Range + Marching Band

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by john7401, May 31, 2010.

  1. john7401

    john7401 Pianissimo User

    Jul 3, 2009
    I really want to work hard on range and endurance over the summer. However, I only have about a month before marching band practices start and I'm going on a about 2 week long vacation in about 2 weeks.

    From what I now understand the best way to build range is to split up practicing and just play as much stuff as your lips can handle one day and then no horn work the next day and repeat. (Similar to a workout)

    What can I do for this once marching band starts up and I am playing loads daily that could really beat up the lips? I wont really have those rest days in between and with playing that much what can I do for practice on my own?

    Then what can I do while I'm on vacation? Just lip buzzing to at least try to maintain some range/endurance for when I go back to trying to build it up again?

    Lastly how do I practice on my own once school band starts up again and I'm practicing 35-40min in jazz+marching band each day? For this would I loose the idea of doing a hard day of practice followed by a no playing day and just cut down the overall practice time for a while and try to build it up from there? (Outside of band)
  2. bagmangood

    bagmangood Forte User

    I'd say that sounds like an excellent way to do a work-out, but trumpet playing isn't really about a work-out. We use muscles, yes, but cleaner sound and range actually come from learning a more effective balance in our embouchure. I'd practice every day, in several separate sessions. I'd also recommend a teacher who could recommend some specific exercises for you

    For the vacation just try lip buzzing or if at all possible a mouthpiece. If you can get your hands on a practice or a harmon mute, you can probably bring your horn with you and play for 30 min a day - a lot better than nothing
  3. Markie

    Markie Forte User

    Jan 4, 2009
    Clarksburg, WV
    Everyone has to figure out their own special way to make things work given the life style, schedule, living arragements, abilities, etc.etc.etc..
    YOU have to figure out how to get it done. No one can help you but you.
    Make it work!
    Here's a little advice from a really good marching band:

    How to Play High
    1. First, you have to not suck. If you suck, go practice until you don’t suck anymore. If you still suck after lots of practice, switch to trombone, where you don’t HAVE to play well.

    2. Nnnno, I think you still suck. Go practice some more.


    4. Buy a big mouthpiece. If you have a big mouthpiece, then you must be able to play higher. Pick up a baritone, for instance. See how you can absolutely wail over everyone else who plays baritone? Go buy a big mouthpiece. Not a DEEP mouthpiece, that’s just stupid. Ask for something with a huge backbore.

    5. Make sure you’re not playing on a crappy horn. The higher you go, the more magnified crap becomes. That’s why you can’t suck. If you suck, then you’ll sound REAL CRAPPY if you DO play high, and give the rest of us a bad name.

    6. Cheater mouthpieces don’t work. Instead of buying a cheater mouthpiece that’s supposed to make you play high, why don’t you use that 80 bucks to buy 2 hours of private lessons with someone who can help you play high on your own?

    7. NEVER, EVER talk to or hang out with people who think that range doesn’t matter.

    8. Hang out with cool people who can play higher than you.

    9. If someone says that they can play an unrealistic note, ignore them until you hear it.

    10. Don’t worry if you sound bad when you start playing high. You sounded bad when you started playing low, too, didn’t you?

    11. If you cram the horn into your face, you will a) Stop all vibrations in your lips and thus be unable to play high. b) Cut off the circulation to your lips and thus kill them forever. c) Bust out all your front teeth. d) Look REALLY stupid. e) SOUND LIKE ASS. If you do this, we will hunt you down.

    12. Wearing funny hats will increase your range.

    13. Practice with no pressure. If you use no pressure to play all the low and middle notes, as soon as you add a TINY BIT of pressure, you’ll skyrocket.

    14. Monette horns are for people with too much money and not enough skill to play seriously. They still look cool, however. If anyone has one, jack it and sell it somewhere.

    15. Long tones are your friends. Play notes until you have no air left, and then play for 1 beat longer. Do long tones like that for a half hour every day for a week, and you’ll see everything about your playing suddenly jump.

    16. Lip slurs are your friends. Play every lip slur you can think of until you can’t play real notes anymore, and then play pedal tones until your lips tingle.

    17. Pedal tones are your friends. If you play REALLY high, you should also play REALLY low to counteract the highness’ effects. And stuff.

    18. Note-bending exercises help to cool your chops off. Try bending notes down 1, 2, or even 3 half steps after you play high.


    20. You can buy all sorts of modifications to your horn to make it less sucky, but if YOU suck, they won’t help.

    21. If you think that it’s going to be hard, then it will be. Just relax and play, and it’ll come out.

    22. Trying to impress members of the opposite sex with range only works if they play your instrument. Any other time, they will look at you weird and run off.

    23. If something is hard, then put the horn down for 5 minutes, don’t play, and pick it up again. I PROMISE it will be easier.

    24. Listen to everything you can get your hands on.

    25. Don’t try to be Chet Baker. Everyone hates him.

    26. Playing trumpet during sex is usually a bad idea.

    27. Keep your stomach muscles tense while playing, and compress your abdomen like a huge air tank.

    28. There are 3 things needed to play high: Compression, Airspeed, and Endurance. Practice all 3.

    29. You can practice airspeed by taking your mouthpiece out and blowing as much air through it as fast as you can. If you’re using the appropriate amount, you’ll hear a whistle from the mouthpiece.

