Regaining Range

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by tjm127, Apr 13, 2011.

  1. tjm127

    tjm127 New Friend

    Jan 22, 2011
    Hey all,

    I posted here a couple months ago concerning a busted embouchure, and this is a follow-up. I'm a freshman in college who play(ed) lead with the jazz band, and had a consistent range of an easy double C. Then, over the course of December, my chops deteriorated mysteriously in terms of accuracy and endurance until one day in January when they fell apart and I literally lost my ability to buzz on a trumpet.

    Now, after a month off the horn and after following the advice of the kind posters on this forum, I managed to slowly work myself back to a level somewhat approaching my former self. By mid-March (two months after my injury or whatever it was), my tone was completely back, as was my endurance, and my range was sitting at a comfortable Eb/E above high C. This just from playing scales, etudes, and just working my way back into playing. However, I now seem to have hit a wall - I just can't get over the "E" hump, and I very recently seem to be regressing a little. Now, I never had to WORK for my range in the past - I just kinda played scales and everything else just happened - and now I am at an utter loss as to how to push past this wall. It's especially scary BECAUSE it used to be so easy, and I'm afraid I may have done something to my chops or embouchure which has robbed me of that ability.

    Does anybody have any advice for regaining my range? Do "comeback players" (I don't know if an injury and a month off puts me in that category) typically have trouble with this kind of thing at first? I kinda expected everything to come rushing back once I got my foundation back, especially the range, but it just isn't happening yet. I KNOW I have a double C, or even just an F, in just doesn't want to come out :/
  2. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    Just keep working and don't use too much pressure. IF your range was achieved (the first time) as a result of too much pressure and you combine it with too much playing (don't remember your entire dilema) you'll be back with the same problem eventually. Play softly, do pedal tones (try to go as low as a tuba) and be patient. If you can play a high C, you can play an F, it's mainly mental.:thumbsup: You have to be away from the horn for decades to be a comeback player, so don't worry about that label.;-)
  3. coolerdave

    coolerdave Utimate User

    Nov 7, 2009
    San Pedro
    you didn't have any dental work done , right?
  4. katie-did

    katie-did New Friend

    May 8, 2009
    Do 20 minutes a day of just long tones on natural harmonics, low notes - just the C and the G above. More of the G. There are backing tapes you can get for this so it's not too boring. I can't remember who it was but a famous player used to do this every day and claimed it produced his range. I do it, and can now play high C with a lot more ease. And yes, playing the trumpet does also seem to have a psychological component as well as a physical one !
  5. Scatmanblues

    Scatmanblues Pianissimo User

    Jul 19, 2010
    West Texas
    To earn high chops the right way takes more than 2 months, and progress is often punctuated with plateaus where it doesn't feel like anything is happening.

    Relax, focus on playing with correct fundamentals, and don't force it.

  6. tjm127

    tjm127 New Friend

    Jan 22, 2011
    Cooldave, that's interesting because I've started wearing a retainer-type thing...but I started wearing it in July, and although it has probably shifted my teeth slightly, I was fine until December...would that type of minute shifting do it?
  7. The Kraken

    The Kraken Piano User

    Mar 28, 2007
    Gold Coast - 805
    Boy ain't that the truth!! :huh:
  8. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
    here is a combacker that says --- try to relax and not "push" the range, or "over think" it. What I am trying to say is that it will come back. Here is an example that I am going through.
    I can do the pedal tones, and can do scales to Double High C (can only play a few lines and not a whole song at that, but just the same).
    BUT at the moment -- I CAN NOT hit a reliable High C -- that is like 1 note - that I always had, and now that's the "whole" in my playing. Everything BUT that stupid High C in the middle of everything that ISN'T there anymore.

    6 or 7 months ago it was the A below High C --- so these things appear, then we get "frustrated" and make it more difficult.
    play long notes, softly, up the scale --- you will find the answer.

    GET frustrated, and it will get in the way of "discovering" the problem - and then you might have A STUPID HIGH C THAT SUCKS AND YOU GET UPSET,
    whoa! whoa! --- do you see what I mean????? deep breath, relax, soft and slowly, lightly and consistently.
  9. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    I would forget range as a separate parameter. Just start playing easy tunes and build a solid midrange with tons of endurance, then just start playing tunes that go higher.

    Treating range as something "special" just means that there is a section of your practice time not connected to the big picture. That is what is the most annoying with those looking for range. Look for MUSIC that just needs a bit more than what you have. Master that and then take the next small step.

    Moving too fast with too little experience is why the insurance rates for young drivers are very high. There is a lesson there somewhere................
  10. tjm127

    tjm127 New Friend

    Jan 22, 2011
    Thanks for all of the advice, guys. Again, the reason I ask is really because I never ever had to work for my's very disturbing to not be able to access something you always had. So I guess that's why I'm looking at "range" as something separate: all the rest of my playing (tone, technique, etc.) is working like it was pre-injury (heck, I think because of a minor embouchure alteration, my tone is actually a bit better); it's just the darn range which is being stubborn. I keep thinking that something will "click" the way it did for the other aspects of my playing in the last month, and that one day my high stuff will come sweeping back. If not, looks like I have a long summer of work ahead of me...

    Oh well. No pain, no gain, amirite?

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