Starting To Lose Hope!

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by LeeMorganFan, Jun 25, 2011.

  1. LeeMorganFan

    LeeMorganFan New Friend

    Apr 7, 2011
    Hello all,
    I'm starting to get really frustrated with my extremely slow progress on the trumpet. It's to the point where I'm starting to question whether I'll ever learn to play this right. It's only been two months but I feel like I should have made more progress by now.

    My problem is not being able to find the right lip formation in order to get a good tone. It seems like everytime I place the horn on my mouth, my lips start to search for that perfect form in order to try and get a decent tone and the result is almost always a sputtered, broken, horrible sounding sound or squak if you will. It's almost as if my lips are just not formed to play trumpet! Sometimes, I'll get a little piece of a decent tone but it doesn't last for long.

    I started taking private lessons with a professional trumpeter. From day one he's got me doing excercises from a book called Super Lung Power & Breath Control. And he's got me doing basic tone production exercises from a book titled Eby's Scientific Method for Cornet and Trumpet. Despite him hearing my horrible sound and me letting him know about my embouchure problems, he hasn't really zoomed in on this topic yet.

    One final note, I practice about 1/2 hour each day 4-5 times per week. Any suggestions guys? Any idea why my tone breaks up and sputters like that? Any help will be greatly appreciated!

  2. Myszolow

    Myszolow Pianissimo User

    Apr 23, 2011
    It takes quite a long time to get good tone. Keep at it. That's all you can do.

    If you're playing 3 hours a week for 8 weeks you've only played for 24 hours. How good can you get at anything worthwhile in only one day?
  3. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    I would recommend taking a WHOLE SATURDAY and playing tunes like from a hymnbook for 10 minutes at a time, then a break, come back later and the next 10 minutes. After 5 - 10 of these sessions (all in one day!), you will have found a decent sound, now you need to do the same thing on Sunday to firm up the new discovery. Tone is fastest built in context and that means lots of easy TUNES!
  4. larry tscharner

    larry tscharner Forte User

    Apr 30, 2010
    dubuque iowa
    Roberto. Nothing great is easy, thats why playing trumpet is so great. In terms of playing trumpet think in terms of growing up. At two months you are just a baby and are grasping at the basics that your adult mind is frustrated with. You have to be in it for the long haul and skills are learned in fractions of an inch. If you stick with it you will be rewarded in the future but the future is always measured in years, not weeks or even months. If I can do it so can you, but it will take time and no one ever is satisfied with their level of play so get used to it. In no way do I mean this to sound harsh, but quit your whining and get back to being the best trumpet player you can. It will get better as you go and one trick I learned a long time ago that has served me well...find the best musicians that you can that will let you sit in with them in their practice sessions and do your best. You will be supprised at how much you can absorb from them. The truly great ones love to teach by example and may even throw you a bone with some useful tips, they arent threatened by others wanting to be better.

    If I remember correctly you seemed to have a love for trumpet that impressed me. As the going gets tough draw on that love to sustain you and keep on plugging. Its important to have fun at it so if you can find a way to participate in a group that even at your level can use you is important. Your teacher may be able to help you find a group to play with. DONT BE A QUITTER. Best wishes.
  5. mrsemman

    mrsemman Piano User

    Apr 8, 2010
    There may several reasons for a terrible sound coming from your horn. Breathing is essential. Relaxed breathing helped me. Playing your horn is very much like speaking to a friend. If you are nervous and tense in speaking, your playing will reflect that. Breath control is, again essential.

    The other aspect is that of pressure. Some players, myself included, tend to use pressure to assist in hitting a note, especially high notes. Included with this is the use of tightening the lips or "smile" in attempting to hit notes.

    Remember, frustration leads to tensing, which leads to forcing air and lips and pressure to do the work. Relaxation is the key. Breathe normally into the horn; and direct the stream of air, as if blowing out a candle, but only without the pressure behind the blow. Then relax the lips for a lower tone. Once you get the lower tones, the higher ones will come with practice.

    Rest as much as you play. Sing the notes while you rest. Singing will give you a mental sound to follow when you return to playing.

    This was all great advice I found on this forum from other TMers.
  6. Myszolow

    Myszolow Pianissimo User

    Apr 23, 2011
    You might find it helpful to hold the horn and practice the fingerings while you sing the notes too. I find this helps to train the fingers in passages I find difficult.
  7. Branson

    Branson Piano User

    Jan 16, 2011
    [FONT=&quot]You are asking for a simple answer to a very complex problem. We all want to help you get over this temporary situation but without knowing how you play or even if you are playing on a decent instrument, no one here can solve your problem there. All of these suggestions have worked in the past for us and our students but when they were tried, we were there and implemented them under the conditions we recognized at the time.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]Without knowing how you play and what you sound like makes it all speculation from this side of the keyboard. It sounds to us as if you really want to succeed and for that you are on the right track. We all want to encourage you to keep focused and be patient. [/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]From this distance, I would break your situation down to the most basics. Spend a good five minutes a day buzzing songs you are familiar with on only your mouthpiece. What you are after is the most relaxed, full, rich buzzing tone without effort. Don’t worry about high notes; stick to the low and middle range and slur everything. Start every note with only the air, no tonguing.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]Let us know your improvement in a week.[/FONT]
  8. tptshark

    tptshark Pianissimo User

    Jun 4, 2005
    Hong Kong
    After spending a lot of time around teachers and students of all instruments, I can assure you that learning trumpet is one of the slowest instruments in terms of getting the initial tone beautiful. Don't be discouraged after, as Mszolow pointed out, only 24 hours of playing.
    Try singing a G (2nd line of the staff), then buzzing the same note on your mouthpiece, followed by playing the note on the instrument. Work on just getting the G clear, and then start gradually moving away from that note carrying the sound with you.
    As difficult as it may be, try to ignore what your embouchure is doing at the moment and concentrate on the tone - hopefully your body will figure out the best way for you.
    All the best,
  9. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
    I hate to concur with everyone here -- but man you got to chill it out a bit --- if I could have learned the trumpet in 24 hours -- I would have been a pro by the time I got to 6th grade.
    DUDE - Lee Morgan didn't learn the trumpet in 2 months, and neither will you.
    That harshness being said -- I am on a comeback after playing mediocre for many years -- so I quit for nearly a decade - on the way back I am logging nearly 2500-3000 hours --- and I ain't a pro yet.
    DUDE - the first 3-4 months on this comeback were horrendous on the psychological part -- as I SUCKED with tone (that was even knowing how to play in the first place)
    quitters never win -- and winners never quit -
    what more advice do you need???????:thumbsup:
  10. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    What can I say that hasn't already been said by others ... other than I am my own worst critic. If you've read my prior posts you know the "mountain I've scaled and how fast I came down" ... but there are still many mountains yet for me to climb.

    If you can identify the tone you want to reach, I concur that this will come easier for you if you acquire a melody that has it ... and then play it. Too, I'm an advocate of the church hymnals, and although they are scored for a C instrument, transposition for a Bb instrument is so simple. Just add two sharps to the key signature and play two semi-tones (half steps) higher. These two added sharps will nullify two flats if they exist.

    Otherwise, I warm-up with chromatic scales which I believe are "stairs to success". To get to the top, you'll know exactly when you miss a step.
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2011

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