Problems with playing

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by grassman, Nov 29, 2010.

  1. grassman

    grassman New Friend

    Nov 11, 2010
    Hi everyone;
    I often have trouble slurring to/tonguing the F at the top of the staff. When I slur up to it, it usually goes higher than I aimed for. When I tongue it repeatedly I hear my tone deteriorating into a crackling sound. Generally I just can't play it consistently clean.
    I think I'm using proper technique (using the tongue/speeding up or slowing down air/taking deep breaths) but it is still not consistent.
    I was wondering if anyone had any exercises to recommend me that will help me play that note more cleanly. Thanks.
  2. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Consistancy is achieved by repetitions. Thousand of them are required to become a really fine player.

    The technique is called devoted practice and requires weeks to months for some players. The difference in chop muscle tension, air support and tongue movement to slur is so infinitely small that ONLY repetitions can teach us exactly how much is "right". The proportions also change with our development.
  3. Markie

    Markie Forte User

    Jan 4, 2009
    Clarksburg, WV
    Having a consistant routine is very important. Just as important is to make sure your routine is executed properly.
    As for trouble tonguing/slurring to F, make sure you are using your air wisely. Don't take such a deep breath that your shoulders go up. Just take a natural controlled inhalation and exhale slowly and lightly when you play.
    Also, you might want to read "Mouthpiece Pressure Assessment"
    Hopefully you are not using more pressure as you go up the staff and reduce the pressure when you go down.
    Good Luck
  4. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    Constant repetition is the only way to get there. Something that I do because I don't have hours of available practice time is free buzzing and playing mpc only when I can. Nothing will replace face time on your horn, but these two activities will help you develop your chops when you can't play your horn. Just play/buzz along with whatever you are listening to or practice your slurs as if you had your horn with you. It's really that simple and you mpc fits in your pocket so you can take it anywhere. Not very flashy but very effective. :thumbsup:
  5. jmberinger

    jmberinger Pianissimo User

    Jun 5, 2007
    Long Beach, California
    Just a thought, but you mention that this occurs with an "F". What happens with an "E" natural or an "Eb"? Consider using Clarke Tech 1. chromatics, tonguing each to find where the issue begins and then start working the notes immediately below the trouble spot.

    Often the problem is an embrouchure change that occurs without realizing that there was a change.

    By the way, I also do exactly what was mentioned by Tobylou too.
  6. grassman

    grassman New Friend

    Nov 11, 2010
    Thanks for the help everyone. I really appreciate it.
  7. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    Out of curiosity, what trumpet are you playing? As weird as this sounds, I have played trumpets - specifically Bach Strad trumpets from the 80s - that have a horrible F on top of the staff. It is inherently out of tune and doesn't want to center.

    I might catch some flak about saying that, but I believe it to be the case with some horns. I was't even aware of it until a friend of mine asked to play my Strad (mid 80s) and he said something to the effect of, "wow - your trumpet actually has an F." Until that point, I didn't realize that it was an issue, but after that it was something that I started to notice with certain trumpets.

    Just a thought.
  8. bumblebee

    bumblebee Fortissimo User

    Jan 21, 2010
    Great Southern Land
    I have made the same observation. I have a Bach Strad 43 from 2006 which has a first valve sharpness up high too - I use the 1st valve throw to compensate - but it doesn't need much, and I can lip it down if it suits the phrasing better.

  9. Bob Grier

    Bob Grier Forte User

    May 4, 2007
    Greensboro, NC
    While repetition is a key element in developing technique if you are doing it wrong then you are just reinforcing bad playing habits. learning good playing habits is not a DIY project. From what you describe as proper technique I already see flaws in your approach. the results you describe are a result of not doing something(s). What it is I can't say without seeing and hearing you play. I suggest you need to go to a good teacher. At least take a lesson to see what's going on.
  10. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    If you can flutter-tongue a note (according to Hickman) your tongue is in the right position. Flutter-tonguing long tones going up chromatically can teach your body.

    Have fun!

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