Loss of control with extensive range practice

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Cpt.Funk, Jul 27, 2012.

  1. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    I've been working on various long tone exercises over the last 6 months and there is a marked improvement in endurance throughout my range. So I 3rd the long tones and playing softly w/o pressure. You could experiment with a Kelly screamer mpc.. It's lexan and "cheap" and designed for the acoustics of marching band! :D You wouldn't lose anything but a few bucks if it doesn't work.
  2. Cpt.Funk

    Cpt.Funk New Friend

    Jul 15, 2012
    Thanks all for the great info! As for the mouthpieces, one component of my injury last year was constantly switching between a Bach 3C and a Yamaha weighted 1.5C constantly- my teacher
    suggested (well, he recommended "sucking it up and playing on what sounds good xD) that if any m/piece change was to occur, that the two must be similar- thus the Curry. He also said
    that I sound like #$%^ on shallower pieces... and unfortunately my director wants our band to have a concert band type sound, so tone is still a factor :(.

    As for the practicing info, I'll be sure to cut back a little initially and work on all skills...thanks!
  3. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
    Capt Funk --- pardon me for my interjecting this thought into your thread -- BUT this might be a pertinent question to (Al Innella, Local357, and some others)
    if -- we (Capt Funk) or I , or anyone else -- those of us who usually use deep mpcs --- if we were to start switching over to a shallow mpc, would that shallow mpc build endurance and help the chops more so than playing longer on the deep mpc????
  4. DaTrump

    DaTrump Forte User

    Oct 21, 2011
    Huntsville, Texas
    I recommend flow studies to push your range, and keep a good even register, long tones are never the wrong answer either IMO. If your director wants concert band sounds, why not work on technique and make yourself a better player through marching band? I played lead in my high school band for 3 years and I've always used a big deep mouthpiece for marching band because I don't like sounding like a lazer beam. Use your normal mouthpiece, when you get back to concert season you will not only be a much better player but you won't have the adjustment period like many do.
  5. Local 357

    Local 357 Banned

    Jul 1, 2011

    Here's what I'm going to bet: Your teacher is not all that well versed in mouthpiece usage relative to the condition the young and developing player goes through. At least based upon your quote that's what I see. But then again he really isn't to be blamed because most teachers and players aren't familiar with the function of mouthpiece switches.

    Look at it this way: Would you rather try and blast out all your forte dogfights (Sousa type marches) on a huge mouthpiece? Risking physical strain, stiffness and outright injury?

    Or calming take CHARGE of the job on a decent lead piece. Easily finishing the job with plenty of endurance to spare?

    Because THAT is the choice. This is what is at stake. A no brainer really isn't it? Yeah sure but just try and get the trumpet teachers of this world to see it. Legions of young trumpet player's careers cut short due to this simple physical FACT. Makes me want to pull my hair out thinking of it. And people wonder why I have the "attitude"???

    I'm sure that your teacher means well and cares about you and wants you to develop good sound and who could blame him? However cracked notes from tired lip flesh sound AWFUL. So if good tone is to be the result the only conclusion I can draw is that an easier mouthpiece to play (ie shallower) can only IMPROVE the musical quality of your performance.

    As far as "sucky tone"??? We all stink on the shallow mouthpiece at first. They require training and development. Also throat and back bore adjustments can make a Schilke 5a4a blow almost as open as a Bach 7C. Don't believe me? Maynard often used equipment as shallow yet he opened his throats up to a #15 to #16 bore. Result? FAT sound.

    With a mouthpiece well suited to the type of music at hand one can seemingly do the impossible compared what he tried to do before the change.


    Shallower mouthpieces really ought to have the same rim contour as the so-called "legit piece". This can be somewhat of a small sticking point as shallow, screamer pieces tend to have rim shapes with less sharp edges. Or flatter etc. This is why Schilke is so cool. You can order a shallow piece with the same rim contour design as your legit piece.

    I'm certain that other companies have this option available too but Schilke was the first to do it.
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2012
  6. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    And if continued, begins to start damaging the muscle that is being strained in the process. Great advice Al Innella.
  7. Dave Mickley

    Dave Mickley Forte User

    Nov 11, 2005
    I will side with Rowuk on this one, I took over the lead chart in a big band I play in and started to really work on range. I got several practice routines that are specically designed to increase the upper register and endurance. after about 4-6 weeks of this my tone suffered, my endurance went down and I actually lost a little range. I went back to lip slurs and long tones and my range, tone and endurance are coming back. I should have gotten a teacher who specializes in embouchure development instead of using the "surefire self help gaurantee double high C studies". very few teachers out there know exactly how to work with your embouchure, they may be able to help with technique and such but to be able to develop a routine designed to help different students No. most use blanket programs and hope it works for everyone.
  8. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

    Aug 9, 2007
    Levittown , NY
    Hi King,

    In a word NO! Mouthpiece depth affects the tone,if you want a bright tone use a shallow cup,deeper cup for a darker tone.
    A shallow cup does make the upper register easier to play because there's less cup to fill with air and, the bright tone needs less volume to penetrate the ensemble,trouble is it doesn't blend well in concert bands or orchestra.Switching to a very small diameter shallow mouthpiece will not cure all playing problems,it might even do more harm than good.

    So I recommend staying with what you normally use.Actually practicing on too small a mouthpiece can make your regular piece feel much bigger and make range and endurance worse not better.
    kingtrumpet likes this.
  9. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
  10. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    No. The issue is that endurance is limited only by the degree of integration of our chops, breathing, hearing, musical intent and............. common sense.


    You will trash yourself with a small mouthpiece playing second next to a symphony guy or playing lead in a big band if that sound is not what your ears expect. Just because there are players that get along with big or small mouthpieces does not make either general recipes for ANYTHING.

    We can choose to follow the brainless, or commit ourselves to the only method of success: a process of intelligent discovery based on first things first. I personally do not want to hear ANYTHING about high notes or screaming before body issues and breathing are adequately covered - they are both hardware independent by the way.

    I have never seen anyone blow blood out of the bell even with a Bach 1C mouthpiece playing first trumpet in the McDonalds All American Band or a Bach 3C as lead trumpet in a professional big band, but have heard/seen enough crash and burn because the foundation was lacking.

    First things first.

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