Tone is progressively getting worse

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by daniel117, Aug 9, 2012.

  1. daniel117

    daniel117 Pianissimo User

    Jun 28, 2012
    last time i used the 1.5c it messed up my playing pretty badly and it took me a month to recover.
  2. DaTrump

    DaTrump Forte User

    Oct 21, 2011
    Huntsville, Texas
    Which is why I suggested looking for a 3C but if it feels like it is doing harm, put it away.
  3. Local 357

    Local 357 Banned

    Jul 1, 2011
    Lets examine this statement. And again my apologies in advance if i seem harsh. I'm not that way really. I just get very concerned when observing trumpet players hurt themselves unnecessarily.

    Look at it from this analogy: Would going bowling screw up a baseball pitcher?

    The answer is no but with a qualifier. If our young athlete bowled six hours the day before a nine inning game? Sure it would screw him up. But it wouldn't be fair to blame the ten pin alleys would it? No in fact it would be the EXCESSIVE PHYSICAL BURDEN PUT UPON THE ARM/BODY.

    Get what I'm sayin?

    Now if you went out tomorrow and bought a Schilke 5a4a (one of the shallowest mouthpieces regularly stocked in music stores) and blew on it for a couple hours? Surely this would create a sound that was tinny, chops would no doubt bottom out and in general you'd consider the whole experiment a mistake.

    But what if you bought a slightly shallower mouthpiece like the 13B? And instead of playing for two hours on it you only blew it for 5 to 10 minutes?

    What I just described in the bold italics is what is know as INTELLIGENT EXPERIMENTATION. You're only bowling a few frames a couple days before the big game.

    So what you could do is set aside a few hours every week. Say every other or every third day for some practice and adjustment to a somewhat shallower mouthpiece. Then gradually increase the amount of time each week you devote on this "screamer" piece until reaching a point of equilibrium.

    THEN take it out on the marching band field.

    Keep this procedure up down the road and perhaps you could eventually get down to something as small as the Schilke 5a4a. You still might not like the results on it but you could at least use it. if only for demonstration purposes.

    Again: INTELLIGENT EXPERIMENTATION. Don't look for a first round knock out. Always take the long road approach.

    Coda: Marching band is a really BAD place to use large, sharp mouthpieces. Sure the tone is fuller but this doesn't project past the flute section. In fact in marching, jazz and pep bands the shallower mouthpiece usually produces the bigger sound. And with fewer clams and far less effort.
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2012
  4. ultratrumpet

    ultratrumpet Piano User

    Jul 10, 2009
    Old Lyme, Connecticut
    +1 with one small detail / a Bach 3C with a 24 drill. You can get a exact copy of Arturo Sandoval's favorite Bach Mount Vernon 3C by contacting:
    Jim New at (888) KANSTUL. The Mark Curry copy based on a Mt Vernon 3C is a bit smaller than the typical MVB 3C

    For the rest of the band players who have a more developed embouchure here are some tips:

    1. Allows take a big comfortable breath and get the chest up. The
    air does the work and the air will save the lip.

    2. Every chance you get, get that mouthpiece off the lip.

    3. Allows pace yourself. Don't blow out your strength in the first 10 minutes.

    4. One can also put slightly more upper lip in the mouthpiece.

    4. One can make a mouthpiece shift, place the mouthpiece a little
    more off to either side to where it's normally placed. note:
    Claude Gordon trained his lips so he could have an embouchure
    from one end of the lip to the other, corner to corner!!!

    5. Finally, Back off a little bit, and play softer when you can.

    Endurance is the ability of the muscles surrounding the lips to hold the lips in place so they will vibrate for long periods of time.

    What to practice to make the embouchure strong:

    A. Lip flexibility studies / Tongue level exercises and long tone lip slurs.

    " Fast playing has nothing to do with building endurance. The slower and softer you play and the longer it takes, the more endurance one will build."

    As explained by Bill Knevitt
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2012
  5. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    Daniel. Listen well to what Local is telling you and do take his advice... soon. In the meanwhile, I am concerned about continued short term damage with continued band activity. Do back down and do take may advice. So gmonady for the acute problem (that was a major focus of the OP), and Local for the chronic prevention for overall trumpet playing health.
  6. Cornyandy

    Cornyandy Fortissimo User

    Jan 9, 2010
    East Yorkshire
    Daniel you've just got to listen and heed this advice on Mouthpiece choices, I know you feel it will mess up your lip. I would ask you what you think working your lip to the point of killing them in band camp is actually doing, (messing ut up anyway?) Heed good advice from serious players and you will avoid serious damage to your chops.
  7. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

    Aug 9, 2007
    Levittown , NY
    Don't blame the mouthpiece,blame excessive volume and pressure. Believe me when I tell you, all your problems will not go away by using a screamer type mouthpiece.I find it hard to believe that people still think every problem will fix itself by going to a small,shallow mouthpiece. The trouble is not with your hardware but with you mechanics. If your breathing correctly and not jamming the mouthpiece into your lips,you shouldn't be sore the next day.

    No mouthpiece change can replace playing correctly,you will only be playing incorrectly on a different mouthpiece.
  8. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

    Jun 6, 2010

    Agreed. I play a huge mouthpiece, a Prana B2S3, and I recently went beyond my normal 45 minutes a day, to playing all day long for two days in a row before wiping out my face. The only reason I lasted so long on those two days is that I play with almost no pressure, the new horn facilitates that well by being very efficient, and I took lots of breaks. With no pressure, or almost no pressure, your lips don't get smashed, they just eventually get worn out. Also, I never practice with much volume, and I think that helps.

    And, my secret weapon .... Loose lip flapping every morning to warm up. I do this at least 20 times every day to start things off.

    Last edited: Aug 10, 2012
  9. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    Which I agree is pretty much from abusive behavior. But depth and rim size is not prescriptive. Comfort is key and there is not one size or depth that I can truly recommend to and individual that will result in comfort. Any cup that the lips comfortably fit with minimal pressure and effort is the perfect mouthpiece in my book. I have always (even in my trumpet playing infancy) found shallow mouthpieces as comfortable. I still use them, but also use deeper cups of recent, that I find comfortable enough, such that the sound I get from them on a particularly trumpet (which to me is the MOST important virtue) is gratifying.

    There are many people on this forum that really throw the winds of caution into shallow cups, and there may be personal reasons for this. Rowuk I believe has convinced me the most that it takes experienced lips to truly benefit from such a design, and in my mind, this strikes the most truth in my thinking as to shallow cups. I may be the exception that early in my career, the shallow cup still worked well, but now I can play in a deeper cup and with the ability to shape notes more due to freedom and movement. However, with freedom and movement comes a price.

    What matters... Comfort and playing correctly... And not getting yourself into short term abusive relationships, such as band camp.
  10. aaronwoolley1

    aaronwoolley1 New Friend

    Dec 24, 2011
    Hey man!

    I know exactly what you are going through. Every year in high school marching band, the other trumpet players would not be doing their jobs, and I'd always feel like I had to be the hero, and save the trumpet part, because my director did not like it if he didn't get the balance he wanted.

    I would recommend going up to your director, and diplomatically asking if it would be ok, if you take things down, at least half the time while in band camp. Then ask your other trumpet buddies to play a bit louder to help you out.

    I play on a Stork Custom Vacchiano 1. It's a huge mouthpiece, but the rim is way softer than on one of Bach's "C" models. This mouthpiece usually runs about 75 dollars, so I'd recommend seeing if someone around you has one that you can try for a day.

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