Power!

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by reedy, May 11, 2010.

  1. reedy

    reedy Piano User

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    Jul 31, 2009
    Wiltshire, UK
    hey guys, im currently playing lead in a jazz band and have been for the past 6-7 months ive been asked to play for them by a sax player i knew (currently im in my 1st year at uni and this band is more of a school band.... 16-18 year olds) so i came down to help out as there were no trumpet players at the time but we have since recruted 3 more and a bone which is great! since then we have been given much harder music which is playable but its quite hard and alot of the time the MD askes me to put phrases down the octive although i can play the notes he feels i dont have the power to play them..... ive just been going though the pieces and i agree, especially after long phrases of high stuff i start to loose the power behind the note, even though the not is still there, clear and not a squeak, the power goes and the volume drops from F+ down to a MP ish area....

    im currently using a bobby shew jazz (bach 3c) for normal jazz playing and a vizzutti (like a schilkie 13a4a) for lead playing.

    should i use a MP with a bigger backbore? or maybe a slightly bigger cup?
    although i would rarther stick with them and work on it more, any recommendation to any excersizes that would help? I currently use the collin advanced lip flexabilities for range and also 'how to get a double top C in ten minutes' which has some good stuff in it......

    any ideas?
     
  2. dan42guy

    dan42guy New Friend

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    May 6, 2010
    Fort Worth, TX
    Let me start by saying that I don't know you. I've never seen you play or heard you play, but here are some tips I think about anybody could use.

    The best thing you can do is work on staying relaxed.
    Every other day in your practice time, play long high passages. Play every day, but only work a lot on high stuff every other day. This will give your muscles time to recuperate and grow. When you're working long and high passages, if you start to feel tight, STOP! Play some pedal tones or whatever it takes to get loose and then start over. Pay attention to your shoulders and neck. They are good indicators of how much you're straining. Also, try using less pressure. I've never seen you play, but 99% of trumpet players (including myself) use too much pressure. In the high range, too much pressure results in not enough blood getting to the lips, which results in loss of power and flexibility.
    Lastly, make sure your "power" is coming from your airspeed and not from your lips. This also help you play relaxed.
     
  3. reedy

    reedy Piano User

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    Jul 31, 2009
    Wiltshire, UK
    thanks Daniel, thats what i try and tend to do with the alternate days, one day il do technique and jazz then the other il do more range and lead practice, i think the best thing to do is lots of long high notes (maybe circular breath them :D ) i have noticed ive got better at pressure and i dont feel my neck tensing as much and i can improvise alot more from say 3-4 months ago! ive got a new teacher since starting uni and he is amazing, spotted all my bad habbits and technical problems that need to be looked at and im really seeing the difference but we dont tend to do much high note stuff but i suppose the collin flexability book is gonna help me quite a bit, just gota keep working on it all :)
     
  4. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

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    Aug 9, 2007
    Levittown , NY
    What works for me is to practice the high register on fresh chops, so do this before anything else. Practice softly, don't over blow, rest as long as you play, long tones and slurs are great, but don't forget tonguing up there.Clarke and Arban's are good books for this. Rest then work on non-range material ,this will help endurance.Work on proper breathing techniques, this not only helps range, but also tone,projection,endurance,and power.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2010
  5. reedy

    reedy Piano User

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    Jul 31, 2009
    Wiltshire, UK
    on fresh chops? as in before or after the warm up?
     
  6. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    reedy,
    the problem is not power, it is concept. We run in to this here all the time by players that can play high notes, but the way that they play them doesn't fit.

    Part of the problem is trying to cover all types of music with one concept in your head.

    Playing lead is an art form where high notes are really only a small part. The lead player is the rhythmic razors edge ready to slit the juglars of any out of groove note. In any band that I have ever performed with, the lead player was NEVER the trumpet nerd. The lead player generally has an attitude as big as the whole band.

    Many school and university bands have players that can play high - but without the rhythmic precision, the emotional drive and flambouyance that a REAL lead player needs.

    Forget all of this stuff about fast air (it doesn't work anyway). Every lead player has to find their combination of tactics. For some it is called the wedge (a rather forceful way to breath), for others it is called high gear/low gear. Before any of that stuff becomes significant, you need the attitude. Find a pro lead player. Check them out before, during and after a gig. You will see what is required.

    As far as method books go, they start to help your lead playing once you have figured out what that really means. Then you can play Irons, Arban, Colin, Schlossberg, Vizzuti or whoever with the "to the point" attitude required.

    No attitude, no lead.
     
  7. reedy

    reedy Piano User

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    Jul 31, 2009
    Wiltshire, UK
    thanks rowuk! i never really thought about that! i used to play 4th tpt in a jazz band quite a few years ago in college and the lead player was like 14/15 years old and he was very very good, but soooooo up himself! he knew he was good, so cocky and arregent, everyone hated it but he was a very very good player for his age.... maybe thats what i need! ive got a rehersal tonight so i shall try and be as confident as i can and 'know' i can do it and see how it effects my playing!
     
  8. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

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    Aug 9, 2007
    Levittown , NY
    Sorry it took me so long to reply ,I had trouble with the site.When I said fresh chops I meant after your warm up . Forget about having an attitude, just know what you can do, the only players I ever met that had over sized egos ,and were full of themselves ,were the ones that were insecure and felt they had something to prove.Being confident doesn't mean acting like a jerk. Confidence comes with experience .
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2010
  9. Markie

    Markie Forte User

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    Jan 4, 2009
    Clarksburg, WV
    reedy asks:
    should i use a MP with a bigger backbore? or maybe a slightly bigger cup?
    --------
    I would say stick with your current mouthpiece. As for playing in the upper register, if you can't visualize what it sounds like in your mind, you ain't gonna get it. Listen to a lot of people who play in the upper register and get the sound in your head.
    Also, you might want to work on projection. The next time you play, don't play to the stand, play to the back wall. Not louder but project to the back wall. Maybe better, imagine a sexy person(who you'd really like to know)leaning against the back wall and play to them. I have a swimsuit model pasted on my mannhassett stand and when I can't get motivated to play and my playing is a chore, I play to her. It does work.
    Hope this helps
     
  10. wilcox96

    wilcox96 Mezzo Piano User

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    charlotte nc

    What Rowuk is talking about is a "musical" attitude towards playing the trumpet and the "music". It is not about being a jerk towards your fellow band mates. Get the difference? It is an assertiveness...and confidence in sound and style when playing the "music"...thus the term LEAD. That is the whole point.

    As for your abilities...well, at least your director isn't making you continue to force these notes out night after night when you aren't ready for it. How many stories have we all heard where an overzealous director does this? Ruining many a kid. Take your time..build upon what you already have and are doing. All will follow.

    In the meantime...listen to good examples of playing by those who came before you and are models of the style and sound you desire. This will do wonders for you.

    Best of success... have fun.
     

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