Personal difficulties

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by loweredsixth, Jul 5, 2005.

  1. loweredsixth

    loweredsixth Pianissimo User

    Mar 11, 2005
    Fresno, California, USA
    Manny, we all have natural limitations, both physically and mentally. I was just wondering, what parts of trumpet playing are the most difficult for you? Are there any physical limitations that you've had to overcome or compensate for? What is the one technique that you have had the most difficult time mastering?

    These questions are for everyone also.

    I'll start:

    My tonguing has always been difficult. Getting a clean articulation and a fast tongue have taken me years upon years to acheive. I do have a slight speech impedement involving my tongue, so I suppose that's the root of the difficulties.

    Joe Lewis
  2. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

    Sep 29, 2004

    My biggest limitation is that I don't have as big a vital capacity as many of my peers. I probably operate at about 4 liters of air on a typical day. When I feel tight of chest, I inhale albuterol which brings me to about 4.5 from the 3.5 or so that made me feel tight.

    Obviously it doesn't affect my position with the orchestra because I know how to breathe so that it doesn't interfere with the music. Jacobs also showed me how to be efficient and avoid many of the mistakes others make as a result of bad information about the body.

  3. Bear

    Bear Forte User

    Apr 30, 2004
    Physically #1: Speech impedement from a car wreck. Stuttering, you'd think it'd make for a mean multiple tounge... nope... :cry:

    Physically #2: Hearing also from car wreck. So tuning is out of whack sometimes especially when I'm playin' with a rock (read LOUD) group. Supposed to have a cocular implant but that has to wait until I grad and get a job and some moeny for insurance.

    Mental: I totally freak out when I have to play in front of people that I get so tense I can barely do anything. It's more of a low selfesteem thing I believe.

    But knowin' is half the battle right?

    Learnin' to relax and just let the horn play itself (no forcing) has been the best improvement in physcial approach and thought that I've come across to date.
  4. Solar Bell

    Solar Bell Moderator Staff Member

    May 11, 2005
    Metro Detroit
    Manny wrote:
    I have asthma do point of only about 60% lung capasity. I also use albuteral ihalers on a daily bases.
    My lung doctor is very impressed with my playing and says that the trumpet is very good therapy for me.
    By breathing correctly I can usually play phrases longer than others I know.


    ROGERIO Mezzo Forte User

    Sep 30, 2004
    TMJ (I wear a lower appliance full time) and lately, SLEEP APNEA...

    both have created some interesting challenges when it comes to trumpet playing. :roll:
  6. rjzeller

    rjzeller Forte User

    Mar 7, 2005
    Rochester, MN
    Mild asthma, sleep apnea, and nasty allergies makes summer playing a ritual of torture for me at times. Some nights I get done playing feeling like I've just run a marathon.

    But the funny thing is, having to learn to deal with this had created an interesting dichotomy for me: Breathing has become both my greatest strength and my greatest weakness.

    Just as Chuck said, when I'm breathing correctly, I usually can play markedly longer than my peers. As I quipped in my fireworks post, other trumpet players have called me submarine becuase on long passages they just keep waiting for me to come up for air. When my breathing is working, I can really fill up a room and manage the upper registers just fine.

    Unfortunately, I have to prepare myself or I can really struggle. I cannot over eat before I play, I need to make sure I'm well rested (big issue considering the apnea), and I need to be sure to pace myself or I can struggle. If anything affects my breathing -- excessive humidity, asthma attack, allergies, fatigue, or simply lack of focus, my sound goes to pot.

    My biggest problem otherwise is confidence. I'm often so insecure or worried about getting jsut the right sound that I choke off my tone. With groups I'm familiar with this is not a problem, but in a new setting I all too often sound like crap becuase I hold everything in. Once I do that, the breath support suffers and it's a downward spiral. Don't know the answer to it yet, other than to simply relax and play what's in your head. Let the director tell me to be quiter -- if he/she has to tell me to play louder, I consider it a bad sign...
  7. Anonymous

    Anonymous Forte User

    Oct 21, 2003
    I have one issue with my playing that I continually work on:

    1) Confident first attacks 100% of the time

    I work on Schbruck (sp?) and some other methods to work this out.

    Also, due to allergies, the first high note on piccolo everyday makes me sneeze. Don't know why...I just make sure that I play up to F or G in the practice room before a concert on picc. Haha!
  8. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

    Sep 29, 2004

    There's a new one!... very funny.

  9. Lawler Bb

    Lawler Bb Piano User

    Oct 25, 2003
    Milwaukee, WI
    My weakest areas seem to be all related:

    High register (above concert A)

    Playing softly in the high register (getting better little by little)

    Piccolo playing in general

    And the worst of all, just plain thinking too much!

    I think the first three are all due to a lack of focus in the chops, along with a too wide of aperture. Comments anyone?
  10. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

    Sep 29, 2004

    Long ago you wanted to try to play in the upper register and you're lips didn't obey your command.


    1) Your ear may have been only telling you pitch but not color and intensity. Your muscles needed more information and they didn't get it so they stayed in the position most familiar: the middle register.

    2) You started to assign blame to your lips and accompanying musculature and listened even less to color and intensity and focused on meat, the lips.

    3) The fuel to play in the upper register may not have been enough to have you playing in a relaxed manner and this would further keep you in the mid register.

    What to do?

    Be descriptive, in a personal way, about sound in all registers. Don't just go for high notes, go for high notes that sound like ________. Low notes that sound like _______. Vibrato that makes you sound like________.

    You must be able to replay your favorite trumpet pieces in your head as though there were a CD player on in the room. I mean it. The sound in your head must be as clear as a recording or live performance. Can you hear a great trumpeter playing through your daily warm up just before you do? Can you hear a great trumpeter play each and every note of whatever solo you're working on in your head?



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