Marching question

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Myshilohmy, Mar 31, 2011.

  1. Myshilohmy

    Myshilohmy Pianissimo User

    Jan 6, 2009
    I am normally a trumpet player obviously, but was told to audition for lead mellophone at Carolina Crown. I have more trouble playing on the move on mellophone, because the notes are a 4th lower than on my normal Bb trumpet. Is it normal to have more feet in the sound the lower you play? I sound significantly better while playing in the upper register on the move than the lower register.

    A friend of mine commented on a video of me marching and playing and noticed I cracked a lot of notes in one spot, and he said I might be "tonguing through the embochure" and that caused my cracked notes. Thoughts on this, and how to improve my sound on the move on mellophone?
  2. Scatmanblues

    Scatmanblues Pianissimo User

    Jul 19, 2010
    West Texas
    It's impossible to know for sure without seeing you, but I suspect the reason you crack fewer notes in the upper register is because you are using more pressure and by pressing the mouthpiece into your chops you are reducing the amount of "play" produced by poor marching fundamentals. You are, of course, doing so at the expense of endurance and at the risk of developing poor playing fundamentals.

    If you can hear "feet" in your sound at all, your problem is not with playing, but with marching. The instrument has nothing to do with it beyond potentially making more clear the problems with marching technique. Poor fundamentals mean you are smashing your chops in multiple directions while trying to engage in a pretty fine-motor skill of playing a horn. Think of it like trying to write in a car driving down a road. The better the shocks and the smoother the road, the easier it is to write. Your marching fundamentals are the shocks that allow you to still play while your lower body moves all over the road. Bad shocks = poor handwriting/poor playing.

    If you plan to march drum corp you should be spending as much time developing marching fundamentals as you do working on your playing fundamentals. If you have a strong core and a smooth glide step you won't hear your steps in the sound and all aspects of your playing should get easier.

  3. Myshilohmy

    Myshilohmy Pianissimo User

    Jan 6, 2009
    I remember at one of the camps I was marching one on one with one of the staff members and he said part of it is marching, part of it is me not using enough air, and I need to use tuba air.

    It could be pressure, but I feel that part of my playing has gotten a lot better over the past few years, and my main problem now is tension and more recently proper tonguing technique. Could poor breathing make marching a show more exhausting than it has to be?
  4. erd402

    erd402 Pianissimo User

    Mar 21, 2009
    West Virginia
    I think poor breathing could make everything more exhausting than it has to be. Whether its marching a show, playing high, or playing with a great tone, breathing is one of the most important fundamentals that needs to be addressed. I think you need to work on using more air and using it efficiently. Make sure you are letting your air do all the work and use mouthpiece pressure just to gain a seal between the embouchure and the mouthpiece. When we play higher we tend to depend on extra pressure to force out those notes but extra pressure eventually causes the lips to quit vibrating. Breathing and pressure go hand in hand. When we lack proper breathing we rely on pressure. Proper breathing may help exhaustion a little, but I'd still expect running through the show to hit you pretty hard. But it would definitely make playing easier.

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