less warm up time needed?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Myshilohmy, Jan 9, 2009.

  1. Myshilohmy

    Myshilohmy Pianissimo User

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    Jan 6, 2009
    Indiana
    Recently I got an embochure change, I still play a little offcenter and use a little more bottom lip, but I think that's because the way my teeth are, they aren't too straight and i have a slight overbite. I have recovered from the embochure change and can usually nail a high C, sometimes getting out a high D, but it takes me a while to get warmed up. I've been told it's all in my head, and I approach playing with that attitude but it doesn't always work. When I first get out my trumpet I can barely hit a g but after some lip slurs and scales I can play a strong high c. I have a dilema because my band director either doesn't think I have the chops to play lead (i'm a junior in high school by the way) or he just thinks I have an amazing middle and low register sound (which my private lessons teacher says i do).

    My director has told me he loves the way my real low register sounds (like low g's) but he doesn't think I can play very high. I tried out for jazz band this year and made lead trumpet (interestingly enough beat everyone, yet my teacher still places me on third part) because the director of jazz band who teaches sixth graders, but also the high school jazz band says i sound great all around. He has heard me nail some high c's and d's and they project well, and I want to be able to do this in band class. The problem is, my concert band director puts me on third part so I never play anything high to loosen up my high register. I just want to be able to play at my normal range with MINIMAL warmup time needed, so I can play some scales two octaves and he can hear me and know he placed me in the wrong spot. I have tried playing a buttload of scales two octaves every day and am playing 3+ hours a day just at school, and maybe an additional 45 minutes on my own at home.

    Also any ideas to decrease fatigue in my chops? Right now I sound like I've been punched in the face from playing a lot this week, and next week I don't want that to happen because my jazz band will be playing at Purdue.
     
  2. bkonstans1

    bkonstans1 Mezzo Piano User

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    Nov 19, 2007
    Aurora, IL
    First of all, Welcome to TM! There are a lot of very smart people here who will give you great advice.

    My advice is long tones. First off, for a warm up - then in all registers. This should build up your chops enough if you do it for long periods of time (months, etc)

    Btw, I'm playing at Purdue as well! Which band are you in? I'll try to come see your show :-) Good luck!
     
  3. Myshilohmy

    Myshilohmy Pianissimo User

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    Jan 6, 2009
    Indiana
    I'm in the Avon High School Jazz 1. Just look for the curly haired kid. What band are you in?
     
  4. bkonstans1

    bkonstans1 Mezzo Piano User

    581
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    Nov 19, 2007
    Aurora, IL
    I'm in West Aurora Jazz Ensemble. I'm Bennett Konstans. If you come to see us, I'm the bigger white guy. Theres a white girl, mexican guy, and two white guys. I'm the bigger lookin white guy :-)

    So whats your name, curly haired kid? ;-)
     
  5. Myshilohmy

    Myshilohmy Pianissimo User

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    Jan 6, 2009
    Indiana
    I'll try to watch you guys perform, my name's Michael by the way.
     
  6. bagmangood

    bagmangood Forte User

    A good thing to learn is how to play all of the parts (hard for those of with trumpet-sized egos). I've known a students my age who just couldn't play the low stuff ... it was funny when he played in orchestra (what's that note, and how is it fingered?)

    I wouldn't worry about the warm-up time, what I would worry about in it is taxing yourself in it. It should be a warm-up, so keep it easy.
    Something to consider would be adding a cool-down after the harder sessions, can relax your chops and get them back into the not-playing now and can decrease fatigue
     
  7. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Myshilohmy,
    I noticed a couple of telltale things in your post that indicate where the problems are.

    1)Recently I got an embochure change
    Count on at least 6 months to "recover". The idea behind an embouchure change is not to get back what you had before, rather to dramatically improve something. Most of the time the change did not help because the embouchure was not the problem. Too many teachers have a misguided agenda here.

    2) can usually nail a high C, sometimes getting out a high D
    If your high range has been earned, your range is practically unlimited. There is no note to nail after which everything else stops. Your situation indicated that you use way too much force. There is NO SHORT TERM FIX FOR THIS. As you will be playing until school lets out, don't mess around with your embouchure. Accept that this is the way it is for now and tackle the problem in the summer when you can risk losing at least half of what you have for a month or two! Further proof of your testosterone based playing is: "When I first get out my trumpet I can barely hit a g but after some lip slurs and scales I can play a strong high c". This is a 100% sign that you are beating your face up the day before!

