Need Some Advice

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by lurch028, Jul 17, 2008.

  1. lurch028

    lurch028 New Friend

    Jul 17, 2008
    New here so forgive me if this is in the wrong section, but i believe this is the correct one... Anyways I've been playing the trumpet for about 8 years and now i'm in a colegiate band as well. I've always had a pretty good range and stamina but lately it seems I can only play well for a shorter amount of time before my lips get really tired and my range just dies. I still practice pretty regularly although not every day (it is summer afterall :) and I've tried everything from different lip slurs to playing exercises recommened by other trumpet players in my Arbans but nothing seems to help. Any ideas? Thanks.
  2. brian moon

    brian moon Forte User

    Start with practicing every day.
  3. lurch028

    lurch028 New Friend

    Jul 17, 2008
    well I that I still practice pretty regularly... by that i mean about 5-6 days out of the week. I doubt the one more day would do me much good not to mention you need to give your lips a rest every now and then... i was really just wanting advice on how to make my lips last longer not "practice every day"
  4. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

    Oct 18, 2007
    The Wide Brown Land
    When practising, rest as much as you play - it's important too.
  5. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

    Aug 9, 2007
    Levittown , NY
    Maybe the music is harder so you need more practice not the same or less.
  6. jazztrpt006

    jazztrpt006 New Friend

    Jul 16, 2008
    Wpg, Mb
    A same scenario happened to me and i couldn't figure out what had caused this to happen. My suggestion is that it could be that possibly your out of tune therefore your lippin everything either up or down to match the band, this then reduces your endurance and can make it harder to play up in your range. Try sitting down with a tunner (after properly warmed up) and play through the concert Bb major scale (our c) and hold each note for a slow 4 counts. And see which notes are usually always in tune and those that aren't and use the appropriate tunning slide to compensate for that.

    Defintaly what has been said up above is right. Rest as much as you play but also make sure that you have a day where you don't play or have a "light" day where your not playing as much. You have to remeber your lips are a muscle and if you dont give them a chance to heal from all teh practicing ect they'll get tired quickly

    Happy Practicing!
  7. oldlou

    oldlou Forte User

    Aug 28, 2005
    Grand Rapids, Mi.
    As one of the resident 'know it alls', I 'think' that you have developed an excessive pressure syndrome. I, personally fight this myself. A trip through Carmine Caruso's methods, which include deep breathing, long, soft pedal tones and flexibility exercises just might be the answer to your problems. I do know that this regimen has worked for me and for several of my students.

  8. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    I am always amazed at how players can get pretty far and then when something breaks down, they "try everything". If a house is built on sand, you can also "try everything" - with similar results.

    There is only one recipe for consistent playing and that is an intelligent, consistent routine. The fact that you did not mention this first makes me think that you do not have one!

    You are where you are now, and the probability of a miracle changing something over night is pretty small. Therefore I recommend getting a basic routine. Start your playing with 5 minutes of mouthpiece long tones. Breathe deeply and just exhale - no "pressure" to get the notes started. Play very softly and hold the note out as long as you can. Take a break as long as the note you just played and then play another note the same way. Do not tongue to get the note started. After a while, your lips will be supple enough to speak without articulation!
    Then 5 minutes of long tones on the trumpet played exactly the same way, deep breath exhale, no tonguing!
    Then find some easy slurs, play them also the same way (15- 20 minutes including the resting time)!

    After a couple weeks of this, you will be more "in touch" with your face and if you keep this up for the rest of your life, you never again will have to grasp at straws when things fall apart - you just get back to the functional basics and build back up from there.

    "Earning" your chops instead of "exploiting" your natural talent is most likely the best formula for your situation! As you get older, the natural talent will not carry you as far, the body is not as resilient as when we were very young!
  9. wilcox96

    wilcox96 Mezzo Piano User

    Oct 31, 2005
    charlotte nc
    Although what you've received is some very terrific advice so far... I'll actually wager that much of your problem is due to lack of concentration. (your words..."it is summer, after all").

    Lack of desire to play...lack of attention to detail...less focus...less reason to work "towards" anything (summer=no band/orchestra rehearsals/concerts??) motivation...

    All this equates to you slipping into lazy habits. Before you know it (and you now "do" know it), your range goes...stamina...all the things you describe. You just have to ask yourself what you want/expect out of your practice sessions and then do what it takes to achieve those goals. If you merely want to just maintain some nice sound...not letting the chops go dormant over the summer, that's totally okay! Don't worry yourself about it! Realize that expectation and do things (as Rowuk suggests) to maintain. Don't expect anything else. Have some fun this summer! It may end up that when you return to a more aggressive playing schedule, you will have a much better attitude. All will be right with the world.

    On the other hand, if you "really" want to improve, then you have to approach your sessions with that in mind. Working on a balanced practice routine that eventually challenges your playing (this both physically AND mentally...positively!!). Write yourself a schedule, perhaps.... a routine that works towards achieving a certain reasonable ability (like being more fluid with an unfamiliar key...or a particular piece of music...etc). Give yourself a specific day to reach that...and work at it. Things like this will give you something tangible to think about and work towards. (throughout the year, you "have" these the form of rehearsals/concerts/material). You just have to create that same mindset when you "don't" have those things to contend with.

    It's easy to go through what you are going through. Most do. You just have to decide what direction you'd like to head..and be okay with either decision! Enjoy!
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2008

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