Newbie tone

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Jude, Feb 12, 2008.

  1. stchasking

    stchasking Forte User

    1,502
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    Jun 11, 2006
    The double buzz usually comes for a shallow mouth piece.
    But, you need to concentrate on keeping the lower lip under the upper lip.
    The tendency is to pull the lower jaw back. Don't do it. Keep the lower jaw forward in contact with the mouthpiece. I anchor the mouthpiece on the lower jaw teeth. It works for me.
     
  2. flugelgirl

    flugelgirl Forte User

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    Jan 20, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    I'm a little concerned for you - your teacher should not be overly grumpy with you, or the girl before you! I will admit that it's easy to get frustrated with students when they don't practice, but there's no reason to be like that with a student who's trying! You are paying good money to learn, and part of having a good learning experience is finding a teacher you can relate to. If your teacher isn't working out for you, whether it's due to ability, personal, or communication issues, find another! My best teachers were not only great teachers and players, but we got along at a fundamental level that helped us communicate, and helped me learn more easily. Several of my teachers have become adopted family members, and even though I haven't studied with them for years we still keep in touch. While you don't neccesarily need to be that close, you do need to be able to communicate openly. Any time you have a question about something in your lessons, be sure to ask - if your teacher is unable or unwilling to answer your questions and gives you attitude about it, go pay someone else!
     
  3. codemonkey

    codemonkey Guest

    Jude,
    I can't believe you feel you have to encourage your teacher (buck him up as you say). You have the relationship in reverse. The teacher should be encouraging you. You're paying the money, and while that doesn't allow one to be arrogant, you should expect some respect.

    I also suffer from the newbie tone, especially at the high end of my range. I find that by trying to push my range higher, the notes below start to sound better. I think the practice strengthens my embouchure and allows me to play the lower notes with less strain. I'd be interested in what other people think of this.

    As an aside, Eeviac mentioned going resonant with the horn. I read yesterday about saxaphone players hitting high notes by making their oral cavity resonate with the note. See the ny times article at
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/12/science/12saxw.html?_r=1&ref=science&oref=slogin
    The researchers say it may apply to brass as well. It means we have even more variables to experiment with.
     
  4. Eeviac

    Eeviac Piano User

    I've been gathering, from the Claude Gordon videos someone posted on here, that that's how trumpet players go up high too - by making the vocal cavity resonant at that high tone, and supplying more air - he likens the vocal cavity shape to the horizontal part on the tail of an airplane, that will make you go up IF you also supply more power (engine power for the plane, air for us).

    It's a great set of videos, I think, speaking as a newb.

    As for shallow MP, nope I'm just using the old Bach 7C, nothing unusual.
     
  5. Jude

    Jude Piano User

    318
    1
    Dec 2, 2007
    The guy is even older than I am, probably early 80s, so I've been cutting him some slack. If he's still unhappy with the world when he gets back from vacation, I'm outta there. I assumed when I started I wasn't going to sound like much for a while and really wasn't all that worried, since I did seem to be making progress. The one I worry about is the kid - she looked shell-shocked that last week.

    Yes (about range) - I should have mentioned that the tone is better in the lower part of the range. And all of a sudden, in the long-note exercise today, I could detect a difference between one long low Bb and the next: something to do with relaxing the cheek muscles more than I would have been able to do when I first started, I think. There must be more strength there, now I have to learn how to take advantage of it. I can't do it every time yet and not at the top of the staff, but you'd expect it to be sporadic at first. Also, hitting the notes hard helped everything sound more confident and made it a little easier to sound like the player on the CD.

    That article in the NYTimes is interesting - maybe range isn't all about sheer power, after all. With the new minature technology available these days, inserting sensors inside the mouth and down the throat of a brass player shouldn't be impossible. I wonder whether they can get good enough data so they can identify exactly what it is the pros are doing and the amateurs aren't.
     
  6. Eeviac

    Eeviac Piano User

    OK I'm like an .... UberN00b, ok, but my impression is, as Claude Gordon says at the end of his series of videos, that learning to play trumpet is like learning how to talk - you don't have real good control of some of the muscles at first, so you just make all kinds of sounds at first while you learn to control the muscles. I think maybe it's hard to be really conscious of the muscles in the rear part of the mouth, and it's really easy to pay all one's attention to the lips and think it's all about the lips. But it's actually the shape of the oral cavity just like Claude Gordon says.

    I wish I'd saved the link, those videos are COOL. They might be on something called trumpetvideos or something, I forget.
     
  7. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Germany
    You mention singing but not one single bit of practice on TUNES. Your routine sounds like a mistake that many of my students that came from other teachers had: too little music!

    Grab a fake book, hymn book, choral literature, Concones vocalises, whatever, just MUSIC with real phrases, articulation and words. Bonny Raitt and Satchmo proved to me that your "voice" did not have to be clear to have soul! More tunes MUCH less technical is my recipe for you!!!!!!!

    Take a week off on exercizes and play through the WHOLE Hymnbook (one or two verses of each should be possible in 7 hours). Anybody want to take bets that the musicality goes up dramatically? Phrase like you would sing! Pay attention to punctuation and melodic line. There is a more important world out there than technical studies!
     
