Newfound Chops and Restraint!?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by commakozzi, Feb 22, 2008.

  1. commakozzi

    commakozzi Pianissimo User

    Oct 30, 2007
    Georgia, USA
    So, this new approach that I've been practicing with is producing some unexpected results. I'm using a lot less pressure, but a much more focused embouchure (especially a much more focused aperture in the upper register). I've been practicing playing as quietly as I can... literally!!! I've also been working on better flexibility (aren't we all) but when I do my flexibility exercises I hold the last note out and decrescendo until I can't physically hold a tone anymore. Anyway, so what this has done for me is make me relax in the upper register. I'm not playing very loud up there, but it's a good clear, solid tone. When I get tired it starts to spread and I get these crackles in the sound. I then do a couple of low long tones at pppp and walk away from the horn for awhile. So, my range is very unexpected to me. I'm a lead player from my school days: I played lead in our top jazz band, etc. I used to have a good solid double C, but man I used to shove the horn through my front teeth just about. However, with this new approach I can easily pop out double G to double A early in the day. It's so exciting to me that I want to keep doing it, but I also don't want to over-do it, which can happen very quickly with my addictive personality. So, I felt like I had a question, but I guess my answer is just stop doing it too much!!! This is what I've come up with: I'll mess around with it during my lip flexibilites session (doing range extension exercises including pedal tones), but then for the rest of the day I'll focus on getting a focused sound within low F# and high C at pppp to mf. Any advice? I guess I'm just afraid of somehow losing it. I'm sure that it's the quiet playing that has helped, and I've already posted a thread on this so I don't want to repeat myself (see "It's Working")
  2. David-F

    David-F Pianissimo User

    Feb 15, 2008
    Woodstock, GA
    Great to hear about your progress I have also just started with long tones and real soft playing. When I first started playing at church that is what I was doing at first all we had were two trumpets some flutes and violins snd very simple music and so most of the time I had to play very soft and low. But now the band has grown and the music has gone up in range add on top of that starting to play in a jazz band I had gotten away from playing soft and I started getting back into using too much arm pressure. So for now I will save the low and high stuff to jazz band and get back to doing what had helped me over come some of my old bad habbits....keep us posted on your continued progress.
  3. Eeviac

    Eeviac Piano User

    I"m working on going up and down with the MP only, because it's pretty hard to use a lot of pressure with the MP alone.

    I feel I *should* be able to play songs on the MP alone.

    This is like learning to whistle, or maybe like learning to talk for a little kid.
  4. commakozzi

    commakozzi Pianissimo User

    Oct 30, 2007
    Georgia, USA
    Yeah, I think I said this in my post "It's Working", but for the longest time during school and gigging after I got out I would hear people talking about feeling that "thin thread" aperture when playing in the upper register. I would think "I just don't get it... what am I missing?". Well, this was it: LEARN TO PLAY QUIETLY!!! I'm learning for the first time in my life what a focused embouchure and aperture (along with solid air stream) can really do for your playing. It's helping sound production, range, and endurance all at the same time!!! It's great!!!
  5. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Keep us posted. I really enjoy hearing about experiences like this! They are just so, well, PRODUCTIVE!
  6. oldlou

    oldlou Forte User

    Aug 28, 2005
    Grand Rapids, Mi.
    One of the major factors in the success of my last three years of being a 'comebacker' is Mike Bowman, principal trumpet with the Grand Rapids, Mi. Symphony Orchestra and my sometimes personal teacher. Mike started me on Carmine Caruso's breathing exercises and followed up with a series of flxibilty studies, done as softly as I can. I am amazed at the upper and lower ranges that I never thought were possible for me and a vastly improved playing experience generally. Thanks Mike!!


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