Something weird is happening

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by jazz9, Apr 8, 2008.

  1. Miyot

    Miyot Pianissimo User

    Jul 22, 2007
    jazz9, usually overworking the chops occurs preparing for an audition or an important something or other. If you are overworked, you must not over due it.

    Practise in 30 min sessions with at least an hrs. rest in between. You must give up excessive pressure, and be kind to your chops. If you are indeed overworked and continue to push harder, you will get in trouble.

    If you take it easy, rest when you need to. Quit mashing that horn into your face and treat your chops good. You should recover quickly. You must still be in High School. Your age should help you recover. Use your brain as well.

    You could be at a fork in the road. Choose the right path and all will be well. Excessive pressure and brawn with out brain leads to the dark side. Remember, a hard session here and there, probably won't hurt you. But if you continue to beat your self up with excessive pressure and constant abuse, something has to give.

    Soft practise helped me recover. I still played several hard gigs during my recovery. But other wise treated my chops with respect. It took about 3-4 weeks to feel like my old self again. Good luck.

    If you want to make Trumpet a part of your future, and it sounds like you do. Take care of your embouchure. You need it for life.
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2008
  2. jazz9

    jazz9 Piano User

    Dec 5, 2007
    Chilhowie, VA
    I am in high school. I am a junior to be exact. But, I just keep thinking that the more I practice, the better I will get, and that constitutes the length of my practice. I'm under a lot of pressure to make the college music program because I want to show everyone in my family I can do it. They don't really want me to go into music (they think I can't make a living off of it). So I believe I need to be making All-State when I fell short this year and I really want to shine next year. I've still got my student TR300 Bach, and I can't wait to get a Strad. I don't know, I just hope I will make it into that college program!
  3. bigtiny

    bigtiny Mezzo Forte User

    Aug 14, 2005
    Practicing a lot is long as it's done intelligently. My rule of thumb is this:

    - a practice session should involve as must rest as play
    - anything over 1 1/2 hours should be split into multiple sessions, separated by at least 2 hours
    - one should NEVER continue practicing if any aspect of their playing has deteriorated and can't be recovered (you usually have a range of X, but suddenly after practicing for a while, you can't utilize the same range), or notes cannot be produced with the normal quality of sound.

    Okay, that's a FEW rules of thumb =:-)

  4. ozboy

    ozboy Mezzo Forte User

    Jan 17, 2007
    Just through curiosity, what mouthpiece are you playing? The reason I ask is that you may be playing one with too big of an inner cup measurement. A lot of pressure in young players can be do not applying pressure to restrict the area of your lip that buzzes.
  5. Miyot

    Miyot Pianissimo User

    Jul 22, 2007
    jazz9, making a living playing the horn is pretty difficult. Teaching music and playing the horn on the side is probably more realistic. Don't let me discourage you. You can usually achieve a goal if you want it bad enough.

    You can't hurry up and get better on the horn. Your practice sessions must be structured, and doing too much won't help. Get squared up with where you are at now, including recovery if you need it. Get a routine down, and add on as you grow. A teacher is the way to go. Especially if you are serious.

    A good teacher could get you on the fast track. On your own could fail or at least take much longer. Good luck.
  6. northerntrumpeter

    northerntrumpeter Pianissimo User

    Jan 16, 2006
    Manchester, UK
    I had the leather lip thing over Christmas. I couldn't understand it, as I have been playing 20 years and this was the first time it happened to me.
    First, my lips chapped so I used some lip balm. However, my lips just went red and after a couple of days I lost pretty much all feeling in them (I too have used the same lip balm for a long time). I decided it was probably due to lots of playing over Christmas and the cold weather, but I still needed to play for some concerts so I had to keep playing...
    What I ended up doing was using just a bit of lip balm (I needed to) playing just a few warm up exercises a day (again, I needed to) and drinking LOTS of water. It seemed to do the trick, but took a few days. I think I was basically dehydrated. Lip balm is ok at protecting from the elements, but cannot effectively replace the water you may have neglected to drink while you are busy doing other things.
    That's my take on it at any rate.
  7. Jurandr

    Jurandr Pianissimo User

    Feb 23, 2008
    Wow you are practicing a lot! My director told me a few weeks ago that you you have to rest as much as you play. And that rest doesn't mean to just sit there like a lump! A 'rest' is Played Silence to make sure you have something music related to do during the downtime. What I've been doing is try to play a difficult line of music, and then finger it along, and then play it again. Not only am I practicing 'correctly,' but I'm also getting the fingerings memorized, which is important to me, as marching band season is just around the corner.

