Level Horn, posture and shoulder strength

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by SmoothOperator, Mar 13, 2012.

  1. SmoothOperator

    SmoothOperator Mezzo Forte User

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    I have been trying to move away from that hunched over Miles Davis type posture while playing. Doing back exercises help, however my left shoulder gets very tired, especially when playing trumpet, are there any tips or suggestions. With the horn nearly straight out, I feel my tone and projection are better. I have started doing military type presses with weights trying to build muscle in the upper shoulder that seems to help a little.
     
  2. codyb226

    codyb226 Banned

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    I found I had this problem, until I got a lightweight horn. But I found that you just need to move it up a little every time.
     
  3. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Posture is a learned habit that once messed up takes TONS of effort to get straightened out. Many players have a MUCH easier time when practicing after a hot shower.

    The angle of the horn is based on the geometry of your face and teeth. Straight out can be a killer on the upper lip if the face/teeth are not set up for this.

    If you are a slouch, swimming on your back is in my opinion the easiest way to get straightened out. The crawl or butterfly only works if you are getting proper training. Otherwise your back is usually arched WAY too much. That is worse for playing than slouching.
     
  4. codyb226

    codyb226 Banned

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    I never thought of that! That is pretty good.
     
  5. Mark_Kindy

    Mark_Kindy Mezzo Forte User

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    Agreed with above posts. Might I also suggest some flexibility/relaxation exercises along with the muscle building? Sometimes too much muscle tension is as much the culprit as not having endurance. Too much stress can sometimes cause clenching and such, is what I mean. Also can't hurt to do it for general health!
     
  6. veery715

    veery715 Utimate User

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    If your left shoulder is aching, it may be because you are transmitting tension from the grip you have on the horn. I benefited greatly from adopting a left hand grip which is more relaxed, where the weight of the horn is on my thumb and index finger and they are not squeezing towards each other any more than is necessary to maintain control.
     
  7. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Dem bones, dem bones, dem dry bones,
    Dem bones, dem bones, dem dry bones,
    Dem bones, dem bones, dem dry bones,
    Now hear the word of the Lord.

    Ezekiel connected dem dry bones,
    Ezekiel connected dem dry bones,
    Ezekiel connected dem dry bones,
    Now hear the word of the Lord.

    The toe bone’s connected to the foot bone,
    The foot bone’s connected to the ankle bone,
    The ankle bone’s connected to the leg bone,
    The leg bone’s connected to the knee bone,
    The knee bone’s connected to the thigh bone,
    The thigh bone’s connected to the hip bone,
    The hip bone’s connected to the back bone,
    The back bone’s connected to the shoulder bone,
    The shoulder bone’s connected to the neck bone,
    The neck bone’s connected to the head bone,
    Now hear the word of the Lord.

    Disconnect dem bones, dem dry bones,
    Disconnect dem bones, dem dry bones,
    Disconnect dem bones, dem dry bones,
    Now hear the word of the Lord.

    The head bone’s connected to the neck bone,
    The neck bone’s connected to the shoulder bone,
    The shoulder bone’s connected to the back bone,
    The back bone’s connected to the hip bone,
    The hip bone’s connected to the thigh bone,
    The thigh bone’s connected to the knee bone,
    The knee bone’s connected to the leg bone,
    The leg bone’s connected to the ankle bone,
    The ankle bone’s connected to the foot bone,
    The foot bone’s connected to the toe bone,
    Now hear the word of the Lord.

    (Dem bones, dem) dry bones!

    James Weldon Johnson (1871–1938)


    Even the spiritual singers from long ago knew that everything is connected. That is why I don't like web lessons - an important connection to the student is missing. Even if one leg is a bit longer than the other, that can cause tension and uncomfort that ends up in our face. If we are getting good trumpet lessons, we are getting more in tune with our bodies. Yoga and martial arts have a more holistic view than many other types of treatments. We have to separate things designed for sports that maximize strength compared to the big picture that maximizes effeciency by REDUCING the input to what is necessary instead of "enough to get output regardless". We have untold power once we stop wasting it!
     
  8. chapmand

    chapmand Piano User

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    Edmonton, Alberta
    There are two DVDs out called "Breathing Gym". Not only great at opening the airways and training the inhale and exhale, but they also take the student through some basic but good stress release exercises and stretches that help the whole body and specifically a body that needs to breathe efficiently. I use it. I teach it to my students. We sound better afterwards. individual results may vary.
     
  9. jiarby

    jiarby Fortissimo User

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    bend your mpc and your bell to tilt up a bit... if you can't do it the other way.
     
  10. sj3209

    sj3209 Piano User

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    There are two things commonly going on here. The first is posture adaptation common to people these days that spend too much time at computers. I'm not kidding. Look at youngsters and notice the slouch. Check out drivers in cars and their shoulders don't touch the back of the seat. This is rampant. The front muscles and tendons get shorter and shorter. Eventually the ligaments in the spine adapt as well.

    To counter this, you must practice all postures with the shoulders back. Visualize your shoulder blades moving together. That should help.

    The second thing is the weakness of the back muscles.

    Exercises to help: The easiest one is lying on your back on the floor and trying to touch your shoulder blades together. In the gym, do seated or supportive rows. Don't cheat and just do the movement. You again must pull those shoulder blades together.

    In all my years of practive (chiropractic), these are the most important factors in back health, posture and back strengthening. Good luck and take care.
     

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