  8. Jude

    Jude Piano User

    318
    1
    Dec 2, 2007
    Rowuk, I DID mention tunes! (even if in last place). That's one reason I'm sticking with the Rubank's series and not jumping into Arban's - it has tunes I know (a little heavy on the hymns, if you ask me). I also have A Tune a Day 2 which is full of good stuff. And then there's the series of elementary school song books I got in Prague - 1/3 folk songs, 1/3 Czech standards (which I don't know), 1/3 international favorites (everything from Au Claire de la Lune to Hey Jude).

    I think some of the suggestions are paying off already - hitting things hard (works great on "Holy, holy, holy"), playing louder, playing in a harder-surface room. Today I was fooling around with the schmaltziest ever rendition of Tchaikowsky's 1st Piano Concerto (well, 16 bars of it) in my new practice venue when my sister stopped by - she later asked who that was who'd been playing. (I told her 'some guy'). Sandoval says not to practice in "live" rooms because you get a false sense of what you really sound like, but it sure is a morale booster.
     
  9. Jude

    Jude Piano User

    318
    1
    Dec 2, 2007
    A couple of weeks later: something - maybe everything taken together - is helping. The suggestions to chill - especially FlugelGirl's confident assertion that it's just a matter of time before a decent tone develops - were probably as directly useful as anything. Some of the physical/technique recommendations I'd been doing all along - breathing, long tones, lip slurs..., but they'd become routinized: time to apply a beginner's mind to the sound of all those long tones.

    I took a couple of days off, completely, for the first time since November, and then the instrument I picked up wasn't the trumpet but a "junior French horn." Instead of the Rubank's I planned to use I found Essential Elements 2000 at the music store - and it was a revelation. I don't know whether a true French horn is as difficult to play in tune as my new toy, but this - instrument? - has been forcing me to pay hypercritical attention to intonation. What's helpful about the EE2000 is that it introduces each note with long tones and then repeated quarter-notes, making it possible to establish the pitch aurally rather than using a tuner (which I then used, to check my ear). The little horn is easy to blow - it's about as close to whistling as you could hope for. So I've been playing along with the recorded tunes and exercises (with accompaniment, even exercises count as tunes) for hours on end and enjoying the almost-French-horn sound.

    One of the add-ons to the EE2000 book is a speed-up program (called a slow-down program) so you aren't locked into the excessively slow tempos of the beginning pieces. The DVD also has SmartMusic (for the pieces in the book), but you need to acquire a microphone (maybe the H2 Zoom could be used??). And the foot-pedal would be really helpful. I take back anything derogatory I may have said about modern band methods when defending Rubank's. Practicing becomes playing and playing becomes practicing.

    And then, after a few days fooling around with the little horn, I picked up the trumpet this morning. It was hard to believe how easy it was to center the notes and how clear and trumpet-like the sound was. The trumpet obviously just required some time to cool off to allow the molecular structure to reorganize itself a bit - it's truly amazing how much better it sounds after its brief rest.
     
  10. Jude

    Jude Piano User

    318
    1
    Dec 2, 2007
    A couple of weeks later: something - maybe everything taken together - is helping. The suggestions to chill - especially FlugelGirl's confident assertion that it's just a matter of time before a decent tone develops - were probably as directly useful as anything. Some of the physical/technique recommendations I'd been doing all along - breathing, long tones, lip slurs..., but they'd become routinized: time to apply a beginner's mind to the sound of all those long tones.

    I took a couple of days off, completely, for the first time since November, and then the instrument I picked up wasn't the trumpet but a "junior French horn." Instead of the Rubank's I planned to use I found Essential Elements 2000 at the music store - and it was a revelation. I don't know whether a true French horn is as difficult to play in tune as my new toy, but this - instrument? - has been forcing me to pay hypercritical attention to intonation. What's helpful about the EE2000 is that it introduces each note with long tones and then repeated quarter-notes, making it possible to establish the pitch aurally rather than using a tuner (which I then used, to check my ear). The little horn is easy to blow - it's about as close to whistling as you could hope for. So I've been playing along with the recorded tunes and exercises (with accompaniment, even exercises count as tunes) for hours on end and enjoying the almost-French-horn sound.

    One of the add-ons to the EE2000 book is a speed-up program (called a slow-down program) so you aren't locked into the excessively slow tempos of the beginning pieces. The DVD also has SmartMusic (for the pieces in the book), but you need to acquire a microphone (maybe the H2 Zoom could be used??). And the foot-pedal would be really helpful. I take back anything derogatory I may have said about modern band methods when defending Rubank's. Practicing becomes playing and playing becomes practicing.

    And then, after a few days fooling around with the little horn, I picked up the trumpet this morning. It was hard to believe how easy it was to center the notes and how clear and trumpet-like the sound was. The trumpet obviously just required some time to cool off to allow the molecular structure to reorganize itself a bit - it's truly amazing how much better it sounds after its brief rest.
     

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