Loss of Accuracy

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Jurandr, Feb 24, 2008.

  1. carltonsstudent

    carltonsstudent New Friend

    36
    3
    May 2, 2007
    Richmond, VA
    I have found out for myself that the quality of my tone, my range, and probably all aspects of my playing is dependent to a large degree on my physical condition. I have found that the medical communities advice to take at least a 45 minute walk every day or get the equivalent excercise through such things as calisthentics or swimming, etc. is extremely valuable to me. During the winter we tend to lighten up on our exercise and if you have then try regular indoor exercise and see if it doesn't help. I can tell the difference in my playing immediately after the exercise. I have studied three different martial arts and I mix that into my regular exercise.

    Another thing is to not overblow. Play a significant part of your trumpet exercises quietly and carefully as recommended by so many of the method books such as H. L. Clarke Technical Studies which I recommend strongly for almost every reason I can think of. Often times the simple exercises are not as simple as we might think and are more valuable than one would perhaps think.

    I am going to recommend to you a couple of exercises that I find to be extremely valuable for intonation, breath control, interval studies, range, control, etc. Here they are from Arbans:

    Ex #9 page 12 Play these two ways - 1 - Slur whole exercise; 2 - tounge each note with tu type tounging as described by Arban on page 7 (Method of striking the tone). In either case play softly - not louder than mf; blow continously, never stopping the air through each exercise; blow through the horn, not into the mouthpiece, projecting the tone to a distant object like the backyard fence; extend the exercises upward or downward into higher or lower registers as much as you like; play them at different speeds, like slow, medium and fast; keep the lips closed with the aperature as small as possible (Read H.L. Clarke in Setting Up Drills instructions to closing the aperature with the bottom lip sliding upward and slightly behind the top lip); and finally, play them beautifully. Feel the lips vibrating and use nose breaths as necessary.

    Exercises 3 - 13 in Slurs, pages 39-41. The instructions are the basically the same as those for Ex. #9 above. Start each group of two notes at p and crescendo up to mf. Later as you develop strength and are able to play them in tune, then increase the crescendo to f and later ff, etc. As Arban says on page 10: "The crescendo and diminuendo markings used from Number 11 through 17 are in accordance with the best principles of modern teaching, and tend to develop a clearer and more easily produced upper register." Starting each group of two notes very quietly helps to ensure that you start with the lips closed. Blow harder to increase the volume by increasing the amplitude of vibration of the lips. Feel the lips vibrating. For Maggio students, use Syllables throughout with a forward, closed embrochure. And remember Maggio's statement: "If you do what I tell you, you will play beautifully."

    Please forgive me for recommending this lesson, but I recommend it with every confidence that it will be valuable to almost everyone, and for my private students, they are an everyday fact of life.

    Sincerely,

    And as Carlton MacBeth used to say: "Learn to play the Maggio way!"

    Carltonsstudent
     
  2. carltonsstudent

    carltonsstudent New Friend

    36
    3
    May 2, 2007
    Richmond, VA
    I have found out for myself that the quality of my tone, my range, and probably all aspects of my playing is dependent to a large degree on my physical condition. I have found that the medical communities advice to take at least a 45 minute walk every day or get the equivalent excercise through such things as calisthentics or swimming, etc. is extremely valuable to me. During the winter we tend to lighten up on our exercise and if you have then try regular indoor exercise and see if it doesn't help. I can tell the difference in my playing immediately after the exercise. I have studied three different martial arts and I mix that into my regular exercise.

    Another thing is to not overblow. Play a significant part of your trumpet exercises quietly and carefully as recommended by so many of the method books such as H. L. Clarke Technical Studies which I recommend strongly for almost every reason I can think of. Often times the simple exercises are not as simple as we might think and are more valuable than one would perhaps think.

