Summer practice without a horn or mouthpiece......

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Conn-solation, Aug 24, 2012.

  1. Conn-solation

    Conn-solation Pianissimo User

    Jan 22, 2011
    On my way to Bearberry Ab
    Summer holidays are over…and I am back to regular practicing again.

    Over the summer our travels did not allow for any instrument carrying so no playing…. But there was an outlet for my compulsion to play…. So for 28 days of a motorcycle trip and 15 days of camping by a lake I buzzed scales and simple parts of tunes that I learned in the past every chance I got.

    I learned to buzz without the horn or the mouthpiece to the point where I can buzz a scale or a simple tune - though not 100% in tune. That might not sound like much to some but for me it is a significant accomplishment because I have never been able to perform this task in any amount before.

    I wondered what effects I would notice when I picked up my horn again.

    Outside of the expected lack of endurance, as I began to play the first time back in my practice room, I hit a 4[SUP]th[/SUP] space C instead of the normal 2[SUP]nd[/SUP] line G. This has continued for several practices now and I have been able to easily play from G to C above the staff for short periods of time. I also noticed that a significant and annoying automatic jaw vibrato was significantly reduced.

    I know many have said that excessive buzzing with out the mouthpiece is not necessarily a good idea. I haven’t noticed any down side to my summer practice activity and the two up side benefits are welcome.
  2. Local 357

    Local 357 Banned

    Jul 1, 2011

    Another good idea is to work on your breathing by swimming or just building lung capacity through exercises devoted to that skill.

    If you really want to have some fairly decent chops...

    (laughs, grins, nearly falls on floor laughing)

    after a long spell off the horn

    this is funny but it works

    try this:

    1. Learn to play at least half decently on some kind of seriously shallow screamer mouthpiece. Don't have to play like Allen Vizzutti just be able to play accurately a bunch of Sousa marches and whatnot. If not used to these cheaters you can practice on the screamer piece every other day for the first few months. Its a handy tool for when your chops run out of gas on your regular deeper cupped mouthpiece. Find something as close to the proverbial "bent dime". Small as you can handle. Bore out the throat and/or cut a second cup like Parduba if you can't stand the tone. Maybe just buy an old Parduba for that matter. Shallow shallow shallow!

    2. OK now when laying off the horn for a matter of weeks or months (God forbid!) be sure to at least blow some low notes and long tones into your pea shooter for about five to ten minutes a day most every day of the week. Just some of the lower and middle register Clarke Studies. And maybe a few harmonic minor scales. At least five minutes a day five days a week. You can play that time while standing on your head.

    OK now when September comes around I can guarantee that you should have the strongest sounding chops on the football field! With your scream piece that is. Don't expect to play the Haydn trumpet concerto well but you'll have solid marching band chops.

    With this trick I can maintain the ability to blow a solid big band lead with a fair amount of F's and G's thrown into the fray. At least for a couple sets even with this minimal training regimen. Seriously! Did it last week and had some of the nicest A's I'd played in years. I had to blow down "Country Road" last Mon and it came our fairly decent.

    You don't want to live this way but it'll fool them all. And don't forget the breathing exercises!

    (Still chuckling like a mad man)
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2012
  3. GijsVis

    GijsVis Piano User

    Jul 23, 2012
    I had exactly the same thing over the summer, I was able to bring my mpc, but I don't like taking it everywhere, so I tried some buzzing, it came out quite well, and I'm able to buzz simple songs. Then I came back, picked up my horn, blew just low low low notes for a while, and just started to improvise some, I just played middle register, and did like a shoot-up, intended to be an octave. When I did that, it scared the crap back into my pants. I just shoot up 2 octaves, while trying one, and everything seems so much closer to each other. Also I finally got out the Double Pedal E :).

    The only negative thing was that I ran out of chops after 40 minutes orso.

    Next day did some minor playing, just some long tones for endurance and pedals and stuff and the day after that I played normally again, I repeated this for about a week, and I could play better than ever.

Share This Page