I'm really at the end of my rope. Should I just quit trumpet?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Octiceps, Aug 20, 2010.

  1. Dark Knight

    Dark Knight Pianissimo User

    Apr 7, 2010

    I have found this to be the single best exercise of my development. It "is" teaching me what I need to do with my embrochure and using the corners. It is also teaching how to use my air and aperature together. This is the best advice yet!

    Best Wishes,

  2. fraserhutch

    fraserhutch Mezzo Piano User

    Jan 23, 2004
    Novato, CA, USA
    Fine, this is my last post on the issue. Quibble with my calling your statement BS, but expect to be called out when you make such a statement.

  3. Octiceps

    Octiceps Pianissimo User

    May 5, 2010
    San Jose, CA

    I think I may finally be making some headway in solving my range problems.

    For the past week or so I have been practicing only mouthpiece buzzing, doing 4 15- to 20-minute sessions spread throughout the day, on the embouchure I feel most comfortable with. I buzz long tones, arpeggios, lip slurs, intervals, Clarke Studies, and familiar tunes. No horn on the face time at all besides rehearsal at school. For whatever reason, I finally feel that my embouchure is getting stronger because I can feel the burn in the corners at the end of each session.

    Also, I discovered, by means of a thread on TrumpetHerald, that one is supposed to play with loose, relaxed abs. I had always contracted my abdominals excessively when going up because I thought that by doing so I could blow "fast air," but all it ended up doing was tensing up my neck muscles, allowing the Valsalva Maneuver to kick in and cutting off my sound.

    So, a week of nothing but mouthpiece buzzing in combination with loose, relaxed abdominals has elevated my comfortable range up to a middle-of-the-staff B. Nothing to be proud of, I know, but it's a huge leap foward for me considering I was only at a low E before. Hopefully, with consistent practice I'll keep improving steadily.

    Once again, thank you so much to everyone who contributed advice and support to me in this thread, and thank you for giving me the motivation to not quit on the trumpet. I have read every single word that you helpful TM'ers have written and will take everything into consideration.
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2010
  4. keehun

    keehun Piano User

    Feb 4, 2010
    My friend, that is the key (in bold). Be persistent and it will break any barriers. (Well, most :-) )

    I am glad. Keep it up! We are all in this together :play:

    A fellow senior in high school
  5. Pete Anderson

    Pete Anderson Pianissimo User

    Feb 27, 2008
    So it IS something to be proud of.
  6. rocky77084

    rocky77084 New Friend

    Oct 17, 2008
    Monroe, LA
    "I had always contracted my abdominals"
    Auh man, that's the way I was taught.
    Guess I'll need to start all over again and learn a new way.
    Probably need a good teacher.
    Know any in Monroe, LA.
  7. Alex_C

    Alex_C Piano User

    May 30, 2010
    Gilroy, California
    This is why this site is awesome! I was thinking maybe I have to tense my abs for higher notes too - now I"ll just not think about my abs at all. That exercise with the lip slurs etc sounds like a good one.
  8. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    Find it hard to drive and play simultaneously :lol: ! Seriously though, many players as well as teachers, derive benefit from free buzzing and pedal tones as part of a regular practice routine. So for them it is not a waste of time. This kid sounds like they are at the end of their rope. Telling them to completely rule out exercises that involve no/little pressure does not seem prudent when it sounds like sustained excessive pressure may be the culprit. I've read articles about how they train youth brass players in Europe and they do not give them a mouthpiece, let alone a horn, for the first 2 weeks. All they do is free buzzing. Would recommend the poster check out Clyde Hunt's website and read about buzzing.
  9. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    P.S. never quit playing your trumpet. You'll regret it later.
  10. wolfmann

    wolfmann Pianissimo User

    Aug 19, 2010
    Great job Octi!
    Everyone sometimes runs into roadblocks you just have to play through them.


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