Question from a total Newbie....

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Likesspace, Jan 12, 2011.

  1. Likesspace

    Likesspace New Friend

    Jan 8, 2011
    Hey guys.....

    I'm a newbie when it comes to trumpet playing, (acutally I'm playing a cornet), so please bear with some stupid questions....

    When my 10 year old daughter plays her trumpet she has a nice "full" sound.

    I on the other hand sometimes can make the same nice full sound but other times my sound comes out.....I don't know, sort of airy. Like there is air escaping from the cornet.

    I have tried different tests to make sure that the cornet isn't leaking air and feel confident that the instrument is solid in that regard. In fact even when I use my daughters trumpet I get this same airy sound (at times).

    I've noticed that when I first begin to play this is not so much a problem. It's after I've been playing for a half hour or so that it shows up. Because of that I'm becoming convinced that my lips are simply getting tired and are not sitting in the mouthpiece as they should but being an absolute beginner I have no way of knowing if I'm correct.

    My daughter (who is convinced that she is the greatest teacher in the universe), simply tells me to relax my lips and BLOW HARD but so far this advice hasn't helped a lot. I know I'm doing something wrong, I just don't know what it is.

    If anyone has any advice I'd really love to hear it. I don't expect to ever be great at the trumpet, (or even good for that matter), but man it's a really relaxing thing to just go back into my office and spend an hour or so tryying to play.

    By the way, tonight when I was complaining about this airy sound my daughter grabbed the cornet and played it perfectly so I know it's not the instrument.

    Thanks in advance for any advice you might have and I'll try to keep the stupid questions to a minimum.

  2. trumpetup

    trumpetup Piano User

    Jan 12, 2009
    Godley, Texas
    An air sound coming out is from the lips not vibrating. You say it happens after you have played a while. I would work on strengthening your chops so you can play longer before this happens. There are a lot of threads on Trumpet Master about building endurance. When I first started my come back after 35 or so years I would pick up my trumpet and after about a 30 second warm up start playing songs. My endurance didn't get much better. I got a teacher for a few months that got me on a good warm up, some Arban’s studies, then some songs. Take a little rest (About as long as you played) after each segment of playing. This has helped me to develop. I had to stop taking my lessons because my work schedule is so hectic. But I stay with the routine. When the lips give out stop playing and go at it later or the next day.
    Good Luck,
  3. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    Your chops are just losing focus and you haven't built up good endurance yet. You can improve this by doing a lot of soft long tones, doing some easy lip slurs and by doing a lot of easy articulation exerices. Do all of these in a comfortable range. It's not about how much air you are using, but rather about how efficiently your air is being used.

    Just keep after it. You might not see results at first - results on the trumpet often isn't measured in days, but rather in weeks or months, depending on where you are in your level of development.

    Good luck with it!
  4. lmf

    lmf Forte User

    May 16, 2007
    Indiana USA
    ...and a child shall lead them....

    Looks like your daughter is qood help for you. Learn what you can from her.

    Best wishes,

    momma_horn likes this.
  5. larry tscharner

    larry tscharner Forte User

    Apr 30, 2010
    dubuque iowa
    Many times when I get a crappy sound its because Im trying too hard and closing off the air by tensing up. My best buzz comes through when Im calm,focused, and having fun. Relaxation is the key for me to put the fullness in my tone. Hope this helps you. Best wishes.
  6. Likesspace

    Likesspace New Friend

    Jan 8, 2011
    Thanks to everyone for their replies. I'd say that my main problem is that I'm expecting too much too soon.
    My daughter is like a sponge when it comes to learning (as I'd expect most 10 year olds are) and at 47 it's doubtful that I'll be able to keep up with her.

    Are there some good warmup exercises that I should be using?

    Right now I'm simply playing the C scale several times and then I start trying to play various songs.

    Thanks again for the replies and advice.

  7. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    Although on very different instruments (reeds) my daughter now plays far better than I could ever play and I'll not attempt to match her skills ... particularly that her repertoire is not mine and vice versa. Just ain't no way on brass that I'm going to play "Yakety ***", but I do wish I could, but what would I call it then. Well, children are always great!
  8. reedy

    reedy Piano User

    Jul 31, 2009
    Wiltshire, UK
    Try working on your buzzing, take your mouthpiece out and play your C scale a few times with just the mouthpiece, then try some arppegios and some jumps- make stuff up! I love to buzz with and without my mouthpiece along to the radio in the car. then go into your warm up you should feel a big deference, your warm up should consist of lots of nice long notes, 4 beats 4 times on each nice and long go down from a bottom C down to a bottom F# or F if you can get down there, then do the same from middle G down to bottom C. If you feel your tounging needs a look at after all of that do some tounging in the same way, just keep everything nice and steady and think about your sound
  9. Likesspace

    Likesspace New Friend

    Jan 8, 2011

    Thanks for the ideas. I've been lip buzzing while driving to and from work and it's amazing how much it helps. Tonight I was able to pick the trumpet up and play really well from the very first note that I tried.

    I'm still having the problem with getting that airy sound after having played for awhile but I've also noticed that when it happens my jaw line feels sore and tight. I guess that pretty much proves that everyone was right about not having the needed endurance.

    So, I guess the answer is to just keep playing and to keep trying to build up my endurance. With as much fun as I've been having that shouldn't be too terribly difficult to do.

    Thanks again to everyone for their help and advice.

  10. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
    Yes - endurance takes time, and at 47 you can still do it - but you might need a day or two of rest (less of a workout for the lips every other day -- so the face muscles can recoop - actually not stopping play, but maybe play less, or half a scale -low C to G-, and hold them longer instead of your full range). When I came back to the trumpet 25 months ago - I had a similiar problem (but since I am a comebacker, I knew the answer).
    try this -- hold the 2nd line G as softly and as long as you can, take a rest, a breath and repeat a few times -- at some point you should hopefully feel your lips buzz/vibrate while on the mpc. Your aperture needs to be close so the lips vibrate, but not shut down to pinch off the air, or too open to get the airy sound.

    anyways according to what you said -- you seem to be on the right track -- but be patient with yourself, and tell your daughter to patient with you --- after all your new to this gig --- it really does take time and slow improvements --- and if you don't progress as fast as your daughter -- that is ok -- progress as fast as YOU can, and enjoy it, play music, and have fun --- that is kinda the point isn't it?
    the soreness (I am sure) is muscles being used that you never have used that way before - but that is ok --- your building something!! just rest them so they recoop.
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2011

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