Maintaining Precision after Playing Extremes?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Recursion, Sep 6, 2012.

  1. Recursion

    Recursion Mezzo Piano User

    Jun 22, 2012
    Cape Coral, FL
    I'm trying to preserve precision after playing high. Let me explain, yesterday I was strengthening high G. A couple minutes in, I'm playing clearly and loudly. I meander just below it chromatically, and then back on G. I repeat this for about 5 minutes. Again, focusing on clarity and loudness. I took about a 5 minute break, then I had horrible problems playing middle staff and below. I lost precision--I couldn't consistently differentiate those lower notes. For example, I'd play middle G, but instead hit the C above (a bit embarrassing and frustrating). An hour later, I was fine though.

    Any suggestions on how I can work on this (besides extended recovery times)?
  2. jiarby

    jiarby Fortissimo User

    May 7, 2011
    It sounds like you just got cooked a bit on your range work. kinda like getting dead legs for a bit after a strenuous workout.

    As you get stronger it will get better because those G's will be easier. Of course, then you will be doing A's and Bb's... then the DHC. So you will always be a little cooked after a hard range day.
  3. DaTrump

    DaTrump Forte User

    Oct 21, 2011
    Huntsville, Texas
    Actually, that sounds like you are really pinching the upper register. One of the tests for that is play a middle C then a high C then back down to middle C, if it is sharp, it generally means you are pinching.
  4. Local 357

    Local 357 Banned

    Jul 1, 2011

    What mouthpiece? Be careful that you're not chasing rainbows. I used to do that. Back in 1973 I switched to the bathtub sized Bach 1 & 1/4 C. Used it for all my work including extreme upper register charts. It worked great.

    For five minutes that is...

    As an apparently serious trumpet player you appear to me to be the kind of cat who likes to push his limits. And that's commendable. However lets look at a few statistics:

    The most recognized, famous and respected high note artist who ever was used a very shallow, "V" shaped cup. Maynard of course.

    Lin Biviano, Lyn Nicholsen and Bill Chase all used the minuscule Schilke 6a4a.

    I'm told that Jon Faddis uses the cup depth of the 6a4a but on a number 11 or so Schilke.

    Cat Anderson's mouthpiece was so small that a stick of chalk could barely be inserted.

    Have seen posts indicating that Alan Wise used a Schilke 3a4a. A custom piece much smaller even than the Schilke 6.

    About the only person I know of who uses something comparatively large is Arturo. I'm guessing its similar to the Bach 3C. And there's a reason for that: he is especially naturally gifted and actually needs a little more cup depth and room to get it working.

    In my efforts to experiment with alternative embouchure have found one that seems to need a large mouthpiece. So there's always exceptions to the rule.

    That said it is unlikely that you yourself are an exception to the rule. If your mouthpiece is deep and has a wide inner rim dimension? This will reduce your endurance in the extreme upper register to perhaps 25% of what it could be. Maybe even less. Couple that with the tendency of large pieces to have sharp inner rim cutting edges or "bite".

    And maybe there's even a third factor. More significant than the other two. the deeper cup takes much more blow and chop support to project the sound well out into the audience. Hard to cut through.

    Somewhere on the 'net is a story of Bill Chase's early days on the Ferguson band playing lead. That he was using a "bathtub" piece up until the point where Maynard threatened to fire him if he didn't use something shallower to keep his endurance up. I can't claim the veracity of this story but it seems to fit with what i heard from Chase's mouth himself back in'72.

    And granted maybe you already are using a shallow piece but I'm gonna guess that you aren't. The kind of radical drop off in tonal control and accuracy you describe of your condition is more indicative (and typical) of an overly large piece with a sharp inner rim edge.

    In case I'm wrong? Well the above advice can still apply to most others here trying to establish themselves competently upstairs.
  5. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    One word... Edema

    You were likely not playing long or hard enough for fatigue, but placing demand on tissue to perform more brings in more blood flow. It pools. Causes edema and swelling. The answer, massage it in between range building moments (during 8 bar rests or in between songs) and when you go back to that mouthpiece to do it again, the lip will fit and function exactly as before.
  6. Recursion

    Recursion Mezzo Piano User

    Jun 22, 2012
    Cape Coral, FL
    Thank you. I'll make a concerted effort to do just that.

