Poor Endurance. help!

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by RyanM11, Sep 12, 2011.

  1. RyanM11

    RyanM11 New Friend

    Mar 31, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Ever since I have been playing trumpet I have had a problem with endurance. For some reason, my aperture swells up and I can't play much past an E at the top of the staff. Is there any way (mouthpiece, more playing, exercises) that could help keep my aperture from swelling during a rehearsal?

    Many thanks!
  2. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    You think you got problems.... At my age when my aperture swells, I can't pee past the edge of the urinal.

    No seriously now that I have your attention, take more breaks between songs, and massage your lips gently to get the blood flowing into the muscle. That may help a lot, but the sypmtoms you mention suggest fatigue. Fatigue is not good so back of a bit on your playing time or take more breaks in between. DON'T FORGET THE MESSAGE.
  3. Dave Mickley

    Dave Mickley Forte User

    Nov 11, 2005
    wait for Rowuk to chime in here, he is usually right on target with his advice. I'm the last person tell anyone how to play a trumpet but it sounds like you are using to much pressure and need to find a "good" trumpet teacher to get you on the right path.
  4. stumac

    stumac Fortissimo User

    Oct 19, 2008
    Flinders Vic Australia
    Mouthpiece pressure is one cause of fatigue and chop swelling, I suffered with this problem, on long gigs 3hr+, what helped me was to improve breathing, (see Rowuks "Circle of Breath") and change my grip on the horn to the bottom of the valves,(pistol grip) and get the little finger out of the hook.

    Regards, Stuart.
  5. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    A good exercise from John Glasel, if pressure is the issue:

    Play a long tone, and while doing so reduce pressure; it will start to sound "bad." With this same pressure, do whatever it takes with the chops to make it sound "better" (not perfect or normal). In a short time you should notice some muscles being worked (a big ring or circle around the mouth.)

    This will allow us to train some muscles that don't normally get worked; when somewhat in shape it should require somewhat less pressure to play.

    Keep in mind, however, that endurance builds from long, low-impact exercise. We practice many hours before a c above the staff becomes low impact, and take it from there.

    Also, a half-hour practice session won't produce endurance enough for a two hour rehearsal.

    Good luck!
  6. trumpetnick

    trumpetnick Fortissimo User

    Nov 16, 2005
    Vidin, Bulgaria
    As far as excessive pressure is concerned you can try this - play your scales, then play it by flutter tonguing it. If anywhere you apply excessive pressure the chance is that you won't be able to produce some of the notes of your upper range. This is just a test, to see where the problem start to appear. As far as practicing is concerned, play as much as you rest, do more long tones, slurs and hymns. VB gave you some excellent ideas, use them.
  7. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

    Jun 6, 2010
    Loose lip flapping can help. Try it before warming up. I believe it helps to remove excess lactic acid from your lips. I would just advise checking out what this looks like in the mirror, before doing it just anywhere in public (like in the doctor's office where somebody in here said they got many strange looks, well, duh). Hope this helps.

  8. schleiman

    schleiman Piano User

    May 12, 2010
    Austin, TX
    I haven't been playing that long, but this is the endurance exercise my teacher has given me, and it works wonders. The catch is, you must keep up with it, and you must not play for at least 3 hours after doing this exercise, and you must not attempt it two days in a row to give the chops time to rebuild:

    Start on page 14 in the Arban's book. Set a metronome to 60 bpm and play as far as you can without stopping until you absolutely fail and can't get the notes out, and WITHOUT pulling the horn from your face. It will burn, it will tingle, but persevere! You must keep the horn to your face the entire time. Put the horn away for at least three hours that day. And if you do come back and practice later, play slurs, long tones, pp Clarke Studies, NOTHING HIGH. The next day after you warm up, see how you are feeling, feel it out, pay attention to what your body is telling you, but again it's important that you don't over-do it the day after. You should do this at least twice a week, but no more than 3 times. Hope this helps. This is exactly what my teacher told me to do, and it has been working for me so that I can make it through a 2 hour rehearsal without feeling tired.

    Or if you have your own teacher, probably best to ask him/her as each instructor has their own method. :)
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2011
  9. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    Hay, if he did this in my office, I'd give ativan first and ask questions later.

    I know this sounds a little obsessive but I have this habit, a little ativan for you, a little for me, that way I know when the appropriate dose has been reached. Just watching out for my patients you know, 'cause that's the kinda guy I am.
  10. gbdeamer

    gbdeamer Forte User

    Oct 16, 2008
    Practice more and play more.

    You're a high school kid, so you could/should be playing for several hours a day. You can do a Google search for Wynton Marsalis' practice routine and go from there.

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