Should we always take the easy option?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Sethoflagos, Jan 15, 2014.

  1. Churchman

    Churchman Mezzo Piano User

    Apr 26, 2012
    Ironically, they probably do, even though they don't know it. Why? Because we play better on something that makes us feel better - even rubbish players like me play better on something I like. And therefore the listener benefits. Most players will feel better about themselves with a Monette in their hand, rather than a Bach 1530. Bob's your uncle, caring listeners!
    ConnDirectorFan likes this.
  2. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
    I use a bigger mpc and a trombone which I believe has helped me with my trumpet endurance. Of course perhaps the trombone has made me cognizant of efficiently using air for any instrument and to not over power the horn to get sound out of it. As far as embouchures, it is my opinion that proper practice on any instrument or mpc will allow transition between mpcs or different instruments without any difficulties
  3. veery715

    veery715 Utimate User

    Mar 6, 2007
    Ithaca NY
    One other thing not mentioned, to consider, is that the cup shape and depth can have a marked effect on articulation. So make sure you try the different pieces with that in mind.
  4. WannaScream

    WannaScream Pianissimo User

    Nov 27, 2013
    I recently experimented with 2 widely different mouthpieces (well, there were others that led up to it, but that narrowed it down). One is a Warburton shallow V-cup, tight back bore, other is a big 1D Megatone. Short answer is, I like the brighter tone and easier upper register of the warburton. The tone is a little thinner, and pedals & notes below middle C are harder. I can play the Megatone almost as well in the upper register, but it tires me out, sounds darker. It's easy to do pedal tones, though.

    For the playing I do- jazz, rock/r&B, the Warburton is the best choice. My point is, choose your gear and practice for how you're going to play- not for the sake of exercise.
  5. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

    Jul 20, 2006
    Heart of Dixie
    To answer the question in the title of this thread, yes. As long as the easy option does what you want it to do, why not? That's the name of the game, to have equipment that you don't have to fight to play like you want. The easier your trumpet and mouthpiece are to play, the more you can concentrate on musicality in your playing.
    tobylou8 likes this.
  6. chenzo

    chenzo Piano User

    Jul 18, 2008
    So True.........Its all about what is best for you...and to persevere on good practice habits so that you can let the instrument sing with your voice (sound)
  7. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

    Aug 7, 2013
    Lagos, Nigeria
    Okay, I'm going to throw what the Americans call a 'curve ball' into this.

    The 'easy' path was denied to me as child. I'm convinced I became a good trumpet player (not phenomenal, but good) thanks to the combination of determination, a good ear, and a lousy trumpet. The latter forced me to develop a strong foundation of flexible lip and air support in order to develop an intonation and sound that I was happy with. I do not believe I would have made anything like the progress I achieved then if I'd had available to me the quality of instrument I can now afford. I would have met and exceeded people's expectations too easily and lost a lot of the incentive to push myself to better things.

    There's a pretty strong concensus here that 'easy' practice exercises are of lttle value in extending one's technique. But doesn't the same argument apply to hardware set-up?

    A number of the posts above strike me as being good sense IF you've already reached your musical destination. Yes, obviously, then you play conservative and stick with a set-up which gives you minimum technical difficulty and maximum scope for musical expression. Especially if the pay cheque depends on it.

    But this thread wasn't about that. It was about the journey to reach that destination. Do you try and do it by slow, incremental change, or do you just jump onto that Suzuki 650 turbo, open the throttle and see what happens?
  8. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    If you don't know how to handle that 650, you might wrap it around the tree. I believe incremental improvement is best.
  9. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    Forgot to add, I didn't learn on inferior equipment. I didn't truly appreciate what I had until I bought and was given several student horns.
  10. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    If by slow, incremental change you mean going from a 3 to a 2 to a 1 and if 1 is the destination I'd skip the 2. Even going from a 7 to a 1 I'd do the same. My teacher put me through a blindfold test. We first can confuse our lips by playing a bunch of mouthpieces in short order and then (still blindfolded), start choosing which one sounds the best. For me that was a 1C--it was both the one easiest to play and the best sounding.

    An esoteric exercise I got from the late, great John Glasel can help the process. Play a long tone, and while doing so reduce pressure; it will start to sound "bad." With this same pressure, do whatever it takes with the chops to make it sound "better" (not perfect or normal). In a short time you should notice some muscles being worked (a big ring or circle around the mouth.)

    This will allow us to train some muscles that don't normally get worked; when somewhat in shape it should require somewhat less pressure to play.

Share This Page