Playing after long break

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by NotMyName, Jul 7, 2011.

  1. NotMyName

    NotMyName New Friend

    Jul 7, 2011
    After getting into trouble with my parents, they decided to punish me by not letting practice trumpet playing for 3 weeks. Now the 3 weeks are up and I can barely play anymore. My articulations and multiple tonging speed is just fine, but my tone which use to be clear, brilliant, and well supported is now weak, mellow, and airy. I've also lost a lot of my range going from owning an easy, full high E (along with a not so solid high G above it) to barely having a weak B above the staff.

    This is really unsettling because in the past few months when I became serious about playing, and decided that I want to become a college music major and go professional, I started practicing seriously and made so much improvement and even made my school's highest band as freshman (which is big deal since most sophomores and even a lot juniors didn't make it), but now I'm back to sounding like I did a year ago, when I never practiced.

    I tried taking it easy playing some simple exercises from Herbert Clarke's Elementary Method along with some of the simpler lip slurs from the slur section of the Arban's Method.

    Can anyone recommend some things I should do to quickly regain my former ability so I can start improving again?

    PS. In addition to the books mentioned above, I also own Clarke's Technical Studies, Characteristic Studies, and Set Up Drills if that helps.
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2011
  2. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    Ya, play your horn as you are coming back next to your parent's bedroom in the evening, and by the dinning room during dinner to let them know the errors in their ways. That'll learn em, dern em!
  3. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    Ok now to be serious, take it easy. It will come back but it may take the same 3 weeks that you were off. Long tones before ANY PRACTICE is key. Your lips have "lost memory" for the muscle tone it had. This tone WILL COME BACK.

    This is no different than the long distance runner that sprained an ankle and was out for several weeks. They have to start over again, first with quarter mile jogs, then runs, expand the next week to a half mile run, toward the end of that week with variable speed runs, then after a month up to 5-K's. In the next month or so, they will be close to their prior long distance performance. BUT if that long distance runner went from the quarter mile jog to the 5-K in the SAME WEEK - damage will likely be done.

    The key is muscle is muscle. You must reclaim the hypertrophy back to those fibers. Do this gradually (over a few weeks) and you will be back, do this to rapidly, and it will take a long time. If you do Clark's, go back to the beginning and play the introductory etudes. If after a half hour of this you feel good, advance, if not hold tight until you feel good, then move forward.

    Hope this advice helps.
  4. catello

    catello Pianissimo User

    Dec 14, 2009
    Winter Park, FL
    Tip: pick up another hobby, like video games - your parents might be more likely to take this away in the future. And start complaining about the trumpet - "My teacher is making me practice - I'd rather be watching television". If they don't think you're having fun, then the punishment could be "go play more!"
  5. Byfbo96

    Byfbo96 New Friend

    May 15, 2011
    Jacksonville, FL
    I agree..Long tones, middle of the staff and play soft...!! This will take time and you have to think of it as a marathon, not a sprint. You will get back to where you were, it will just take patience and persistance and remember to rest often!! Also, I recommend mouthpiece buzzing, again with soft dynamics
  6. mrbill00

    mrbill00 Pianissimo User

    Apr 20, 2009
    Middle of Georgia
    Tell your parents the story about the "College Sports scouts" who are also
    looking at the band folks when they come to the different schools.
    Playing well all the time, not knowing when a "scout" is in the area,
    could mean scholarship money..OR NOT!!!
    They may get you a private teacher..........
  7. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
    YES - it will take time to get it back -- DONT get frustrated with yourself in this process -- frustration will only hinder your progress on the comeback.

    OK -- it is hard to train good parents -- so do your best -- but might I recommend that when you catch them on a good day --- where all of you can sit down and talk rationally without yelling at one another --that you explain that the trumpet is serious stuff to you, and could affect your future and a college scholarship --- AND YOU MIGHT RECOMMEND your own punishment if you screw up again, like paint the house, do community service in your neighborhood -- SERIOUSLY -- show them you are becoming a young adult -- and if you screw up again -- YOU will volunteer to SERVE someone and your punishment will then serve to help the community!!!!!!!!! WIN WIN solution -------
  8. NotMyName

    NotMyName New Friend

    Jul 7, 2011
    Thanks for all the replies, its only been a short while since I first posted but I took you guy's advice and I feel I'm getting my chops back, slowly but surely.
  9. Peter McNeill

    Peter McNeill Utimate User

    Jan 30, 2009
    Melbourne Australia
    I agree with KT.
    3 simple Rules in life:

    1. Respect your parents, don't answer back.
    2. Never lie, tell the full truth
    3. Punishment should be negotiated into extra chores around the house, make a list up of things you will do as punishment (and do them).
    e,g, setting the table for dinner (add a flower) do some servant work to help mum put the food on the table, Wash the dishes, take out the garbage, clean the school shoes for brothers and sisters etc, mow the lawn, weed the garden, wash the car etc...

    Keep trumpet out of any of these punishment areas in future. You can still practice fingerings and scales, reading music, listening to music on iPod even when you cannot play. Read music books and watch DVDs of good players. Education is not just playing, these things all develop the necessary skills.

    Once back, as you are now, get an Arbans, or a beginners book and roar through it. It all comes back quickly - quicker than you think.
    Lastly, be good.
  10. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    Wow as a pediatrician and one that councils parents and their children routinely, I couldn’t have said it any better myself. Makes me want to take back all those horrible posts I made about you tonight. Ok perhaps only a couple of them...

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