    3) I've been told it's all in my head
    this is a classic case of those surrounding you playing with your mind. Of course 98% of trumpet playing is in our head. If we doubt anything and everything, that will mess up any playing before it even starts. If a teacher does not have the tools to build confidence, then they should concentrate on what thay CAN help you with. You need to set goals and reward yourself when you reach them. High E is not a goal. Bigger breathing, longer phrases, faster slurs, 3 octave scales played pianissimo are!

    4) 3 hours and 45 minutes a day is a serious playing schedule for any of us. Playing in wind bands that are not extremely well in tune really wears a player down. I can usually handle a 3 hour rehearsal and a 2 hour show with professionals. One and a half hours of our local wind band really trashes my face. In that respect third is OK. You can back off and save your chops for your practice time and lead trumpet position.

    To get more endurance, you simply need to play more softly and not beat yourself up trying to prove something. The band teacher could consider the lead chair in the jazz band to be a liability. You have given me enough info that would make me consider doing the same thing - bang out high notes, something to prove, trashy beginning with long warm ups.

    As far as your chops go, there is no internet recipe and all of the advice given without seeing and hearing you play cannot be serious. You use pressure because it works - up to a point. To change that to something more intelligent will take time and involve taking a BIG step backwards in your playing schedule. Check back when school vacation starts. I'd be more than happy to help. In the mean time add swimming or some aerobic sports to your schedule. Building up breathing will be the basis of all future development and for that, internet advice works! Swimming a mile 2-3 times a week at a relaxed pace will add tons to your breathing capacity. Do not swim against the clock!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Don't let anybody mess with your brain. Practice hard and smart (that means as softly as possible!!!!!) and you will get to where you want to be. Further info can be found if you search on my "circle of breath" posts.
     
  8. Myshilohmy

    Myshilohmy Pianissimo User

    147
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    Jan 6, 2009
    Indiana
    rowuk, I understand what you are saying but I think I may have used a bad choice of words. I didn't mean that I recovered from it, I only meant I can play with the range I had before but it was more consistent. So it DID help me but then I got more involved in playing and sometimes at the end of the week my lips are tired.

    A friend of mine told me to go a week without using the 'octave key' and simply rest my pinky on top of it to see if it made a difference. It didn't make a difference at all, does that mean I'm not using pressure? And how do I not 'beat my face' the day before if I am playing 3-4 hours a day?

    Also what do you mean the lead chair in jazz band is a liability? It doesn't really bother me that I'm on third, it bothers me that he doesn't think I have the chops for lead concert band playing when I beat the three people on lead who tried out for jazz band. And I haven't done jazz in a few years, the jazz band director just liked the way I sounded and had decent range.
     
  9. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Age:
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    In a year you will know if the embouchure change helped. Don't forget, you practice more diligently after a switch like this. That probably would have produced results the old way too.

    If you HAVE to play 3-4 hours a day, play MUCH more quietly. Nobody can demand that you waste yourself. If you trash yourself every day, you will never move forward.

    Your post implied that you were playing lead in the jazz band. That is a load that could comprimise your concert band tone and reliability.

    Please understand, I have heard this story MANY times before. Most of the time the band director HAS a good reason why they choose one player over another. VERY SELDOM does that have to do with range. Most of the time it has to do with the ability to read, rhythmic security, accuracy, the ability to lead and motivate others and often freedom of trying to prove something. Players that pay attention, figure out in a short time the people skills part and develop a dialog with the conductor are the ones that get first chair. Players that try to prove something by nailing generally end up elsewhere.

    I do not know your teacher, I am not familiar with your playing but from your posting alone, have seen some clues that tell me to tell you to slow down then talk to the band director personally - one on one. Ask him point blank what he thinks you need to develop to move up. If your ears and brain are open to constructive criticism, you may be in for a treat. If you go in thinking that he doesn't know what he is talking about, you probably will flop everywhere.

    If the jazz teacher is the only one that you think is giving you a fair chance, ask them what you should do. They are familiar with the situation!

    The pinky ring is another excuse that many players get caught up in. It makes NO difference - except psychologically.
     
  10. scottlashbrook

    scottlashbrook New Friend

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    Jan 2, 2009
    London UK
    To answer your original question, "less warm up time needed"
    Here is my routine, every morning.
    Flap your lips, horse blows, 5 - 10 minutes
    (clears acid build up in your chops, and encourages blood flow)
    Lip Buzz 5 minutes maximum
    (aim for a clear tone)
    Mouthpiece Buzz 5 minutes
    (play some long tones, then somthing slow and lyrical)

    You're ready and warmed up, go to the Trumpet and start practicing, rehearsing, or performing. If you have a morning rehearsal and an evening gig, repeat the warm up before the evening gig.

    If you have a heavy days playing throughout the day, don't forget to warm down, soft and gentle lyrical phrases and pedal tones before you put the horn back in the case.
     

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