losing air around lips

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by MarkMin, Feb 21, 2010.

  1. Markie

    Markie Forte User

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    Jan 4, 2009
    Clarksburg, WV
    Hi MarkMin,
    This is a tough one so I'm gonna talk in three broad areas;
    1)Psychology
    2)what's going on inside your mouth
    3)endurance
    Psychology:
    I've seen many students hit a brick wall with a particular passage or high note and it would give them fits for quite a while. Air wasn't leaking before, right?
    Well, you have to ask yourself "why is air leaking out when it didn't before?
    Why is it continuing to do this and (here it comes) are you predisposing yourself when a high note comes along. Do you say to yourself "Oh damned, I'm sure hoping I can play that note without air leaking out". Don't underestimate the ability of our mind to get in the way of us getting something done.
    Try this: Take the pinky out of the ring and (if you can) put it touching the furthest outer part of the ring(that part which is closest to the bell). Try this for a day and see if it works. It'll be hard but if its your brain getting in the way, this should help fix it.
    ---
    Inside the mouth:
    The tongue should go higher in the mouth from aaaaaa to eeeeee. My experience is that high notes are not hard. Its more like walking a tight rope or a balancing act. Making sure I'm not blowing too hard or using too much tension and still remain musical.
    Check out a site called Arch Tongue and Hiss. Its helped a lot of people.
    ----
    Endurance:
    You said you're coming back from an extended illness, right?
    Well it could be that your body is saying "I'm not quite ready for that note yet"
    A person who's a moderator on this site called rowuk will often say "things take a long time to build and consistant repetition is the key" I'm paraphrasing here but he's spot on. Work to get what you want but understand its gonna take a while.
    ABtrumpet brought up something about mouthpiece size.
    If you can do this without spending money, try this:
    Go to your local music store (with your trumpet) and try a Bach 10 1/2 C and see what you think. You might be surprised!
    Good Luck!
     
  2. MarkMin

    MarkMin New Friend

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    Jul 15, 2008
    Thank you all for your responses.

    I've googled the various sources you've mentioned and will start on some of these exercises/processes as of tonight.

    I will keep you up to date with my progress, or otherwise, and post any questions.

    For interest, I WILL try a 10 1/2 C, but, boy, that sounds scary!

    Best ...
     
  3. MarkMin

    MarkMin New Friend

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    Jul 15, 2008
    PS I think the point about psychology is well made ... I'm sure that more than half my problem is in my head. In fact, when I look back on my life, I think ALL my problems have been in my head.
     
  4. Markie

    Markie Forte User

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    Jan 4, 2009
    Clarksburg, WV
    MarkMin sez:
    PS I think the point about psychology is well made ... I'm sure that more than half my problem is in my head. In fact, when I look back on my life, I think ALL my problems have been in my head.
    ---------
    Welcome to the human race. I'd like to have a nickle for every time I was my own worse enemy. I'm sure I'd have a pocket full of change.
     
  5. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

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    Aug 9, 2007
    Levittown , NY
    One word relax . It sounds like your over tensing your entire body [embouchure , breathing , arms chest,etc.]when attempting to play higher than your comfort zone. Relax, don't push, and don't use arm pressure. If you can play C and D above the staff relaxed the E and F aren't that physically harder to play. The overtones between the notes get closer as you go higher, so it doesn't take a big change in lip tension, arm pressure or breathing to play those two or three notes.
     
  6. MarkMin

    MarkMin New Friend

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    Jul 15, 2008
    Whoo-hoo! I'm a member of the human race! Do I get a t-shirt?

    I'm too excited to relax ... but will try my hardest (I know that's a contradiction).
     
  7. tpsiebs

    tpsiebs Piano User

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    Feb 6, 2010
    Randolph, New Jersey
    Buzz.
    If we all come to grips with the fact that the name of the game is "garbage in - garbage out", then we'll revisit the most basic of basics. If the lips aren't buzzing WITH each other but flapping us AGAINST the mouthpiece, no mouthpiece with help. Consider what Drozdoff calls "peeling" the mouthpiece off of the lips: is the pitch the same? No? Well, there's your problem. YOU are the instrument. The mouthpiece is a funnel. The trumpet is an amplifier. If you don't do it, it won't happen. Consider, James Thompson's "Buzzing Book". Lincoln said, "If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I'd spend six hours sharpening the axe". Buzz. A lot. With and without the mouthpiece. If you buzz in tune, you play in tune.
    Keep the air moving. Blow out (don't think up or down). "Markie" is saying what Doc said - play on the smallest equipment practical for the task at hand.
    Good luck.
     
  8. B15M

    B15M Forte User

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    Dec 30, 2003
    Monroe Ct.
    The mouthpiece isn't a funnel and the trumpet isn't an amp. It doesn't work that way.

    I play OK, not as well as Nick, but I can't do his system and the trumpet still works.
     
  9. tpsiebs

    tpsiebs Piano User

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    Feb 6, 2010
    Randolph, New Jersey
  10. jbkirby

    jbkirby Forte User

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    Sep 10, 2009
    Dothan, Alabama
    Wow, you fit my profile almost exactly! the only difference is the mouthpiece: I use the old Olds 7C. Regarding the dog whistle, just blow air though the horn and claim it. Since no one can hear those frequencies anyway, no one will know the difference unless the occasional pooch wanders by with no ill effects and blows your cover. Now, If you see someone claiming to play a DDDD and rats are running from the building, then you know it's legit, and also a practical use for such notes as well.
     

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