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Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Octiceps, Aug 20, 2010.
If any of y'all do quit, I get all your trumpets!!!
Friends don't let friends play saxophone.
here's some great advice for you --- " Quitters never win, and winners never quit" --- hope that helps you in your decisions in life ------
My story is very similar to that told by Moshe. I played horn for many years until the end of my freshman year of college. My teacher was dogmatic about 2/3 upper lip 1/3 lower lip and I always struggled with the upper register. Second ledger line C above the treble clef was my max and I was forced to focus on 2d and 4th horn (low horn specialists). I quit in college. Forty years later I picked up a trumpet for the first time, just for fun. Because I didn't have a teacher, I played whatever felt comfortable, which turns out to be close to 1/4 upper and 3/4 lower. Within a couple months I could hit second ledger line C. in another couple months I could hit the C above that and the other day my teacher wanted me to show how high I could go without too much pressure and I hit all the notes from high C to triple C. I've got good tone (using long tones) from the bottom G# to the top double C, but technically I'm a beginner. I do wonder where I'd be today if I'd known that the embouchure is individual based on anatomy. I did start playing the horn again and I can play to second ledger line C which is about as high as any horn parts are written so now I play both trumpet and horn. Stick with it but find what feels right for you.
Same thing happened to me. You're growing and changing. Your lips natually get thinner as you get older.
I'm a little concerned with this:
Are you really playing all of those different pieces and switching all of the time?
In the ten years since I picked up the horn again, I struggled to find a way to play and was often discouraged. I searched for a while for a mouthpiece that fit because none of the usual recommendations did and I finally found one that was smaller than the generic recommendations. You might consider going smaller as well, for example a Bach 10-1/2C or something in that range. For me, the rim shape of the Al Cass works well and moving the mouthpiece down also made a large difference... the tissue of my upper lip is very thin and expecting it to endure a couple hours of playing was just too much.
Something to consider: I had crappy endurance that suddenly improved dramatically when I changed bands. I was working too much to play with a band that had bad tuning and I wore myself out. Joined a band that plays better in tune and I feel like I can play all day. Playing with the rest of the emsembles available to you without playing concert band is also something to look into, though I'd bet your band director wouldn't like that much.
Tom, I agree. I play in a band on Wednesday evenings. An older gentleman next to me (I do like this man a lot) plays extremely out of tune, and makes playing really hard. I am really tired by the end of rehearsals. This make my Thursday evening rehearsals sitting next to an accomplished player really enjoyable! Tom, you know what I mean.
You could switch to trombone. It might fit your face better. Who knows, you might love it! But if you stick with trumpet, I say to try a new teacher. Find a seasoned professional to help you out.
I once knew a guy who had exactly this problem - permanently damaged lips. But he developed this condition after 29 years as a "screamer" lead trumpet player in a professional big band. And after a two years pause, he was playing again. So don't worry about permanent damage. It's just that your lips are overworked, and practising up to two hours per day now, that you have acquired your teacher, might still be too much. Having overdone things in the past, your lips might not yet be able to recognize the signs of overstrain. So take it easy, perhaps take a break in school band activities for a year and then come back. And the most important thing: Tell your band director about your problems and ask for understanding and/or help. Being yelled at for a condition that you can't speedily remedy is not going to help.
My educated guess is that Octiceps at the least quit TM!! The last log in was over 3 years ago. So who knows if he ever took any advice. He does appear to have 1 nice trumpet, even though just a Strad 37 . Did I run him off with him thinking I was going to get his horn?