Should we always take the easy option?

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

  1. bumblebee

    bumblebee Fortissimo User

    Jan 21, 2010
    Great Southern Land
    I think I might have posted something very similar a year or two ago, though not as articulately. I played a B&H Lafleur for over 20 years before finally getting a Stradivarius, which was like changing from a fork-lift truck to a limousine. But I believe I had plateaued on the Lafleur, and I experienced a very pleasing feeling of improvement once I had the Strad. I wouldn't put this down to just the equipment though, but also to the accompanying shift in attitude which prompted the Strad purchase in the first place.

  2. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
    Oh - the thread is about improvement. Let's see - NO - on my comeback I pushed the envelope and practiced hard, tried different mpcs and different horns the first year. I pushed to be better than I had ever been - I believe it took me 3 years of 2-3 hr practices. THEN NOT BEING SATISFIED - I started doubling on the trombone (an instrument I had never had before) ---NEVER NEVER take the easy way out cause you will stagnate and NOT IMPROVE. you said you were a "good player" - my question is : WHY NOT BE BETTER THAN YOU CURRENTLY ARE??
  3. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

    Jul 20, 2006
    Heart of Dixie
    I, too worked hard on learning to play the crappy cornet I had as a beginner. Couple that with a terrible mouthpiece (the one that came with the horn), and the result was slow improvement and a lot of frustration. What did I know, though?...I was just an ignorant kid. Terrible tone, limited range, I was a fixture on the end of the trumpet line in junior high. I got a nice trumpet when I started high school and within a year, I was up near the front of the section, no magic, lessons, or extra practice. I'm convinced that crummy cornet held me back, and I'm surprised I didn't just quit at some point.

    I'll take the 650 turbo. It might be a wild ride at first, but I'll sure get to where I'm going faster than if I took a moped...:lol:

    A great trumpet in the hands of a novice isn't as dangerous as unleashing a kid on a turbo bike, though.
  4. afp

    afp Pianissimo User

    Oct 9, 2013
    Roseburg, OR

    I would tell you to try a Wedge MP, so you could have your tone AND you endurance. But if I were to you that, then you too might figure out how to blend with a flugel yet be able scream over a big band with your Wild Thing, and then what I do wouldn't be so special.................... ;-)

    BTW, the Wild Thing is the most advanced trumpet ever made, designed by a collaboration between one of the most innovate trumpet designers of all time and a race car engine builder/pro trumpet player, assembled with care and blueprinted to perfection. Now there are some trumpets as good out there, but none better................ :-o

    I am among the school that says pick one MP and get used to it. I will say a bigger MP can hide issues like tension and harshness, where a smaller MP exposes all that and makes you fix it. Having said that, everyone is different. Some do better with larger pieces, some do better with smaller. As I downsized all the way from a Bach 1.5 sized MP to the one I have now (about .596 in width and .631 in height), every step down was an improvement in my flexibility and response with no loss of tone or power. These improvements happened quickly for me and stayed with me. I did step up to a tight #25 throat, and I think that in conjunction with the Wedge shape keeps my tone full and dark. I recently tried to go back to a #27 throat, but when I would get tired I would sometimes shut off with the #27 where the #25 throat I don't.
  5. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

    Aug 7, 2013
    Lagos, Nigeria
    You've posted this before, VB. I tried it a few months ago on long tones at the top of the stave and a few wispy high Ds and Es started breaking through. It was my chops starting to tell me that there was an easier, more efficient way of playing high notes than my old set up.

    And then the fight started.

    I'm glad I set off down this road. Wish I'd found it 40 years ago. But it is hard work! John Glasel's exercise does need a caution notice attached to it.
  6. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

    Nov 5, 2003
    Rochester, MN
    Blaine - sorry your post had a mistake, I fixed it. ;-)
  7. afp

    afp Pianissimo User

    Oct 9, 2013
    Roseburg, OR
    LOL!! Yessir, you are correct and thanks for catching my oversight! :D
  8. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

    Jul 20, 2006
    Heart of Dixie
    Nah, my old Conns and Bachs have a big red EASY button on them. These new-fangled horns some of you play are just a passing fad...:lol:
  9. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    I look at it somewhat differently. Rather than being hard work, Glasel's exercise works us hard. In general, we want to make the chops tired but not exhausted. There is no time limit attached--our bodies will tell us "I don't want to do this anymore--I'm exhausted!" and it is wise to listen to our body. When we exhaust the muscles we use to play well, other muscles take over and this can lead to bad habits. I'm not a big fan of the "rest as much as you play" approach, where if we play a 32 bar exercise we rest 32 bars. If prefer to make the muscles tired, and when we get tired stop and go do something else (like logging on the TM). This is a more efficient use of our time, and later we can go back to playing.

    I always advised students who would complain that school homework took up all their time (yeah, right!) to practice trumpet until it made school homework seem like a more desirable way to spend time and then do homework until practicing trumpet became more desirable. Usually this resulted in more time being spent on both homework and trumpet--a win-win situation.
  10. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    32 bars/measures is about the average length of a song that students play in less than 5 minutes. With the pause/rest between even first year students can manage 4 of these by the year end, when I put them in a twenty minute rest while I discuss and demonstrate. In my own practice sessions I do 30 minutes and rest 15 until I accumulate 1 1/2 to 2 hours daily except Sundays. 2 hours is about the average time for a concert and that with an intermission of 10-15 minutes.

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