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. fraserhutch

    fraserhutch Mezzo Piano User

    Jan 23, 2004
    Novato, CA, USA
    Yup, and always remember, what doesn't make you kill yourself will only make you stronger.

  2. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
    IF you love trumpet -- please don't ever quit. I am 45 now - but was always 2nd or 3rd chair. I always had problems - played to the side of my mouth. could never progress beyond like a g on top of staff, etc. ----and a big thing ---- always choked under pressure, and couldn't play for the band teacher what I could play at home.
    I actually quit for 7 yrs (35-42) -- cause playing never improved (dude - after playing for 25 years -- I was stuck at a little above the staff - and it didnt' always sound good).
    the last 2 years of comeback -- oh my!! frustration -- after a few months I felt hopeless.
    so your learning to not use pressure, high speed air ---- but all said and done --- it takes time to build the lip muscle --- be patient -- I looked into Keith Fiala and Cat Anderson method (long notes for 20 minutes -- I mean 2nd line g for many months - at least 20 minutes a day (2-3 hr practices). Time, effort, education, Practice --- now after almost 20 months --- I am so happy that I came back --- so happy that even at 45 I can pop out notes an octave and a half higher than ever -- and the regular stuff up to High C sound good ---- first time in my life this has happened

    that is my advice -- if you care to read this post
  3. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
    oh I also am in the "building" process -- range and endurance -- so I have a hard day --- then lay off at least a day maybe 2 so the lips (face muscles) can recoup
    I know that is hard in school --- but keep that in mind, it helps -- but then again --- I am old
  4. Ed Kennedy

    Ed Kennedy Forte User

    Nov 18, 2006
    There are a number of great player-teachers in your neck of the woods. Mario Guarnari, John Coppola, Eric Bolvin in SF, plus whoever is in the SF Symphony. If you are interested in Claude Gordon style Tony Horowitz is in Monterey. LA isn't all that far. Somebody like Charlie Davis, an Adam student, would be great. When I was stationed at the Presidio, one of the bassoon players used to hitch-hike to LA once a month for lessons.

    Somebody said to "get and EXPERIENCED teacher." I concur with that advise.
  5. veery715

    veery715 Utimate User

    Mar 6, 2007
    Ithaca NY
    Good news, Octiceps! Keep it up and always remember that TENSION IS THE ENEMY of the trumpet player.

    Fraserhutch - you kind of abused the Nietzsche quote. It goes, "That which does not kill us makes us stronger".
  6. harveyhassanator

    harveyhassanator Pianissimo User

    Sep 5, 2010
    I kinda know what your going through. i had always wanted to be a musician like my dad and then 2 years ago i had a brace fitted. for the first 5 months i barley lifted my trumpet then, i decided that i wasnt going to get anywhere without practice so i began again. i try and do 2-3 hours a day now on lower notes and practice lip slurs and tonguing rather than try any high stuff. just stick at the practice and your range and durability will improve dramatically.

    good luck!
  7. Octiceps

    Octiceps Pianissimo User

    May 5, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Yeah, actually I have looked into some of the teachers you mentioned. Eric Bolvin teaches at the Music Village that I frequent.

    Somewhere in the last couple of days I surmised that my aperture might be too big to allow a fast airstream to flow through. Therefore, I've tried actively reducing my aperture size.

    I've noticed that if I tighten my corners, close my jaw a little, and try to squeeze in a little bit more of the red of my lips into the mouthpiece cup, I can reduce the size of my aperture and hit some higher notes. I can get a solid D in the staff this way. However, my lower register (anything below g below the staff and pedals) sounds murky and airy in this setup. I have to open up my jaw a little bit to get them to sound out.

    I will see a new teacher on Tuesday and ask him about this, but in the meantime, can anyone tell me if this is something I should or shouldn't be doing?
  8. k8lyn101

    k8lyn101 New Friend

    Sep 6, 2010
    stay with it!!! im sorta going through the same thing now just not as drastic. ive had 4 band directors and my recent one is trying to change EVERYTHING about the way i play. ive always been 1st chair and honor bands and all state players and now im last chair because he says my amnishure is wrong. i try fixing it and i sound like crap but my range is geting beter with time so i say stay with it aand ignor ir if ur director tries to tell u how much u suck but DONT quit
  9. B15M

    B15M Forte User

    Dec 30, 2003
    Monroe Ct.
    Come on, your pulling our leg.
  10. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    Fixed it for ya! Trumpet is only one small facet and one instrument - as a multi-instrumentalist, I can say that for me, it doesn't matter what instrument I play, as long as I'm still playing. That's what really matters.

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