    30. Playing builds endurance. Play as often as you can.

    31. However, don’t play so long that you’re injuring yourself. This is bad.

    32. If your parents tell you to stop practicing because they want to go to bed, you’re practicing enough.

    33. Half-valving up to a note makes it easier to play.

    34. If anyone who’s not a trumpet player tells you that you sound bad, tell them to bite you.

    35. Whatever note you hit, remember: there’s always a note above it.

    36. Use more air than you think you need.

    37. If you see a dark tunnel with a light at the end and dead relatives beckoning to you, you’re using too much air, and should back off a tad.

    38. You won’t get range immediately. Be content with a half step greater every month.

    39. There’s always a jazz chart that has a final note 1 step above the highest note you can play.

    40. The speed of sound is 332 meters per second, which, relatively speaking, is REEEL slow. If you play a high note with a group, and it doesn’t come out right away, leave it alone. If you hit it after the fact, everyone will know that you missed it the first time.

    41. If you hang out with people that sound a certain way, you’ll start to sound like them. This can be a good thing or a bad thing.

    42. If you blow a high note during a solo, do a fall off of it and moonwalk. People will think it’s intentional and REALLY COOL.

    43. If you practice a lot, you’ll get better. If you practice a lot and practice INTELLIGENTLY, you’ll get WAY better. Practice smart.

    44. Don’t do anything that will permanently injure, disfigure, or damage your lips.

    45. Method books by famous people are stupid. Sure, they didn’t get where they are by not knowing ANYTHING, but face it: You know that they ALL played out of SOME other method book while they were growing up. Go find out what THEY used, and then use THAT book.

    46. Just to save you some time: Arturo Sandoval used a Stamp method book.

    47. Most people don’t have any clue how high a trumpet can play. If you play a note that sounds somewhat higher than what’s going on around you, and make it INTENSE, everyone will jump up and down and shout “OH MY GOD! HE’S PLAYING HIGH!”

    48. If you practice a lot, and still can’t play high, try a) Pushing your tuning slide in all the way. b) Standing on a chair. See??? It’s easier than you thought!

    49. Everyone moves their eyebrows when they’re playing high. Noone knows why.

    50. Play music like you mean it.

    You’ve spent too much time reading this. You should be practicing
    Last edited: May 31, 2010
  4. Phil986

    Phil986 Forte User

    Nov 16, 2009
    Near Portland, OR.
    I'd be curious to meet the guy who'd dare doing marching band with a Monette (#14)...
  5. Ric232

    Ric232 Pianissimo User

    Apr 30, 2009
    Coastal GA
    I believe the other 49 items, but where did this one come from?
  6. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    Markie wrote: 4. Buy a big mouthpiece. If you have a big mouthpiece, then you must be able to play higher. Pick up a baritone, for instance. See how you can absolutely wail over everyone else who plays baritone? Go buy a big mouthpiece. Not a DEEP mouthpiece, that’s just stupid. Ask for something with a huge backbore.

    IMO the control of a huge backbore as provides a more open blow does improve range, slotting, and endurance. Tight backbores are the nemisis of endurance and usually provide upper range only "squeaks".

    Personally, never had such a problem. Don't push the screaming highs as I'll let my piccolo trumpet play them, as for sure they can do them better.
  7. Bucaneer61

    Bucaneer61 Pianissimo User

    Oct 17, 2007
    Buckhannon, WV
    I'm well acquainted with Markie, and even from two hundred miles away, I could see his tongue firmly in his cheek. -- except, of course, for the last comment. Don't read, practice!!!!!!!!!

  8. gbdeamer

    gbdeamer Forte User

    Oct 16, 2008
    So out of the month of "hard work" you've allocated to high range development you're taking 2 weeks off?

    Interesting concept, but I don't know anyone who has ever done this. The best players i know practice/play every day. High range development comes over time, and is part of a daily routine.

    The need to play/perform somewhere is one of the things that would get in the way of your "play every other day" method. Pace yourself so you don't beat up your lips when marching band starts.

    There are lots of threads that talk about playing Clarke studies, scales, etc very softly to develop control and strengthen your chops. That kind of work in conjunction with the rigors of daily practicing and marching, concert, and jazz band rehearsals will help you in all areas of playing.

    Buy a practice mute and bring your trumpet with you. Play a little every day.

    Another demonstration of a flaw in your original theory.

    Wake up early and do 15 minutes of long tones. Do 15 minutes of soft (ppp) playing before and after band practice, and then 15 minutes of scales or Clarke studies at night. That's an extra hour each day of light, controlled playing to help make your chops stronger.

    Keep it up and by this time next year (yup, next year) you'll be a monster player.
  9. john7401

    john7401 Pianissimo User

    Jul 3, 2009
    Yeah, I guess that doesn't really make sense. Our family is going on vacation to the grand canyon are for about 2 weeks and I'm pretty sure nothing I say can convince them to let me bring my trumpet let alone let me play it while we are there. (primarily staying in hotels) I'm from ohio and even though I convinced them to let me bring the trumpet they never let me play it in the hotel. We didn't really know anywhere else to go to practice either and I wouldn't want to disturb people playing outside. (plus I'd be nervous if people were around)

    Thanks for the replies.
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2010
  10. gbdeamer

    gbdeamer Forte User

    Oct 16, 2008

    First, make sure to have a fantastic time with your family. Relax and enjoy 2 weeks without schoolwork or any other responsibilities.

    I recommend a slow and steady approach when you return, but whatever you decide just remember that diligence is the key. Stick with an approach and give yourself (many) months to succeed.

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