Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Adena422, Dec 22, 2012.

  1. Adena422

    Adena422 New Friend

    May 28, 2011
    Hello. I am 17 and have played trumpet for 7 years. In the last few weeks I have run into a major problem and would like some advice on how to fix it.Recently, I have been working a lot on my upper register, and not really on the lower register. Now, my low notes don't want to come out, and if and when they do, they sound weak. It feels like they are somewhat airy and the tone just isn't there at all. These problems start when I go below "C" below the staff. This is really frustrating me. I know part of the problem is from pushing the horn to my face (probably started doing it when I worked on the upper register. I know, not good).I'm not sure what else it may be. I just can't get the notes to come out correctly anymore if at all. PLEASE HELP! [​IMG]

    Actually, now thinking about it, I realize I can't even get any "buzzing" out when I try the lower notes.
  2. Kantza

    Kantza Pianissimo User

    May 28, 2012
    I'll follow this threat, I have just about the same problem.

    Now I can already play the A below the staff but I can't get any lower.
    I play those warm-up exercises alot (G-C-G, F#-B-F#,... without articulating the second and third note), and that helped me a lot already!

    Make sure you don't loosen your embouchure (on the outside), so using a mirror to see what you're doing is very usefull
  3. ultratrumpet

    ultratrumpet Piano User

    Jul 10, 2009
    Old Lyme, Connecticut
    Your practice is lopsided. High notes have a stiffening effect on the embouchure. Balance your practice between high and low notes and learn to use a lip relaxer at the end of your high note routines. Start using Claude Gordon's "Systematic Approach to Daily Practice", and read Claude's "Brass Playing is No Harder Than Deep Breathing", http://www.purtle.com/books
    The problem with practicing in front of a mirror is that if you play something particularly well, and at the same time notice some little movement of the muscles, you may think that is what caused you to play as you did. From then on you will try to duplicate this movement. Any movement of the muscles of the the face does not cause you to play good or bad. This is only sympathetic muscular motion. (When one muscle moves, the surroundings muscles "give" a little: You can't play rigid.) It's what happens on the inside that counts, and any visible corresponding movement is no cause for concern or celebration. Mouthpiece Pressure: "There is no such thing as no pressure." As the embouchure muscles develop and contract under the mouthpiece, more pressure can be used with no damage. The more you develop your wind power, and through correct practice increase your facility in finding the right tongue level for each note, the less mouthpiece pressure will be necessary. Don't try to make mouthpiece pressure happen, just let it happen. And don't try to prevent it from happening.
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2012
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  4. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
    yeah, what the other guy said---- but lay off the high notes for a day or two -- and do long soft tones down from the 2nd line G to the low C, or however far you can get down there. TRY to make each note full and resonant. Still keep the corners firm, and send some huge quantities of "slow lazy air" for the lower notes. IN THE FUTURE -- try to DISCIPLINE YOURSELF to have a balanced practice session -----------------personally, I have found that even interjecting just a few lines of notes under the staff (all the way down to the low F#) into a practice at the beginning, the middle, and the end -- -will help in the future to avoid this problem. WOW, DID I really mention DISCIPLINE yourself!!! ----- oh, my, sometimes playing the trumpet takes good mental skills also ---- to discipline ourselves ----GOSH, I hate that word too-- Discipline ----but you got to have it!!! ROFL ROFL ROFL
  5. mchs3d

    mchs3d Mezzo Forte User

    Sep 30, 2005
    Provo, UT
    I find the low register needs practice every day. Also, make sure your horn has a good low register, and put a small pivot on the bell at the low G. That should help it come out more clear.
  6. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    Yep... lop sided. When you only practice in one range, muscles adapt to that range. If you neglect the other, notes will not be there for you. You need to practice the range spectrum that you wish to have. Unfortunately, the bad habit you have developed with lop sided practice will take about 4-6 weeks to correct, IF you work on COMFORTABLE range excercises (in both direction) at this time. Don't go to extreme ranges, but rather those notes that are on the end of your CURRENT range. Work scales up to and down to this range in all modes. After several days to a week you can increase to the next range of notes you have achieved.
  7. BigDub

    BigDub Fortissimo User

    Dec 19, 2009
    Hillsborough, NJ
    This is true in any discipline, singing, too can get lopsided if you only work on one part of your range. Work on just high range, away goes the low range. Basic physical activity, work on your biceps only and you won't have an all around fit body. In life, only hang around certain people, and a different crowd will leave you out in the cold and you'll wonder why you don't have them anymore. Balanced approach is best.
  8. pops

    pops Pianissimo User

    Mar 17, 2004
    You worked your high notes for a few weeks.
    You worked on
    stronger air support
    more tongue arch
    more lip compression
    over all more tension

    Now the low notes don't come out.

    You have to relax ALL of those things back down to the low register. Any one of those things kept too high and the low notes don't respond well.

    Usually in a case like yours it is just a little of all of those things.

    Say ha and let the air roll out relaxed with a low tongue position. Relax your support and see if that helps.
  9. TrumpetMD

    TrumpetMD Fortissimo User

    Oct 22, 2008

    On way I do this is to end every routine with a low note.

    For example, say I'm doing lip slurs in 4-bar patterns. At then end of each 4-bar pattern, I play a low G or F# (or whatever note complements the key I'm in).

    I do this without adjusting the mouthpiece or my embouchure. I play the low note softly, sometime without tonguing. This helps me reset, refocus, and relax my embouchure.

    I learned this from someone else, but can't remember who. There was also a recent post from someone demonstrating this technique. If I find it, I'll post it here.

    EDIT: Here's the video example: www.youtube.com/watch?v=-IB4omxzqOg

    Last edited: Dec 23, 2012
  10. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    Low notes are about relaxation. But relaxation works for high notes as well once the muscle support (lips and respiratory apparatus) are in order. Once you get to this stage, the world is your oyster. I mean, have you ever seen a stressed oyster? I mean they slide down so effortlessly!

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