    Thanks. I've only been back for a few months, so I definitely need to get stronger. DHC? Not humanly possible! ;-)

    Thanks for your input. Would you please explain what that is? I've heard of pinching with one's throat, which I do not believe I am doing with my workouts. I try to breath through the horn, but I do pinch a tad when I'm trying to blast a window out. But I am trying to keep the volume at a 7 (out of 10). In fact, I tend to leak a little air out of the sides of my mouth when I'm playing above G. I suppose what I'm saying is that I'm trying very hard to "flow" through the horn the best I can, thus the leaking creeps in.

    I've been playing a Mega 3C for the past 2 months or so. I also have a 10-1/2C cornet, inter alia, that I've toyed with a little, but I've been liking the Mega a lot. Given my side leaking, I've been considering a slightly wider cup. I think you're right-on about depth, and although a C is medium, I should be trying some med-shallow to shallow MPs for high work. At present, I don't have anything in D/E/W range. It sounds like a trip to the local music shop is on the horizon. Thanks for the nudge.

    Also, thanks for that historical perspective. Yes, the majority of the greats can't all be wrong!

    Thanks everyone for your input. It's greatly appreciated.

    Cheers! :cool:
  7. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
    might I interject -- that you might be using too much pressure also!! --- it is a difficult thing to measure, but usually (for me) --- I try to occasionally pop down an octave or two in the midst of high range work (anything above high C) JUST TO MAKE sure, I am not using too much pressure!!!

    as far as "big bucket" mpcs --- I AM NOT CONVINCED THAT A REGULAR GUY NEEDS TO KEEP GOING SHALLOWER!!!!!!!!!! ----- but for me, I am looking for ALL AROUND GOOD sound (all notes, all ranges), and ALL AROUND FLEXIBILITY (ALL NOTES, ANYWHERE AT ANY TIME) --- I don't envision myself as the 3 hr concert guy like Maynard or Cat Anderson, etc, with a LOT of extreme range. BUT I would like to be a decent all round type of guy -- and of course, pop out some High G's, A's, B's and the DHC on occasion ----- AND IT IS ALL HUMANLY POSSIBLE ON A 3C (or an ASYMMETRIC 3C+544) --- in my opinion --- lots of long tones, lots of fexibility, octave leaps, intervals, and ughh the lip slurs ---- and lots of time (1,000's of hours).

    well -that is my thoughts on the matter ---------- I am sticking with 1 mpc!!!!!!!!!!!!
  8. Local 357

    Local 357 Banned

    Jul 1, 2011

    I've been "side leaking" for at least 40 years now. Since that time I've backed up Little Anthony, played in the warm up band for Ray Charles, small quintet w/Max Roach, and a half a billion decent but minor league bands.

    Like to consider myself a lifetime "Double A" ballplayer. But in truth its probably single A.

    Inability to prevent side leaking has not been a deal killer though. Not even a consideration. In some ways my lack of a sterling DHC (I've used it once in a while but it damn near kills me each time) probably hasn't lost me any gigs either.

    But yeah think Shilke:

    13 B a little shallow.

    13A shallow.

    That's for starters. And like i always say don't spend too much time on the shallower pieces the first few days. Especially not too many high notes!! Just work into then slowly. Maybe only five minutes a day the first two weeks. Adding time and days on or off as suits your conditioning.

    This is how the "other half lives".

    In time you may eventually work down into 6a4a area. Or maybe not.

    Playing too many high nights prior to learning how to use/adapt to the shallower pieces will swell the chops. Possibly make you immediately denounce them altogether before giving them half a chance.
  9. Recursion

    Recursion Mezzo Piano User

    Jun 22, 2012
    Cape Coral, FL
    40 years? And with that resume? I'm feeling much better about it, thanks. And thanks for the MP tips too. I'm heading over to the local shop later today to sample a few.

  10. SmoothOperator

    SmoothOperator Mezzo Forte User

    Jul 14, 2010
    From time to time I have the reverse problem, where I lose precision going from large intervals to small intervals. For example if I do intervals of a fifth, octave or more, then I try to play a mid-range scale, I tend to overblow at the higher partial going up, and the lower partial going down. I now divide my morning routine between, large intervals and scales to improve my workable range. Ultimately I find that playing the difficult parts in songs to be the only way to really prepare and avoid over-training on specific exercises.

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