Just coming Back - Huge Breakthroughs?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by backtotrumpet, May 9, 2009.

  1. backtotrumpet

    backtotrumpet New Friend

    May 9, 2009
    I am just coming back after a 12 year layoff. I played from 4th grade until 11th and was a good all around trumpeter. My tone was always my strength, but my range was capped at around a G with good sound. I could pinch out a high C, but not really play in that range.

    I am on day 5 of coming back - comes back quick and my tone is about 80% back to normal. I had a huge breakthrough today and wondered if this is normal? I just figured how to open my throat muscles in a certain way to allow the right balance of air support to play in the upper range. I immediately have good tone up to the high C now and can play above that with lesser tone up to the double C. This seems ridiculous - is it really that simple... a change in my throat position and more air?

    Has anyone else experienced this radical of a breakthrough in their career? I am sure the answer is yes, I would just like to hear some great stories.

    I am seriously pumped.
  2. s.coomer

    s.coomer Forte User

    Mar 25, 2005
    Indianapolis, In
    Welcome to TM, hope you continue to see progress with your comeback. The best thing I can tell you is if you want to speed up your progress find a good competant teacher.
  3. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

    Aug 9, 2007
    Levittown , NY
    Using air correctly is the key to playing any wind instrument ,we can't live without it,
  4. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

    Oct 18, 2007
    The Wide Brown Land
    As a Comeback Player I have discovered a similar pattern of stepped improvement.

    It seems normal for me to plateau for quite a while as I "lock-in" the lesson (often from TMers), which then appears to provide a new solid base for the learning reference platform. And then it all ramps up a while later.

    The trick seems to be to practice solidly and rest as much as you play (lots of good advice from TMers again). Little by little stretch yourself so that the ramp-up has something to play with - above all, practice REGULARLY, and have plenty of fun.

    Scales are a bit boring, but you can be very creative to achieve the results, slurs, staccato, varying loudness, slow, fast - I guess you have the picture (but do the scales if you can - the twelve major scales are a really good place to start).
  5. mrmusicnotes

    mrmusicnotes Piano User

    Nov 11, 2007
    Hi and welcome,I would say that after a 5 day comeback, coming form a 12 year lay-off and going from a G above the staff to a double C could only be a gift from Gabriel.Consider yourself a lottery winner!
  6. artiep2

    artiep2 New Friend

    Jan 12, 2009
    I came back after a 45 year layoff (see earlier post) and have been at it for 8 months. If I could hit a DHC I'd Freak Out. I've got concert Db down pat and assume I'll add a half step every six months. At that rate it'll be another 5 years before I get to where you are. Meanwhile my sound is very solid. Plateaus are to be expected. Vary your practice material to keep the calisthentics fresh and interesting. I also study with three great players (Allan Dean, Matt Lee - permanent adjunct to the CSO trumpet section, and Jay Lichtman, former principal in the Hartford Symphony, so I'm blessed with great coaching.
  7. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    Go for it and stay pumped! Let us know how it goes!
  8. backtotrumpet

    backtotrumpet New Friend

    May 9, 2009
    Thank you for the insight! That is pretty much what I am doing now, scales and tone work for 90% of practice time. My technical work (tong work, fingering, styling, etc..) leaves a LOT to be desired. But I figure getting my tone right and solid into the upper range is my first focus. I will start working in more technical practice as my embochure developes back into form and endurance kicks back in.

    I have been doing 20 minutes practice on and then break for hour or soand then another 20 minutes until I get 2 hours practice a day (home office very conveniant). Over time I will lengthen the time and reduce rest periods. Does this make sense or am I overpracticing? My lips feel fine and I feel rested every time I start.

    Any practice advice is welcome. At some point I will get a private instructor again - right now things are a bit tight.

    Thanks again for all your help - this forum is great!
  9. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    trumpet development is VERY irregular. There are days where we feel like we can climb mount Everest, and other weeks that feel like we shouldn't have tried.

    Smart practicing just makes the good times more prevalent than the not so good ones.

    You sound like you are on a good track. Find a buddy to practice with as soon as possible (even better, a teacher!). The expectations of others do a lot to keep our priorities straight!

    Just for the record: double C is not the c 2 ledger lines above the staff. It is one octave higher and extremely improbable for your underdeveloped chops. The throat muscles (the only "throat muscles" that I know of actually are the ones called "vocal chords") do not make high notes possible, only our lips really do that. Bad breathing habits can slow progress down dramatically however. Very tense neck and upper body muscles make you play out of tune.
  10. artiep2

    artiep2 New Friend

    Jan 12, 2009
    Herseth's mantra was "pracitce perfection" Don't play anyting at a tempo beyond what you can tolerate to play the piece perfectly. When it's "perfect", notch the moetonome up a taqd. It may take a long time, and we're all impatient, but "perfect" is within range for all of us. Just be patient, get it down pat then crank up the metronome, all the while doing the calisthentics fro PP to FF. As HE (BH) said so often, "you have to be able to play, softer, louder, higher and faster than you'll ever need to.
    Best Regards,

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