    Also, don't be so depressed about not reaching all-state. Set your goals one at a time. If your school is like mine, and the all-state/district auditions are also school auditions, then set your goal for sitting high in your school band FIRST. Once you are confident that you'll do well in school, refine yourself for all-district band. It's hard to be confident that you'll do well in all-district band, but your director should be able to determine your success chances. Then safely work your way into an all-state level! Whatever you do, to not burn yourself out on trying to reach all-state before everything else!!
  8. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    I'm kind of old, so please forgive this little philosophical musing--if we see nothing but obstacles and hurdles when playing the trumpet, that is what we'll be fighting the rest of our lives. If we play for the love of it, making everyithing we play have meaning, we'll get some pretty impressive chops and have the joy of making music. Slow down a bit, and play some stuff you like and are good at, and listen with a very critical (but not degrading) ear. Observe mistakes in passing, and "memorize the moment" when things go well. That is the real fast track to success.

    Have fun!
  9. jazz9

    jazz9 Piano User

    Dec 5, 2007
    Chilhowie, VA
    OK, sorry for not responding sooner.

    Bigtiny, I'm really trying to figure a good routine down. I really REALLY need a good warm up routine, though. The majority of my playing comes from Arban's. I now understand the aspect of resting as much as playing. Before, I just played as long as I wanted and whatever I wanted, and I guess it is catching up to me. Thanks for your help.

    Ozboy, I am playing a Yamaha 7C mouthpiece. I have used it for the entire 7 years I have been playing with a short stent on an Asymmetric Lead 342 that didn't work. (See thread "Asymmetric Woes") I have been going by the mentality that my old band director gave me. "Play the trumpet like it's hanging from a string on the ceiling. Apply no more pressure with your hands." I am pretty sure I am not using too much pressure on my mouth, but I'm not EXACTLY sure.

    Miyot, what you described is exactly what I hope to do. I love to teach little kids short things about how to make music, and I love playing the trumpet. It is my passion, but I know I could never make it as a professional. I hope I will be able to teach and play on the side. As far as a teacher goes, I have one. He is not a great one, though. He was my old band director who retired last year, and he is a euphonium player at heart. There is a trumpet professor at a nearby college who gives lessons, but my parents aren't too comfortable sending me to him. They are very strict because they don't know him. Where I live, good musical advice is VERY hard to come by. The majority of music out here comes from guitars and mandolins. :) The trumpet is like a foreign object, and that's why there is not much demand for it. I'm trying to get a one-time lesson with another college professor, but I don't know if I will be able to.

    northerntrumpeter, that makes sense. I've noticed every now and then that drinking water during sessions regenerates my chops to an extent. I'll try to drink some more water.

    Jurandr, fingerings have always come easy to me. I have never had trouble getting through the fingerings of notes, but that's a good strategy of rest. You see, we only have 8 or so trumpets in our band, and they are fairly bad. Actually, really bad to say the least. I would be in first chair, but the band director won't let me pass the seniors no matter how many times they play B natural instead of B flat or how many missed pitches on high C. Our band is probably very different from your band. We don't really get any attention, even during field shows. Well, that's enough about that. As for district, I'm the second best in the district, first in the county. (You have to be top four in District to even audition for State) I just couldn't make State. My band director is always too busy with percussion to mess with evaluation of my possible success. Anyway, thanks for the hints and encouragement, I really appreciate it.

    VB, thanks a lot for your post. I do absolutely LOVE playing trumpet more than most anything else. Sometimes I forget just how much when I get so involved in different things like State auditions and what not. Your post is exactly what is needed, just in very simplified terms. And, if you really are "kind of old," I would take your advice over anyone else's. Thanks again for the help.

    Everyone, I am really thankful for the helpful hints you have given me. They are very valuable because I would get nothing like that around where I live. Again, thanks so much for your help.

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