Recently restarted trumpet lessons

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Rouko, Dec 18, 2011.

  1. Rouko

    Rouko New Friend

    Dec 16, 2011
    Hey guys,

    I started playing the trumpet when I was 12, done it for a few years then gave up, however, I've started lessons after an 8 year gap of not touching it, I've had lessons for about two months, but I've been having some problems:

    I find that the tone of the notes isnt very good, or very 'musical', is this something that will just improve its time?
    To hit higher notes I seem to be pressing the trumpet against my face which results in the notes sounding 'squeezed' out and after about 20 minutes of playing I have a very noticeable mark on my lips where the mouthpiece is
    My tutor also talks about how my tongue placement needs to change when playing different notes etc, yet I have a bad habit of just keeping mine at the roof of my mouth.
    Finally, my air capacity seems to be quite poor as well, I've heard a spirometer can help increase it, but I'm not entirely sure

    I'd appreciate any advice I can get on this, I've been getting rather frustrated that I'm not improving as quickly as I'd like to
  2. VetPsychWars

    VetPsychWars Fortissimo User

    Nov 8, 2006
    Greenfield WI
    I personally think this tongue level stuff is a load of crap. For the rest of it... playing a trumpet takes YEARS. You need to practice every day, and practice well. Pay attention to your tone, and for range... try a little each day to extend it. You must not force a higher range or you will not only never get it... the rest of your range will suffer.

    I know it's boring, but playing the same "easy" exercises day after day will help you improve... if you work hard to keep a good sound and work to use the least amount of effort to make the notes sound good.

  3. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
    it takes time -- long soft notes (like even a 2nd line in the staff G) will help ---and soft long tones help with other areas of endurance and building the strength of the embouchure --- but it does take years, and 1,000's of repetitions, and practice, and time -- dont' get frustrated either -- that only impedes your progress (yup! easier said than done -- I know)
  4. BustedChops

    BustedChops Mezzo Forte User

    Oct 1, 2011
    Breath work is so important. So your air problem is probably a multiple issue of relaxed breathing technique and projecting notes. The bell of the horn is your friendly transducer. Sometimes we begginers, myself included forget to let the horn do some of the work and let the breath take care of the rest.

    I had the same trouble you did...I still have trouble keeping my tone consistent. I did find that my endurance could increase when trying to play complex passages if I would just sit down and do 15 minutes of long tones...Slow lethargic soupy low notes...over and over again.

    Think of the fat guy with the tuba...Low long tones really help keep the muscles supple. It also aids in breathing endurance. Low notes require a low of air...Simple holding low...mid and higher...low, mid high...or simply low...mid, mid, low...

    Good luck.

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  5. Mark_Kindy

    Mark_Kindy Mezzo Forte User

    Jul 11, 2010
    Gainesville, FL
    We try to avoid using undue pressure with the mouthpiece, and try to use correct breathing with a relaxed embouchure (NOT LOOSE). You don't need any special techniques.
    Instead, thiis will take time and practice, and PATIENCE. If you try to progress too quickly, you will get frustrated. If you take time to build upon a good foundation, slowly expanding, you'll find the results are much more favorable. To this day I go back when I realize my foundation isn't strong enough, and work on the basics. Best of luck.
  6. jiarby

    jiarby Fortissimo User

    May 7, 2011
    I don't know....

    When I use the tongue & Ahhh- EEEE syllable it is pretty easy to change partials, say Bb-HighC-D with no chop movement. Just raising & lowering the back of the tongue. It feels like whistling a trill. Seems easier to me in higher partials. For me in the lower partials the gaps are bigger than the tongue can overcome without some corresponding embochure shift/

    Either way, it does take some time & steady practice to develop. Earl Irons 27 Exercises would be a good place to start.
  7. Chuck Cox

    Chuck Cox Forte User

    Oct 3, 2008
    Cary NC
    I still can't get the mental picture of the fat guy with the tuba out of my head. Thanks a lot BustedChops !
  8. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    You are doing something very wrong if after 2 months, you can only make it to 20 minutes and sings of fatigue are setting in. Not sure if it is all related to the tongue placement. Perhaps there is breathing issues as well. Before you learn how to use your tongue, you really need to learn to breathe. Then there is the need to relax on the horn. Either you are gripping too tight on the horn OR you are pushing your face way too much into the horn. Then there is the equipment. If you have the wrong cup diameter and depth, your lips may not be able to optimally buzz. As you can see there is just too many factors in which to advise. Your current teacher is the best person to work with on this, but if after a few more months you are not making progress, then you may want to try to find another teacher. I would really like to try to help but at this phase...:dontknow:

    By the way, welcome to TM and sorry about the rough start.
  9. Rouko

    Rouko New Friend

    Dec 16, 2011
    Thanks for all the advice guys, and it wasn't fatigue that I was getting after 20 minutes, it's a mark against my lips where I've pressed the mouthpiece
  10. Bob Grier

    Bob Grier Forte User

    May 4, 2007
    Greensboro, NC
    The mark on your lips doesn't mean there is a problem. But even though you've only been back two months you should be seeing steady progress with a good teacher. You might want to seek out a second opinion. i would be glad to take a look at you for free. [email protected]

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