    I am going to recommend to you a couple of exercises that I find to be extremely valuable for intonation, breath control, interval studies, range, control, etc. Here they are from Arbans:

    Ex #9 page 12 Play these two ways - 1 - Slur whole exercise; 2 - tounge each note with tu type tounging as described by Arban on page 7 (Method of striking the tone). In either case play softly - not louder than mf; blow continously, never stopping the air through each exercise; blow through the horn, not into the mouthpiece, projecting the tone to a distant object like the backyard fence; extend the exercises upward or downward into higher or lower registers as much as you like; play them at different speeds, like slow, medium and fast; keep the lips closed with the aperature as small as possible (Read H.L. Clarke in Setting Up Drills instructions to closing the aperature with the bottom lip sliding upward and slightly behind the top lip); and finally, play them beautifully. Feel the lips vibrating and use nose breaths as necessary.

    Exercises 3 - 13 in Slurs, pages 39-41. The instructions are the basically the same as those for Ex. #9 above. Start each group of two notes at p and crescendo up to mf. Later as you develop strength and are able to play them in tune, then increase the crescendo to f and later ff, etc. As Arban says on page 10: "The crescendo and diminuendo markings used from Number 11 through 17 are in accordance with the best principles of modern teaching, and tend to develop a clearer and more easily produced upper register." Starting each group of two notes very quietly helps to ensure that you start with the lips closed. Blow harder to increase the volume by increasing the amplitude of vibration of the lips. Feel the lips vibrating. For Maggio students, use Syllables throughout with a forward, closed embrochure. And remember Maggio's statement: "If you do what I tell you, you will play beautifully."

    Please forgive me for recommending this lesson, but I recommend it with every confidence that it will be valuable to almost everyone, and for my private students, they are an everyday fact of life.

    Sincerely,

    And as Carlton MacBeth used to say: "Learn to play the Maggio way!"
     
  3. carltonsstudent

    carltonsstudent New Friend

    36
    3
    May 2, 2007
    Richmond, VA
    I have found out for myself that the quality of my tone, my range, and probably all aspects of my playing is dependent to a large degree on my physical condition. I have found that the medical communities advice to take at least a 45 minute walk every day or get the equivalent excercise through such things as calisthentics or swimming, etc. is extremely valuable to me. During the winter we tend to lighten up on our exercise and if you have then try regular indoor exercise and see if it doesn't help. I can tell the difference in my playing immediately after the exercise. I have studied three different martial arts and I mix that into my regular exercise.

    Another thing is to not overblow. Play a significant part of your trumpet exercises quietly and carefully as recommended by so many of the method books such as H. L. Clarke Technical Studies which I recommend strongly for almost every reason I can think of. Often times the simple exercises are not as simple as we might think and are more valuable than one would perhaps think.

    I am going to recommend to you a couple of exercises that I find to be extremely valuable for intonation, breath control, interval studies, range, control, etc. Here they are from Arbans:

    Ex #9 page 12 Play these two ways - 1 - Slur whole exercise; 2 - tounge each note with tu type tounging as described by Arban on page 7 (Method of striking the tone). In either case play softly - not louder than mf; blow continously, never stopping the air through each exercise; blow through the horn, not into the mouthpiece, projecting the tone to a distant object like the backyard fence; extend the exercises upward or downward into higher or lower registers as much as you like; play them at different speeds, like slow, medium and fast; keep the lips closed with the aperature as small as possible (Read H.L. Clarke in Setting Up Drills instructions to closing the aperature with the bottom lip sliding upward and slightly behind the top lip); and finally, play them beautifully. Feel the lips vibrating and use nose breaths as necessary.

    Exercises 3 - 13 in Slurs, pages 39-41. The instructions are the basically the same as those for Ex. #9 above. Start each group of two notes at p and crescendo up to mf. Later as you develop strength and are able to play them in tune, then increase the crescendo to f and later ff, etc. As Arban says on page 10: "The crescendo and diminuendo markings used from Number 11 through 17 are in accordance with the best principles of modern teaching, and tend to develop a clearer and more easily produced upper register." Starting each group of two notes very quietly helps to ensure that you start with the lips closed. Blow harder to increase the volume by increasing the amplitude of vibration of the lips. Feel the lips vibrating. For Maggio students, use Syllables throughout with a forward, closed embrochure. And remember Maggio's statement: "If you do what I tell you, you will play beautifully."

    Please forgive me for recommending this lesson, but I recommend it with every confidence that it will be valuable to almost everyone, and for my private students, they are an everyday fact of life.

