Student trumpet limitations

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by linktrek, Jun 27, 2013.

  1. linktrek

    linktrek New Friend

    46
    4
    May 14, 2013
    Palm Bay,FL
    I am a 2 decade comebacker. It feels great to play again. Seems like I retained most of my trumpet muscles however I do have an issue. When I pick up the turmpet fresh in a day my range is very good. I can pop out some very good double E's, F's, and some G's. But I deteriorate very quickly. My question is what is most likely? Is it more likely that I am applying too much pressure and cutting off my circulation in my lips or is it the student trumpet that is affecting my range.
    BTW, I never hit double E's F's and G's in my life until now. I got a Shew lead trumpet mouthpiece and I lucked out.
     
  2. bumblebee

    bumblebee Fortissimo User

    3,930
    1,822
    Jan 21, 2010
    Great Southern Land
    By double E, F and G I assume you mean E and F above the staff, and G above both of those? If so, I suggest you could be experiencing awe which is challenging your internal belief. That is, you play a few very high notes and think to yourself "wow, I'm playing an F above the staff!" at which point some little voice tells you this is hard really and you (un)consciously believe it and so the notes become too hard to reach until the next practice session by which time you've forgotten that voice temporarily. I suspect that happens to me when I work on my range and start getting somewhere.

    Otherwise, I doubt your trumpet is the root cause. If you think you are using a lot of pressure you probably are, which doesn't help in the paragraph 1 scenario either. (Some trumpets tire me out in the upper range faster than others.)

    You need good breath support playing the high range; do you think your breathing changes after your early high notes and after that you don't play with the same abdominal breath support?

    --bumblebee
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2013
  3. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    18,113
    9,264
    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    This is normal muscle fatigue most likely. Start on a come back program where you practice a daily routine for a week without feeling this fatigue. The next week, increase your work out by adding another 20% of time to your practice session. Then go a week on this schedule. Increase weekly your practice time by 20% until you get to where you want to be. This is how muscle develops in a healthy way. Also it is wise to practice every day as if you start missing, you really need to start the process over once again.

    The trumpet is a demanding mistress, but once you please her, she is very fulfilling at making you happy as well.
     
  4. linktrek

    linktrek New Friend

    46
    4
    May 14, 2013
    Palm Bay,FL
    Well pressure seems to be a tricky thing to me. I know pressure gets my range higher. So while I am up and playing those double F's and G's, I try adding more air and backing off on the pressure. I noticed that when I back off on the pressure, the note is still obtainable for a little bit. I suppose that is where I need my stregnthening exercises. Yes the double G is above high C and it feels almost better than sex when I belt one out! But hitting those notes blows my lip for as much as 6 hours.When my lips go, I am unable to even play in the lower registers.. So my strategy is to use those times when I am playing high up there to back off and experiment and see what will work to get the the endurance. My endurance is horible.
     
  5. bumblebee

    bumblebee Fortissimo User

    3,930
    1,822
    Jan 21, 2010
    Great Southern Land
    Ah - then I agree more with gmonady then. I worked through stuff from Pops McLaughlin a few years ago which helped me a lot with pressure. I'm amazed my teeth (and lips) survived so long given the amount of pressure I used to apply.

    --bumblebee
     
  6. graysono

    graysono Mezzo Forte User

    715
    215
    Jan 22, 2007
    Hyde Park, Utah
    I, too, am a comebacker. One of several times I have done it. But my latest is now about 8 yrs long, so maybe I shouldn't self-identify that way any more. In the beginning, I did exactly what you seem to me to be doing--working too hard; wanting too much, too soon. Go slowly, brother, and it will pay off. So, the advice above is all good. Were I you, I wouldn't be doing those high note exercises except, perhaps, for one go, each practice session. Maybe just incorporate them into your scale practice. After all, it is one thing to belt out one of those notes, it is another to play them as a part of music, per se. Frink and McNeil's book Flexus is a good one to look at for gradual strengthening exercises. They are firm about doing many of the exercises once, no more. You will learn about your own rate of progress. Muscles do have to be broken down some to be strengthened but also they need rest to build back up again. Try to figure out what rest periods you need, both intra-practice, and inter-practice. And don't think of stamina in terms of days or weeks or even months. Think more about years.
     
