Reversing Damage

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Superflat, Jan 16, 2010.

  1. Superflat

    Superflat New Friend

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    Jan 16, 2010
    Monterey
    I'll try to keep this as short and clear as possible...

    In high school I was surrrounded by very good players and I had to find a niche, which happened to be high notes. I spent all my efforts pushing my range and volume, switching up mouthpieces (Jet tone Al Hirt, to Schilke 14A4a, to Schilke 6A4a) and doing all the tricks I could find like curling the lips etc etc. I kept playing like this through College and with some paying groups. They were all Big/Swing band groups. I avoided concert playing like the plague.

    I found after time that my intonation was slowly going to crap and I couldn't even play a scale through two octaves without having to change my lip position. Also, I got really tired after playing a solo.

    So that was all about 5 years ago when I stopped. I am now trying to play again and a friend of Claude Gordon got me a CG personal mouthpiece and a Herbert Clarke book to get back into the groove.

    The question is, other than smart praticing, should I use my old equipment (Schilke MP) or stick with the deeper piece? Or should I just run through my stable of mouthpieces to see what I sound "best" on.

    Currently I have VB 11 1/2C, Schilke 6A4a/14A4a, DW 1.5C Heavy top, VB 7C.
     
  2. ltg_trumpet

    ltg_trumpet Mezzo Piano User

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    I would think you could go with whatever works, I dont know how you could digress if you were maintaining a consistent practice sched, but, right now? you best bet would be to pick one that works, and work with an instructor. best of luck super :)
     
  3. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    It isn't the hardware. You need a solid daily routine and hard work. The 6A4A is a specialty mouthpiece and it will not be easy to get a dark symphonic sound with it. This is also true of the 14A4A.

    Do NOT rtun through the stable. Pick one and stick with it for 6 months or so. Then take measure of your accomplishments and then decide what should be different. Then a switch could provide help to modify your playing.
     
  4. Superflat

    Superflat New Friend

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    Jan 16, 2010
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    Oh I did have a "Practice routine" down. It consisted of chromatic major arpeggios going up, but not back down, and holding the high notes as loud as I could before I almost blacked out!

    Then I would usually pick up the sheet music I was currently playing it and practice over and over again.

    I also never heard the phrase "Rest as much as you practice". For me it was "Practice until your lips stop working".

    Thanks for the info guys.
     
  5. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    I'd give the CG a good serious shot--you don't need be a freak to play well on it, although you can become one with consistent practice.

    Have fun!
     
  6. Superflat

    Superflat New Friend

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    Jan 16, 2010
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    I figured as much. It's a good piece, but with all the stupid stuff I have done I found that my tone and range constantly changes from full and "Wow I can hit a C above staff again" to thin and constantly bottoming out as I try to retrain myself. That's why I'm wondering if I have permanently set my embouchure for a "Wonderfully sub-average" style of playing.
     
  7. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    Could it be that you are a normal out-of-shape trumpet player experiencing normal out-of-shape trumpeter problems?
     
  8. tipo mastr

    tipo mastr New Friend

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    Jun 6, 2009
    all i can say about the CG is that it was designed for trumpet players that stick with one mouthpiece for a long time, if not for ever. it was intended to be used by players that studied with claude gordon. but, on the other hand, a mouthpiece is a hunk of metal. ANY common-sense mouthpiece will feel great if you play on it exclusively for a long time with a sensible, efficient practice routine.

    if you want some information on claude gordon's teachings and his methods, jeff purtle has a great site. Online Trumpet Lessons | purtle.com
     
  9. Ed Kennedy

    Ed Kennedy Forte User

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    Nov 18, 2006
    Unless the chops are actually physically damaged, it's just a matter of forming new habits to replace the old ones. You are in Monterey, CA? A very fine Claude Gordon protege recently moved there. Look up Tony Horowitz or PM me and I'll give you his email address.
     
  10. Superflat

    Superflat New Friend

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    Jan 16, 2010
    Monterey
    I do remember pushing myself when I shouldn't have, and I had a weird cleft looking thing on my top lip for a while, but it eventually went away and my range still improved.

    The guy who set me up with the Claude Gordon gear was Kurt Heisig (Yes, Monterey, CA) and I'm looking into buying one of his CG spec'd horns.
     

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