Insane days of playing!

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Haste2, Jul 2, 2010.

  1. Haste2

    Haste2 Piano User

    Jun 16, 2010
    Crazy day of playing...where your range is way beyond any other day. Anyone else have these experiences? I'm not a very strong player normally...

    On a Monette B2 mouthpiece. It happened to me twice. Once, in my senior year of high school, my "forte" (non-squeaking) range jumped from a high D (on a good day...C on not-so-good days) up to an F; the next year (my "chops" overall were a bit better), my forte range went from a D to a G! Screaming loud. Without a whole lot of effort. I was nowhere near being in pain playing them. I had a moderate-loud volume on the high A-flat, too.

    What was interesting is that my "squeaking" range didn't change very much, though... I could only squeak like a half-step higher than at my double-forte volume.

    Truth to be told, I'm not sure if I switched to the Yamaha 14A4a mouthpiece when I was hitting those high any case, I'm not sure if that would have made a difference, since these days I can't even play on that mouthpiece

    Only other parts of the situation I remember are 1)I was in enrolled in marching band when these occurred. 2)I did not gain these high notes until sometime in the middle of my practice session. 3)I completely lost those notes the next day.

    Again, I've never had any days that came close to comparing...well, except for one day when trying out my friend's mouthpiece, a high-playing piece (wish I knew WHAT it was; it seemed to be much more high-range effective than my 14A4a). That was in my second year of college and I found that I was able to play loud F's, sufficient for decent jazz lead playing, though not quite the effortless "screaming" I experienced those two times I mentioned.

    I'll also add that after my second year of college I took a break for four years. I recently started getting back into a full swing again

    So, my Question is: how did those extreme days happen? Do most trumpeters have days like this and to this effect? Was it that I suddenly started breathing correctly? Did I eat something that day that changed the chemistry of my body and altered the speed of my air. I cannot POSSIBLY imagine it had anything to do with my embouchre, as I believe embouchre-changing takes tons of practice and muscle-building before it even works. I'm almost certain it was my use of air, remembering the feeling.... in any case, I've never been proud of my endurance or range.

    Most importantly, if I can do it twice, it means I SHOULD be able to do it permanently, if I figure it out, right? I hope...
  2. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    First of all, our bodies are subject to very large swings in emotion, water content, degree of relaxedness and many other factors. It is theoretically possible that enough factors could by freak of nature come together and briefly put us into a "higher state".

    So what?

    We can't count on it so that is why "most" good players never notice. They are not looking for an extra note every day. Their work is more concentrated on a useful stabilizing of the factors that do count. On days that we feel good we can stick more into the musical because we don't have to struggle with the mechanical as much.

    I don't think if you get lucky twice that you with your present routine have any statistical chance of staying at that "higher state". You would have to increase your routine to get all of those "unknown" factors including body use reliable. Let's just say that one needs to intelligently practice a lot more. That is nothing new though or insane.................. That is the advantage of a great teacher - search and destroy the weaknesses - not build high notes.

    Embouchure building involves learning to get all the pieces of your body, soul and mind working together. It is NOT merely a series of "right" exercizes. The biggest problem with the adolescent search for lead notes is that they ignore that lead is NOT high notes. It is LEADING the section, it is rhythmic perfection, it is bringing excitement into the band experience. Players that do not have that are USELESS regardless of how high they can play.

    Lead comes from musical LEADERSHIP. The high notes come AFTER that.
  3. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

    Aug 9, 2007
    Levittown , NY
    OK, so you had a couple of unbelievable days, and now want to know how to duplicate them. What happened was that everything you did came perfectly together. Playing in the upper register takes technique and coordination, unfortunately it's not the way you normally play. A lot of times the change, or changes in your way of playing can be very subtle,but can make a major difference.
  4. Haste2

    Haste2 Piano User

    Jun 16, 2010
    Thanks guys for sharing your thoughts. Rowuk, I did not mean to sound like playing high is all that matters -- I realized the way I talked made it sound like it was very important, as well as the fact that I mentioned lead playing if I gained that range. Yes, I know that musicality is by far the most important factor, commanding rhythm is almost equally important, and that other technical skills are much more important than range... my teachers beat that into me enough. My physical condition of playing is my weakest point, though, unfortunately. My practice routine doesn't stress range that much, either. (admittedly I haven't had lessons in 4 years, and went 2 years without any playing until 2 months ago; but I'm intending to contact my old teacher in the next week or two; can't wait....)
  5. ltg_trumpet

    ltg_trumpet Mezzo Piano User

    Jan 21, 2009
    well, id say you should prepare yourself with the knowledge of those days being a possibility, and when they do happen, feel everything you can feel, think of the things you did up to that day, isolate the situation! if you can do that, maybe you can find your secret recipe. keep ya head in the game and play that horn! yes sir! good luck man, and i hope you have good luck with it.
  6. Markie

    Markie Forte User

    Jan 4, 2009
    Clarksburg, WV
    I generally don't have extreme days. I might have a day where I should have had a little more fiber in my diet but generally, no great swings. A couple of things that help is I always have a couple of drinks that have electrolytes(Gatoraid ect..) and I don't drink booze while playing.

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