  7. Comeback

    Comeback Forte User

    1,859
    1,044
    Jun 22, 2011
    Fort Wayne, IN
    So if I understand, you were away from the trumpet for twenty years, right? I agree with the others that your trumpet is probably not the problem. I also agree that real progress across the gamut of trumpeting concerns occurs as a result of methodical practice associated with an effective routine of gradually increasing rigor. I am a little concerned about your mouthpiece choice, though. Is that Shew piece shallow and highly specialized? I wonder if you would be better served by something a little more conventional at this point in your comeback. I am two years into my own comeback effort after nearly 40 years off. After much experimentation and coaching from fellow TM members, I spend most of my time playing mouthpieces in the range of Bach sizes 3C and 5C.
    Jim
     
  8. Juarez-MA

    Juarez-MA Pianissimo User

    164
    39
    Mar 14, 2012
    I would think that you are probably muscling out those higher notes. The lead piece certainly helps you do that.
    You are possibly literally tiring out your embouchure prematurely.
    If you've never hit those notes before, then your embouchure isn't strong enough for them yet.
    But really, you should be able to play up there with a normal piece because....there is no substitute for a strong/flexible embouchure and knowing how to use your air.
     
  9. linktrek

    linktrek New Friend

    46
    4
    May 14, 2013
    Palm Bay,FL
    Wow that was some useful stuff. Yes, I want too much too soon. You are right that I should pop out those high notes a couple times a practice session and then quit.
    As far as a mouthpiece is concerned, I used a very shallow mouthpiece most of the time 20 years ago. I had a trumpet teacher that used to scream. I used his recommended mouthpiece. It's too frustrating for me to used a deep cupped mouthpiece. I just got threw shopping online for a mouthpiece. I tried out a medium deep Jetone, a 5 E, 5C, 3C, 1 1/2C, 1E, 3E, and the Asemmetic mouthpieces. The Shew turned out to be the best for my anatomy. Remember that everyone is different.
    BTW I got a good deal on my trumpet. They were advertised as professional grade trumpets on eBay for $99. When the trumpet arrived I saw that the trumpet was marked with the name "OPUS" usa. I found the manufacturer's site. OPUS turned out to be a small Chinese trumpet manufacturer. It had photos of the different stages of making the trumpet.They are all made by hand. I have no idea how these Chinese workers can spend all day making trumpets and getting maybe $50 each for them. I found nothing that said anything about whether they were student, intermediate, or professional trumpets. I then opened up a case against the seller for advertising them as professional trumpets. On the first attempt the seller sent me out a saxaphone by mistake. So at that point the paid for shipping both back and forth for the sax. Then he shipped out the trumpet to me. eBay forced him to refund me. He did and he never asked me to send back the trumpet. So my trumpet is pretty good for nothing! I've already grown attached to it. I never in my dreams ever thought that I would be getting double G's ever in my life. But thanks to this trumpet and the mouthpiece, I'm doing it!
    So thanks for the advice. I'm going to take it easy and build up slowly. Maybe I'll go up high for 3 or three times a session. I'm sure that it going to help.
    Plus I am going to try out an idea that I thought up. When using too much pressure, the circulation gets cut off. Now you may laugh but it might work. I am going to try a practice session using 200mg's of Viagra. I'm curious to see if all that extra blood flowing will make a difference in my playing. Of course I would have to schedule the timing of my session in one that aligns with my wife's schedule. I'll let you know what happens... meaning with the trumpet of course.
     
  10. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    8,612
    2,128
    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
    there you have it --- I highly concur with this advice ---- for me when I started a comeback 4+ years ago, I did 3 hours of practice, tried to repeat high notes every day ---- only to find out, my older body actually needs 3 to 4 days of rest from high notes (at least while I was building muscles back up) ------ so I did a lot of in the staff notes and taking it up to where it would come out nice, then push a little harder ------ TRY TO DISCIPLINE MYSELF to not hit high notes every day ------- then of course, you just have to learn your body, your recovery time ------ and how far you can push. ((((((((((((to date, I am confident to say --- the high G, 4 staves above the staff, is a NOTE, I can play every day ((((maybe I got some notes higher, maybe not, I won't tell you for now))) --------------------------
     

Share This Page