    Sincerely,

    And as Carlton MacBeth used to say: "Learn to play the Maggio way!"
     
  4. bjntrumpet

    bjntrumpet New Friend

    32
    0
    Aug 23, 2004
    San Antonio, TX
    I agreed totally with Rowuk, it's usually never a equipment issue. For your accuracy and pitch issues, I stand by the process of sing, buzz, play. If you can't hear it, you generally don't have a chance of hitting the note's "sweet spot". The accuracy issue could also be an issue of timing and, this starts with the breath. I would practice breath attacks, and pop tones as Mr. Hickman suggest. Also try to play soft in band, you are probably forcing, if you play with a resonance sound you won't have to play as loud, but you will get the result you are looking for. Best of luck and keep us posted on your progress.

    Brett
     
  5. Jurandr

    Jurandr Pianissimo User

    183
    1
    Feb 23, 2008
    Illinois
    This is the first time I've heard those terms before. Could you educate a knowledge-hungry teen?

    @Rowuk
    I'm having trouble understand what you mean by the "circle of breath". I've been able to narrow down the advanced search to about 6 threads, but I don't have a clue as to what I'm looking for.

    A big thanks to everybody who has replied to far. Everything is very detailed and better than anything I could get from my flute-playing band director
     
  6. Jude

    Jude Piano User

    318
    1
    Dec 2, 2007
    One more thing: had you started to really work on your range about the time you started having problems with accuracy? I ask because it happened to me - I started concentrating on playing higher and found I couldn't hit anything down low straight on.

    (Breath attacks mean playing without tonguing - somebody else will have to define pop tones.)
     
  7. bjntrumpet

    bjntrumpet New Friend

    32
    0
    Aug 23, 2004
    San Antonio, TX
    Here is an explanation about pop tones from Mr. Hickman himself,
    "Here is an excerpt from my TRUMPET PEDAGOGY book, page 142:

    "Regardless of the type of attack and length of note, tone should begin with the attack, which needs to be instantaneous. One very efficient tool to develop precise attacks is the practice of 'pop tones.' An added benefit of pop toes, even a few minutes daily, is greatly improved response when playing softly.

    Pop tones sound similar to lightly hitting the palm of the hand on the rim of the mouthpiece. When played correctly, the pitch of each note sounds for an instant, creating a pitch with no real 'trumpet' tone. Embouchure and articulation are to be exactly the same as usual, but the dynamic level should be ppppp. Midddle-range pop tones are the easiest to produce and are the best notes to start with. Pop tones are extremely short and do not rely on lip vibrations. The pitch of each note should be clear.

    The benefits of pop tone practice are many because:

    1. The embouchure must be set perfectly for each pitch desired.
    2. The action of the tongue must be extremely quick--like a spark.
    3. The lip aperture must be small. Spreading the lips apart, even
    slightly, prevents the pitch from speaking at soft dynamics.
    4. The mouthpiece pressure against the lips must be relatively light.

    Pop tones can be played on all keys and types of trumpets and cornets. They are effective in the development of immediate response in single-, double-, and triple-tonguing and are helpful in perfecting passages with difficult intervals."

    I think Rowuk "circle of breath" means that there is no pause between the inhale and the exhale. I prefer to think of it like Tiger Woods swing, there's constant motion. Now if I could only hit the ball like he does, I'd be in good shape. I like to use the Breathing Gym dvd to help me recreate this feeling.
     
  8. Miyot

    Miyot Pianissimo User

    170
    1
    Jul 22, 2007
    My accuracy goes when I am tired, or a little over worked. It is one of the first signs for me to back off a little. You can start to abuse your chops without realizing it. It can sort of creep up on you.
     
  9. Bay Area Brass

    Bay Area Brass Piano User

    488
    356
    Mar 2, 2007
    San Francisco
    First and foremost, if you are playing every day, cleaning your horn every 3 months isn't often enough. I would recommend once a month. Your horn vibrates and with all the build up of "stuff" that you must have after 3 months is significant. Imagine putting a bunch of tape on a cymbal and what that would sound like-your horn is no different. Hope that helps-your horn is most likely fine. best of luck!
     

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