Let us play, " Point Out the Problems ".

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Trumpet Tc, Mar 9, 2014.

  1. Trumpet Tc

    Trumpet Tc Pianissimo User

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    Jul 30, 2013
    Midwest City, OK
  2. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    Dayton, Ohio
    Your sound is good. It does thin as you go higher, but you are not forcing the mouthpiece onto the lip. This is good. Somehow your aperture is not working as well as you go higher. It is hard to "diagnosis" why this would be.

    You had more of a range in the past. Was there a time between that time you had the range and now where you could have overworked your lip muscle and strained it? If that is the case, muscle remodels and this makes it less supple and harder to vibrate. When this happens, tightening the aperture begins to close this opening with less supple, stiffer muscle.

    Did you change mouthpieces in between the time when range began to falter? Using a comfortable mouthpiece that allows lip tissue to vibrate freely may then need to be considered.

    It looks like you have air support, but perhaps giving more are (albeit holding it back in the oral cavity) may be all that is needed to keep the aperture more open for better vibration.

    Also the corner of you lips go back almost exclusively on the same plane of your lips. This only leads to tightening of the aperture as you climb in the higher range. I find working on an upward smile (use upper facial muscle that inserts into the orbit of the eye) opens this aperture as well. So will relaxing the lower jaw, but I would only make one change (upper preferred) at a time.
     
  3. Trumpet Tc

    Trumpet Tc Pianissimo User

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    Jul 30, 2013
    Midwest City, OK
    I have excessively over worked my lips for a practice session about a month and a half ago. I've been having this range problem for two weeks.

    I switched from a bach 1.5c megatone to a Schilke heavyweight 18 ( I like the Schilke better ) 4 days ago.

    I will try what you have suggested one at a time.

    This was useful, thank you.
     
  4. larry tscharner

    larry tscharner Forte User

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    Tc. You are right, five minutes of listening to you noodle was about four and fifty nine too long! Dont get me wrong, I dont mean that in a viscous way, I am here to help and my mama always said that if you cant say something nice then dont say anything at all. Ive been ridiculed here on TM for pulling punches and not being brutally honest but I dont think someone needs to be told that they suck when they are asking for help to improve. So, Tc, you suck. But the good part is that we all suck too, at different levels and there are always a billion players that can play rings around any of us, more or less. Now putting aside any equipment problems, or practice problems, or what-have-you there is one thing that always helps me in a slump and that is attitude. You say you havent changed a thing and yet your skills have diminished and I say you need to play every note like you own exclusive rights to that note and it is available to nobody else. Your attacks and releases of the notes are tentative and you are searching for them. Perhaps if you were playing a written piece you would represent yourself better, I too am not all that good at improvisation. Ive been quoting Henry Ford lately and he said "if you think you can or you think you cant, your right." Trumpet playing is at least 75% attitude and in a downward spiral lots of wheels can come off of the track. Think back to your last wedding reception that you attended. Now assuming you are old enough to drink, remember how much better a dancer you were after a couple of drinks and you stopped worring about how you looked to others and just did it and knew you LOOKED GOOD AT IT. When you walk up that scale and you know you can play that C you will be successful, good breath support and nice tight buzz with as little pressure as you can. Obviously other factors come into play along with your nerve.

    SO, Im sure that others will chime in with lots of advice and it probably will be good for you to listen, but without other information I dont know realy what else to tell you but to take a step back and play some stuff that you can handle easily to improve your confidence. Stop worring about that C or that G and you will work your way back up to it and own it just like a trumpet player should. Keep us informed here when the turnaround happens and how you got there. Its different for every player. Best wishes.
     
  5. larry tscharner

    larry tscharner Forte User

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    You changed mouthpieces four days ago? Oh my.
     
  6. Trumpet Tc

    Trumpet Tc Pianissimo User

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    Jul 30, 2013
    Midwest City, OK
    I will do an attitude adjustment. And I'll play like I own it all. Thanks for your words Larry.
     
  7. vern

    vern Piano User

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    Mar 4, 2008
    Michigan
    Hi Trumpet Tc! I like your enthusiasm and your desire to improve! I only have one question and one comment: 1) Do you use your 3rd valve slide on your low C-sharps (and D's)? 2) I personally never play random things/doodle because it invites bad habits in my own playing. I only perform--how well is another discussion. I wish you all the best.
     
  8. Trumpet Tc

    Trumpet Tc Pianissimo User

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    Jul 30, 2013
    Midwest City, OK
    I normally do, use my third valve slide.

    I'll think about not doodling, thats a good idea, I had no clue that it did that.
     
  9. tjcombo

    tjcombo Forte User

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    Melbourne, Australia
    Hi TC - the thing that struck me is that you seemed to be blowing a lot of notes that weren't "centered" as though you were fighting against the natural resonance of the trumpet. +1 for Vern's comments about doodling. Playing exercises from a page makes you articulate and play particular notes. It also provides a means of measuring progress (or lack of).

    Don't get me wrong about doodling, it's great to do (preferably in different keys/modes/scales) to develop improv skills, but needs to be balanced against more disciplined exercises.
     
  10. barliman2001

    barliman2001 Fortissimo User

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    Vienna, Austria, Europe
    Well, Tc, there's a few bits and pieces I have to add, some of which you might not like to hear. But even bitter medicine is medicine...

    1) Trying that game four days after a major mouthpiece change is near to useless. At the moment, your embouchure is like a wayward sheep, wandering about looking for the landmarks that suddenly aren't there any more.
    2) Doodling about somewhere on the hooter, without having planned exactly what to do for the recording is rather useless, too. I robs your playing of its usual surety.
    3) That said, it sounds as if you were starving your notes of air. That some notes don't respond at once has something to do with airflow or rather the lack of it. Try and get your airflow continuous. Don't think of producing airflow for every note, but think rather of interrupting the continuous airflow after every note.
    4) Come back in a month.
     

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