New Comeback Player - Want to do it right

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Ric232, May 10, 2009.

  1. Ric232

    Ric232 Pianissimo User

    246
    8
    Apr 30, 2009
    Coastal GA
    Coming back after 24 years. Played from 5th through 9th grade. I was fairly good. I sat 1st chair that entire time at three different schools. I stopped after 9th grade mostly becuase I got braces late in 8th and it frustrated the heck out of me. Anyway, braces are long gone and I'm trying again. My goal is to play at my church so I mainly want to accomplish the following (in descending order of importance):

    1. Tone quality (after 2 weeks I'm 90% happy with my tone)
    2. Big, full sound
    3. Endurance
    4. Decent range (want a useable high "c")

    The main thing I'm not focused on now is technique, fast playing, double-tonguing,etc. I just want to be able to play lazy church music and create a very pleasant, full sound from beginning to end.

    Right now, I can play with really good tone and a full sound, for about 4-6 bars. Then I start to wear down pretty quickly. In my "prior life" my struggles were endurance and being able to play loud for anything more than a few minutes. Even though I was considerably better than every other trumpet player at my schools, my lips seemed to wear out quicker. My embouchure is 1/3 top 2/3 bottom. When I get tired, if I try to play at anything more than low volume, my lips stop vibrating and then there's just air. If I really "push", I'll get a sound but it breaks up badly (like "brrraattt"). I playing my 1983 Mercedes II with a Bach 3C mpc. Both are in great shape.

    Do my struggles with endurance and loud playing sound normal or abnormal? Should I just keep practicing daily (I have Arban's) and see what develops? I've been working on long tones, lip slurs and major scales.

    Thanks,
    Ric
     
  2. A.N.A. Mendez

    A.N.A. Mendez Utimate User

    6,415
    3,215
    Oct 25, 2005
    Sunny Ca.
    3 things
    long tones
    long tones
    long tones

    :-)
     
  3. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Age:
    61
    16,611
    7,955
    Jun 18, 2006
    Germany
    Ric,
    you will get the same answer as the other thousand players that started the same way: good playing is earned by enough smart practice. There is no timetable for success because every person is individual in their dedication, ears and brain. Barring a disability, the muscle part of playing ("chops") are simply related to quality time on the horn.

    You need to get a consistent dail routine with breathing, long tone and slurs followed by easy tunes. A buddy to practice with and play duets (even better a teacher) will help you move faster.

    SMART practice is what you need, not just "Arbans". You need to get a structure in that practice routine, and a pair of ears to tell you if you are on track or not.

    My recommendation is at least 30 min/day to get started. 10 minutes long tones and slurs. 10 minutes of tunes and 10 minutes of technical studies. I am talking about 10 serious playing minutes each, not just the clock ticking away.

    Good lessons will get you started most intelligently. Because you never really had endurance, I consider outside help to be necessary. Get a teacher, at least to insure a proper start!
     
  4. Bill Martin

    Bill Martin Pianissimo User

    53
    2
    Apr 1, 2009
    Id (summer) CA (winter)
    Hi, Ric: I'm a retired band teacher and trumpet player who came back after a nearly 30 year lay-off. Things that help me: leaving a horn out where it is easily accessable - so I can blow a few notes quickly and often (you MUST play every day), chromatic scales (up and down - softly - make your lips really buzz), long tones (emphasis on SOUND QUALITY). I can't over emphasize the need to play every day. Back when I was playing lots of dance work (go to 1 or even 2 in the am) I would really suffer when I hadn't spent enough time on my horn. In fact, this lazziness led to my going to a valve trombone for doubling. Good luck! Bill Martin
     
  5. Ric232

    Ric232 Pianissimo User

    246
    8
    Apr 30, 2009
    Coastal GA
    Rowuk, should I practice the 30 minutes even if I cannot maintain a good tone quality that long? Is it important that I do 30 minutes straight or can I break it up so I can maintain good tone?

    BTW, now that 24 years have past, I can confess that I rarely practiced back then. My parents were kind enough to buy me private lessons from a guy who is now a professor of trumpet at the Univ of Central Florida. The way I practiced for my lessons? I'd open my Arban's book in the car on the way to my lesson (fortunately I was too young to drive myself) and I'd practice in my head. I'd play 5 days a week in band class during the school year but that's pretty much it. I'm hoping that was the reason for my lack of endurance and not some other underlying problem.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2009
  6. s.coomer

    s.coomer Forte User

    1,827
    43
    Mar 25, 2005
    Indianapolis, In
    I think that I can answer your question about 30 minutes. Yes if you have to divide it up then divide it up. Why not play for 10 minutes rest for 10 minutes and come back for another 10 etc.? After doing this for a week or two then see if you can expand on each session. However, Rowuk gave you great advice when he said you need to get a teacher. I second what he said if you really want to advance.
     
  7. A.N.A. Mendez

    A.N.A. Mendez Utimate User

    6,415
    3,215
    Oct 25, 2005
    Sunny Ca.
    HA! So that's why I got "CHOPS" in spite of myself when I was coming up. We had these little practice cubicles, (think hall/entry coat closet) that we spent 3 hours every afternoon in. If there was not enough effort heard coming out of them the band director/teacher would come into the 4 foot by 4 foot room and give a 5-10 minute lecture complete with the worst halitosis you can imagine, talk about motivation....I was all over that ARban....:-)
     
  8. Bachstul

    Bachstul Mezzo Forte User

    744
    2
    Jan 25, 2009
    Yow!!!!:shock:

    Some of the hardest music I played was at a mega Church... definitely not lazy; I won't mention any Names, but... you'll see. Come September, when you start practicing the Christmas music you'll remember I warned ya!

    Any way, If you want to do it right this time, don't put it down again, and cast aside any regrets you will have for putting it down the first time.
     
  9. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Age:
    61
    16,611
    7,955
    Jun 18, 2006
    Germany
    If you play very softly, you will probably be able to last 30 minutes. You build strength by "stretching the envelope". I would be careful about breaking too much down. 10 minutes of long tones and slurs played with lots of air and quietly then 10 minutes of tunes should be possible now. Then you can take a break after which you play some technical stuff. The key is not to play loudly. Like with weight lifting, I am talking about lots of repetitions with low weights instead of just a few with heavy ones.
     
  10. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

    7,798
    2,357
    Oct 18, 2007
    The Wide Brown Land
    Amen on the Christmas Carols - a LOT harder than they look. Slow, long, soft.
     

Share This Page