Really sharp when playing quiet

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Myshilohmy, Apr 27, 2009.

  1. Myshilohmy

    Myshilohmy Pianissimo User

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    I never noticed this before, but in my high school wind ensemble we are doing a piece called Whatsoever Things and it has it's really loud parts and real soft parts, like to the point where you are barely playing. I noticed the other day, my extremely soft tone is kind of fuzzy and really sharp. Are there any exercises I can do to fix this? Like scales at pianissimo? And does this indicate anything wrong that I am doing?
     
  2. bagmangood

    bagmangood Forte User

    Scales and long tones at pianissimo sound good!
    you may be a little tense when you play normally and so lots of soft playing will help
     
  3. Bachstul

    Bachstul Mezzo Forte User

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    Jan 25, 2009
    When you play soft, you feel more relaxed. Also, soft, might mean by habit, cutting back the air.

    Your embouchure is too relaxed, too loose, that's what you described fuzzy.

    Sharp, you say... not enough air, embouchure too loose.......tighten up your aperure more....to go any further I'd have to sit and exeriment, and it is too late to make noise, But this will be a good thread.
     
  4. s.coomer

    s.coomer Forte User

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    You are probably using too much tension when you play softly. Practice doing soft long tones and easy pieces softly then progress from there.
     
  5. Nerf

    Nerf Piano User

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    You should NEVER play soft!!! The trumpet's role in ANY ensemble is to lay waste to every other instrument in it's path!!! Woodwinds don't stand a CHANCE against us!!!! :evil:

    ROFL
     
  6. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    All the students that I have ever had with issues playing softly did not need more soft playing, they needed less brutal louds! Most of the time impressive "warmups" do more to kill the chops than anything else. If you ever have the urge to define the limits of your playing before a rehearsal, think about what I just said.

    If you take care of your chops, they will reward you with consistency. More intelligent practice never hurts, but it is the stuff that surrounds the soft that makes life tough!
     
  7. Nerf

    Nerf Piano User

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    I've said it before & I'll say it again.... Robin....YOU'RE A PROPHET!!! He can, like, read minds & stuff!!! LOL :)
     
  8. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Nerf,
    nope, no prophet or mindreader. I deal with this weekly, and have been for more than 30 years. The only thing new in trumpet playing is the willingness to broadcast problems to the world. In this threads case, very reasonably. In some others, we seem to have a contest about who has the least talent, worst ears, smallest brain, biggest handicap. Those threads draw 2 types of answers: ridicule and sympathy.

    If we take a step back from the immediacy of playing, we can see just about everything that we need. If our frame of reference is the horn on our face, it is hard to be objective because we don't know if we are observing the problem or a symptom.

    Pressure and tension are the aspirins of trumpet playing. They don't cure anything, but often help us to get through. I read the thread owners problem as tension, not lack of practice (although we could all practice more - intelligently).
     
  9. Nerf

    Nerf Piano User

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    I know exactly what you meant Robin. My joking replies were in reference to the MANY gigs/rehearsals I've been in where no matter what we as trumpet players do we're always "too loud". Even if we had a practice mute it!! :lol:

    I agree with the other replies here that the most likely candidate is tension or a "lack of control" at the loud end of the spectrum. I think that comes from an "immature" embouchure. I'm not saying the players are immature, but that their embouchure development is because they haven't been playing all that long. It's likely that this "issue" would present itself in a much older player who picks the horn up for either the 1st time or is a come back player. Like I said...that's what I think. NOT the "Gospel truth".
     

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