Should we always take the easy option?

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

  1. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

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    Uhm - yeah it's hard work - why do people expect improvement to be easy??? - if it was all so easy I wouldn't be "catching up" to the skills of GM - cause I would have surpassed his skill set a year ago" - ROFL ROFL ROFL
     
  2. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    KT, you do spell much better than GM--I'm not sure he can ever catch up with you!
     
  3. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

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    Let's not forget that I also play the trombone - that must count for something - ROFL ROFL ROFL but- yes I am definitely a better speller - but GM is a better dresser with baggy pants and such - NOT ROFL ROFL ROFL
     
  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Let me ask a heretical question: What happens when you practice differently to get double the time - but by using a #1 rim? I can practice hard - like training for Iron Man or I can train easy, like a surgeon committing scalpel moves to habit.

    I often think that testosterone can do more damage than good when trying to get the fine motor activity patterns that we need committed to memory. If your playing scedule allows it, take a week or two off, crank the power and glory as far back as possible - and use a #1 mouthpiece. Resist the urge to prove anything except being able to get the full time in. Once the fine motor activity has had a chance (we are creatures of habit) to get acclimated, see if you can control the energy.

    I am convinced that you CAN accomplish this. Endurance is NOT a function of absolute physical strength, rather the ability to play into the sweet spot of your body, listening, brains and collection of patterns. COMPENSATION is the endurance killer - constant adjustment of breathing, intonation, tone when something is not "right". That is why I am so critical of embouchure changes - alone they accomplish nothing. That sweet spot is the goal of practice. Look at it that way and I think that you may find that plan B is the long lost plan A.

    My endurance does not change with one mouthpiece size unless I try and make both pieces sound the same (a pretty dumb goal.......).

     
  5. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

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    Most of the time, I'm just running up and down a tritone chromatic E to Bb (on the stave) trying to educate my lip into smoothing out a flat G# and sharp A. This exercise is easier on a 3C, but I've not found the sound I want in that piece - it lives in the deep 2W (I've lost my deep 1). What prompted this thread was the thought that I was probably travelling Manchester to Lagos via Bangkok. As of a couple of days ago, I'm just taking things gently on the 2W.

    This is all sound stuff. It isn't the high notes or volume that's killing me just now, it's the intonation (and knock-on) problems while my lip gets used to playing without mouthpiece pressure.

    The odd thing is, I don't feel 'tiredness' in the same way I used to. What tells me that I've gone as far as I can for the day is a sudden massive resistance mid-stave. Weird.
     
  6. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    The sharp A should only be on the Yamaha. The other horns in your signature all have the first valve a "bit" long. Use your thumb hook/ring to fix that. I have NEVER EVER had a horn with a flat G#/Ab in the staff regardless how cheap or expensive. There is something wrong (valve misaligned, foreign object somewhere in the 3rd slide). There is no reason for this and no connection to mouthpiece pressure.

    Actually your comment about the problems with low mouthpiece pressure are exactly why I damn this type of embouchure change. We also can reduce playing pressure by fixing the reasons that we used it in the first place. That way the player does not waste time that should be invested musically with things in my opinion that are really stupid. I also think that getting wasted on an A and G# are very good reasons to fix those problems instead of training the embouchure for such unnecessary things. We are creatures of habit and you are replacing one bad habit with another!

    Last year I attended a course and built a natural trumpet without holes - as they were built in the 16th and 17th centuries. To play it, I have to lip down the F, lip up the F# and A. None of that wastes my face the way that you describe. The mouthpiece for that horn is much bigger than a #1, has a cookie cutter sharp rim and a HUGE backbore. Because the embouchure is doing the work - well supported by my body use, breathing and musical preparation, none of this really is a big deal.

    From what you describe there must be something very major wrong with your daily routine. The facts do not fit together.

     
  7. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

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    The thread was about the approach to learning/relearning in general, rather than my own particular issues which I did air as they happened a couple of months ago. I'm not going to lose any sleep over being called 'stupid', but you've raised some serious stuff here so for the record:

    Actually, there is. The Yamaha's fine. I've always played it with a small tweak on the first slide for A. I can play all the lower half of my register well in tune if I pivot back to my old set for it. I would far rather not be messing around with a pivot, if there's reasonable hope that I can keep the same set for my full register. The new set is okayish below the stave, but is quite flat between Eb and Ab. F#/G can be very flat but it does vary a bit day to day.

    You can damn it as much as you like, and maybe for electing for a fashionable new embouchure arbitrarily, you way well be right. The fact is my old set (with any amount of mouthpiece pressure) simply stopped working, eventually from on stave D upwards. When I moved my jaw a little forwards and a little up to take some of the pressure off my upper lip, a whole new bunch of high notes came in. What exactly is one supposed to do in this kind of situation? Various members who were kind enough to show an interest at the time will confirm that I'd actually decided not to explore the new embouchure and just do low intensity stuff while things 'healed' themselves. Instead, the 'new' low pressure notes just gradually worked their way down into my core range whether I liked it or not. Old and new are currently fighting it out in the lower half of the stave as mentioned above.

    Now I've no idea whether this is an 'approved' set/embouchure or not. I've made a conscious decision to ignore all the various embouchure systems literature and just let my chops find where they want to be with as little facial contortion as possible.

    One bad habit left the building of its own volition. The other? Well I don't know. But what I do know is, I can't really play that much music if I can't even be sure of a mid-stave D.

    Bending notes a bit was never an issue for me up until a couple of months ago.

    Not having all the facts to hand may have something to do with that. I probably just played too much last year after too long a lay off.
     
  8. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

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    I just wanted to make a slight comment on this -- not to argue any point --- in SETHOFLAGOS changing embouchure ---- and NOT to demean Rowuk. I have found in the last year, that I DONT make changes on purpose --- However, my body is changing, the sweet spot is moving, the breathing is changing, -- AND this is NOT a function of me changing things ----- it is solely a function of me adjusting to my aging body --- my lips, breathing, and strength, endurance are all changing based on that "aging" factor alone. So, I must change with this body, to keep functioning at a level of trumpet/trombone playing that I have currently
     
  9. mchs3d

    mchs3d Mezzo Forte User

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    Well, I didn't read this thread. I just read the title and asked myself, "Should we ever take the easy option?"
     
  10. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

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    Uhm - NO!! Sometimes the easy option results in various venereal diseases ---so I'm told. ROFL ROFL ROFL
     

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