May 31, 2009
  4. rettepnoj

    rettepnoj Fortissimo User

    Feb 22, 2009
    Check this guy out! He give online lessons, and he have some nice books for chop building..:-)

  5. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    Funny how so many of the great lead players got their chops through old-school exercises: long tones, lip slurs, Arban and Clarke studies, not to mention hours and hours of practice.

    Oh, yeah, a lot of them talk about good breathing, posture, blowing through the trumpet, listening and emulating. :dontknow:

  6. Sofus

    Sofus Forte User

    Jul 26, 2008
    Would it perhaps be correct to say:

    There Are No Shortcuts And No Secrets ?:-)

    THEryleMARCHER New Friend

    Apr 13, 2009
    Sorry about low info....
    I do take private lessons, ever scence 5th grade, he is trying to help me but I want some exercises on my own.

    Thanks for helping guys, but band camp starts next month and I'm in a hole.:-?
  8. Mamba21500

    Mamba21500 Piano User

    Feb 26, 2009
    Well, if it's just before a solo, and there are other people playing the same part, miss it out! Yeah, it won't be as loud, but if you can't do it, don't! In the bands I'm in, the soloists don't play 4 bars before their solo, so they can take a huge breath.
    I know that's not what you wanted, but if you really can't get it, then it might be the best thing,
  9. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

    Aug 9, 2007
    Levittown , NY
    You can only do what you physically can do, for a freshman your doing just fine,one thing to ask your teacher about is how to pace yourself when playing in the section.
  10. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    If you qualified for those playing opportunities, you are doing something right. Looking for a "quick fix" should be below your dignity.
    The only things that works is EARNING it. That means working hard on the things that you can't do.
    Forget changing mouthpieces, hardware will not solve a software (your brain) problem.
    Solar Bell hit the nail on the head. We know NOTHING about your playing, so advice is just taking a guess about what to do. That is easy, if we guess wrong, it doesn't hurt anybody but you.
    I NEVER recommend changing major things during playing season. Too many times, everything falls apart and you can't go back to the old way.
    The advantage of practicing softly is that you can play longer. That means you can maintain your present routine and add more chop builders like slurs and long tones.

    Range is best learned when you don't have a gig where you need it. Then there is no pressure. In your case, you HAVE something lined up. The only safe advice over the internet is to make sure that you get a BIG breath before playing. Come back again when playing season is over. then we can give you some stuff to think about!


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