Pressure Problem- Please help!

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Adena422, Jul 4, 2011.

  1. Adena422

    Adena422 New Friend

    May 28, 2011
    I believe I have been playing with too much pressure- pushing the horn against my mouth too much when I play. I know I need to fix this, but am unsure of how. Any suggestions?
  2. Mamba21500

    Mamba21500 Piano User

    Feb 26, 2009
    When you practice, play a lot of quiet things, making sure that you do not use pressure when you play. Remember the feeling of playing without pressure and work it into all of your playing. It should be sorted out quite quickly.
  3. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Don't worry about it. Just take the whole summer and play softly: high low, fast slow.

    You use pressure now because it works. It's not good, but messing around based on advice from people that have never seen you play is even less good.

    If you practice a couple of HOURS every day at "gentle" volumes, you will do more for your playing than any unmonitored change could bring. Practice everything: scales, lipslurs, long tones, easy tunes like from a hymnbook.
    Adena422 likes this.
  4. coolerdave

    coolerdave Utimate User

    Nov 7, 2009
    San Pedro
    Impatience can really be an enemy. We start getting some chops and then push the envelope to the point where we need at add the pressure because our chops aren't developed enough to handle harder, higher pieces, or even extended playing.
    Not sure if you have changed something in your playing routine ( maybe you joined a polka band) but you might look at it (the routine not joining a polka band).
    Also.. if you have changed bigger cup mouthpiece ... you might be compensating with more pressure.
    Take Robin's advice... build up your chops and get your brain rewired to playing with normal pressure.
    good luck
  5. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
    don't forget to play all of the notes below the staff ----if you can play all of them, you probably aren't using pressure down there ---- and that is basically the feeling against your lips that you are seeking -----YES, low pressure, relaxed embouchure (relaxed in the center where the aperture is, so the lips can vibrate - but strong enough on the corners to hold that in place) can be done ---- but it takes some time ---- follow the advice above.
  6. Adena422

    Adena422 New Friend

    May 28, 2011
    Thanks so much, everyone!
  7. Byfbo96

    Byfbo96 New Friend

    May 15, 2011
    Jacksonville, FL
    In addition to playing with soft dynamics, I would also suggesting adding mouthpiece buzzing at soft dynamics. Alittle bit at a time and then more and more as time goes by. Unfortunately, there is no magic pill, this will only develop over a long period of time and only with daily work.

    Persistance will pay off!!
  8. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    I'm not sure I have much to add here, but I did have to deal with this several years back. Due to the kind of music I gig, which is pretty hard, loud and sometimes high, I have a tendency to crank on the pressure, especially when gigs get long.

    My solution was to go back to the practice room, and using only a G in the staff, play a soft long tone, focusing on reducing the pressure - consciously doing it by pulling the horn away ever so slightly. At first I could barely pull any pressure off at all before the tone devolved into a nasty double buzz and/or I had air escaping from the corners. The key to this was patience and dilligence. I just kept doing it,and I didn't work on anything else for about 2 weeks. At first I had to use a certain amount of pressure just to keep the sound from breaking down, but by the end of it, I could maintain a focused, clear sound with almost no pressure at all.

    I'm very conscious of this now and I never let it get that bad anymore, but that's how I fixed it when I had to deal with it.
  9. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
    in my opinion -- I really do think you had something to add --- that was one of my techniques on a comeback that was very beneficial -- the G in the staff, soft, and long tones, and play that for 5, 10, 15 minutes. you then feel the lips buzz -- and when you can play the G ppp and hold a long tone --- then that is exactly the "feel" that you are looking for -- and the G helps strengthen the embouchure in the meantime:thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:
  10. fredthewhale

    fredthewhale Pianissimo User

    Jun 12, 2011
    New Jersey

    Caveat: please know that this is something that I’m still refining for myself. I’m playing with different concepts and haven’t fully identified “my truth.” …. YMMV.

    I have been working on this issue for a long time. The problem for me is that's how some of my teachers taught me to play higher; so, i'm unlearning years of a bad habit. Sigh.

    One "breakthrough" that i RECENTLY realized is how i hold the trumpet. one of the things that i found is my left pinky, which was wrapped under the third valve slide, was cranking its little heart out.

    simply by moving that finger to rest on the slide (between the two) removed a TON of pressure.

    since then, i have really scrutinized how both hands rest on the instrument and when/how they grab. I certainly need to balance the trumpet and need to have freedom to work the slides and valves correctly …. But I don’t need to hold the horn as tightly or “with so many fingers” as I used to.

    When I was in school, there were guys who were really big on the “no pressure” concept and would hold the trumpet with the index finger from each hand and try to do lip slurs. I don’t really know, but I suspect that there needs to be SOME pressure … but only some.

    I also expect that this varies per person, but the goal is certainly the maximum result with the minimum effort. Kind of like a marathon runner.

    I hope this helps.

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