So Many Problems!

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Fool In The Rain, Jan 2, 2016.

  1. Fool In The Rain

    Fool In The Rain New Friend

    Dec 28, 2015
    Indiana, USA
    I'm currently in 11th grade, and I've been playing since 7th grade (total of about four and a half years). I'm in my school's marching band and jazz band.

    This past summer, I had an amazing teacher. I practiced a ton using my Yamaha 5C mouthpiece and I got really good; improvements in range, endurance, and tone quality. My teacher eventually moved away. Then I had to literally throw away that mouthpiece for personal reasons. I switched to a Yamaha 7C for a few weeks, then to a GR 65MS for about two months. On that 65MS, my range was cut and my tone was pinched. I quit practicing due to lack of motivation. Honestly I got a little depressed because of my progress being undone.

    In November, I got an offbrand 5C Yamaha-imitation. My range is back to normal (D above the staff) but my endurance and tone are suffering.

    In terms of tone, my sound is very airy. I've always struggled with that and I don't know how to fix it. I've tried pulling my lips inward, shifting my mouth's position in the mouthpiece and my sound is just awful.

    My endurance is terrible. I can hit high notes (above E at top of the staff) for about my first 5 or 10 minutes, then that ability goes away. After that, G and above fall to this really flat screech sound that's impossible to describe. I'd never heard it before. And F and F# make my lips quiver so that it sounds like I'm flutter-tonguing (even though I'm not).

    I'm deeply embarassed by my current playing ability, especially because I'm the oldest and lead player, and so many 10th graders are better than me. I'm very frustrated. It's gotten to the point that I dread going to band class because I'm scared of screwing up and being found out and looking like an incompetent fool.

    I won't be able to afford a teacher until April. What can I do to help myself?
  2. Dennis78

    Dennis78 Fortissimo User

    Feb 1, 2015
    Keep calm and carry on! You might ask you director of you can play a lower part. Or maybe switch to baritone. Have you tried a cornet? How was your sound on the 7c? In HS I did tones of "cheating" to appear to be the best but in the long run everything suffered to where I put the horn down for the better part of 20 years. When I got back to it I went slow and still I don't worry about being the best just the best I can be. Without trying nowadays my range is better, tone is better, ability is better and everything is more pleasant. I do remember haveing to keep up with cool in HS but now I play for me and do a much better job now
  3. ewetho

    ewetho Piano User

    Jun 24, 2007
    Kankakee, IL
    Sounds like you need to spend good old fashioned quality time in the woodshed hopefully guided.
  4. bumblebee

    bumblebee Fortissimo User

    Jan 21, 2010
    Great Southern Land
    As usual my first thought is that you might be using too much pressure - pulling the horn too hard on to your lips as you go up the range.

    Here are some threads which touch on this:

    A teacher helped me with some playing issues I had. When I reduced pressure everything improved for me.
    If you can't afford a personal teacher right now you could check the music departments of nearby universities or colleges -- perhaps there are community programs you could sit in on - or even sympathetic trumpet teaching staff who would give you some of their time without charge.

    Also as usual, without seeing you in person or hearing enough to know your particular situation it is difficult to give (or get) advice on the internet.

  5. Airborne592

    Airborne592 New Friend

    Nov 10, 2015
    Honestly, coming from another high school junior, I'd say that the best thing you could do *drumroll*...LONG TONES!!!!! :D
    In all seriousness, practice regularly. Becoming a great trumpet player can be likened to becoming a great marathon runner or a great football player. Make sure you practice at least an hour a day (if you can manage it), including a proper warm up and warm down routine. Trust me, it can help.
    Once your instructor says you can't go any further on your mouthpiece, buy either a Blessings 3C (they are some of the best step up mouthpieces) However, I would also recommend the Yamaha 14B4 GP Heavyweight series, as it has a deep cup, and a gold plated rim, so you don't get as tired as quickly.
    I hope this helps!!!
  6. Gendreauj

    Gendreauj Piano User

    Aug 26, 2013
    Love your user name. Have you tried any Denis Wick or Curry mouthpieces? Excellent mouthpieces. When I played trumpet, I owed several Denis Wick mouthpiece sizes, 1.5 , 2 and a 3. I prefer Denis Wick and Curry over Bach mps. Currently owe 3 wick cornet mps and one curry mp . Did own a Bach 3B mp and bought a Denis Wick 3B mp. After trying the Wick, quickly sold the Bach mp.

    Look at the Denis Wick either a 1.5 or 2 Mp.

    But I agree with Airborne 592 on long tones and practice.

    Good luck.
    Conn 1000 A cornet
    Denis Wick Heritage 3 B- Silver plated and gold plated rim
    Denis Wick 3 B gold plated
    Denis Wick 4 B silver plated mp
  7. Airborne592

    Airborne592 New Friend

    Nov 10, 2015
    Thank you. That's actually the advice of my instructor, that I've only recently started to follow. On top of regular practice, I also have a Yamaha 17C4 Heavyweight GP, and I love the hell out of it. It's just a perfect fit for my career as a student musician
  8. gwood66

    gwood66 Piano User

    Dec 21, 2015
    South of Chicago
    I am no embouchure repair man but here is a link to a website that describes the reason for airy tone and how to fix it.

    Here is my personal experience. I had airy tone when I picked up the horn a few months ago. I had to go on a two week business trip and could not take my trumpet. I took a mouthpiece and worked on buzzing for about 20 to 30 minutes a day. When I got back and started playing, my tone and range had improved. I have also been focusing on playing soft which I also believe has helped my tone. Oddly enough, those are two of the techniques recommended to fix airy tone mentioned on the link. It also mentions that airy tone can be caused by a mouthpiece that is too shallow.
  9. barliman2001

    barliman2001 Fortissimo User

    Jul 5, 2010
    Vienna, Austria, Europe
    Well, if you ask nicely, and we can agree to a date and time, I can always try and give you some guidance on skype. Remember, I'm in Europe, on GMT +1. You can send me a PM if you so want.
  10. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    At your age, any age really unless a very proficient player, switching mpcs like that is sure to screw things up. I don't know why you had to switch from your original mpc, personal reasons is kind of nebulous for discarding a piece that seemed to work. If you have the original mpc you like, I would go back to it. I would take barlimans offer for Skype interaction. Let us know how it goes.

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